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Search Senator Leahy’s press releases, floor statements, and Committee speeches by date or by subject.


With Gratitude In Our Hearts, Let’s Resolve To End Hunger

This week we gather with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving and rekindle some of the most important relationships in our lives. All of us in this great and good land have things to be thankful for. Some of us will give special thanks for good health or good fortune over the past year. We are always grateful when we can spend time with our loved ones. As we express thanks for the bounty that we enjoy, it can be easy to take for granted the comfortable shelter and the full tables th… Continue Reading


Our Enemy Is ISIS, Not Refugees Fleeing ISIS

Last Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to make it almost impossible for people from Syria and Iraq, fleeing the brutality of ISIS and Bashar al-Assad, to find refuge in the United States. It is worth reflecting on what this means for our country. Just a few weeks ago the world came together, stunned and heartbroken over the image of a three-year-old Syrian child's lifeless body washed up on a Turkish beach. His tragic death focused our attention on the desperate plight of so m… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Need To Reform the EB-5 Regional Center Program

I have championed the EB-5 Regional Center program for many years. I have done so because I have seen its ability to generate investment and create jobs in distressed communities. But the program is facing some pressing challenges. Reports of rampant fraud and abuse raise serious concerns and threaten to cripple the program's integrity. The incentives Congress established to invest in high unemployment and rural communities are also routinely abused, undermining a core objective of the program-t… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Anniversary Of Executive Action On Immigration

A year ago today, in a nationwide address, President Obama announced a series of measures to improve our broken immigration system. He outlined efforts to focus scarce resources on identifying and deporting those people who pose a danger to our communities, to modernize our legal immigration system, and to provide temporary relief from the threat of deportation for hardworking, law-abiding members of our communities. For many, the President's announcement offered, at last, a hope for stability… Continue Reading


Leahy Continues Leading Role In Bipartisan Push To Reauthorize And Fund The Nation’s Premier Conservation Fund

(THURSDAY, Nov. 19, 2015) - Ratcheting up a bipartisan effort to reauthorize a longstanding conservation program, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) this week joined a coalition of 14 senators calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Harry Reid to move to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), and provide full mandatory funding for the program. Leahy also led a separate bipartisan letter to the chair and ranking member of the Senate Appropri… Continue Reading


Senate Floor Remarks Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) As He And Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) Object To The Sudden Bid By Senator Cruz To Bring His Anti-Refugee Bill To An Immediate Senate Vote

[Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) on Thursday spoke on the Senate Floor to object to a bid by Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to force an immediate vote on his anti-refugee bill, introduced an hour earlier. Leahy for decades has been a leader in honoring America's commitment to help refugees seeking safety from atrocities abroad and is the coauthor of the bipartisan legislation to respond to the refugee crisis - the Middle East Refugee Emergency Supplemental Appropria… Continue Reading


Senator Leahy Invites VT Family To Testify At Hearing On International Adoption

(Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015) - Christine Hutchins and her family from Cambridge, Vt., Wednesday came to the Senate Judiciary Committee to share their story of adopting their son James from Sierra Leone. Hutchins was invited to testify by the committee Ranking Member Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) at the hearing, just days before National Adoption Day. Leahy said: "The Hutchins' journey to parenthood is one of courage and perseverance. They represent many other Vermont families who have simila… Continue Reading


Chamberlin School, South Burlington, VT

On November 18, 2015, Senator Leahy hosted an online chat with the Chamberlin School of South Burlington. The Senator was impressed with the engagement of the fifth grade classrooms, and enjoyed their rendition of their school song. The Senator also enjoyed answering their questions on his long term projects in the Senate, like his work on the USDA Farm to School grant program.… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On the Need to Support Refugees Fleeing Violence

[Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Wednesday on the need to support Syrian refugees. Leahy, who is also the Ranking Member of the State Department's budget committee - the State Department and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee - has long led efforts to support assistance for refugees. He is the coauthor of the bipartisan Graham-Leahy Middle East Refugee Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act to respond to the refugee cr… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, Hearing on “National Adoption Month: Stories of Success and Meeting the Challenges of International Adoptions”

Next week, millions of families in this country will gather around a table to give thanks for the many blessings they have received. For proud parents and grandparents, this of course includes their children and grandchildren. It is fitting that this month we also recognize National Adoption Month, which honors the adoptive families who selflessly open their hearts and homes to children from the United States and around the world who are in need of a safe and loving family. Today we raise … Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), In Support of the Administration’s Clean Power Plan

(Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015) - The Senate Tuesday passed two resolutions disapproving the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, an historic initiative led by the administration to combat the effects of climate change and benefit public health by reducing carbon emissions and encouraging a cleaner energy future. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has long warned that the threat of climate change is now at our doorstep and called the resolutions an attempt to roll back one of the most meanin… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Speaker Shap Smith

I spoke with Speaker Smith today and conveyed the heartfelt hopes, wishes and prayers that Marcelle and I have for him, Melissa and their family. Throughout his career in public service, Shap has worked to keep his priorities in order, striving to do the right things, for the right reasons. That has been a mark of his character, and a reason for the deep respect he has earned across our state. In this difficult decision, he has done that again.… Continue Reading


Leahy: Vermont Nets $125,000 To Connect Schools And Local Farms

(Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015) - A program long championed by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) will invest $125,000 in bolstering efforts to bring local agriculture into the classrooms and cafeterias of schools across Vermont. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the Farm to School grants Tuesday to connect child nutrition programs with local farmers. Leahy said: "Tying local agriculture to our schools not only provides our children with healthy meals and improved nutrition, it e… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Judicial Nominations

Today, we will vote on the nomination of LaShann Hall to be a Federal district judge in the Eastern District of New York. She was nominated over a year ago, and her nomination was voted out of the Judiciary Committee by unanimous voice vote more than five months ago. Ms. Hall is an outstanding African American attorney who will fill a judicial emergency vacancy. There is no reason Senate Republicans should have delayed her confirmation for this long. The Senate this week should also vote on … Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Terrorist Attacks In Paris

Vermonters and all Americans, and people of goodwill the world over, stand shoulder to shoulder and heart to heart with the people of France in sorrow and solidarity. The repugnant and perverse impulses that misguided movements use to degrade human beings to commit such acts of barbarity have no place in the civilized world.… Continue Reading


NYT Editorial: Senate Republicans Are Undermining The Justice System

(Friday, November 13, 2015) -Senate Republicans are on pace to confirm the fewest number of judges in more than a half century. The Republicans' poor record has led to increased vacancies in courts throughout the country, and a backlog of judicial nominees pending on the floor. In an editorial Friday, the New York Times noted this obstruction "undermine(s) the justice system, and the biggest victims are ordinary Americans who cannot count on fully functioning courts." Among the nominees pendi… Continue Reading


Sens. Franken, Leahy Urge President Obama to Take Action Against Forced Arbitration Clauses That Strip Away Americans’ Rights

[11/12/15]-Today, U.S. Sens. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) pressed President Obama to take action against forced arbitration, which is when companies-from cell phone carriers to banks-slip fine print into consumer and employment contracts that strip away rights from millions of Americans. Earlier this month, the New York Times ran a several-part series exposing the dangers of this practice. In a letter sent Thursday, Sens. Franken, Leahy, and 14 others asked the President to do… Continue Reading


Veterans Day Message From Senator Patrick Leahy

It is fitting that on the eve of Veterans Day, the Senate passed an annual VA funding bill that takes further steps toward fulfilling our commitment to those who have served and sacrificed for this nation, for each of us. There is much that is good in this bill. These budget gains are not enough, but they are an improvement, and they will make a difference. Budgets are a reflection of our priorities. Honoring our commitments to America's veterans must always be a top priority - every year, … Continue Reading


Leahy: Senate Republicans Should Confirm All Consensus Judicial Nominees Before End Of Year

(Tuesday, November 10, 2015) -Senate Republicans are on pace to confirm the fewest number of judges in more than a half century, and yet, the Republican majority will once again not hold a confirmation vote this week for any one of the 21 consensus nominees pending on the executive calendar. Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Tuesday urged Republicans to reverse course and quickly schedule confirmation votes on these nominees before the end of the year. "The American p… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Detention of Hossam Bahgat

[On Monday, November 9, a statement by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on the detention of Egyptian journalist and human rights defender Hossam Bahgat, and on the continuing attacks on freedom of expression in Egypt, was published in the Congressional Record. Upon learning of Bahgat's release earlier today (Tuesday), Leahy said: "I am pleased that the Egyptian government has decided not to proceed with its attempt to silence Hossam Bahgat. I hope this is a sign that the government recognizes i… Continue Reading

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