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


Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On His Vote Against Cloture On The Fast-Track Trade Promotion Authority

[The Senate Tuesday voted to advance fast-track trade promotion authority by a vote of 60-37. A final vote on the measure is expected Wednesday. Leahy opposed the procedural vote, and will oppose final passage. He cast the same vote on a similar measure last month.] "Congress has a role to play in ensuring that free trade is fair trade. Fast-track authority abandons this role, giving carte blanche to the Executive Branch to negotiate trade agreements without any assurances of protections fo… Continue Reading


Leahy Kicks Off Vermont Launch Of Patent Pro Bono Program

BURLINGTON, Vt. (MONDAY, June 22, 2015) -- U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced a new form of assistance for small businesses and startups at the launch of the Vermont Patent Pro Bono Program. The event, at the Burlington Generator in downtown Burlington, was held in conjunction with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the Vermont Small Business Development Center, the Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston, and the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts of Massachusetts. The P… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Iraq War’s Impact On Current National Security Threats

MR. LEAHY. We have the benefit of looking through the lens of history to learn from past mistakes in the hopes of making more informed decisions for the future. No example is more relevant today than the unintended effects of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and their bearing on the threats of today. I opposed that war from the beginning, and we have paid, and continue to pay, a tremendous price -- in American lives, in the unfathomable expense of taxpayer dollars, and in the escalation of strife in t… Continue Reading


Leahy: $1.1 Million Grant Will Support Micro-Grants To Spawn Efforts By Groups Across The Champlain Basin

BURLINGTON, Vt. (FRIDAY, June 19, 2015) - Standing on the shores of Lake Champlain, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and local officials Friday announced the availability of $1.1 million to be provided in small Local Implementation Grants to prevent pollution, support cultural heritage and encourage educational outreach relating to Lake Champlain and its watershed. The Lake Chaplain Basin Program will use the federal funds to distribute grants to up to 100 small watershed groups, schools, towns an… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, To Recognize World Refugee Day

The United States has long been a safe and welcoming home for those fleeing persecution around the world. The refugees and asylum seekers who join our communities help to create new businesses, build more vibrant neighborhoods, and enrich us all. They are also a reminder of our history as a nation of immigrants and our American values of generosity and compassion. Saturday marks World Refugee Day, and to honor it we must renew our commitment to the ideal of America as a beacon of hope for so … Continue Reading


Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Tragedy In Charleston, South Carolina

"Like all Americans, Marcelle and I are shaken by the horrific tragedy in Charleston. We all deserve to feel safe regardless of who we are, who we love, or what religion we choose to practice. Our thoughts and prayers are with the grieving families and parishioners whose right to feel safe in their community and their place of worship was taken from them yesterday. "I appreciate the swift engagement by the Department of Justice to monitor the situation and to assist in any way possible. To… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Pope Francis’ Encyclical On Climate Change

The Pope's message to the world, and to world leaders, has a justified edge of urgency. He is shining a clear and purposeful beacon on an unfolding crisis that will only worsen the longer that it is ignored or minimized. He invokes the responsibility that all of us have for sound and respectful stewardship over this beautiful and delicate planet that has been entrusted to us. He makes clear that the choices we make have profound moral, practical, and perhaps even existential implications. T… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Recent Developments in Egypt United States Senator Floor

Mr. President, last week Egyptian government investigators working on behalf of a judge who is overseeing a four-year-old case against international and Egyptian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) visited the main office of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, or CIHRS, and asked for registration and financial documents. The investigators reportedly tried to pass off an informal search warrant as legal cover, but CIHRS staff made clear they couldn't search the office without an offic… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, In Support of the McCain-Feinstein Anti-Torture Amendment No. 1889

Congress has some unfinished business before it. When the President took office, he issued an executive order banning torture. It is regrettable that such a step was even necessary for a country that has been a signatory to the Convention Against Torture since 1988, more than 25 years ago. But it was the right thing for the President to do and consistent with our values as Americans. In particular, the President ordered that all U.S. government personnel and contractors must comply with the … Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Appointment Of Jamie Hathaway As CEO Of Make-A-Wish Vermont

"Jamie doesn't do anything half way. As I've seen from our work together against landmines, he's an all-in partner. Jamie is one of those rare people who has devoted the better part of his professional life to helping people who are less fortunate. His positive spirit is contagious. His longtime dedication to social justice issues - from his work at Clear Path International aiding innocent victims of landmines and other weapons of war, to animal welfare efforts at the Orvis Company -- has in… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Decision in al Bahlul v. United States

[Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Friday after the D.C. Circuit held that conspiracy charges cannot be tried in a military commission because conspiracy is not a war crime.] "The D.C. Circuit's decision in the al Bahlul case underscores what so many of us have been saying for years: America stands on stronger legal and moral ground when we use our Federal courts to try terrorists for their crimes. The Justice Department has succes… Continue Reading


Leahy: Senate Should Have Full, Open Debate On Nation’s Cybersecurity

(Thursday, June 11, 2015) - Cybersecurity legislation should be considered in an open and transparent manner on the Senate floor for all members to debate, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said Thursday. The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act reported by the Senate Intelligence Committee includes provisions affecting Americans' privacy rights and government transparency. And while the bill has been pending before the Senate for months, Republican leaders are j… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Confirmation of Eric Miller to be Vermont’s United States Attorney

Last night, the Senate confirmed Eric Miller to be Vermont's 37th United States Attorney. I am confident that he will do an outstanding job as the top Federal law enforcement officer in the state. Before recommending Eric to the President, I consulted prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, law enforcement officials and civic leaders throughout Vermont. They were unanimous in their support for Eric. I was particularly impressed with his thoughtfulness, vision, and depth of experience that he… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Retirement Of Librarian of Congress James Billington

"Dr. Billington's stewardship of the Library of Congress for the last three decades has ensured that the nation's most prominent library is an inspirational haven and unequaled resource for all Americans who visit or use it. In 2012 Dr. Billington and I joined together, both at the Library of Congress and in Vermont, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act authored by Vermont Senator Justin Smith Morrill, which established the land-grant colleges, one of which is the University of… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The 150th Anniversary Of The Second Founding

On September 17, 1787, George Washington, James Madison, and their fellow Framers made the momentous decision to sign the Constitution and send it along to the American people for ratification - marking a new beginning in our Nation's profound experiment in democracy. While the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 established the firm foundation for our democracy, it was not complete because it did not address the vexing issue of slavery. It would take more than seven decades and … Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Recent Developments and the Way Forward in Sri Lanka

I want to speak briefly about recent developments in Sri Lanka where the new government of President Maithrapala Sirisena has taken several important and encouraging steps to promote good governance, human rights and reconciliation since his election on January 8th. Among the government's initial accomplishments are the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which curtails the extensive powers enjoyed by the executive and vests more power in the parliament, limits the presidential … Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Considering the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Cybersecurity Information Sharing Bill as an Amendment to NDAA

"The Intelligence Committee's information sharing bill will affect the privacy rights of all Americans, yet it has been cloaked in secrecy. It was considered behind closed doors, without a public hearing or public debate. We cannot even read the text of amendments considered at the mark up of this legislation. Senator Burr's information sharing bill also erodes Americans' right to know what their government is doing by weakening the Freedom of Information Act. I am deeply concerned that the … Continue Reading


Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Governor Shumlin’s Decision

I talked with the Governor this morning when he called me about his decision, and I told him I'd never forget how he mobilized everyone and every resource to help our state after Irene. Neither of us will ever forget the devastation, and the resilience of Vermonters, that we saw across our state as we visited storm-ravaged communities the day the storm receded. His 'Vermont Strong' resolve and his leadership in the immediate aftermath and in the long-term recovery efforts was exceptional. Mar… Continue Reading


Vermont Electric Cooperative Receives $2.1 M from FEMA for Clean-Up Efforts from the December 2014 Storm

(FRIDAY, June 5, 2015) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Friday announced a $2.1 million Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant to Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC) for clean-up and repair efforts following December's severe winter storm. Winter Storm Damon, in December 2014, devastated Northern Vermont, leaving thousands without power and dealing damage to Vermont's electric utilities that rivaled Tropical Storm Ir… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The NSA’s Surveillance Of Internet Communications

"Today's report that the NSA has expanded its warrantless surveillance of Internet traffic underscores the critical importance of placing reasonable and commonsense limits on government surveillance in order to protect the privacy of Americans. Congress took an important step in this direction this week by passing the USA FREEDOM Act, but I have always believed and said that more reforms are needed. Congress should have an open, transparent and honest debate about how to protect both our natio… Continue Reading

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