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


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Eric H. Holder Jr.’s Service as Attorney General of the United States

Two weeks ago, Loretta Lynch was finally sworn in as the 83rd Attorney General of the United States. I am confident that she will be an exceptional Attorney General, and she has wasted no time getting to work on many of the most pressing law enforcement issues facing our nation. Given that is it Police Week, I wanted to say a few words in tribute to the remarkable service of Eric Holder, our outgoing Attorney General. He came to the Justice Department as a 25-year-old law school graduate in 1… Continue Reading


Leahy Calls On Senators To Support Nominee Sally Yates To Fill No. 2 Position At Justice Department

(Wednesday, May 13, 2015) -Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Wednesday called for the Senate to confirm Sally Yates to serve as the Deputy Attorney General of the United States. The Deputy Attorney General is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Department of Justice, and is an essential partner to the Attorney General in safeguarding Americans. Yates was nominated to the No. 2 position at the Department in January and despite having broad bipartisan… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, Hearing on “Protecting the Constitutional Right to Counsel for Indigents Charged with Misdemeanors”

Rarely does a hearing touch core constitutional obligations more directly than what we are discussing today. Our Founders were determined that the government's power be limited. The Sixth Amendment right to counsel is a cornerstone of that principle. It is a guarantee that before your liberty is taken, before the government can put you in jail, it must prove its case against you in what the Supreme Court has called the "crucible of meaningful adversarial testing." And that requires a lawyer. … Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On His Vote Against Cloture On The Fast-Track Trade Authority Bill (The Trade Priorities and Accountability Act)

"I cannot support moving to a debate that Senate Republican leaders have refused to define. I will not support writing a blank check for debate on an unspecified package of bills, without any assurances that American workers and our economy will be protected." # # # # #… Continue Reading


As House Prepares To Take Up NSA Reform This Week, Leahy Urges Senate To Act

(Tuesday, May 12, 2015) - This week, the House is poised to take up and pass the bipartisan USA FREEDOM Act of 2015. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), who coauthored the bill with leading House members to end the government's dragnet collection of phone records under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, joined together Tuesday to call on the Senate to take up and pass the historic legislation after the House acts. "In the name of fighting terrorism, the government convinced … Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the USA FREEDOM ACT of 2015

Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act expires in a matter of weeks. Senator Lee and I have a bipartisan bill, the USA FREEDOM Act, that would end the use of Section 215 to authorize the bulk collection of Americans' phone records, and replace it with a more targeted program. It also would enact other important reforms to bring more accountability and transparency to government surveillance. The Speaker of the House of Representatives is bringing that same bill for a vote in the House on Wednesda… Continue Reading


Leahy And Nutrition Leaders Visit Milton Elementary School To Spotlight His New Bill To Renew And Expand The Farm To School Program

MILTON, Vt. (MONDAY, May 11, 2015) - On Monday, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) visited Milton Elementary School to join students for lunch, while taking the opportunity to spotlight his recently introduced bipartisan, bicameral bill aimed at extending a key nutrition program for school-aged children, in advance of the reauthorization of the Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act. Leahy, the most senior member of both the Senate Agriculture Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee, is the au… Continue Reading


Leahy Comment On Senate Republicans’ Insistence On Simply Extending Surveillance Authorities (NSA Dragnet Collection Of Americans’ Ph. Messages) Without Change

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Senate Republicans' Insistence To Reauthorize Surveillance Authorities Without Change May 7, 2015 "A handful of Senate Republicans took to the floor this morning to defend a dragnet surveillance program that intrudes on their constituents' privacy. In doing so, these Republicans are ignoring the findings of national security experts that this program is unnecessary, and the decision by a federal appellate … Continue Reading


Leahy Hosts The Tenth Annual ‘Taste Of Vermont’

(FRIDAY, May 8, 2015) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday night hosted the 10 annual "Taste of Vermont" on Capitol Hill, organized by the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Vermont Convention Bureau and the Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation. This year's exhibition drew 64 Vermont vendors to the Nation's Capital who shared their quality products with hundreds of invited guests. In the ten years since Leahy launched the exhibition of Vermont products, the annual even… Continue Reading


Leahy, Lee REAX On Circuit Court Ruling On NSA’s Phone Surveillance Program

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) On Circuit Court Ruling On The NSA's Telephone Surveillance Program May 7, 2015 [Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) issued the following comment Thursday after a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals found that the National Security Agency's (NSA) bulk collection of Americans' phone records goes beyond what is authorized under Section 215 … Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing On Bipartisan PATENT Act By Senators Grassley And Leahy

Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing On Bipartisan PATENT Act By Senators Grassley And Leahy WASHINGTON (THURSDAY, May 7, 2015)-The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing this morning on the recently introduced PATENT Act (S. 1137), a bipartisan bill to protect businesses and innovators who are being improperly targeted by patent trolls. As chairman of the Judiciary Committee last Congress, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) led bipartisan negotiations to craft a comprehensive and balan… Continue Reading


Senate Unanimously Passes Leahy Bill To Renew Lifesaving Bulletproof Vest Grant Program

(WEDNESDAY, May 6, 2015) - The Senate on late Wednesday unanimously approved Senator Patrick Leahy's (D-Vt.) legislation to reauthorize the lifesaving Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program, which has helped Vermont law enforcement officers purchase nearly 4400 bulletproof vests. Leahy's bill would extend for five years the matching grant program that helps members of law enforcement purchase lifesaving bulletproof vests. The program has helped 13,000 state and local law enforcement agenci… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Death Of Former House Speaker Jim Wright

Jim Wright mastered the legislative process to accomplish good and significant things that have made life better for generations of Americans. For instance, his legacy includes the substantial infrastructure investments made possible by the 'pay as you go' interstate highway system funding mechanism that he forged through legislative skill, a clear vision for the future, and sheer determination. That and other achievements helped to transform the nation and our economy. His contributions also… Continue Reading


Opening Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy -- SJC Hearing On Freedom Of Information Act

(Wednesday, May 6, 2015) - The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing entitled, "Ensuring an Informed Citizenry: Examining the Administration's Efforts to Improve Open Government." Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has long worked to improve government openness and transparency, and was inducted into the FOIA Hall of Fame in 1996 for his work. This year, Leahy again partnered with Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) to coauthor the bipartisan FOIA Improvement Act, which the Judiciary Com… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Senate Passage of the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program Reauthorization Act of 2015

This week, the Senate is poised to pass the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program Reauthorization Act of 2015. The law enforcement community is unified in its support of this program because it quite simply saves lives. To date, this program has provided more than 13,000 state and local law enforcement agencies with nearly 1.2 million bulletproof vests, including nearly 4,400 to officers in Vermont. Senator Graham and I have been working to address any and all concerns that certain Repu… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Adoption of The Budget Conference Report

"A budget is about setting priorities, and the Republican budget passed today places the rich over the poor, the powerful over the more vulnerable, and corporations over hardworking families. The real responsibility will lie when Congress exercises its power of the purse to fund programs to which Republicans have proposed devastatingly drastic cuts. I will be fighting to ensure those programs the new Senate Majority is intent on attacking are protected. Vermonters deserve a government that is … Continue Reading


In Letter to the President, Leahy, Feinstein & Durbin Reiterate Call To Move Detainees Out Of Guantanamo Bay

(Tuesday, May 5, 2015) -With just 20 months left in President Obama's time in office, Democratic Senators Patrick Leahy (Vt.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), and Dick Durbin (Ill.) are urging him to take further steps to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. "Although onerous restrictions imposed by Congress have hindered efforts to close the detention facility, we urge you to immediately take meaningful action in order to end this unfortunate chapter in our nation's history before … Continue Reading


Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) To The President’s Announcement Of His Intention To Nominate Gen. Joseph Dunford To Be The Next Chairman Of The Joint Chiefs Of Staff

"The President already is being credited with making a wise choice. General Dunford is a skilled leader, admired by the men and women who served under him, and known for his respect and care for the civilians caught in the middle of conflict. I have spoken with General Dunford about pressing security issues, about meeting the needs of those who serve, and about the sacrifices of families who support our men and women in uniform. We have also talked about Vermont and our alma mater, St. Michae… Continue Reading


St. Johnsbury Academy

On May 5, 2015, Senator Leahy held an online chat with St. Johnsbury Academy's AP Government and Microeconomics classes. He was impressed by the students' questions regarding his role on the Judiciary Committee, as well as their discussion on the impact of the filibuster and cloture procedures in the U.S. Senate. Senator Leahy especially enjoyed hearing the students' aspirations to become leaders in Congress.… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Raising The Federal Minimum Wage

Vermont is among only 22 States in the Nation with a minimum wage higher than that of the federal minimum wage. The Green Mountain State has long recognized the importance of paying workers a fair and livable wage, and it is past time for Congress to catch up with the daily struggles of working American families. That is why I today I am proud to join as a cosponsor of Senator Murray's Raise the Wage Act, to increase the federal minimum wage to $12 by 2020. The Raise the Wage Act will help … Continue Reading

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