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


Leahy Makes Recommendation For Vermont’s Next U.S. Attorney

(FRIDAY, Feb. 20, 2015) -- U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is recommending Burlington attorney Eric Miller to President Obama to be Vermont's next U.S. Attorney. Miller, 45, would be the 37th United States Attorney in Vermont's history, managing the U.S. Department of Justice's U.S. Attorney offices in Burlington and Rutland and overseeing the work of nearly 20 attorneys who represent the United States in criminal and civil investigations and litigation in Vermont. "I have been impressed wi… Continue Reading


Leahy, Schumer Effort To Uncork Growing Cider Industry In Vermont, N.Y. And Elsewhere Moves Forward

(THURSDAY, Feb. 12, 2015) - Legislation from Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) aimed at helping the growing hard cider industry in Vermont and New York took an important step forward this week. The CIDER Act - Cider Investment and Development through Excise Tax Reduction Act - would update the outdated federal definition of hard cider to meet current market expectations and manufacturing practices. The bill language was included in a non-controversial set of ta… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On the Nominations Of Ashton Carter to be the Secretary of Defense, And of Loretta Lynch to be Attorney General of the United States

The Senate will vote today on the confirmation of Dr. Ashton Carter to fill a critically important Cabinet position - that of Secretary of Defense. Dr. Carter is a dedicated and distinguished public servant. He has been confirmed - unanimously - to two senior positions in the Pentagon. He has been recognized as a four-time recipient of the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal, and he has been awarded the Defense Intelligence Medal. I have no doubt the vote today in support of hi… Continue Reading


Leahy Joins Bicameral Effort To Protect Vermont Dairy Farmers And Cheese Producers On International Stage

(THURSDAY, Feb. 12, 2015) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) joined a bipartisan, bicameral effort on Thursday raising concerns about changes to an international intellectual property treaty that will affect the dairy industry in Vermont and across the country. Leahy's efforts come as the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) prepares to consider changes to the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin, in May. The proposed changes to this international treaty would … Continue Reading


Leahy Joins In Introducing Bipartisan Bill To Lift Cuba Trade Embargo

(THURSDAY, Feb. 12, 2015) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday joined a bipartisan coalition of senators in introducing major legislation to lift the Cuba trade embargo. The bill is sponsored by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and cosponsored by Leahy and Senators Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). Their bill would eliminate the key barriers to Americans doing business in Cuba. The Freedom to Export to Cuba Act would pave the way fo… Continue Reading


Leahy: Senate Should Confirm Loretta Lynch As Atty Gen. … the nation’s top law enforcement officer --

(Thursday, February 12, 2015) - On the same day the Senate is poised to confirm Ashton Carter to serve as Secretary of Defense, Republicans on the Judiciary Committee postponed a vote on the nomination of Loretta Lynch to serve as the next Attorney General. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee, expressed his strong disappointment at the delay in considering Lynch's nomination. "Dr. Carter is receiving his confirmation vote little more than a week after he tes… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee Executive Business Meeting

The four judicial nominees listed on today's agenda have the distinction of both of their home state Senators sitting on this Committee. Two of the Texas nominees will fill judicial emergency vacancies. I hope the Senators from Texas and Utah have been able to convince their Republican colleagues that there is no good reason for these nominees to be held over. We should vote them out today. Loretta Lynch's nomination is listed on the agenda. Her nomination has been pending longer than any m… Continue Reading



() - U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) are calling on the Pentagon to continue its support of the Beyond Yellow Ribbon program, urging the department to utilize all allocated funding for the program. Last year, Congress appropriated $15 million for the Beyond Yellow Ribbon program which connects service men and women and their families with community support, including health care services, marriage and financial counseling, … Continue Reading


Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), On the Administration’s Proposed Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)

There can be no question that the barbaric crimes perpetrated by ISIL must be met with the full force of action by the international community. American lives have been lost and are at risk, and our nation, too, has a role to play in this international coalition. "I commend the administration for seeking congressional approval for our involvement in this coalition, rather than resting exclusively on the authority of two outdated Authorizations for the Use of Military Force. However, I have se… Continue Reading


Leahy: SJC Should Approve AG Lynch’s Nomination This Week

(Tuesday, February 10, 2015) - In a floor statement Tuesday, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said the Judiciary Committee should approve the nomination of Loretta Lynch to be the next Attorney General this week, so that the Senate can confirm her without further delay. Lynch, poised to become the nation's chief law enforcement officer, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee nearly two weeks ago. Her nomination has broad bipartisan support, and the Senate has twice unanimously confirmed h… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Why He Will Not Attend Speaker Boehner’s Joint Meeting With Prime Minister Netanyahu:

"The unfortunate way that House leaders have unilaterally arranged this, and then heavily politicized it, has demolished the potential constructive value of this Joint Meeting. They have orchestrated a tawdry and high-handed stunt that has embarrassed not only Israel but the Congress itself. It has long been an unwritten rule and practice through the decades that when it comes to American foreign policy, we speak and act thoughtfully, with one voice when we can, with the national interests of … Continue Reading


Colchester High School, Colchester, VT:

On Thursday, February 5, Senator Leahy led an engaging discussion with Colchester High School's "Civics in Action" class. Comprised of seniors looking to take action on issues facing their communities, the Senator was impressed by the students' in-depth questions, and with their drive to help people in need. He especially enjoyed talking about how Vermont has changed politically since he took office, and about what we can all do to promote peace and reduce poverty.… Continue Reading


Malletts Bay School, Colchester, VT:

On Wednesday, February 4, Senator Leahy hosted an online chat with fifth graders of the Malletts Bay School. The children engaged in an interesting discussion about their ideas for change throughout the nation. Senator Leahy particularly enjoyed hearing about their desire to stop bullying in schools. He also liked telling them about his life before becoming a U.S. Senator, and about his goal to pass legislation to protect the privacy of Americans in the 114th Congress.… Continue Reading


Leahy Urges Senate To Support Nominee To Serve As Drug Policy Director

(Monday, February 9, 2015) - Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Monday called for the confirmation of Michael Botticelli to serve as Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Botticelli has served as the Acting Director of ONDCP since March 2014, and he was previously the Deputy Director of this office. Botticelli was first nominated to lead ONDCP in September of last year, and the Judiciary Committee unanimously reported his nomination to … Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy In Memory of Ambassador Robert E. White

Mr. President, on January 13, 2015, the country lost one of its most courageous diplomats, Ambassador Robert E. White. He was 88 years old. I knew Bob White, who graduated from my alma mater, Saint Michaels College in Vermont, in 1952 - nine years before I did. I admired him greatly. He had the qualities that every American diplomat should possess: outstanding intellect, unimpeachable integrity, extraordinary courage, and a devotion to the ideals and values of his country. In the 1980s dur… Continue Reading


Judiciary Committee Unanimously Approves Cornyn-Leahy FOIA Improvement Act

(Thursday, February 5, 2015) - The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday unanimously approved a bipartisan bill authored by Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that strengthens the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the nation's premier open government law. The FOIA Improvement Act, which the Senators introduced earlier this week, requires Federal agencies to operate under a "presumption of openness" when considering the release of government information under the F… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Lessons from the Ebola Epidemic

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, not long ago Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations, and the United States, Great Britain, France, and other countries, were frantically trying to bring the Ebola crisis in West Africa under control. Thousands of people died due to a disastrous failure by WHO's Africa regional representative, serious miscalculations by local officials and global health experts, and a myriad of other problems ranging from weak loca… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On A Return to Democracy in Sri Lanka

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, for hundreds of millions of people around the globe, including in countries whose governments are allies of the United States, democracy and human rights are aspirations that seem beyond reach. According to a recent report by Freedom House, the state of freedom in the world declined in almost every region over the past year. But while we should be deeply concerned by this discouraging trend, we should also recognize where progress is being made. On January 8, the peo… Continue Reading


Leahy Joins In Introducing Legislation To Help Small Brewers

(WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4, 2015) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday joined other senators in introducing the bipartisan Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce Act (Small BREW Act). The legislation, sponsored by Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), would recalibrate the federal beer excise tax that small brewers pay, cutting the tax nearly in half. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is also a cosponsor. Leahy said: "Vermont may be a smaller state but we brew big beer… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Introduction of the Justice Safety Valve Act of 2015

Today I once again join with Senator Paul to introduce the Justice Safety Valve Act. This bill makes a simple, common sense change - it will allow judges to once again sentence offenders on their individual merits based on the individual facts of the case before them. Mandatory minimums take away that common sense and discretion and have helped to drive our prison population to once-unthinkable levels, draining vital resources from all other public safety priorities. One-size-fits-all sentenci… Continue Reading

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