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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 Defunding Women’s Health Services and The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36)

We are about a week away from the deadline to keep the federal government open. Our national highway system will soon run out of money. The nominations of 16 consensus judicial nominees with bipartisan support are languishing on the Senate floor. And there is still strong support in the Senate for passing meaningful immigration reform. Those are just a few of the pressing issues that the Senate should have been working on this month. Instead, Senate Republicans wasted two weeks on political… Continue Reading


Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Extension Of The Dairy Margin Protection Program Deadline

[The United States Department of Agriculture Tuesday extended the signup deadline for the Dairy Margin Protection Program, a voluntary program created in the 2014 Farm Bill as a risk management tool for participating farmers when the margin -- the difference between the price of milk and a national average for feed costs -- falls below the coverage levels selected by individual farmers. Leahy, the senior-most member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and a conferee on the 2014 Farm Bill, was p… Continue Reading


Vermont to Receive $3.2 Million Grant to Protect Children from Lead Poisoning

The Vermont Housing & Conservation Board announced that Vermont will receive a $3.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) to continue the State's Lead Hazard Reduction Program. The funds will be used to control lead paint hazards in the homes of low-income families and to raise awareness about this common and dangerous toxin still found in the majority of Vermont homes. Program Director Ron Rupp said, "Lead poisoning remains the number one… Continue Reading


Leahy Joins In Filing "Friend Of Court" Brief To Support FCC's NET NEUTRALITY Rules

Leahy Joins 27 Lawmakers In Filing Court Brief To Support FCC's Net Neutrality Rules WASHINGTON (MONDAY, Sept. 21, 2015) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday joined 27 other members of Congress in filing a brief with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the Open Internet rules adopted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) earlier this year. The rules are the subject of a legal challenge brought by the United States Telecom Association. Leahy, the senior Democrat on the S… Continue Reading


Senators Ask U.S. Chamber of Commerce Board Member Companies About The Chamber's Climate Denial Efforts

(FRIDAY, Sept. 18, 2015) -- Today, United States Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Tom Udall (D-NM), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Al Franken (D-MN), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), and Ed Markey (D-MA) sent letters to the CEOs of all 108 member companies of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Board of Directors asking about their positions on the Chamber's efforts to undermin… Continue Reading


Leahy, Burr, Shaheen And Collins Head Bipartisan Letter, Signed By A Majority Of Senate’s Members, Pressing For Permanent Authorization And Strong Investment In The Nation’s Premier Land And Water Conservation Program

(FRIDAY, Sept. 18, 2015) - With the expiration of the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) fast approaching, a bipartisan coalition of 53 senators led by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), and Susan Collins (R-ME) is calling on Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Reid to permanently reauthorize and adequately fund the nation's premier federal conservation program, now in its 50th year. "Investments in LWCF support public land … Continue Reading


Giving voice to the disadvantaged

(Leahy for several years has led in Congress in pressing for justice reforms such as his bill with Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., to curb mandatory minimum sentencing.) (published today in The Washington Times) By Theodore McCarrick and Patrick Leahy When Pope Francis comes to Washington this month, he will give a voice to the many disadvantaged, poor and incarcerated individuals who often struggle to… Continue Reading


Senator Patrick Leahy & Cardinal McCarrick Today, On Eve Of Pope's Visit, Underscore The Pope's Call For Justice Reform

(Leahy for several years has led in Congress in pressing for justice reforms such as his bill with Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., to curb mandatory minimum sentencing.) (published today in The Washington Times) Giving voice to the disadvantaged Pope Francis embraces the cause of criminal justice reform By Theodore McCarrick and Patrick Leahy When Pope Francis comes to Washington this month, he wil… Continue Reading


On Constitution Day, Leahy Urges Senate Republicans To Uphold Responsibility Of Advice & Consent

(Thursday, September 17, 2015) - The Senate has a unique constitutional responsibility of advice and consent when it comes to confirming nominees, yet so far this year the Republican majority has failed to uphold this critical role. After the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday unanimously approved 3 district court nominees, who now join 13 other judicial nominees pending on the floor, Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) called on Senate Republicans to set politics aside and schedule confir… Continue Reading


Leahy Joins In Introducing Bill To Prevent Punishing Federal Workers In The Event Of A Government Shutdown Threatened By Some In Congress

(THURSDAY, Sept. 17, 2015) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has joined in introducing legislation to prevent using federal workers as pawns if some in Congress have their way in forcing a government shutdown over their efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides crucial health care to women in Vermont and across the country. Leahy said: "Federal workers play vital everyday roles in every state including Vermont, where more than 4,000 dedicated workers protect our borders and streets, … Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Anniversary of the Constitutional Convention

Today, we celebrate the 228th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution of the United States. Some elected officials talk about their love of "the Constitution and the Bill of Rights". That specific phrasing is interesting in that it somehow implies that the "Constitution" does not itself include the Bill of Rights, which of course it does. But it contains much more than those original ten amendments. Each year, I remind Americans that we must celebrate not just the original Constitutio… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Need to End Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric and Pass Immigration Reform September 16, 2015

The United States has a proud and unique history as a nation of immigrants. Ever since our founding, we have been a beacon of hope for those seeking opportunity. Generation after generation, our nation has greatly benefited from the entrepreneurial spirit that these newcomers bring with them. That is as true today as it was 200 years ago. Our nation's history with immigration has not always been a story of acceptance. Newcomers have often faced resistance, isolation, discrimination and even … Continue Reading


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

Last week, I spoke about Senate Republicans' virtual shutdown of the judicial nominations process since they took over the majority. Their refusal to respond to the urgent needs of our independent Third Branch is threatening to harm our justice system and rob the judiciary of outstanding public servants. One glaring example of this harm is the unnecessary delay of Judge Luis Felipe Restrepo, who was nominated last year to fill an emergency vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Cir… Continue Reading


Leahy Calls For Passage Of His Bill To Protect Email Privacy At Judiciary Committee.

(Wednesday, September 16, 2015) - The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing entitled, "Reforming the Electronic Communications Privacy Act." Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) was an original author of the ECPA law that was enacted in 1986, and for years has sought to update its privacy protections. Earlier this year, Leahy introduced with Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) the bipartisan Electronic Communications Privacy Act Amendments Act of 2015 to update ECPA and protect Americans' emai… Continue Reading


Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy, On The Egyptian Military’s Accidental Attack On Mexican Tourists

[Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the ranking member of the Senate's State Department and Foreign Operations Appropriations panel, has called for greater transparency on the use of U.S. military aid for Egypt.] "This was a terrible, avoidable tragedy that unfortunately was not an isolated occurrence. There have been other incidents of mistaken or indiscriminate attacks by Egyptian forces against civilians that have not been properly investigated. The United States should insist that the Egyptia… Continue Reading


$3.1 Million in Federal Grants Awarded to Three Vermont Community Lenders

, Sept. 14 - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) announced today that three Vermont organizations received more than $3.1 million in federal grants from the U.S. Treasury Department's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund. The CDFI Fund awarded $202 million in grants and loans to 195 community credit unions and loan funds across the country that provide affordable financial products and services in economically distressed areas. Thre… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Continuing Assault on Freedom of Expression in Ecuador

I want to call the Senate's attention to a situation I have spoken about previously, which is the ongoing crackdown by the Correa government on what little remains of the independent media in Ecuador. One of the things we have come to expect is that the press - and civil society organizations that expose corruption and challenge the officially sanctioned version of reality - are the first casualties in countries whose leaders are determined to remain in power at any cost. Ecuador is a prime e… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Senator Murkowski Cosponsoring the Voting Rights Advancement Act

[Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced the Voting Rights Advancement Act this past June with Democratic Senators Dick Durbin (Ill.), and Chris Coons (Del.), along with Democratic Congressmen John Lewis (Ga.), Terri Sewell (Ala.), Linda Sanchez (Calif.), and Judy Chu (Calif.) of the House Tri-Caucus. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) announced today that she would sign on as a cosponsor of the bill.] "Senator Murkowski is a champion for civil rights, and I c… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Need To Support Syrian Refugees

[Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Wednesday after meeting with Secretary of State Kerry to discuss the administration's proposal for the number of refugee admissions into the United States for the upcoming fiscal year. 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.] "To… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces $500,000 In Grants To Prevent Youth Substance Abuse In Vermont

(WEDNESDAY, Sept. 9, 2015) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced $500,000 in grants to four Vermont community organizations in the latest round of funding to prevent and address youth substance abuse in the state. The grants will fund community-based approaches to preventing youth substance abuse, including prescription drugs, heroin, marijuana, tobacco and alcohol. Leahy said: "Substance abuse leaves a devastating wake of destruction through communities across our state and our … Continue Reading

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