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Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Supporting Government Transparency And Urging Passage of The FOIA Improvement Act of 2014

The Freedom of Information Act is one of our Nation's most important laws. James Madison said the people "must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives." For nearly 50 years, FOIA has given Americans a way to access government information ensuring their right to know what their government doing. The FOIA Improvement Act advances this fundamental democratic principle. It is why I urge all Senators to support the FOIA Improvement Act of 2014, without delay. This legislation builds on what … Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Expiring Authorization for the Bulk Records Collection Program Under Section 215 of FISA

[The current FISA court authorization for the government to engage in the bulk collection of phone records under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act expires on Friday. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is the author of the bipartisan USA FREEDOM Act of 2014, which would end this dragnet collection of Americans' phone records.] "Last month, Senate Republicans filibustered the USA FREEDOM Act of 2014, which would have ended the NSA's bulk collection of innocent American… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch: Thursday’s Final Extension Of Enrollment Deadline For New Dairy Insurance Program Will Further Help Vermont Farmers Weigh Their Options

Vermont's congressional delegation - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) and Rep. Peter Welch (D) - commended U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack for announcing Thursday that the application deadline for the new dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP) will be extended until Dec. 19, 2014. In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said: "This final extension is helpful to Vermont's dairy farmers as well as those across the country who may still be weighing their… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Mexico And The Leahy Law

"There are two laws -- both of which I wrote and defend each year against attempts by some in Congress and the Pentagon to weaken them -- which tie a portion of our aid to foreign governments, and to Mexico specifically, on protection of human rights and punishment of those who violate human rights. The Mexican Army and police have a long history of violating human rights with impunity, and no one in Congress has worked harder than I have to keep our aid to Mexico from going to those who commit… Continue Reading


Judiciary Committee Approves Nominee To Lead Key Immigration Office

(Wednesday, December 3, 2014) - The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday approved the nomination of Sarah Saldaña to be Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security, where she will lead the office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) hailed the nominee and called on the Senate to quickly confirm her. "Ms. Saldaña has earned a reputation as a tough but fair prosecutor. She has stated unequivocally that she will enforce the law, and w… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee To Hold Hearing On Families & Immigration Next Week

(Tuesday, December 2, 2014) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced on Tuesday that the Committee will hold a hearing next week about the impact of the President's executive action on immigrant families and the need to keep children and their parents together. The hearing follows up on the Committee's hearing last year entitled "How Comprehensive Immigration Reform Should Address the Needs of Women and Families." Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), an immigrant who … Continue Reading


Leahy: Vermont Nets $100,000 To Connect Schools And Local Farms

(TUESDAY, Dec. 2, 2014) - A farm-to-school program championed by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is investing $100,000 in bringing locally grown food to cafeteria tables and classrooms in Vermont. Leahy, who has led the national farm-to-school efforts in the Senate, commended VT FEED, a partnership of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-Vt.), and Shelburne Farms, which Tuesday received a federal grant to support farm-to-school initiatives across the Green Mountain State. L… Continue Reading


ADVISORY for TOMORROW (Tues.): Judiciary Chairman Leahy Meets With Atty Gen. Nominee Loretta Lynch

********N E W S A D V I S O R Y ********* TOMORROW: SJC Chairman Leahy To Meet With AG Nominee Loretta Lynch Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) will meet with Loretta Lynch, President Obama's nominee to be the next Attorney General of the United States, TOMORROW, Tuesday, December 2, around 11 a.m. in Room S-126 in the Capitol. Photo-op at the top of the meeting, around 11 a.m. Camera pre-set at 10:50 a.m. Contact: Jessica Brady, 202-224-7703, David Carle, 202-224-3… Continue Reading


Leahy & Cornyn Press For CIA To Retain Email Records

(Monday, December 1, 2014) -Responding to reports that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is seeking to adopt a new email retention policy that would allow the agency to purge thousands of emails from nearly all of its employees, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) are urging the archivist of the United States to reject the proposal that undermines oversight of the agency. "We are concerned that this policy would undermine the ability o… Continue Reading


Judiciary Chair Leahy Urges Visa, MasterCard To Recommit Their Efforts To Address Illegal Activity Online

(Tuesday, November 25, 2014) -Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is urging leading payment processors to prevent use of their payment networks by websites that are dedicated to online copyright infringement. While Visa and MasterCard both have policies prohibiting the use of their cards for illegal activities, a recent study released by the Digital Citizens Alliance and NetNames revealed that 29 of 30 leading websites known as "cyberlockers," which exist to unlawfully sto… Continue Reading


Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The President's Announcement Of The Departure Of Defense Secretary Hagel

"I thank Secretary Hagel for his decades of military and public service, and for his commitment to the American people and American values, at home and abroad. "Having worked with Chuck in the Senate, as well as during his tenure leading the Defense Department, I know firsthand of his integrity, decency and tirelessness. He was the first former enlisted combat soldier to serve as defense secretary, and it was this experience that has been ever present in his work at the Pentagon. His vocal s… Continue Reading


Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman Of The Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, And Related Programs, On The Ongoing Nuclear Negotiations With Iran

"I strongly support the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran and hope that a verifiable agreement that prevents Iran from developing a nuclear weapon can be reached by the November 24th deadline. I recognize that some of our allies in the region have voiced concerns about the process. I urge all parties to engage in a constructive dialogue, which is crucial for progress and for the integrity of any outcome. Over the past year there has been progress toward eliminating the possibility of a n… Continue Reading


Senate Extends Satellite TV Law To Ensure Continued Coverage for Viewers

(FRIDAY, November 21, 2014) - The Senate Thursday night approved bipartisan legislation shaped by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and others that will ensure that 1.5 million satellite TV subscribers in Vermont and across the country will continue to receive access to their current television content for the next five years. The legislation reauthorizes the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act, a law known as "STELA," that provides consumers access to distant broadcast television content … Continue Reading


Leahy Reminds Congress That Immigration Executive Action Is ‘No Substitute For Legislation’

(THURSDAY, Nov. 20, 2014) - In a Senate floor statement Thursday, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said the President's expected action on immigration is necessary, but noted that the move is not a replacement for legislation like the bill he steered to passage in the Senate last year. The Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill with a bipartisan vote last year, but the House has failed to take up that measure or any other to address the nation's broken immigration system. Leahy said… Continue Reading


Judiciary Committee Unanimously Approves Leahy-Cornyn FOIA Improvement Act

(Thursday, November 20, 2014) -- The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday unanimously approved bipartisan legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) that strengthens the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the nation's premier open government law. The FOIA Improvement Act requires Federal agencies to adopt a "Presumption of Openness" when considering the release of government information under FOIA, and it aims to reduce the overuse of exemptions to… Continue Reading


Ludlow Elementary School

On November 19, Senator Leahy held an online chat with 12 students from Ludlow Elementary School's 6th grade classroom. The Senator enjoyed answering the students' challenging questions related to immigration policy, the recent midterm elections and the ways that Democrats and Republicans can work together to solve the nation's problems. He enjoyed telling the students the story of when he brought batman to visit the Kellogg Hubbard Library in Montpelier.… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Committee On The Judiciary, On Record-Breaking Fraud Enforcement Penalties In 2014

[Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) commented Thursday on news that the Department of Justice has recovered a record-breaking $24 billion in settlements and judgments under the False Claims Act and similar laws in 2014. Much of these penalties were paid by financial institutions, including Citibank and JPMorgan, for their roles in the mortgage and financial crisis that began in 2008. Senator Leahy is the author of the Fraud Enforcement Recovery Act, a law that strengthens tools… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch Encourage Vermont Dairy Farmers To Enroll In New Dairy Safety Program

We want to get this message to every Vermont dairy farmer as quickly as possible, because the deadline for taking advantage of the new dairy safety net program is just around the corner. We are encouraging every Vermont dairy farmer to consider participating in the new Margin Protection Program (MPP) for Dairy that we worked to include as a part of the 2014 Farm Bill. With the end of the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program, MPP is now the only federal safety net available for dairy farme… Continue Reading


Danville, Vermont Post Office Named After Thaddeus Stevens

, Nov. 19 - Vermont's congressional delegation today announced that Congress has passed a measure that will rename the post office in Danville after Thaddeus Stevens. The Vermont native led efforts in the Civil War-era to pass a constitutional amendment to abolish slavery in the United States. The legislation will be sent to the president. The Academy Award winning movie "Lincoln" provided a fresh look at Stevens' role in fighting for the passage of the 13th Amendment to end slavery. Stevens i… Continue Reading


Senate Republicans Block Historic Legislation To Reform Nation’s Sweeping Surveillance Laws

(Tuesday, November 18, 2014) - Senate Republicans on Tuesday night blocked the Senate from even debating widely supported legislation to reform the nation's surveillance laws and protect Americans' privacy rights. The USA FREEDOM Act of 2014, which is strongly supported by privacy advocates, technology leaders, and reformers from across the political spectrum, would usher in the most significant surveillance reforms since the USA PATRIOT Act was enacted in 2001. Key provisions in that law are… Continue Reading

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