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Press Releases

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

07.16.14

Senate Unanimously Passes Leahy’s Bipartisan Cellphone Unlocking Bill That Improves Consumer Choice When Switching Wireless Carriers

(WEDNESDAY, July 16, 2014) - The Senate Tuesday night unanimously passed bipartisan legislation authored by Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that would restore the ability of consumers to more easily transfer their cell phones to other wireless carriers. Approval of the bill comes just days after the Judiciary Committee unanimously reported it to the full Senate. Leahy and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) joined together last month to announce a bipartisan agreement on … Continue Reading


07.14.14

Leahy, Klobuchar Introduce Legislation to Improve North Country Scenic Trail Route, Bringing Together Two Historic Trails at the Green Mountains

(MONDAY, July 14, 2014) - Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced legislation to improve the North Country Scenic Trail. The bill would extend the trail into Vermont, connecting it to the Appalachian Trail, allowing hikers to journey the entire 4,600 miles from North Dakota to Vermont. The trail currently extends from New York to North Dakota. The trial was never built along certain sections in Minnesota because the current route includes wetland areas that are diffi… Continue Reading


07.14.14

Leahy, Price Introduce Legislation To Hold American Contractors Overseas Accountable Under U.S. Law

(MONDAY, July 14, 2014) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Congressman David Price (D-N.C.) renewed their partnership on bicameral legislation to provide accountability for American contractors and government employees working abroad. The Civilian Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (CEJA), which the lawmakers introduced Monday, would close a gap in current law and ensure that government employees and contractors working overseas can be prosecuted for criminal acts th… Continue Reading


07.11.14

Two Vermont Working Forest Projects Funded Under Leahy-Authored Forest Legacy Program

(FRIDAY, July 11, 2014) -- Senator Patrick Leahy has announced funding for two Vermont Forest Legacy projects that will conserve critical forestlands in the Groton Forest Legacy Initiative and Windham Region Working Forest. The two projects when completed will total more than 11,600 acres of conserved forestland in Vermont that will permanently protect wildlife habitat linkages and wildlife corridors. These projects also preserve public access, including hiking, hunting, fishing, cross-country … Continue Reading


07.10.14

Leahy’s Report To The Senate On Last Wk’s VT Field Hg. On NET NEUTRALITY

Last week, I chaired a field hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee in Burlington, Vermont, on an issue of critical importance: preserving an open Internet. The Committee heard testimony about the need for concrete, fundamental protections to ensure that the Internet is not abused by those who control how we connect to the Internet. The timing of the hearing was not a coincidence. I convened it during a week when Americans were gathering to celebrate what our Founders put in motion more t… Continue Reading


07.10.14

Leahy Steers Constitutional Amdt. On Campaign Finance/Citizens United To 10-8 Judiciary Committee Approval

(THURSDAY, July 10, 2014) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy Thursday steered a constitutional amendment redressing the Supreme Court's decisions on campaign finance and money in politics to approval by the panel. The amendment would restore the ability for Congress and the states to set reasonable limits on financial contributions and expenditures intended to influence elections. The Committee voted 10-8 to approve the constitutional amendment, which was originally authored b… Continue Reading


07.10.14

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Appropriations Committee Hearing On The President’s Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Request Relating To The Southwestern Border

[The Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday afternoon held a hearing on the President's emergency supplemental appropriations request to address the humanitarian crisis of unaccompanied children arriving along the Southwestern border. Witnesses include Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. The President's request includes $3.7 billion for the protection of the health and safety of these children, detention and enforcement at the border, final resolution of immigration cases, and deterrenc… Continue Reading


07.10.14

STATEMENT OF SENATOR PATRICK LEAHY (D-VT.), CHAIRMAN, SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE, ON S.J. RES. 19 – A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT RELATING TO CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES INTENDED TO AFFECT ELECTIONS

We will now turn to consideration of Senate Joint Resolution 19, a constitutional amendment proposed by Senator Tom Udall that would restore reasonable limits on financial contributions and expenditures intended to influence elections. This amendment addresses a series of flawed Supreme Court decisions that have eviscerated our campaign finance laws, allowing the money of wealthy individuals and special interests to drown out the voices of average Americans. Our Nation was founded on the prin… Continue Reading


07.10.14

Judiciary Committee Passes Leahy’s Bipartisan Cellphone Unlocking Bill That Improves Consumer Choice

(THURSDAY, July 10, 2014) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday unanimously approved bipartisan legislation authored by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that would restore the ability of consumers to more easily transfer their cell phones to other wireless carriers. The Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act would reinstate a 2010 rulemaking by the Librarian of Congress so that consumers can transfer, or "unlock," their cell phones without running afoul of copyright laws. Leah… Continue Reading


07.09.14

Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On President Obama’s 2014 National Drug Control Strategy

I welcome the President's 2014 National Drug Control Strategy released today. By treating addiction as an illness and a public health crisis, the strategy reflects a responsible approach to ending our Nation's unrelenting addiction to powerful controlled substances. Only through an increased commitment to prevention, early intervention, treatment, smart criminal justice policies, and reentry services, will we finally reduce demand for drugs. I am also pleased that the Administration notes the… Continue Reading


07.08.14

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On A Step Toward A Landmine Ban

Mr. President, everyone knows the old adage "a picture is worth a thousand words". As a life-long photographer I have a strong sense of that, and I want to provide a few examples today because sometimes words are not enough. I have often spoken about the horrific toll on civilians from landmines. These tiny explosives, about the size of a hockey puck or can of soup, can kill a child or blow the legs or arms off an adult. They are triggered by the victim - in other words, unlike a gun that … Continue Reading


07.02.14

Leahy: Dorset Nets $263,500 To Grow The Dorset Town Forest

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday said a $263,500 grant to the Town of Dorset under a program Leahy authored will expand the town forest by 200 acres and create a protected public access. The grant is part of $2.3 million being distributed nationwide for similar projects under Leahy's Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program. Leahy said, "This forest holds many historic cultural, recreational and ecological resources for the Town of Dorset and has long been valued by the commun… Continue Reading


07.01.14

Vermonters Urge Washington To Support An Open Internet

BURLINGTON, Vt. (TUESDAY, July 1, 2014) - The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday held a field hearing on net neutrality titled, "Preserving an Open Internet: Rules to Promote Competition and Protect Main Street Consumers." Member statements, witness testimony and a webcast are available online. The Impact Of An Open Internet Beyond The Beltway Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), author of the bicameral Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act that would support c… Continue Reading


07.01.14

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, Field Hearing on “Preserving an Open Internet: Rules to Promote Competition and Protect Main Street Consumers” Burlington, Vermont

This is a celebrated week in Vermont and all across the country. In just a few days, we will gather with friends and family at barbeques, parades, and parties to celebrate the vision that our Founders put in motion over 200 years ago. Americans - and we Vermonters in particular - hold dear the core freedoms that were established all those years ago. Chief among these are free expression and a free and open marketplace where competition drives innovation. In the 21st Century, these freedoms h… Continue Reading


06.30.14

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Comprehensive Immigration Reform

"One year after the Senate came together to pass historic legislation to reform our broken immigration system, the House still has failed to act. Because of the failure of House Republicans to do anything to address the national crisis at our border, the president has no choice but to act. I support him in this effort and I urge those Republican critics who claim we must first secure our border to actually read the bipartisan Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization … Continue Reading


06.30.14

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Discovery Of The Bodies Of Three Israeli Teens Who Were Kidnapped In The West Bank

How achingly and unspeakably sad this news is for these families, and for people of goodwill the world over. Our thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of these young people. This atrocity illustrates yet again the need for an end to the conflict that has had caused so much suffering for generations of Israeli and Palestinian families. Targeting innocent civilians as a tactic - a tactic of terrorists, and sometimes of governments -- is a sickening trend that has spilled over into yet… Continue Reading


06.30.14

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby Decision

The same five justices who ruled that corporations should be treated as persons when it comes to campaign contributions have done it again. Now they have ruled that closely held corporations should be treated as individuals when it comes to denying their workers access to affordable contraception. To these justices, your boss's private views can trump your own medical needs and health insurance choices. This is a ruling that will most hurt women who work hourly jobs and who struggle just to m… Continue Reading


06.27.14

Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy To The White House Announcement Of Changes To U.S. Landmine Policy

[Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., President Pro Tempore, and chairman of the State Department and Foreign Operations Subcommittee) has long been the leading U.S. official in the movement to ban anti-personnel landmines. Leahy's earlier law banning U.S. export of mines was a catalyst leading to the international treaty to ban the use and production of anti-personnel landmines (Ottawa Treaty). Leahy has continued to meet with successive presidents (Clinton, Bush and Obama) to press for U.S. entry into… Continue Reading


06.26.14

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., President Pro Tempore) On The Death Of Former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker

"Senator Baker was one of the best leaders the Senate has ever had. We have lost a true statesman. "I've valued my friendship with him, and all that he taught me. Marcelle and I send our condolences and prayers to Nancy." # # # # #… Continue Reading


06.26.14

Judiciary Committee Approves Leahy’s Bipartisan Bill To Renew Soon-To-Expire Satellite TV Law

(THURSDAY, June 26, 2014) - The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday unanimously approved bipartisan legislation authored by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to reauthorize the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act, a law known as "STELA" that provides certain consumers access to distant broadcast television content by satellite. The bipartisan Satellite Television Access Reauthorization Act approved by the Committee today would extend STELA for another five years and ensure that sate… Continue Reading

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