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Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Supporting The Highway Trust Fund

[In a vote of 65 to 34, the U.S. Senate Thursday afternoon approved a comprehensive six-year authorization for transportation programs and the Highway Trust Fund. The House has not yet drafted or acted on a long-term bill. Because the six-year bill is only partially funded, the House and Senate this week also are passing a short-term fix to replenish the Highway Trust Fund before its funding would have been depleted tomorrow at Midnight. Leahy, who has long pushed for long-term solutions for … Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy, On the 50th Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid,

Today we celebrate a true milestone in our Nation's history, and we mark this reminder that basic health insurance is not a privilege for the wealthy, but a right, for every American. On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Social Security Amendments of 1965 into law establishing the Medicare and Medicaid programs. For 50 years, these two programs have offered health care and economic security to millions of Americans and their families. The debate over the right to basic healt… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Partisan Efforts To Defund Health Services For Women

"Republican senators again are attacking women's health with a renewed effort to eliminate health centers that thousands of Vermonters rely on every day. Across the country, millions of low-income women depend on Planned Parenthood health centers for lifesaving preventive treatments and care including annual exams, cervical and breast cancer screenings, and HIV screenings and counseling. These clinics are the primary source of health services for many women. Eliminating federal funding to Pl… Continue Reading


Leahy: Vermont Nets $6.7 M. In Homeland Security Preparedness Grants

(TUESDAY, July 28, 2015) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday announced that the State of Vermont will receive $6.7 million in federal grants to develop prevention and preparedness programs to respond to and recover from acts of terrorism and other catastrophic events. The grants were awarded under a formula championed by Leahy to protect smaller states like Vermont and were made public by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Tuesday. Leahy said, "Vermonters understand that it is … Continue Reading


Congress Passes Bill Allowing Universities to Collaborate on Financial Aid Best Practices

(TUESDAY, July 28, 2015) -- The U.S. House of Representatives Monday night passed bipartisan legislation introduced by Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) to extend an expiring antitrust exemption that allows certain colleges and universities to continue to collaborate on issues of need-based financial aid. The legislation unanimously passed in the Senate on July 14 and cleared the House of Representatives by a… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the NSA’s Announcement Regarding the End of the Bulk Records Collection Program Under Section 215 of FISA

[The National Security Agency announced Monday that it will purge metadata previously collected under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, pending ongoing litigation. Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) authored the bipartisan USA FREEDOM Act of 2015 that ended this dragnet collection of Americans' phone records.] "Thanks to the bipartisan USA FREEDOM Act, the NSA's bulk collection of Americans' phone records will finally come to an end later this year. And the admi… Continue Reading



U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and U.S. Representatives Keith Ellison (D-MN) and David Cicilline (D-RI) today introduced legislation to enhance protections for refugees and asylum seekers fleeing religious persecution, hold accountable the perpetrators of religious freedom violations, and reauthorize and reform the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). "Our country has a long tradition of promoting religious freedom around the globe," said Durb… Continue Reading


Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) To Nigerian President Buhari’s Mis-Directed Criticism Of The Leahy Law On Human Rights

"It is well documented by the State Department and by respected human rights organizations that Nigerian army personnel have, for many years, engaged in a pattern and practice of gross violations of human rights against the Nigerian people and others, including summary executions of prisoners, indiscriminate attacks against civilians, torture, forced disappearances and rape. Rarely have the perpetrators been prosecuted or punished. "This abusive conduct not only violates the laws of war, it cr… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), On Supporting the Highway Trust Fund

Vermonters, like many Americans, are frustrated. They are frustrated with short term patches that don't make real investments in crumbling infrastructure. They are frustrated with seeing meaningful policy advance, while Congress bickers over how we pay for it - and at what expense to other critical programs. Passing a long-term authorization to make needed improvements to our aging infrastructure is a matter of common sense. It's a matter of safety. And quite frankly, for us in Congress, it'… Continue Reading


Leahy comment on House passage of bill to block states from mandating GMO labeling

[Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. He opposes the Pompeo bill passed by the House and is a cosponsor of a separate bill introduced by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), The Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act, which would create a mandatory national labeling standard, doing at the national level what Vermont is trying achieve at the state level.] "Supporters of this bill warn of a patchwork of state regulations. The best way to avoid that is … Continue Reading


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

Last month, the Supreme Court took a significant step towards a more perfect union when it ruled that every American has the right to marry the person they love and have that lawful marriage recognized. It was a victory for love and justice over bigotry and intolerance. This historic milestone should be celebrated, but we must remember that the journey is not complete. The Fourteenth Amendment's principles of liberty and equality safeguard all couples' right to marry, and also serves as a bul… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Pending Nominees to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims

Last week, the junior senator from Arkansas objected to a request to vote on any of the five nominations to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims that have been awaiting confirmation for more than ten months. He refused to debate the merits of any of these eminently qualified nominees. It is unfortunate that the junior senator from Arkansas appears to be dusting off the Republican playbook from the last Congress to try to do to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims what he could not to do to the D.C. Ci… Continue Reading


Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt) After Votes In The Appropriations Committee To End Restrictions On Travel And Other Commerce By Americans In Cuba

This is a first step by the Senate to dismantle a discredited and counterproductive policy that in 54 years has failed to achieve any of its objectives. These votes were not about the repugnant policies of the Castro regime, but about doing away with unwarranted impediments to travel and commerce imposed on Americans by our own government. "The leaders of the House should finally recognize that as the people's representatives it is time for us to abandon an approach that is opposed by large… Continue Reading


Legislation Supporting Juvenile Justice Programs Includes Leahy-Authored Efforts Combatting Youth Homelessness

(THURSDAY, July 23, 2015) -- The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), which has helped provide crucial services for young people for the last 40 years. Included in the measure were several provisions authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to prevent youth homelessness and improve reentry programs. "The rise of runaway and homeless youth is a problem both nationally and in Vermont, and … Continue Reading


Leahy Unveils Stop Super PAC-Candidate Coordination Act

(WEDNESDAY, July 22, 2015) - Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced legislation Wednesday to stamp out coordination between super PACs and political candidates. The Stop Super PAC-Candidate Coordination Act responds to the outsized role that super PACs now occupy in elections since the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision. These Super PACs are able to raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations and individuals, and then spe… Continue Reading


Leahy: Congress Must Address The Nation’s Exploding Prison Population This Year

(Wednesday, July 22, 2015) - Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a former prosecutor, has long opposed mandatory minimums and advocated for comprehensive criminal justice reform. Speaking before the Coalition for Public Safety on Wednesday, Leahy reiterated the need for Congress to tackle the issue of criminal justice reform this year. "I began my career as a prosecutor on the front lines of our justice system," Leahy said Wednesday. "I know that mandatory minimum… Continue Reading


Time To End Mandatory Minimum Sentences

(Following are the remarks of U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) at The Bipartisan Summit On Fair Justice on July 22 on Capitol Hill. Leahy, a former prosecutor and long a leader on criminal justice reform, has partnered with U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) in authoring and introducing their bill to end mandatory minimum sentences.) A few years ago, just down the street at Georgetown Law School, a student asked me what could be done to address the inequity in our criminal justice system. I respon… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Situation In Guatemala

Mr. President, with the Congress focused on the U.S. - Iran nuclear agreement it is not surprising that recent developments in Guatemala have not received the attention they deserve, either here or in the international press. I want to speak briefly about this as it should interest all Senators, particularly at a time when the governments of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras are seeking significant U.S. funding to support the "Plan of the Alliance for Prosperity in the Northern Triangle of C… Continue Reading


The Iran Agreement: Why We Should Give The Peaceful Solution A Chance

Two years of arduous negotiations now have produced an agreement to seal off Iran's path to producing a nuclear weapon. I will have questions in the detailed briefings and hearings ahead, as I'm sure others will. But we already know quite a bit. We know that this process already had succeeded in freezing Iran's nuclear development in place. Now we have an agreement to also roll back Iran's program. We know this is the most rigorous monitoring and inspection regimen ever included in a non… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., Ranking Member, Senate Subcommittee On The State Department And Foreign Operations) On The Opening Of The Embassy Of Cuba In Washington

"This is a new phase for our relations with the Cuban people. We will now have our best diplomats in Havana representing the American people. "If we only had embassies in countries whose governments we agree with we would have to close half of our current embassies. That is not why you have embassies. It is to protect the interests of the United States and of American citizens and to defend our ideals around the world." # # # # #… Continue Reading

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