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

12.11.13

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Nomination Of Alejandro Mayorkas To Be Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Wednesday after the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee reported out the nomination of Alejandro Mayorkas to be Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. The position has not had a Senate-confirmed leader since April.] "I applaud Chairman Carper and members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee for approving the nomination of Alejandro Mayor… Continue Reading


12.10.13

Senate Moves Closer To Filling Vacancies On D.C. Circuit

The Senate moved closer Tuesday to confirming Nina Pillard to serve on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals after voting to overcome a filibuster of her nomination. Republicans last month blocked the Senate from debating Pillard's nomination, but recent changes to Senate rules have now enabled the chamber to overcome such obstruction. As a result, Pillard is poised to be confirmed to what is often referred to as the nation's second most important court behind the Supreme Court. "The D.C. Circuit… Continue Reading


12.10.13

Hearing On Assistance For Jordan And Lebanon And Refugee Relief, Related To The Civil War In Syria

Chairman Patrick Leahy Hearing On Assistance For Jordan And Lebanon And Refugee Relief, Related To The Civil War In Syria Department of State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee December 10, 2013 I want to welcome our witnesses: Anne Richard, who is the Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration; Ambassador Bouran of Jordan and Ambassador Chedid of Lebanon; and Andrew Harper and Ewen Macleod from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Thank… Continue Reading


12.10.13

Senate Confirms Millett To The D.C. Circuit Court

Senate Confirms Millett To The D.C. Circuit Court WASHINGTON (Tuesday, December 10, 2013) -Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) applauded on Tuesday the confirmation of Patricia Millett to serve on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Millett will be just the sixth woman ever to serve on the influential court in its 120-year history. "Patricia Millett has risen through the ranks of government and private practice to earn a place among the best appellate practitioners i… Continue Reading


12.06.13

BOXER, CASEY, LEAHY, SHAHEEN, CARDIN, BLUMENTHAL AND AYOTTE URGE PRESIDENT HAMID KARZAI TO PROTECT WOMEN IN THE AFGHAN NATIONAL POLICE

BOXER, CASEY, LEAHY, SHAHEEN, CARDIN, BLUMENTHAL AND AYOTTE URGE PRESIDENT HAMID KARZAI TO PROTECT WOMEN IN THE AFGHAN NATIONAL POLICE An Alarming 70 Percent of Afghan Policewomen Report Experiencing Sexual Harassment or Sexual Violence Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Bob Casey (D-PA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) today sent a letter to Afghan President Hamid Karzai urging him to take im… Continue Reading


12.05.13

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On House Passage Of Legislation To Combat Patent Trolls

[Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Thursday after the House of Representatives passed legislation to combat patent troll abuse. Leahy recently introduced the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013 to protect retailers and innovators from misuse of the patent system. The Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the legislation later this month.] "I commend the House for taking action to address the growing problem of patent trolls… Continue Reading


12.05.13

SENATOR PATRICK LEAHY KEYNOTE ADDRESS HUMAN RIGHTS FIRST SUMMIT THE NEWSEUM WASHINGTON, D.C.

Thank you, Elisa, for inviting me here. I also want to thank all the Human Rights First staff and board members who made this two day summit possible. The breadth of the issues you are covering is impressive. I have long been an admirer of Human Rights First. A great deal of what I have been able to do on human rights during my time in the Senate is because of the research and advocacy of your organization and of others who are involved in this work. There are several topics I want to touch … Continue Reading


12.05.13

Leahy: Senate Judiciary Committee To Hold Hearing On Patent Trolls This Month

(Thursday, December 5, 2013) - The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing this month to examine pending patent troll legislation, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Thursday. The hearing, titled "Protecting Small Businesses and Promoting Innovation by Limiting Patent Troll Abuse," comes just weeks after Leahy and Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013. The bipartisan bill aims to protect businesses and innovators who are being imp… Continue Reading


12.05.13

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., President Pro Tempore Of The Senate) On The Death Of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela is a legend for our times and for the ages. He was the world's compass through the dark night of South African apartheid, leading his country into the light. The images of his walk to freedom through the prison gates are etched in our memories and on the pages of history. His courage is a lesson to us all, and so is his selflessness. I will always cherish the memory of meeting with him when he came to the Capitol in 1994. I had the honor of serving on the Senate's escort comm… Continue Reading


12.04.13

Comments of Senator Patrick Leahy On Secretary Hagel’s Commitment To Facilitate Equal Access To Benefits For Same-Sex Partners In The National Guard

"As co-chair of the National Guard Caucus and a strong supporter of equal rights for same-sex partners, I was pleased to hear Secretary Hagel's announcement that we are close to reaching the goal of equality for all men and women in the National Guard and for their loved ones. Vermonters and all Americans rely on the dedication and professionalism of all of the members of our National Guard, whoever they are, to defend our security in times of conflict and to support our communities in times of… Continue Reading


12.03.13

Leahy, Sanders, Welch, Shumlin – On AF’s Selection Of Burlington For F-35 Basing

BURLINGTON, Vt. - Vermont's congressional delegation - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) -- and Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) Tuesday issued the following statement after the Air Force announced its decision on basing F-35 aircraft at the Vermont Air National Guard: "The Air Force decision to base its newest generation of planes in Burlington is a tribute to the Vermont Air National Guard, which is the finest in the nation. It reflects the Guard's de… Continue Reading


11.25.13

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Interim Nuclear Agreement With Iran

[Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., is President Pro Tempore of the Senate and chairs the State Department And Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee.] "I've been briefed by our negotiators in Geneva. I am encouraged that they and most of our allies believe this is a good, interim deal with the necessary checks and balances. Obviously some of our friends in the region like Saudi Arabia and Israel have concerns about the deal. The Administration will have a short… Continue Reading


11.22.13

Leahy, Sanders, Welch Urge Rewrite Of Food Safety Rules

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) are urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to revise rules implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act in a way that enhances food safety and the continued strength of Vermont's agricultural sector. Leahy said, "Strong food safety rules are essential to protecting consumers and ensuring the quality that has become synonymous with the 'Vermont' brand, and that is why I supported the Food … Continue Reading


11.21.13

Broad Coalition Of Tech Companies, Nonprofit Groups Offers Support For The Leahy-Sensenbrenner USA FREEDOM Act

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), coauthors of the USA FREEDOM Act to end dragnet collection of Americans' phone records, Thursday welcomed the support of a broad coalition of technology companies, trade associations and nonprofit organizations that advocate "privacy protections, oversight and accountability mechanisms that govern" surveillance authorities. In a letter to Leahy and Sensenbrenner, the group of nearly 60 signees including Hewlett-Packard, D… Continue Reading


11.21.13

Leahy Supports Change In Senate Rules To Address Unprecedented Filibusters

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday voted in favor of making changes to the Senate rules to overcome Republican abuse of filibuster rules and ensure the Senate's ability to confirm qualified nominees to judicial and executive posts. Leahy, the President Pro Tempore and the Senate's longest-serving member, presided over the series of procedural votes. In recent weeks, Senate Republicans have blocked three highly qualified nominees to serve on the D.C. Circuit.… Continue Reading


11.21.13

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), On National Homelessness and Hunger Awareness Week

Next week, Americans across the country will gather with family and friends to celebrate a national tradition, Thanksgiving. Some will give thanks for their good fortune or health over the past year, while others will simply be thankful to see their loved ones together in one place. What most of us will take for granted, however, is that we will have a meal to eat and have a home in which to gather. Far too many Americans will not have that luxury. During this time of reflection, and in honor of… Continue Reading


11.21.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Impact of a Continuing Resolution and Sequestration on America’s Children, Teachers and Families

Mr. President. It has been only a few short weeks since the needless government shutdown that cost the Treasury more than $20 billion dollars, disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of federal workers and their families in every state, threatened to wreak havoc with the world's financial markets, and accomplished nothing. But an important deadline, one critical to determining how we resolve the current budget crisis, is just a few days away. While this approaching deadline does not com… Continue Reading


11.21.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Sexual Assault in the U.S. Military

Earlier this year, as many others were, I was shocked when the Department of Defense released a stunning report about the increase in sexual assault among the branches of the armed forces. Sexual assault in the military is neither a new issue, nor an uncommon one. It has been a problem for decades. Its occurrence is a stain on the honor of our military and nation that we must all work to eliminate. Military bases are where our troops are supposed to be safe, and to know that they risk being … Continue Reading


11.18.13

SJC Chairman Leahy: D.C. Circuit Vacancies Must Be Filled

- U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the Senate's longest-serving member, spoke out against the growing obstruction to highly-qualified judicial nominees in a floor statement Monday. Speaking in favor of Judge Robert Wilkins, a nominee to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Leahy stated "Over the course of almost four decades, I have seen dramatic changes in Senate majorities and leadership styles. But nothing in all that time c… Continue Reading


11.18.13

PATENT TROLLS: Leahy Introduces Bipartisan Bill To Protect VT Businesses From Patent Lawsuit Abuse

-- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Committee member Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) joined together Monday to introduce legislation to protect businesses and innovators who are being improperly targeted by so-called "patent trolls." The Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013 would increase transparency in patent ownership, customers who are sued for patent infringement by allowing the case against them to be stayed while the manufacturer litigates the suit, tar… Continue Reading

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