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

10.18.13

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Nomination Of Jeh Johnson To Be The Secretary Of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security is an agency charged with handling matters related to immigration, disaster relief and national security, and several of these issues have been at the forefront of the Judiciary Committee's legislative agenda this year. Jeh Johnson possesses many qualifications needed to lead the Department, and I intend to raise with him many of the Judiciary Committee's priorities. I appreciated his leadership and work related to the repeal of the Department of Defense's Don… Continue Reading


10.18.13

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Death Of Former House Speaker Tom Foley

Tom was a real leader in the House, and he knew how to bring both parties together for the good of all Americans. Marcelle and I send our best wishes to Heather and the family, to their friends, and to Tom's former staff. # # # # #… Continue Reading


10.16.13

Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., President Pro Tempore) To The Senate’s Bipartisan Agreement To Reopen Government And Prevent Default

As the ripples of the Tea Party shutdown have cascaded through every community and across the nation, they have hurt families, workers and businesses everywhere. If this extremist faction had been able to push the United States into default, our economy could have been thrown back into a deep recession. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed in the Senate today. Now we can finally vote on the path forward that President Obama and congressional Democrats have long urged, to get past these manufa… Continue Reading


10.15.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy Local Economies and Natural Resources Hurt By The Artificial, Made-In-Washington Shutdown

Late last month, I was fortunate to enjoy the most lovely settings to be found anywhere, anytime, as Vermont's hillsides were painted orange, yellow and red by peak Fall colors, set against powder blue skies. Vermonters love these sublime few weeks, and happily welcome visitors from around the United States, and around the world, to share the experience, and to hike, bike, fish and hunt one our extensive conserved natural areas. But the "best of times" has become the "worst of times," as Ve… Continue Reading


10.14.13

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Arrest And Prosecution Of Abu Anas al-Libi

"The United States is the most powerful nation in the world, and we have a justice system that is second to none. The administration's decision to prosecute Anas al-Libi in an Article III Federal Court shows that the United States acts out of strength and not out of fear. We are not afraid of terrorists, nor are we afraid to bring them to justice in our courts. I commend the intelligence and law enforcement officials who have worked for more than a decade to bring al-Libi to face justice. Th… Continue Reading


10.14.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Nominations of Andrea Wood and Madeline Haikala

Today marks the 14th day of the government shutdown, and by refusing to pass a clean Continuing Resolution to fund the operations of the Federal government, Republicans continue to threaten the critical functioning of all three branches of government. With this ongoing shutdown of the entire Federal government, a handful of ideologues in the House of Representatives are holding the entire judicial system hostage and this threatens our entire democracy. One critical problem is that we have more… Continue Reading


10.13.13

Remarks of Senator Patrick Leahy Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal Award Ceremony

Thank you, Fran, for your kind words. Marcelle and I are so pleased to be here to celebrate the life and legacy of Eleanor Roosevelt. It is easy to draw inspiration from her as we work to address the challenges we face today. We are happy to see so many friends from Vermont here today, as well. I am fortunate to wear many hats in the United States Senate, and in one role I share a connection to the UN with the most famous First Lady in our history. She was appointed by President Truman as a… Continue Reading


10.12.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy: The Real Cost of the Republican Shutdown

Once again, we are marking another day -- now the twelfth - that our Nation's Government has been paralyzed by this unnecessary shutdown. And once again I come to the Floor to offer another example of how Vermonters, and people around the country, are suffering due to this Tea Party shutdown. Earlier this year, I worked with Senator Crapo to build the support we needed to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and I was proud when both the Senate and House passed this legislation wi… Continue Reading


10.11.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Commemorating National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

This month, our Nation commemorates the tenth anniversary of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month ? a time to raise awareness about the need to ensure a safe and secure environment for all Americans in cyberspace. All of us have a stake in improving the Nation's cybersecurity. That is why I join with stakeholders in the Government, academia and the private sector in calling attention to the need to address new cyber threats. In today's Digital Age, we face new challenges in securing our c… Continue Reading


10.11.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy: End The Shutdown And Stop Hurting America’s Farmers

When September 30 came and went, it wasn't just the Federal Government that shut down; the Farm Bill extension also expired. This one-two punch of political reality is needlessly harming our Nation and leaving farmers with great uncertainty about the future of vital farm programs, all the while with no staff at USDA to answer farmers' questions. The basic, essential responsibility of Congress to fund the Government has been ignored. Regular business has been replaced by bumper-sticker politic… Continue Reading


10.09.13

Reaction of Senator Patrick Leahy To The Obama Administration’s Decision To Suspend Some Military And Economic Assistance To The Egyptian Government

"Our law is clear. When there is a military coup, U.S. aid to the government is cut off. Rather than encourage reconciliation and restore democracy as it promised, the Egyptian military has reinstituted martial law and cracked down on the Islamic opposition, which has also used violence. The Administration is trying to have it both ways, by suspending some aid but continuing other aid. By doing that, the message is muddled. If they want to continue aid to the Egyptian government they should… Continue Reading


10.09.13

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy “Playing Russian Roulette With The Economy And With People’s Lives” On Further Impacts Of The Government Shutdown

Mr. President, today is day nine of the government shutdown. House Republicans piously blame everyone except themselves, but there is no mystery about what is happening. It is very simple. They continue to refuse to permit a vote on a continuing resolution to keep the government operating for one reason - they disagree with one law, the Affordable Care Act. That law, debated for months, voted on dozens of times, signed into law by the President, and ruled constitutional by the Supreme Cour… Continue Reading


10.08.13

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy: The Financial Cost Of The Artificial "Made In Congress" Shutdown

[As prepared for delivery] Today marks the 8th day of this unnecessary government shutdown. More than 192 hours since the world saw the doors of the United States Government close for this embarrassing and needless shutdown. And while the Republicans in the House have the ability to end this shutdown right now - within the hour - they refuse to pass the clean continuing resolution approved by the Senate. I have joined other Senators in coming to the Floor to speak about the pervasive impact of … Continue Reading


10.07.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On the Nominations of Colin Bruce and Sara Ellis

Today, we will vote on two of the district court nominations pending before the Senate. While I am glad we are considering these important nominations today I hope that this needless government shutdown soon comes to an end so the Senate can tend to the business of the country, including ensuring that our courts have the judges they need. Colin Bruce is nominated to serve on the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois. Mr. Bruce is a lifelong Federal prosecutor who h… Continue Reading


10.07.13

Remarks Of Senator Patrick Leahy: Time To End The Manufactured "Made In Congress" Shutdown

Mr. President, in what has become an all too familiar scene around the Capitol over the past few years, we again find ourselves in a stalemate over providing funding to keep the Federal Government running. I share the frustration of most Americans that what was once the regular business of Congress - simply funding the government - has been replaced by political theater and another artificial, made-in-Congress crisis that imperils the economy and, in ways large and small, every single family … Continue Reading


10.05.13

Leahy Statement On Impact Of Shutdown On Courts, Public's Right To Know

[Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) spoke on the Senate Floor Saturday about the ongoing government shutdown and the impact on the federal judiciary and government transparency. Below is the text of Leahy's statement as prepared for delivery.] Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee,On the Impact of the Shutdown on the Judiciary & Government TransparencyOctober 5, 2013 Today marks the fifth day of the government shutdown, and by refusing to pass a Conti… Continue Reading


10.04.13

Leahy: Shutdown Hurts Our National Guard, Readiness

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy spoke on the Senate floor this morning about the impact of the government shutdown on the nation's readiness, the National Guard, and veterans. The Vermont National Guard earlier this week announced over 500 furloughs of technicians and guardsmen on active orders due to the government shutdown.] Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D- Vt.) On The Impacts Of A Government Shutdown On Veterans And The National Guard October 3, 2013 We have heard a lot over the last f… Continue Reading


10.03.13

Leahy Welcomes Passage Of Bipartisan Bill To Reauthorize Critical Visa Program For Iraqi Translators

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Thursday after the House on Wednesday passed legislation to extend the Iraqi Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program, which provides visas to translators who served alongside U.S. troops. The Senate passed identical legislation on Monday, and the measure approved by both chambers now goes to the White House for signature.] "I am glad that House members put politics aside and passed a temporary extension of the … Continue Reading


10.02.13

Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Second Oversight Hearing On Government Surveillance Programs

(Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013) -The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing titled "Continued Oversight of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act." This is the second oversight hearing convened by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) since July on the use of government surveillance programs. Member statements, witness testimony and a webcast of today's hearing are available online. Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, Hearing on "Continuing Oversig… Continue Reading


10.01.13

Leahy Applauds Senate Passage Of Bipartisan Bill To Reauthorize Critical Visa Program For Iraqi Translators

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) hailed the Senate's unanimous approval of a bipartisan measure to extend an important visa program for Iraqi translators who support U.S. troops abroad. The Senate unanimously approved a bipartisan bill late Monday night, just as the program's authorization was set to expire, and Leahy called on the House to act quickly. "This program offers nothing short of a lifeline for the Iraqi men and women who risked everything supporting the United States' mission in Iraq,… Continue Reading

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