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


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


Leahy, UVM Officials Announce More Than $15 M In Grants For Research And Extension Work

BURLINGTON (FRIDAY, July 17, 2015) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday joined officials and researchers at the University of Vermont Miller Farm to announce that more than $15 million in grants and funding has been awarded to the university in the year-and-a-half since the 2014 Farm Bill was signed into law. The funding, awarded through a wide array of Farm Bill programs, supports new agricultural research and extension projects throughout the state. Leahy said: "The relationship between th… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On the Passage of the Every Child Achieves Act,

Today, the Senate has approved landmark legislation to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. Since 2001, the failed policies of No Child Left Behind have unfairly burdened educators and administrators by holding students accountable for snap-shot academic progress. The Senate's bipartisan action today - an overwhelming vote of approval - is one step forward in the reversal of these troubling measures. The Every Child Achieves Act further highlights the Federal Govern… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The President’s Speech On Criminal Justice

"In the United States, we put too many people in prison for too long. Our wrongheaded approach to criminal justice is breaking the bank and making us less safe. Every year we spend more money funding the Bureau of Prisons than we do supporting crime victims and local law enforcement. It is also long past time to confront the painful truth that for many Americans our justice system is anything but just. Our commitment to equality demands that we take action. "The President, top officials at … Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy, On the SNDA amendment to the Every Child Achieves Act

This important debate about how to improve our schools is an opportunity to ensure that children have access to equal educational opportunities. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students often face pervasive harassment and bullying in our schools. We must ensure that all children can attend school in a safe and healthy environment. That is why I am proud to support the amendment offered by Senator Franken. Similar to his bill on this topic, the Student Non-Discrimination Act, this am… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., Ranking Member, State Department And Foreign Operations Subcommittee) On The Announcement Of An Agreement On Iran’s Nuclear Program

"After many years of painstaking negotiations, I am very encouraged by President Obama's announcement this morning. Diplomacy is far preferable to war, and if this agreement can achieve its goal and in so doing prevent the United States from being drawn into another open-ended and potentially catastrophic war in the Middle East, that will be a monumental achievement. "It is unfortunate that some in Congress and elsewhere sought to derail this difficult and extraordinary diplomatic effort from … 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

The United States Court of Federal Claims has been referred to as the "keeper of the nation's conscience" and "the People's Court." This court was created by Congress approximately 160 years ago and embodies the constitutional principle that individuals have rights against their government. As President Lincoln has said, "It is as much the duty of Government to render prompt justice against itself, in favor of citizens, as it is to administer the same between private individuals." That is wha… Continue Reading


Following Historic Win in Women’s World Cup, Leahy Unveils Senate Resolution Calling For Award Equity For Female Soccer Athletes

(Monday, July 13, 2015) - The 2015 Women's World Cup drew international attention and record-breaking audiences, yet the female athletes who competed this year were compensated far less than their male counterparts. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) spoke out against this pay inequity Monday, and unveiled a resolution calling on the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to immediately eliminate gender discrimination between male and female athletes. "The United Sta… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The President’s Decision to Commute the Sentences of 46 Individuals

[President Obama on Monday commuted the sentences of 46 individuals serving time for drug offenses. Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has long opposed mandatory minimums and advocated for comprehensive criminal justice reform. He is the coauthor of the Justice Safety Valve Act, a bipartisan bill that allows judges to impose a sentence below the mandatory minimum sentence, and is a cosponsor of the bipartisan Smarter Sentencing Act to lower nonviolent drug mandator… Continue Reading


Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On New Revelations Regarding The Shooting In Charleston, South Carolina

"It is heartbreaking to learn the tragedy that struck the members and families of Mother Emanuel Church and shook the entire nation possibly could have been prevented. We simply cannot have such failures in our background check system, and peoples' lives are at stake. Clearly, more oversight is needed. I expect the Senate Judiciary Committee will be looking further into this matter so we can make sure such a tragic mistake is never repeated." # # # # #… Continue Reading


Following Historic Win In Women’s World Cup, Leahy Calls For Pay Equity For Female Athletes

(Friday, July 10, 2015) - The 2015 Women's World Cup drew international attention and record-breaking audiences, yet the athletes who competed this year were compensated far less than their male counterparts. With soccer fans gathering in New York today to celebrate the U.S. women's soccer team for its decisive victory over Japan earlier this week, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said Friday that Americans should demand equal treatment for all athletes, regardless of their gender. "Equal pay for… Continue Reading


Opening Remarks Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Full Committee Markup FY 2016 State, Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill

I want to thank the Chairman and Vice Chairwoman for the support they and their staffs have given the subcommittee. And I thank Senator Graham and his staff, who have done the best they could with a very difficult allocation. They worked closely with me and my staff, which is a long tradition in our subcommittee. This bill, despite Senator Graham's and my best efforts, shows the real problems with the Republican budget. No one in this room can honestly say that it provides the necessary f… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., Ranking Member, State Department And Foreign Operations Subcommittee, Of The Appropriations Committee) On Passage Of Amendment To Permit U.S. Contribution To The Green Climate Fund

"The bill as drafted effectively would have barred any U.S. contribution to the Green Climate Fund. That would have been a colossal mistake - an ill-informed, misguided and counterproductive retreat -- at a time when industrialized and developing countries are finally joining together to find ways to meaningfully address climate change. We should be a leader in this, not a follower. It was very encouraging that Senator Merkley's amendment prevailed, to prevent that shortsighted outcome." # #… Continue Reading


After Months of Delay, Senate Republicans Finally Allow For a Vote on First Circuit Court Nominee of the 114th Congress

(Tuesday, July 7, 2015) - The Senate on Tuesday unanimously approved the confirmation of a long-pending judicial nominee to fill a vacancy on the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, marking the first time the Republican majority has allowed a vote on a circuit court nominee in the 114th Congress. The nominee, Kara Farnandez Stoll, is also the first woman of color to serve on the Federal Circuit. She has the strong support of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), and … Continue Reading


Opening Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy -- SJC Hearing on Encryption

(Wednesday, July 8, 2015) - The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing entitled, "Going Dark: Encryption, Technology, and the Balance Between Public Safety and Privacy." Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has long worked to ensure cyber communications are protected, and he has raised concerns about allowing backdoor searches that could leave American consumers and companies open to potential hacks. Testimony, member statements, and a webcast of the hearing are available online. Sta… Continue Reading


Senator Leahy and Governor Shumlin Announce $12.4 M. Federal Grant for Statewide Expansion Of Regional Substance Abuse Prevention Partnerships

MONTPELIER, Vt. (MONDAY, July 6, 2015) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) joined Governor Peter Shumlin (D) at the State House Monday to announce a $12.4 million federal grant intended to reduce prescription drug abuse, marijuana use and underage drinking among youths and young adults throughout Vermont. The five-year substance abuse prevention grant, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), will support statewide expansion of Vermont's Regional Prevention Partnerships p… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces Funds To Combat Deadly Bat Disease, White-Nose Syndrome

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WEDNESDAY, July 1, 2015) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced $35,645 in funding to help counter the spread of white-nose syndrome (WNS) in Vermont, a disease that has devastated bat populations, posing a significant ecological threat across New England and the country. Leahy said: "White-nose syndrome has wiped out bat populations throughout much of the eastern United States. In my home state of Vermont, some bat species have declined by as much as 90-95%. We… Continue Reading


Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt) To The President’s Announcement Of The Plan To Open A U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba

"Finally, after 55 years a failed, punitive and ineffective policy of isolation is ending. After 55 years, the wealthiest, most powerful nation -- which stands for ideals aspired to by people around the world - will be represented by an official embassy where we can put our best face forward on behalf of the American people as well as the Cuban people. I commend President Obama and President Castro for this historic step which signifies the formal beginning of a new and more constructive chapt… Continue Reading


Comments of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On IBM and Global Foundries

"IBM's economic impact on Chittenden County and the State of Vermont over the past 50 years has been profound, and its Essex workforce - by far the greatest asset being acquired by Global Foundries - is among the most talented in the world. Even as operations at IBM in Vermont have evolved, the employees at Essex continue to innovate as world leaders in microelectronics. In an era of disruptive mergers and acquisitions, the deal to sell the Essex IBM plant to Global Foundries has been remarkab… Continue Reading

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