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


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee that funds the State Department and U.S. foreign aid programs), On AP Report About A USAID Program In Cuba

"It is one thing to support nascent Cuban civil society organizations, if USAID's role is disclosed in advance to participants and beneficiaries. It is quite another to concoct an HIV/AIDS workshop to promote a political agenda. If that is what happened here it is worse than irresponsible. It may have been good business for USAID's contractor, but it tarnishes USAID's long track record as a leader in global health." # # # # #… Continue Reading


Leahy: Vermont Nets $1.6 Million To Combat Domestic and Sexual Violence

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday announced $1.6 million in federal grants from the Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women to combat domestic and sexual violence in Vermont. Leahy, long a champion in the fight against domestic violence, last year led the effort to reauthorize the landmark Violence Against Women Act, which won overwhelming bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. Leahy said, "I often remember my time as a State's Attorney in Vermont and the tragedy o… Continue Reading


Statement By Senator Patrick Leahy On The Crisis in Gaza

The crisis in Gaza is extremely distressing, particularly to those who had hope for Secretary of State Kerry's years of shuttle diplomacy between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority. After seeing several similar attempts fail in the past, we know that for such diplomacy to succeed over the long term it will require the participation not only of representatives of the Israeli and Palestinian parties to the conflict, but also the active support of Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, and the… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The U.S.-Africa Summit

Mr. President, as chairman of the subcommittee responsible for funding and oversight of our nation's foreign assistance budget, I have witnessed firsthand the significant gains achieved by many African countries over the last 20 years. This progress has been driven by the ingenuity and hard work of the African people, and has been supported by U.S. assistance provided by the American people and others. I am pleased that so many African leaders will be coming to Washington next week for the U.… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On CIA Confirmation of Searching Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Computers

"I am appalled that the CIA searched the computers of Senate staffers who were working to shed light on a very dark chapter in our Nation's history. Congressional oversight of the executive branch, without fear of interference or intimidation, is fundamental to our Nation's founding principle of the separation of powers. The CIA's misconduct threatens the institution of the Senate and its role in ensuring the proper oversight of our government. The CIA Director owes the Senate and the America… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Judicial Nominations

For the fifth year in a row, more than a dozen qualified, consensus judicial nominees pending before the full Senate will remain on the Executive Calendar during the August recess. Each year, I have come before the Senate to remind my fellow Senators that their refusal to take action on these nominations prior to the August recess is an unfortunate departure from Senate tradition, and to urge them to stop their obstructive practices and delay tactics. Again, I am disappointed to see partisansh… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Senate Consideration of the Justice for All Reauthorization Act of 2013

Last week I came to the floor to talk about the FBI's extensive use of flawed evidence in thousands of cases. It is tragic just days later there is yet another scandal involving bad science used to send people to jail, and some to death row. According to an internal investigation by the FBI and the Department of Justice, nearly 2,600 convictions and 45 death-row cases from the 1980s and 1990s may have involved flawed forensic evidence. Specifically, these cases involved microscopic hair ma… Continue Reading


Leahy’s USA FREEDOM Act Gains Early Support And Praise

(THURSDAY, July 31, 2014) -- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) welcomed the support among stakeholders for bipartisan legislation he introduced this week to help restore Americans' privacy rights by ending the government's dragnet collection of phone records and requiring greater oversight, transparency, and accountability with respect to domestic surveillance authorities. "This is a debate about Americans' fundamental relationship with their government - about whether … Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On A Short-Term Extension Of The Highway Trust Fund

Our tight knit communities in Vermont are part and parcel of my state's culture of neighbors helping neighbors. Our neighbors are not just next door; they are often in the most rural parts of the state, which can be difficult to reach. Our roads and our bridges connect us in a most basic way, and Hurricane Irene was a stark reminder that our infrastructure connects us not only in commercial ways, but in practical social ways that are integral to the spirit of Vermont communities. After Irene,… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy on The Confirmation of Robert McDonald to be VA Secretary

Mr. President, as we have learned over the past several months, there has been a clear and inexcusable lack of well-earned quality care and timely service provided to many veterans who depend on it from the Department of Veterans Affairs. I hope that the confirmation of Robert McDonald as VA Secretary will be the next step forward in ensuring that our veterans and their families receive the benefits, compensation and support services they rightfully deserve. While I continue to recognize the har… Continue Reading


Leahy Introduces Historic Bill To Ban NSA’s Dragnet Collection Of Americans’ Electronic Communications

(TUESDAY, July 29, 2014) -- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Tuesday introduced legislation that would restore Americans' privacy rights by ending the government's dragnet collection of phone records and requiring greater oversight, transparency, and accountability with respect to domestic surveillance authorities. The updated version of the USA FREEDOM Act released today builds on legislation passed in the House in May, as well as the original legislation Leahy int… Continue Reading


Leahy And Other Leaders Of Senate and House Judiciary Committees Hail Final Congressional Action On Pro-Consumer Cell Phone Legislation

(FRIDAY, July 25, 2014) - The House on Friday unanimously passed bipartisan legislation that would restore the ability of consumers to more easily transfer their cell phones to other wireless carriers, just one week after the Senate approved the same measure. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) coordinated with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Ranking Member John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) on the issue. The … Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch: Rutland Area Airport Nets $8.1 Million Grant For Safety Improvements

(FRIDAY, July 23, 2014) - Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Friday announced the Rutland Southern-Vermont Regional Airport in North Clarendon, Vermont, received a $8,127,261 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to make safety improvements to the airport. In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said: "As the only Vermont airport with commercial air service other than Burlington, the Rutland airport is a vital link f… Continue Reading


Leahy: Vermont Nets $6.8 M. In Homeland Security Preparedness Grants

(FRIDAY, July 25, 2014) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday announced Vermont will receive $6.8 million in federal grants from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), up from $6.3 million last year. The grants - under a formula championed by Leahy that protects smaller states like Vermont -- will help Vermont develop prevention and preparedness programs to respond to and recover from acts of terrorism and other catastrophic events. Leahy said, "First responders know that preparation… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Judicial Nominations

Today, we will vote to end the filibuster against the nomination of Pamela Harris to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. She is a highly accomplished lawyer with excellent legal credentials, and has the strong support of her home state Senators, Senator Mikulski and Senator Cardin. Her nomination received the American Bar Association's highest rating of unanimously well qualified. Pam Harris is currently a visiting professor at my alma mater, Georgetown University Law … Continue Reading


Leahy, Collins Introduce Bipartisan Runaway And Homeless Youth And Trafficking Prevention Act

(WEDNESDAY, July 23, 2014) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) on Wednesday introduced bipartisan legislation to curb youth homelessness that affects 1.6 million teens throughout the country. The Leahy-Collins Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act reauthorizes a critical federal grant program established to help states and local communities address the needs of runaway and homeless youth in both urban and rural area… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Senate Consideration of the Justice for All Reauthorization Act of 2013

I have come to this floor many times to talk about the need to support law enforcement and to ensure that our criminal justice system serves everyone fairly. I do so again today in light of a disturbing report issued by the Justice Department's Inspector General last week, which described serious flaws in some of our nation's crime labs. The report focused on 13 crime lab examiners whose work was seriously flawed, and whose testimony contributed to the convictions of thousands of offenders, in… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The U.S. Sentencing Commission’s Vote To Retroactively Apply Two-Level Reduction In Drug Quantity Table

[In April 2014, the U.S. Sentencing Commission voted to lower the drug sentencing guidelines by two levels effective November 1, 2014. This amendment would result in drug sentencing guidelines that correspond with, and no longer exceed, statutory mandatory minimum penalties. Today the Sentencing Commission voted to make this amendment retroactive.] I applaud the Sentencing Commission for voting unanimously to retroactively apply a two-level reduction in drug sentencing guidelines. As I made … Continue Reading


Leahy Announces Farm Bill Funds To Help Small Farmers With Organic Certification Costs

(THURSDAY, July 17, 2014) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday announced $13 million in funding to help farmers working to earn their organic certifications. Leahy - considered the "father" of the national organic standards and labeling program - fought to include the organic certification assistance program in the 2014 Farm Bill, enacted earlier this year. Leahy said: "Organic farming has blossomed into a $35 billion a year industry in the United States. Vermont farmers are part of this… Continue Reading


Vermont Senators Honor Gov. Phil Hoff

, July 17 - In joint remarks before the U.S. Senate today, Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) honored former Vermont Gov. Phil Hoff, who just turned 90 years old. Hoff served three terms as governor. First elected in 1962, he was the first Democrat to hold the state's highest office in more than a century. "We rise today to celebrate Philip Hoff, the 73rd governor of the state of Vermont, for his extraordinary contributions to the state of Vermont, and to our nation," Leahy… Continue Reading

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