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


Leahy Introduces Bipartisan Bill To Protect VT Businesses From Patent Abuse

(WEDNESDAY, April 29, 2015) -- Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) joined with a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to introduce legislation to protect Vermont businesses and innovators who too often become the victims of so-called "patent trolls." The introduction comes after 18 months of negotiations led by Leahy and other Senate members to craft a comprehensive bill that deters abusive conduct while preserving the strength of America's patent system. Patent t… Continue Reading


25 Years Later, Forest Conservation Programs Still Help Keep Our Working Forests Thriving And Working

Twenty-five years ago, the Senate's 1990 Leahy-Lugar Farm Bill authorized the creation of three pivotal forestry programs that today are a resounding success. The Forest Legacy, Forest Stewardship and Urban and Cooperative Forestry Programs help private and state forest landowners keep their forests healthy. That in turn supports tens of thousands of jobs, benefiting rural and urban communities across the nation. This week we joined in a celebration in the Capitol Visitors Center marking this… Continue Reading


At-A-Glance Summary Of Forest Legacy, Forest Stewardship And Urban And Community Forestry Program Activities In Vermont

Vermont Highlights At-A-Glance Summary Of Forest Legacy, Forest Stewardship And Urban And Community Forestry Program Activities In Vermont This year marks the 25th anniversary of key community forest conservation programs, enacted in the 1990 Farm Bill through the efforts of then-Chairman Patrick Leahy of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. Over the past 25 years the State and Private Forest Cooperative Forestry Programs have helped Vermont accomplish a wide range of … Continue Reading


Bipartisan Coalition Led By Senators Lee and Leahy Introduce Legislation To Ban Bulk Collection Under Section 215

(Tuesday, April 28, 2015) -- Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Tuesday introduced legislation to restore Americans' eroded privacy rights by ending the government's dragnet collection of phone records under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act. An identical bill was introduced in the House on Tuesday, and lawmakers from across the political spectrum called on Congressional leaders to take up the measure ahead of a key deadline for exp… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Introduction of the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015

Almost two years ago, Vermonters and the American people learned for the first time the shocking details of the National Security Agency's dragnet collection program. Relying on a deeply flawed interpretation of Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, the NSA has been indiscriminately sweeping up Americans' private telephone records for years. It is long past time to end this bulk collection program. Americans have made clear that they will not tolerate such intrusion into their private lives. The … Continue Reading



() Today, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Gary C. Peters (D-Mich.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.), and Al Franken (D-Minn.) urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) to redouble efforts to complete its investigation and review of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) process of hair-sample analysis. In a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI Director James Comey, the senators … Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, Hearing on Oversight of the Department of Homeland Security

I welcome Secretary Jeh Johnson back to the Judiciary Committee as part of our ongoing oversight of the Department of Homeland Security. Over the past 16 months, Secretary Johnson has demonstrated sound leadership over the Department and the 240,000 men and women who work tirelessly to keep this country safe. I thank them all for their dedication. As a Vermonter, I know that the Department's work goes beyond terrorism and cybersecurity to providing disaster relief to devastated communities, m… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Supreme Court’s Oral Arguments for the Marriage Equality Cases

This morning, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the marriage equality cases. The legal principle at stake is whether the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution protects marriages between individuals of the same sex. But at heart, these cases represent something more fundamental. They are about the right of every American to marry the person they love and to have their relationships treated with the respect and dignity to which every American is entitled. I am proud th… Continue Reading


Leahy Leads Bicameral Coalition of Lawmakers Urging FDA to Swiftly Adopt Proposed Rule to Protect Consumers of Generic Drugs

(Friday, April 24, 2015) - Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and senior Democratic leaders on the Senate and House Committees charged with overseeing the nation's policies on health, consumer rights, budget, aging and veterans' affairs today urged the Food and Drug Administration to support consumers by adopting meaningful safety rules for labeling on generic drugs. The effort by 47 Senate and House lawmakers comes as the FDA closes out its public comment period on… Continue Reading


Leahy Calls On Senators To Support Lynch’s Historic Nomination To Be The Nation’s Top Law Enforcement Officer

(Thursday, April 23, 2015) - After an extended and partisan delay, the Senate is poised on Thursday to confirm the nomination of Loretta Lynch to serve as the next Attorney General of the United States. Speaking on the Senate floor Thursday, Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) praised the nominee's sterling career as a Federal prosecutor and urged all Senators to support her historic nomination to be the first African American woman to lead the Department of Justice. "Ms. L… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee On the Nomination of Loretta Lynch to be the Attorney General of the United States

For almost two months, I have been returning to the Senate floor to urge the Majority Leader to schedule the confirmation vote for our next Attorney General. Yesterday afternoon we were finally able to get an agreement that was long overdue. But this morning we are not voting to confirm Loretta Lynch to be the next Attorney General of the United States. Instead, this morning the Senate is voting on whether to invoke cloture with regard to this top law enforcement position. For those not fami… Continue Reading


Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Senate Republicans’ Vote Against Legislation to Protect Runaway and Homeless Youth

The Leahy-Collins Amendment to the anti-trafficking bill was narrowly defeated Wednesday afternoon, in Senate vote of 56 to 43 - four votes short of the 60 votes needed for passage of the Leahy-Collins Amendment.] "The bill that I introduced with Senator Collins to reauthorize the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act was the amendment we offered today to the trafficking bill that is before the Senate. It would fill the prevention void in the anti-trafficking legislation, by helping runaway and homel… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee On Consideration of Amendment 290, The Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act to S. 178

Shortly, we will vote on two amendments related to preventing human trafficking by supporting runaway and homeless youth. Senator Cornyn's amendment pays lip service to this effort, but it is not a meaningful alternative to the comprehensive amendment Senator Collins and I will offer. Our amendment, # 290, the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act, has the support of 30 bipartisan cosponsors who understand that no effort to end human trafficking can be complete without addres… Continue Reading


Leahy Urges Senators To Support All Trafficking Survivors

(Wednesday, April 22, 2015) - In a floor speech Wednesday, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) called on lawmakers to listen to trafficking survivors and victims' advocates who believe that prevention is the most effective method to combat the scourge of human trafficking. While Leahy said he would support the bipartisan compromise to overcome an impasse on trafficking legislation, he urged Senators to work together to protect the most vulnerable children from falli… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee On Consideration of Amendment 301 to S. 178

This substitute brings together three important bills that provide a comprehensive approach to preventing human trafficking and helping survivors rebuild their lives. First, it includes the Leahy-Collins-Murkowski-Ayotte amendment to protect runaway and homeless youth from trafficking. Second, it includes the Klobuchar-Cornyn bill as reported last month by the Judiciary Committee. This safe harbor bill encourages states to treat victims of trafficking as the victims they truly are, and not as… Continue Reading


The Danville School

On April 22, 2015, Senator Leahy held an online chat with the 11th and 12th grade classrooms of Danville School. Senator Leahy was impressed by the students' questions on how things have changed in his four decades in Congress. He also enjoyed their questions regarding the Presidential race and religious freedom.… Continue Reading


Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry Hearing on Opportunities and Challenges for Agriculture Trade with Cuba Remarks Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)

I commend the Chairman for holding this hearing to discuss new opportunities and challenges that await American agriculture in doing business in a country just 90 miles from our shore. We have the chance before us to give Cuban citizens the ability to gain greater control over their own lives, while also expanding markets for American farmers to sell their products. We know there will be some winners as part of any normalizing of trade with Cuba. However, we must also temper our hopes and r… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Misuse of Forensic Evidence

[Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Monday after the Justice Department and FBI acknowledged the widespread misuse of faulty forensic evidence in 268 criminal trials over the course of the last two decades. Leahy, a former prosecutor, has previously authored the Criminal Justice and Forensic Science Reform Act to improve the reliability of forensic evidence in criminal cases. Leahy is also the author of the Innocence Protection Act, a l… Continue Reading


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

Today, we will be voting to confirm Judge George Hanks, who has been nominated to be a Federal district judge in the Southern District of Texas. Judge Hanks is just the second judicial nominee that we have voted to confirm more than three months into the 114th Congress. The slow trickle of confirmations that the new majority has allowed is undermining the functioning of our Federal courts and is hurting the American people. This past month, the Wall Street Journal wrote an alarming article ab… Continue Reading


Bipartisan Group of Senators Push for Equity in Law Enforcement Act

U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) today was joined by Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Edward Markey (D-MA) in introducing the bipartisan Equity in Law Enforcement Act of 2015, which aims to expand the federal death benefits afforded to state and local law enforcement to include first responders who serve private institutions of higher education and rail carriers. The bill, introduced on the two year anniversary of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings,… Continue Reading

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