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

03.06.14

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Current Developments In Venezuela

Mr. President, we are all painfully aware of the many resource rich countries whose leaders care far more about maintaining their grip on power and enriching themselves than addressing the needs of their people. The departed Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych was a good example, and in this hemisphere, Venezuela's late President Hugo Chavez, and his successor President Nicolas Maduro, stand out. President Chavez, a former army officer who was swept into power in a wave of popular discontent… Continue Reading


03.05.14

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Nomination of Debo P. Adegbile

Today, we will vote to end the filibuster on the nomination of Debo Adegbile to serve as the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights in the Department of Justice. Anyone who personally knows Debo understands that he is a man of the highest character and utmost integrity. The Civil Rights Division was created in 1957 in the wake of the landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education, and is charged with enforcing Federal laws prohibiting discrimination, and upholding the civil and constit… Continue Reading


02.28.14

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Committee On The Judiciary, On The Department Of Homeland Security’s Release Of New Regulations Under The Leahy-Crapo Violence Against Women Act

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Friday praised the Department of Homeland Security for taking steps to carry out a provision in the Leahy-Crapo Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, which was signed into law last year, requiring that all DHS facilities comply with the Prison Rape Elimination Act to prevent sexual assault in their facilities. Additional information about today's announcement can be found online.] "This step by DHS marks important progress t… Continue Reading


02.28.14

Leahy Announces U.S. Senate Field Hearing On Vermont’s Battle Against Heroin And Opioid Addiction, In Rutland On March 17

Senator Patrick Leahy announced Friday that the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a rare field hearing in Vermont to augment Vermont's heightened mission, announced by Governor Peter Shumlin, to counter the rise of heroin and opioid addiction in the state. Leahy, the committee's chairman, has titled the hearing, "Community Solutions to Breaking the Cycle of Heroin and Opioid Addiction." The hearing will convene at 1 p.m. on March 17 in the Franklin Conference Center at the Howe Center,… Continue Reading


02.27.14

SJC Approves Six Judicial Nominees To Fill Emergency Vacancies

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved six nominees to fill judicial emergencies in Arizona, including one nominee who is poised to become the first Native American woman to serve on the federal bench. All six nominees, who have the support of their home state Senators, appeared before the Judiciary Committee in January. Diane Humetewa, once confirmed, will become the nation's only currently serving Native American judge and the first Native American woman to serve in the judiciary… Continue Reading


02.26.14

Senate National Guard Caucus Co-Chair Patrick Leahy: ‘When it comes to the National Guard, the budget previewed on Monday appears to be headed in the wrong direction’ –

[Following are the opening remarks of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the co-chair of the Senate National Guard Caucus, at Wednesday's annual Guard Caucus Breakfast, on Capitol Hill. More than 20 senators attended, making it one of the best-attended annual breakfasts in memory. Leahy this week has been highly critical of budget proposals for the National Guard that were previewed Monday by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Leahy's concerns were echoed and underscored by speakers throughout this m… Continue Reading


02.25.14

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., President Pro Tempore, Chairman Of The State Department And Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee) On Uganda President Museveni’s Signing Of The Anti-Homosexuality Bill

"I am deeply concerned by the decision of President Museveni of Uganda to sign into law the anti-homosexuality bill. I support Secretary of State Kerry and others in calling for its immediate repeal. Much of U.S. assistance to Uganda is for the people of Uganda, including those in the Ugandan LGBT community whose human rights are being so tragically violated. But we need to closely review all U.S. assistance to Uganda, including through the World Bank and other multilateral organizations. I … Continue Reading


02.24.14

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

Tonight I hope we will vote to end the filibusters of four judicial nominees to Federal district courts in Connecticut, Arkansas, and California. Each of these nominees - Jeffrey Meyer to fill a vacancy to the District of Connecticut; James Maxwell Moody, Jr., to fill a vacancy to the Eastern District of Arkansas; and James Donato and Beth Labson Freeman to fill judicial emergency vacancies to the Northern District of California - were voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee with the unanim… Continue Reading


02.24.14

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy, Co-Chair, Senate National Guard Caucus, On The Pentagon's Plan For Deep Cuts To The Army National Guard

"It is greatly disappointing that even after more than a decade of overseas deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon refuses to recognize the versatility and effectiveness of the National Guard. The men and women of the National Guard have proven again and again, beyond any question, that they can do any job they are assigned, at high-levels of performance indistinguishable from their active component counterparts. Fifty-seven senators joined me recently in pointing out to Secretary H… Continue Reading


02.24.14

Senate Judiciary Committee To Hold Hearing In March On Cable Merger

(Monday, February 24, 2014) - The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing next month to review the impact of the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger on American consumers, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Monday. The hearing comes weeks after Comcast announced it was purchasing Time Warner Cable, resulting in the merger of the two dominant cable companies in the market. "Millions of Americans rely on cable connectivity to receive the programs they love and to access the Internet at… Continue Reading


02.24.14

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Service of Judge William K. Sessions III Senate Floor

For almost two decades, Judge William Sessions has served as a Federal judge for the District of Vermont. Last month, Judge Sessions announced he would take senior status later this year. I have worked with Senator Sanders, Representative Welch, and the Vermont Bar Association to convene a merit commission that will find highly-qualified candidates to serve on the Vermont District Court. I know I speak on behalf of all Vermonters when I thank Judge Sessions for his years of distinguished publ… Continue Reading


02.19.14

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy The United States and the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty February 19, 2014 Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

I want to thank the European Union for sponsoring this event hosted by the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines and Mine Ban Treaty's implementation support unit. I regret that I am not able to join you. In 1994 - twenty years ago - in a speech to the UN General Assembly, President Bill Clinton called for the elimination of anti-personnel landmines. It was an historic speech that I remember as if it were yesterday. Two years later, in 1996, President Clinton said this, quote: "Today I am launchi… Continue Reading


02.12.14

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the One Year Anniversary of Senate Passage of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013

One year ago today, the Senate came together in the best tradition of the chamber to pass the Leahy-Crapo Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, including the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, with a strong bipartisan vote. It marked the culmination of years of collaboration with survivors and the victim services professionals who work with them every day. It also marked an historic step to protect all victims, regardless of their immigration status, their sexual orientat… Continue Reading


02.12.14

Leahy: Time to Change Frozen-In-Time Policies On Cuba

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, today the Atlantic Council's Adrienne Arsht Latin American Center released a new, bipartisan public opinion survey on Americans' views about U.S. policy toward Cuba which should be read by every Member of Congress. The findings of this thorough and wide-ranging poll will surprise many. For instance, not only do Floridians - and Cuban-Americans in Florida - favor new policy approaches, but they do so in even larger numbers than do Americans in other regions of the Nat… Continue Reading


02.11.14

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Atlantic Council Poll On Public Attitudes On U.S. Policy Toward Cuba

Thank you for inviting me, and I am delighted to join with my friend from Arizona, Senator Flake. We have traveled separately and together to Cuba, because as Members of Congress no one can stop us from going. But as everyone here knows, that is not the case for most Americans. Unless you are Cuban-American you have to convince the Treasury Department you are entitled to a license, which can be a costly, time consuming, fool's errand. It is discriminatory, it is wrong, and it needs to chang… Continue Reading


02.10.14

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On NSA Security Breach

Today, the National Security Agency continues its indiscriminate collection of a massive number of phone records about Americans under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act. As a nation, we have long needed to have the national conversation about bulk collection that is finally underway, and the Section 215 program should have been declassified long before it was. But let me make clear, as I have said before: I do not condone the way this or other highly classified programs were disclosed. I am… Continue Reading


02.07.14

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Committee On The Judiciary, On The Administration’s Move To Seek Court Approval For Searches of Phone Records

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment regarding Thursday's announcement by the Director of National Intelligence that the agency will seek approval from a FISA court judge to query phone records collected under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act. Leahy is the Democratic coauthor of the USA FREEDOM Act, a bill that would end the bulk collection program and install a public advocate at the FISA court. All five members of the Privacy and Civil Liber… Continue Reading


02.06.14

Nominees To Top DOJ Posts Approved By Senate Judiciary Committee

(Thursday, February 6, 2014) - The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved the nomination of Debo Adegbile to be the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice, an office that has been without a confirmed leader since July. "Debo is careful, he listens, and he understands the importance of building consensus. Anyone who personally knows him understands that he is a man of the utmost integrity," Leahy said during Thursday's markup. Adegbile has… Continue Reading


02.06.14

State Department Sochi Travel Update

The U.S. Department of State compiled the following visitor information for U.S. citizens traveling to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia. Senator Leahy encourages Vermonters traveling to the Olympic Games to utilize these resources. U.S. Department of State Sochi 2014 Visitor Information Page, providing travel information, helpful tips and available resources for those traveling to Sochi. The U.S. Department of State page for U.S. Embassies in Russia. The U.S. Department of… Continue Reading


02.05.14

Leahy Praises Work And Findings Of National Commission On The Structure Of The Air Force

(WEDNESDAY, Feb. 5, 2014) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), co-chair of the Senate National Guard Caucus, praised the work of the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force, which recently released its findings that the National Guard is a cost-effective, quality solution for the nation's security. The independent commission, which was set up by an act of Congress to propose a proper mix of Active Air Force, National Guard, and Reserve personnel, confirmed the Senate National Guard C… Continue Reading

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