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


Leahy Again Urges Senate Vote For AG Nominee Loretta Lynch

(Wednesday, March 4, 2015) - Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) took to the floor on Wednesday for a second time this week to call for a confirmation vote for Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch. Lynch's nomination was reported on a bipartisan vote by the Judiciary Committee last week. Her nomination has been pending longer than those of the five previous Attorneys General. Speaking on the Senate floor Wednesday, Leahy highlighted Lynch's record as the United S… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch Announce $1.5 M In Affordable Housing Grants For Vermont’s Local NeighborWorks Organizations

(WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced $1.5 million in grants to revitalize communities and support access to affordable housing across Vermont. The announcement marks the first round of 2015 federal grants awarded by NeighborWorks America. Leahy said: "Vermont's NeighborWorks affiliates are on the front lines of creating jobs and stabilizing our communities by investing in affordabl… Continue Reading


Leahy Highlights Need For Whistleblower Protections At SJC Hearing

(Wednesday, March 4, 2015) - The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing entitled, "Whistleblower Retaliation at the FBI: Improving Protections and Oversight." Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has long worked to ensure the protection of whistleblowers through bipartisan legislation and oversight. Senator Leahy's opening statement at today's hearing is below. Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on "Whistleblower Retaliatio… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy After Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Address Before A Joint Meeting Of Congress

I watched the Prime Minister's speech on television and also will review it more fully later. I have long supported U.S. aid to ensure Israel's ability to defend itself. I have had many private meetings with Israeli leaders over the years. And I have long supported Israeli-Palestinian negotiations toward a peace settlement that would help ensure Israel's security. I agree with the President, the Prime Minister and many others that a nuclear Iran would be a danger to Israel, to the region, an… Continue Reading


Leahy Calls On Senate To Confirm Historic Nominee For Attorney General

(Monday, March 2, 2015) - This week marks the 50th anniversary of the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, an historic moment in the civil rights movement that prompted bipartisan action in Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act. In a floor statement Monday, Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) urged Senators to come together in that same spirit and confirm Loretta Lynch to be the next attorney general of the United States. Once confirmed, Lynch will be the first African Ame… Continue Reading


Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Senator Barbara Mikulski’s Announcement That She Will Retire From The Senate After Her Current Term

Senator Mikulski is a great credit to the Senate and to the State of Maryland. She has done a superb job in chairing and in serving as Ranking Member of the Appropriations Committee in a difficult environment. The Dean of women senators, she is widely respected on Capitol Hill, and far beyond. She is a dynamo for the Marylanders whom she represents so well in the legislative process. I have also enjoyed working with her on such projects as the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Lilly Ledbette… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On House Leaders’ Refusal To Support A “Clean” Year-Long Homeland Security Budget Bill, Without Political Policy Riders

"The House's refusal to pass a clean homeland security budget bill is beyond irresponsible. It is foolhardy, and it is wasteful. It shows no understanding of how this continuing uncertainty is affecting the daily lives of these hard-working DHS workers who protect us every day, in so many ways. Vermont has more than 2500 dedicated federal homeland security workers who are affected by this. This extends the uncertainty they face about meeting their next mortgage payments and paying their fami… Continue Reading


SJC Unanimously Approves Nominee To Lead Patent & Trademark Office

(Thursday, February 26, 2015) - The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday unanimously approved the nomination of Michelle Lee to serve as the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) urged the Senate to quickly confirm the nominee, who has been pending since last year. "This position has been vacant for more than two years, which is far too long for an office that is so imp… Continue Reading


Leahy: Senate Must Support All Victims Of Human Trafficking

(Thursday, February 26, 2015) -The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday advanced legislation to combat human trafficking, two days after the panel heard compelling testimony on the need to pass meaningful legislation to prevent vulnerable youth from becoming targets of trafficking and sexual exploitation. However, the measures approved today fall short of protecting the runaway and homeless youth who are among the most vulnerable to human trafficking. Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), … Continue Reading


Leading Democratic Senators Praise FCC’s Adoption Of Net Neutrality Rules

(Thursday, February 26, 2015) - Democratic Senators Patrick Leahy (Vt.), Ron Wyden (Ore.), Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), Maria Cantwell (Wash.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Tom Udall (N.M.), Al Franken (Minn.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Ed Markey (Mass.), and Cory Booker (N.J.) issued a joint comment Thursday following a vote by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on updated open Internet rules. The new rules, which apply to all domestic broadband providers, prevent b… Continue Reading



"Today's FCC vote shows that Vermont commonsense can win the day, even in Washington. Over the last year Vermonters have spoken loudly and clearly. They do not want to be stuck in Internet slow lanes or to cope with new online tolls. Vermonters expect an Internet that remains equal and open to all. As Cabot Orton of the Vermont Country Store testified at the hearing I held in Burlington last July, Vermont small businesses are not looking for special treatment online, they are simply looking … Continue Reading


After Extended Delay, Judiciary Committee Approves Attorney General Nominee Lynch

(THURSDAY, Feb. 26, 2015) - A bipartisan majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved the nomination of Loretta Lynch to be the 83rd Attorney General of the United States. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the committee's Ranking Member, said the Senate must quickly confirm Lynch to serve as the nation's chief law enforcement officer. "Anyone who watched the Judiciary Committee hearings four weeks ago learned that Loretta Lynch is a well-respected prosecutor who has earned the … Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, Executive Business Meeting

This week, the Judiciary Committee held a powerful hearing outlining the importance of passing legislation that will help eradicate the scourge of human trafficking in this country. I commend Chairman Grassley and Senator Feinstein for holding the hearing. Members on both sides of the aisle made clear their commitment to passing meaningful legislation - not only to help existing victims of human trafficking, but also to help protect in the future those who all too often fall prey to human traf… Continue Reading


Ahead Of Committee Vote, Leahy Calls For SJC To Support AG Nominee Lynch

(Wednesday, February 25, 2015) - Tomorrow (Thursday), the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider the nomination of Loretta Lynch to be the 83rd Attorney General of the United States. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the committee's Ranking Member, said both the Committee and the full Senate must vote to confirm her without further delay. "Anyone who watched the Judiciary Committee hearing four weeks ago learned that Loretta Lynch is a superb prosecutor who has earned the respect and admiration… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On the Introduction of the Farm to School Act of 2015

Five years ago, the President signed into law the Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act. This law has made improvements to our school lunch program by making healthy food choices a reality for students nationwide. One of the best ways to help students make healthy choices is to teach them about their food and how it is grown. That is why I championed the inclusion of funding for a farm-to-school grant program, which was included in the Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act. The program has had tremend… Continue Reading


Leahy, Cochran Introduce Bill To Renew And Expand Emerging Farm To School Efforts

(WEDNESDAY, Feb. 25, 2015) - U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) Wednesday introduced legislation to extend a key nutrition program for school-aged children. The bipartisan Farm to School Act of 2015 will increase the federal resources committed to helping to bring fresh, local foods to schools nationwide. Companion legislation was also introduced Wednesday in the U.S. House of Representatives. Leahy is the author of the existing Farm to School program and champio… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy on Funding the Department of Homeland Security

Mr. President, somebody asked me a little while ago, shouldn't we be voting on the mishmash on Homeland Security that the House of Representatives sent over because of the immigration matters in it. I reminded them that the Senate in the last Congress voted by a two to one margin on a bipartisan comprehensive immigration bill which we sent to the House of Representatives, and the Speaker refused to bring the bill up. It probably would have passed. Had it passed, it would have been signed into l… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The President’s Veto Of The Bill To Fast-Track The Keystone XL Pipeline

When the Senate considered the bill to fast-track the Keystone XL Pipeline last month - the top legislative priority, over everything else, of this new Republican-led Congress -- I was proud to vote no. Though this reckless legislation ultimately passed the Senate and House, I applaud President Obama for following through on his pledge to veto it. Keystone is part of the carbon-heavy energy policies of the past. I will continue to oppose any attempt to fast-track this pipeline for the inheren… Continue Reading


At SJC Hearing On Human Trafficking, Witnesses Unify Behind Prevention Efforts

(TUESDAY, Feb. 24, 2015) -Congress must enact legislation that prevents vulnerable kids from falling victim to human trafficking and sexual exploitation, witnesses said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday. Tuesday's hearing came as the Judiciary Committee is poised to consider legislation later this week to address human trafficking. Jayne Bigelsen of the Covenant House, an organization serving homeless youth, cited a 2013 study by her organization that found that 1 in 4 homeless y… Continue Reading


Comment of Sen. Patrick Leahy On 'Another Made-In-Washington Shutdown Crisis' --

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) - "This is another needless, made-in-Washington crisis. Some are willing to hold hostage the security of the American people, as well as the dedicated public servants - including 2500 Vermonters - who work on the front lines to keep the public safe. The solution to this contrived disaster is simple. The Senate should pass a clean Homeland Security funding bill, without political policy riders. Then, if there's another debate to be had about immigration policy, … Continue Reading

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