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


Leahy Announces more than $2.4 Million In Support Of Law Enforcement, Substance Abuse Prevention

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced Vermont law enforcement agencies and related justice programs received grants totaling more than $2.4 million from the U.S. Department of Justice. The grant awards were included in Fiscal Year 2014 spending and will support local and state efforts to reduce crime and tackle the state's substance abuse problems. Among the grant awards is funding provided through the Leahy-authored Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program. Leahy, chair of the Se… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Senate Consideration of the USA FREEDOM Act

"This week, leading technology executives stated unequivocally that meaningful surveillance reform is needed to prevent further damage to the American economy, and a diverse group of civil libertarians also called for real oversight of domestic surveillance authorities. These calls for action are loud and clear and cannot be ignored. When the Senate returns next month, it must swiftly take up and pass the USA FREEDOM Act. There is no excuse for inaction, as the important reforms in this bipar… Continue Reading


Judiciary Committee Chairman Leahy On SCOTUS Decision Allowing N. Carolina To Implement Sweeping Voting Changes Weeks Before The Election --

[The Supreme Court voted late Wednesday to allow North Carolina to implement all of the provisions contained in its sweeping, omnibus voting law the State passed on the heels of the Supreme Court's 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder, which effectively eliminated preclearance requirements for changes in voting laws within covered jurisdictions. A Fourth Circuit panel last week decided that two of the law's provisions - the prohibition on counting any out-of-precinct ballots and the elimina… Continue Reading


Leahy, Wicker, Rubio Lead Bipartisan Call Urging President To Speak Out On Hong Kong

U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Senate President Pro Tempore, Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Senate Republican Deputy Whip, and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., today led a bipartisan group of 21 Senators in calling on President Obama to speak out publicly in support of the people of Hong Kong and their right to full democracy. In their letter to the President, the Senators urge the Administration to "take demonstrable, meaningful steps to help ensure that Beijing maintains its commitments to the people of Hon… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces More than $5M to Support Crime Victims in Vermont, Including $3.6 M to Boost Services for Domestic and Sexual Assault Survivors

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday announced that five Vermont organizations have been awarded more than $5 million in federal grants to support victims of crime in Vermont. The funding from the U.S. Department of Justice includes seven grants from the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) totaling $3.6 million. The grants will help strengthen services for victims of domestic and sexual violence, including programs in Vermont's most rural regions. Three grants from the Office for Victims… Continue Reading


Voter ID Laws Put Price on Voting and Hurt Turnout, GAO Finds

, Oct. 8 - State laws that make voters show IDs at polling places have put a price on ballot access and eroded turnout - especially among African Americans, young people and recently-registered voters - a non-partisan congressional watchdog concluded. The Government Accountability Office report also found scant evidence of voter fraud that the new laws that ostensibly are designed to discourage. The report was requested by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Richard Durbin (… Continue Reading


Leahy, Wicker Statement on Hong Kong’s Ongoing Pro-Democracy Demonstrations

U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Senate President Pro Tempore, and Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Senate Republican Deputy Whip, today issued the following joint statement regarding the ongoing pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong: "We condemn the violent attacks against peaceful demonstrators in Hong Kong. We are dismayed that Hong Kong authorities have not taken necessary steps to protect peaceful protesters from these cowardly attacks by individuals who seek to deny their right of peaceful … Continue Reading


Senator Patrick Leahy On SCOTUS Decision Not To Consider Pending Cases On Same-Sex Marriage

[The Supreme Court on Monday decided not to hear any of the five pending cases on same-sex marriage. The Court's decision effectively upholds the lower court decisions that struck down same-sex marriage bans in Indiana, Wisconsin, Utah, Virginia and Oklahoma. Couples in those states can now marry. Furthermore, several additional states are bound by these lower court rulings and same-sex couples in Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina will also be able to… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch: $278,631 Farm Bill Grant – A Third Larger Than Last Year -- Will Support VT Specialty Crops

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Friday announced a $278,631 federal grant under the new Farm Bill to support specialty crops in Vermont. The grant will support maple producers, organic specialty crop farmers and herb growers among others and is a 33 percent increase in investment in specialty crops in Vermont from the previous year. In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said: "This investment will leverage a wide ra… Continue Reading


Judiciary Committee Chairman Leahy, On Secret Service Developments Today

"I know and respect Acting Director Joseph Clancy. I hope that he can help get to the bottom of the alarming security breaches at the White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and take steps to ensure that nothing like that ever happens again. "The facts about the intrusion at the White House seem to be changing daily. Both the President and the public need and deserve a full accounting of the details, and as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, I look forward to review… Continue Reading


Leahy Sanders Welch: $594,645 Awarded Under Farm Bill To Help Promote Local Food Systems

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced $594,645 in federal grants to promote local food systems and organic agriculture in Vermont. The grants were released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to five organizations across the Green Mountain State as part of the 2014 Farm Bill's commitment to promoting access to local and organic agriculture. In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said, "Vermont ha… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch, Weinberger: HUD Awards City of Burlington $3.4 M. To Improve Housing Health And Safety

(TUESDAY, Sept. 30, 2014) -- Vermont's Congressional Delegation - Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D) -- and Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger Tuesday announced a U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant of $3.4 million to the Community & Economic Development Office (CEDO) for lead safety and to address home health and safety issues in low-income housing. The CEDO Burlington Lead Program will be awarded $3 million in program funding,… Continue Reading


Leahy, Wicker Statement on Hong Kong’s Pro-Democracy Demonstrations

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Senate President Pro Tempore, and U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Senate Republican Deputy Whip, today issued the following joint statement regarding the ongoing pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong: "We are distressed by the use of tear gas, pepper spray, and other such methods against peaceful demonstrators in Hong Kong. We urge the Hong Kong authorities to show restraint and engage in good-faith negotiations to resolve the situation. Hong Kong's … Continue Reading


A Step Closer to Banning Landmines Editorial

The Obama administration has vowed not to use the weapons outside the Korean Peninsula. Now it should close that exception. Anti-personnel landmines have been repudiated for the heavy toll they take on civilians and the lingering threat that buried munitions pose long after hostilities have ceased. Yet, the United States is among the few countries that have not signed a 1997 treaty banning their use. The Obama administration took a long overdue step this week by agreeing to destroy the bulk of… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Attorney General Eric Holder

"Attorney General Holder has been an extraordinary leader of the Department of Justice, and is to be congratulated for his service. Under his leadership, the Department has had remarkable success in convicting terrorists and disrupting threats to national security, while upholding the Department's mission of keeping our communities safe from crime and fighting fraud. I particularly appreciate how Attorney General Holder has restored the Civil Rights Division to its historical mission. His ded… Continue Reading


NEWS BACKGROUNDER from the Office of Senator Leahy On New Changes In U.S. Landmines Policy --

The United States now: will not use APL outside the Korean Peninsula; will not assist, encourage, or induce anyone outside the Korean Peninsula to engage in activity prohibited by the Ottawa Convention; and will undertake to destroy APL stockpiles not required for the defense of the Republic of Korea. This change to U.S. policy builds on the announcement in June that the U.S. will not produce or otherwise acquire any anti-personnel munitions that are not compliant with Ottawa, including … Continue Reading


Vt. Receives $1 Million To Reduce Prison Recidivism

(WEDNESDAY, Sept. 24, 2014) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced $1 million in federal funding to the Vermont Department of Corrections to meet statewide goals in reducing prison recidivism rates. Vermont was one of five states to receive funding from the U.S. Department of Justice for similar programs authorized by the Second Chance Act. Leahy said: "Reducing recidivism rates is a fundamental step to improving safety in communities around the country. Funding for this program… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Sentencing of Sulaiman Abu Ghayth

"The life sentence of Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghayth, shows once again the power and competence of our federal criminal court system, and the tremendous record prosecutors have had in securing criminal convictions in terrorism-related cases. Sending Abu Ghayth to Guantanamo would have been a serious mistake, and I commend President Obama, Attorney General Holder, and their national security team for rightly bringing him to face justice in federal criminal court. We can and s… Continue Reading


Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy To The White House Announcement Of Changes To U.S. Landmine Policy

"This is a crucial step that makes official what has been de facto U.S. practice for a decade and a half. The White House has recognized what our NATO allies declared long ago: These inherently indiscriminate weapons that disproportionately harm civilians have no place in the 21st Century, and those who use them should be condemned. I commend President Obama for taking this step, which brings U.S. policy closer to the international landmine ban treaty. It mirrors my legislation in 1997 cospo… Continue Reading


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

As members of Congress prepare to head back to their home states, it is important to note that the 113th Congress does not end this week, or for that matter, on November 4. We still have a significant amount of unfinished business that must be resolved before the year's end, and the American people expect and deserve our commitment to getting that work done. I strongly support Majority Leader Reid's decision to reconvene the Senate shortly after the elections so that we can complete work on a … Continue Reading

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