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


Leahy, Feinstein Re-Offer Bill To Restrict Use Of Cluster Munitions That Can Harm Innocent Civilians

Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today led a group of lawmakers in introducing the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act of 2015, which would restrict the use of dangerous cluster munitions. In the Senate, the legislation is also co-sponsored by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Ron W… Continue Reading


Senator Leahy Reintroduces Bill to Ensure Equal Treatment For All Spouses Under The Copyright Act

Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Tuesday joined with Senators Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Al Franken (D-Minn.) to reintroduce legislation that would close a loophole in the Copyright Act that discriminates among lawfully married couples. Today's bill introduction comes as Florida becomes the 36th state to allow all couples to marry. A provision in the Copyright Act grants rights to the surviving spouse of a copyrig… Continue Reading


Leahy: Senate Must Reauthorize Lifesaving Bulletproof Vest Grant Program Next Year

MONDAY, December 29, 2014 - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) will reintroduce legislation next month to reauthorize the lifesaving Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program, a federal grant program that helps state and local law enforcement agencies purchase bulletproof vests for officers working in the field. Leahy, a former prosecutor, coauthored the original law establishing the matching grant program, which has issued more than one million lifesaving vests to state and local law enforcement … Continue Reading


Is 53 Years Long Enough To Conclude That Our Cuba Policy Has Failed?

Is 53 Years Long Enough To Conclude That Our Cuba Policy Has Failed? By Patrick Leahy On December 17th, President Obama and President Raul Castro made history. After 53 years of animosity rooted in the Cold War, they finally put our two countries on a new path. I worked for two years to help obtain Alan Gross' release from a Cuban prison, and flying to Cuba to bring him home was a joyous experience I will cherish always. Mr. Gross' case was the catalyst that finally brought to an end a policy… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., Senate President Pro Tempore and Dean of the Senate, chairman of State Department and Foreign Operations for the Appropriations Committee), On Adriana Perez

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., Senate President Pro Tempore and Dean of the Senate, chairman of State Department and Foreign Operations for the Appropriations Committee), On Adriana Perez Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014 "In February 2013, during one of our trips to Cuba my wife Marcelle and I agreed to meet with Adriana Perez. She made a personal appeal to Marcelle. She was 43 years old and afraid that she would never have the chance to have a child as she did not expect her husband to ever … Continue Reading


Leahy Commends U.S. Attorney Tristram Coffin For Years Of Service To Vermont

(Friday, December 19, 2014) - U.S. Attorney Tristram Coffin on Friday announced that he will be leaving his position next month after serving as Vermont's top federal prosecutor since 2009. U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) praised Coffin for his years of service, and he committed to working quickly to find a highly qualified nominee to serve as Vermont's next U.S. Attorney. "Tris Coffin is a tough and fair prosecutor, and has been an effective law enforcement leader in Vermont. I join my fe… Continue Reading


PHOTOS: Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Leads Group To Cuba To Bring Back Alan Gross

(WEDNESDAY, Dec. 17, 2014) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday was joined by Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Judy Gross and others for an early morning trip to Havana, Cuba to bring Alan Gross home. Leahy (D-Vt., president pro tempore of the Senate, and chairman of the State Department and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee) has long sought the release of Alan Gross and has visited him twice in the prison where he has been held for fiv… Continue Reading


Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy To The Release Of Alan Gross And Transforming U.S. Policy Toward Cuba

[Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., president pro tempore of the Senate, and chairman of the State Department and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee) has long sought the release of Alan Gross and has visited him twice in the prison where he has been held for five years. Leahy also has led in efforts over the years for fundamental changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba, including pushing for an end to the law that prevents most Americans from visiting Cuba. Leahy Wednesday morning went to Cuba … Continue Reading


Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Western District Court of Pennsylvania Decision on the President’s Executive Action

[Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Tuesday on a district court decision on President Obama's executive action to address the nation's broken immigration system. As chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Leahy steered the bipartisan Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act through the Senate last year.] "In a very unusual step, a federal judge considering a criminal sentencing issue reached out, unprompted, to weigh in on the cons… Continue Reading


Delegation Calls on FairPoint to Negotiate

, Dec. 16 - Vermont's congressional delegation today sent a letter to FairPoint Communications urging the company to negotiate an end to its ongoing labor strike. "We are extremely disappointed that FairPoint management has not come back to the bargaining table with any meaningful concessions to end this strike," wrote Sens. Bernie Sanders, Patrick Leahy and Rep. Peter Welch in their joint letter. "It is becoming increasingly clear to Vermonters that management is more concerned with the intere… Continue Reading


Senator Patrick Leahy’s Comment On The Vermont Congressional Delegation’s Letter To FairPoint CEO Paul Sunu

On Tuesday Vermont Congressional Delegation - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) -- wrote to CEO of FairPoint Paul Sunu urging the company to return to the bargaining table to bring an end to the ongoing strike. Phone and internet outages during the strike have caused a spike in customer complaints to the Vermont Public Service Board. Earlier this fall Leahy called on both the company and its workers to return to the table to negotiate in good… Continue Reading


Leahy, Welch: Greater Protection Starts For Vermont’s Fruit, Vegetable And Other Specialty Crop Growers

(TUESDAY, Dec. 16, 2014) - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) say greater protections are now available for farmers who grow specialty crops such as fruits, vegetables, maple syrup, floriculture, ornamental nursery, mushrooms, honey and energy crops. In the past, farmers of these crops have traditionally been ineligible for federal crop insurance, but under new provisions in the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), authored by Leahy and Welch as part of the 2… Continue Reading


Leahy Urges Senate To Approve Nominee To Lead Key Immigration Office

(Tuesday, December 16, 2014) -Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Tuesday urged Senators to confirm Sarah Saldaña to be Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security, where she will lead the office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The office is critical to border enforcement, and has been without a Senate-confirmed leader since last year. Leahy, who steered the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act through the Senate las… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.),President Pro Tempore, On The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), President Pro Tempore, On The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act December 12, 2014 After late night theatrics in the House yesterday, I hope the Senate will soon vote on the fiscal year 2015 Omnibus appropriations bill, and certainly well before tomorrow's midnight deadline. I support this comprehensive spending package. It has been too long since Congress passed successive appropriations bills that didn't simply kick the can fur… Continue Reading


Vermont Rivers Recognized as ‘Wild and Scenic Rivers’

Vermont Rivers Recognized as 'Wild and Scenic Rivers' WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 - Vermont's congressional delegation applauded the passage today of legislation to add portions of the Upper Missisquoi and Trout Rivers to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. "Vermont's rivers are an essential part of our state's rural character. The wild and scenic designation highlights the unique cultural, scenic and recreational qualities of these Vermont rivers," the delegation said in a joint statement. "T… Continue Reading


Leahy Responds to Internet Service Providers' Failure to Pledge Not to Engage in Internet Fast Lanes

As FCC Considers Net Neutrality Proposals,Leahy Responds to Internet Service Providers'Failure to Pledge Not to Engage in Internet Fast Lanes WASHINGTON (Friday, December 12, 2014) -As the Federal Communications Commission prepares to approve updated open Internet rules, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) criticized several of the nation's leading Internet service providers for failing to pledge not to engage in "paid prioritization" deals through which websites could be … Continue Reading


Senate Fri. night passes Leahy-authored Commission To Review The Future Of The Army, with major implications for the future of the National Guard

Leahy-Authored Commission To Review Future of Army Passes As Part Of Annual Defense Authorization Bill . . . Major Implications Also For The Future Of The National Guard . . . Bill Also Adds Portions Of VT's Upper Missisquoi And Trout Rivers To National Wild And Scenic Rivers System . . . Senate Action Sends Bill To President's Desk WASHINGTON (FRIDAY, Dec. 12, 2014) - U.S. Senate National Guard Caucus Co-Chair Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday praised inclusion of the National Commission on t… Continue Reading


Leahy REAX As House Leaves Town w/o Passing Bipartisan FOIA Improvement Act To Boost Govt. Transparency –

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following statement on Friday after the House failed to pass the bipartisan FOIA Improvement Act before adjourning for the year. The legislation authored by Leahy and Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) was unanimously approved in the Senate earlier this week is supported by more than 70 groups that advocate for government transparency, as well as the Sunshine in Government Initiative.] Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), … Continue Reading


Leahy: Unprecedented New Focus On Heroin And Opioid Addiction In Budget Bill Awaiting Final Action Friday Or Saturday

(FRIDAY, Dec. 12, 2014) - A new program proposed by U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to combat the vexing problems associated with heroin and opioid addiction affecting Vermont and the nation, as well as new funding to address the epidemic, is included in the comprehensive federal budget bill. The House of Representatives passed the bill late Thursday night and the Senate is expected to vote on it Friday or Saturday. Leahy was instrumental in securing the funding for the new program, initiat… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Omnibus Appropriations Bill

Mr. President, after nine months of hearings and briefings, and many long days and nights of negotiations, this past weekend the Appropriations Committee completed work on the fiscal year 2015 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act. Earlier this year, many of us came to the floor to praise Chairwoman Mikulski for her heroic effort to pass the fiscal year 2014 Omnibus. While many in Washington thought that feat could not be repeated two years in a row, she proved them wrong. … Continue Reading

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