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

07.18.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Nomination of Tom Perez to be Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor

Today the Senate will finally proceed to a confirmation vote on the nomination of Tom Perez to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor. This vote continues the progress we made on executive nominees this week following our bipartisan caucus on Monday night. I am pleased that six Republican Senators joined with Democratic Senators to invoke cloture on this nomination on Wednesday, and now we can proceed to getting this well-qualified nominee confirmed to lead the Department of Labor.… Continue Reading


07.18.13

From The Office of Senator Gilibrand: BIPARTISAN MOMENTUM CONTINUES…ANOTHER RETIRED GENERAL COMES FORWARD IN SUPPORT OF GILLIBRAND PROPOSAL TO CREATE INDEPENDENT, NON-BIASED, OBJECTIVE MILITARY JUSTICE SYSTEM FOR VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT IN THE MILITARY

Former Vermont National Guard Adjutant General and Retired Air Force Major General, Martha Rainville: "This Substantive and Visible Change Will Support a Safer Environment for All of Our Military Men and Women…Will Contribute to a Stronger and More Effective Force" Rainville Was First Woman in the History of the National Guard to Serve as a State Adjutant General, Career Spanned 27 Years in Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard - 14 of Those Years in Command Positions E… Continue Reading


07.18.13

Leahy Steers FBI Director Nomination Through Judiciary Committee

Led by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved the nomination of James Comey to be Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The nomination, which was unanimously approved on a bipartisan 18-0 vote, now goes to the full Senate for consideration. Comey was nominated last month by President Barack Obama to replace outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller, who has served in the post since 2001 and whose term ends in early September. Comey testified … Continue Reading


07.17.13

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Executive Nominations

Yesterday was a good day for the Senate. I want to praise the Majority Leader, who brought the Senate back from the brink, and the hard work of Senators from both parties who listened to each other during a lengthy discussion. In particular, I thank Senator Wicker for suggesting Monday night's bipartisan caucus, which allowed for a much-needed dialogue among all Senators, and Senator McCain for his efforts to bring both sides together. The last time we held a bipartisan caucus meeting, in Apr… Continue Reading


07.17.13

Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing On The Voting Rights Act

- The Senate Judiciary Committee is currently holding a hearing titled "From Selma to Shelby County: Working Together to Restore the Protections of the Voting Rights Act." It is the Committee's first hearing following the Supreme Court's decision in Shelby County v. Holder, in which the Court narrowly struck down the coverage formula of the Voting Rights Act. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) had a lead role in reauthorizing the Voting Rights Act in 2006 and has long championed voting ri… Continue Reading


07.16.13

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Department Of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano

"Secretary Napolitano has been an extraordinary leader of the Department of Homeland Security and her departure is a great loss. Under her leadership the Department successfully enforced the Nation's immigration laws in smarter, more effective ways. Secretary Napolitano led the Department in substantially improving border security and reducing illegal immigration. In addition to her law enforcement record, she maintained a focus on cross-border tourism and trade. And she did the right thing… Continue Reading


07.12.13

Leahy Urges Action To Ensure Access To Affordable Life-Saving Diagnostic Tests For Breast And Ovarian Cancer

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Friday sent a letter to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) urging the agency to consider using its authority to ensure greater access to life-saving genetic testing that was developed with federal research dollars. Patents for the genetic test for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes associated with breast and ovarian cancers are owned by Myriad Genetics, which was the subject of a Supreme Court ruling last month that struck down some, but … Continue Reading


07.11.13

Feinstein, Colleagues Urge Swift Implementation of Supreme Court DOMA Decision

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and 38 other senators today sent a letter to President Obama calling on his administration to "swiftly and comprehensively" implement the Supreme Court's decision overturning the Defense of Marriage Act. The senators wrote: "We understand that your Administration is evaluating the vast number of statutes and regulations impacted, and that many laws provide Federal agencies with great discretion t… Continue Reading


07.11.13

An e-mail loophole Congress needs to close

By Editorial Board, Published: July 10 EVER SINCE former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden dropped a slew of classified documents into the public's view, the country has reengaged in a vigorous debate about some - but not all - of the authorities the U.S. government claims to eavesdrop on electronic communications. But there is at least one loophole written into law that makes Americans vulnerable to unnecessary intrusions, is much more unsettling than a lot of the Snow… Continue Reading


07.11.13

Washington Post Calls For Prompt Senate Vote On The Leahy E-Mail Privacy Bill --

Senator Leahy's email privacy bill, updating and reforming the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, or ECPA, has been approved again this year by the Judiciary Committee, which Leahy chairs. Leahy's bill, cosponsored by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, is now awaiting a vote by the full Senate, which could come soon. Following is a link to an editorial by the Washington Post, "An E-Mail Loophole Congress Needs To Close" - LINK: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/an-e-mail-loophole-congress-needs… Continue Reading


07.10.13

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Comprehensive Immigration Reform

"It seems that nearly every day, we are reminded of the broad support from across the political spectrum for commonsense and humane immigration reform. Former President George W. Bush spoke of the need for immigration reform today in Texas, and expressed his hope that a 'benevolent spirit' will help inform the debate. And this morning President Obama released a report detailing the enormous economic benefits that will come with immigration reform. I worked with President Bush in 2006 when he … Continue Reading


07.10.13

Leahy Announces July 17 Hearing On The Voting Rights Act

(Wednesday, July 10, 2013) -The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing next week entitled "From Selma to Shelby County: Working Together to Restore the Protections of the Voting Rights Act," Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Wednesday. The hearing will review the impact of the Supreme Court's decision last month in Shelby County v. Holder, in which the Court struck down the coverage formula under the law. Leahy announced Wednesday that Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.), a civil ri… Continue Reading


07.09.13

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Meeting with Attorney General Holder Regarding Review of Justice Department Press Guidelines

"The Committee had a good and constructive meeting with the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General to discuss proposed revisions to the Justice Department's guidelines for requesting information from the news media. In an open society, a free press is essential to guaranteeing the public's right to know. That is why the burden is always on the government, when it seeks information about the press or confidential sources, to protect freedom of speech and First Amendment rights. I commend… Continue Reading


07.09.13

Leahy Chairs SJC Confirmation Hearing With James Comey, FBI Director Nominee

(Tuesday, July 9, 2013) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is chairing a confirmation hearing this morning for James Comey, President Obama's nominee to be director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a ten-year term. Member statements and a webcast of the hearing are available online. Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Nomination of James B. Comey Jr. To Be Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation… Continue Reading


07.08.13

Leahy: Nominees Deserve Senate Attention

The Senate voted unanimously Monday to confirm Gregory Phillips to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. With a host of important judicial and executive nominees pending before the Senate and in the Judiciary Committee, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) urged lawmakers to work together to fill vacancies throughout the government. "Our Constitution provides the Senate an important role to play in providing advice to the President and in voting on whether to confirm nominees for our third branch of gov… Continue Reading


07.03.13

Leahy Welcomes News That The FDA Will Move Forward With Proposed Rulemaking To Protect Consumers Using Generic Drugs

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Wednesday welcomed news that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will move forward with a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to ensure that generic manufacturers of prescription drugs can update their warning labels to provide better patient safety information to consumers. Leahy has long championed this public safety issue, following two Supreme Court cases in which patients who were injured by a prescription drug were unable to seek … Continue Reading


07.03.13

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., Chairman Of The Budget Committee For The State Department And Foreign Assistance) On The Military Takeover In Egypt

"The Morsi government has been a great disappointment to the people of Egypt, and to all who wish Egypt a successful transition to responsive, representative government under the rule of law. He squandered an historic opportunity, preferring to govern by fiat rather than work with other political parties to do what is best for all Egyptians. Egypt's military leaders say they have no intent or desire to govern, and I hope they make good on their promise. In the meantime, our law is clear: U.… Continue Reading


07.03.13

Provisions Relevant To The Situation In Egypt In The FY12 State Department And Foreign Operations Appropriations Law --

Coups d'Etat Sec. 7008. None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available pursuant to titles III through VI of this Act shall be obligated or expended to finance directly any assistance to the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup d'etat or decree or, after the date of enactment of this Act, a coup d'etat or decree in which the military plays a decisive role: Provided, That assistance may be resumed to such government if the Preside… Continue Reading


06.28.13

Bipartisan Group of 26 Senators Seek Answers from DNI Clapper on Bulk Data Collection Program

The recent public disclosures of secret government surveillance programs have exposed how secret interpretations of the USA PATRIOT Act have allowed for the bulk collection of massive amounts of data on the communications of ordinary Americans with no connection to wrong-doing. Reliance on secret law to conduct domestic surveillance activities raises serious civil liberty concerns and all but removes the public from an informed national security and civil liberty debate. In order to foster tha… Continue Reading


06.27.13

Leahy Hails Passage of Historic Immigration Reform Bill

(Thursday, June 27, 2013) -Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) hailed the chamber's passage of sweeping immigration reform legislation that aims to unite families, boost the economy and bring millions into the legal immigration system. Leahy, the Senate's most senior member and president pro tem, managed the three-week floor debate on the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act that was approved in a bipartisan 68 to 32 vote. "With this leg… Continue Reading

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