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

09.20.13

Leahy Praises EPA Announcement Of New Limits On Pollution From Future Power Plants

-- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday praised the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) announcement of new, separate limits on the amount of pollution that new natural gas and coal power plants can release into the air. The announcement is one of the first steps under President Obama's Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon pollution from power plants, which are the nation's largest stationary sources of carbon pollution. Leahy has long championed clean air and water policies and has been t… Continue Reading


09.19.13

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy As House Votes To Slash Nutrition Relief To The Poor And To Erect Yet Another Barrier To Enactment Of A Farm Bill

- The U.S. House of Representatives late Thursday voted for massive cuts in food assistance for the poorest Americans, creating further obstacles to passing a long-delayed Farm Bill. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the most senior member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, said, "This attack on one of the most vital strands of the already frayed poverty safety net is cobbled from myths and fueled by mean-spiritedness heaped on those who are struggling the most in our… Continue Reading


09.19.13

Judiciary Committee Passes Leahy-Backed National Blue Alert Bill To Help Find Criminals Who Injure Or Kill Law Enforcement Officers

By a vote of 15 to 3, the Senate Judiciary Committee today passed the National Blue Alert Act, S. 357, which would create a nationwide alert system to apprehend violent criminals who have injured or killed police officers. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), author of the bill, and cosponsor Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), called the vote an important pledge of support for America's law enforcement officers. Similar to the successful Amber Alert system, the program would allow… Continue Reading


09.19.13

D.C. Circuit Nominee Approved By Judiciary Committee

(Thursday, September 19, 2013) - The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved the nomination of Nina Pillard to serve on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. If confirmed, Pillard would fill one of three vacancies on the court. "Professor Pillard's character and qualifications are unassailable," Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said during Thursday's executive business meeting. "Some may not agree with everything she has written as a law professor, but I hope that every m… Continue Reading


09.19.13

Leahy, Schumer Introduce Bill To Help Growing U.S. Cider Industry

- U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) teamed up on Thursday to introduce legislation aimed at helping the growing hard cider industry in Vermont and New York. Their CIDER Act - Cider Investment and Development through Excise Tax Reduction Act - would update the federal definition of hard cider to meet current market expectations and manufacturing practices. Leahy said: "Vermont is closely associated with the booming market for hard cider, and this is a great oppo… Continue Reading


09.18.13

Leahy Chairs SJC Hearing On Federal Mandatory Minimums

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednseday chaired a hearing titled "Reevaluating the Effectiveness of Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentences." Leahy is the coauthor of the bipartisan Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013, which allows judges greater flexibility in sentencing federal crimes subject to mandatory minimums. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Republican co-author of the bill, was the lead witness at today's hearing. Testimony, member statements, and a webcast of the he… Continue Reading


09.18.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Funding for a Second Millennium Challenge Compact for El Salvador September 18, 2013

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, on September 12th I made a statement in this chamber about the vote earlier that day by the Board of Directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation to approve a second compact for El Salvador. As I said then, that vote was expected, and it began the final phase of discussions between the United States and El Salvador on a compact which, if funded, could result in investments totaling $277 million from the United States and $85 million from El Salvador. I share th… Continue Reading


09.17.13

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Constitution Day

Today, the Nation celebrates the 226th anniversary the Constitution's signing. That moment was a decision to create a federal government with the power to address national problems. During the Constitutional Convention, the delegates debated hundreds of issues and proposals before crafting the original version of the Constitution. Even then, though, the true genius of their charter was Article V, which provided for later amendments - because the Founding generation knew that they did not hav… Continue Reading


09.17.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Nominations of Patricia Campbell-Smith and Elaine Kaplan

Today, we are voting on 2 nominees to serve 15-year terms in the United States Court of Federal Claims. The Court of Federal Claims is an Article I court that is authorized to hear monetary claims that arise from the Constitution, federal statutes, executive regulations, or contracts with the United States. We are finally voting on two well qualified nominees for these positions, but we should also be voting on any of the nine other Article III judicial nominees that are pending on the Executi… Continue Reading


09.16.13

Leahy & Lee in Politico: Working Together to Combat Patent Trolls

(Monday, Sept. 16, 2013) - Below is the text of an op-ed coauthored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) in Politico on the issue of patent troll abuse. The two are working on a bipartisan effort to protect retailers and innovators from misuse of the patent system. Leahy is also a lead author of the bipartisan Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, the landmark patent reform law which was signed in to law by President Barack Obama in 2011 two year… Continue Reading


09.12.13

Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Bipartisan Media Shield Legislation

(Thursday, September 12, 2013) - The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved the Free Flow of Information Act, a bipartisan bill that establishes a qualified privilege to protect journalists and their confidential sources. The measure was approved on a bipartisan 13-5 vote, after Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) led the Committee's consideration of several amendments to the bill, including a breakthrough compromise agreement on the definition of covered journalists. That amendment offered… Continue Reading


09.12.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On A Second Millennium Challenge Compact for El Salvador

Mr. President, earlier today the Board of Directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation voted to approve a second MCC compact for El Salvador. This was expected, and it begins the last phase of discussions between the United States and El Salvador on the compact which, if finally agreed to and funded, could result in investments totaling $277 million dollars from the United States and $85 million from El Salvador. The compact has three main components, described by the MCC as partnering wi… Continue Reading


09.12.13

Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy On Announcement That Camp Ethan Allen Is One Of Five Candidate Sites For A Ground-Based Midcourse Interceptor

"I've always felt that the multiple billions spent on missile defense are a monumental waste of money, on technologically challenged systems, and I am emphatically against putting one of these sites in Vermont." # # # # # [Text of letter to Senator Leahy, below:] SEP. 12, 2013 Department of Defense Missile Defense Agency 5700 18th Street Fort Belvoir, Virginia 22060-5573 The Honorable Patrick J. Leahy United States Senate Washington, DC 20510 Dear Senator Leahy: Pursuant to sectio… Continue Reading


09.12.13

Leahy Announces Sept. 18 Hg. On Mandatory Minimum Sentencing; witnesses incl. Sen. Rand Paul…Leahy’s cosponsor of the Justice Safety Valve Act

(Thursday, September 12, 2013) - The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing next week on the issue of mandatory minimum sentences, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Thursday. The hearing titled "Reevaluating the Effectiveness of Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentences" will include testimony from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who with Leahy is the author of the Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013. The bipartisan Paul-Leahy bill allows judges greater flexibility in sentencing federal crimes w… Continue Reading


09.10.13

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Developments Concerning Syria

"It is encouraging that President Obama's strong condemnation of Bashar al-Assad's heinous war crime apparently has moved Syria toward conciliation on its chemical weapons stockpile. Everyone seems to be taking a deep breath. But we need to see verifiable action by the Syrian regime to relinquish control of its chemical weapons arsenal and agreement to other conditions. It is appropriate that the President intends to call on the United Nations to help broker a solution that can be agreed to b… Continue Reading


09.10.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Commemorating the 16th Street Church Bombing in Birmingham September 10, 2013

Two weeks ago, thousands of people gathered on the National Mall in front of the Lincoln Memorial to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, where Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his historic "I Have a Dream" speech. That remarkable moment in this Nation's history was a peaceful day of unity and we rightfully remember the inspiring words of Dr. King. We are reminded this week of just how quickly that hope and positive signs of progress were challenged by a stunning act of viol… Continue Reading


09.10.13

Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Oversight Hearing On Federal Marijuana Policy

(Tuesday, September 10, 2013) -The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing titled "Conflicts Between State and Federal Marijuana Laws." Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who has pressed the administration on the issue since last year, recently welcomed the Justice Department's release of guidelines for enforcement of federal marijuana laws in light of action at the state level. Member statements, witness testimony and a webcast of today's hearing are available online. Statement of… Continue Reading


09.10.13

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Committee On The Judiciary, On Release Of FISA Documents September 10, 2013

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Tuesday after the release of FISA court opinions related to the bulk collection of phone records under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act. Leahy introduced in June the bipartisan FISA Accountability and Privacy Protection Act of 2013 to reform and improve certain provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act and FISA Amendments Act, and he chaired a hearing in July on privacy rights and national security featuring top admin… Continue Reading


09.09.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On the Nominations of Valerie Caproni and Vernon Broderick

Today we will be voting on just 2 of the 11 district and circuit nominees left pending on the Senate floor prior to the August recess. Ten of these nominees had been reported by voice vote, and there was no good reason we could not have confirmed them then and allowed them to get to work on behalf of the American people. I hope that Senate Republicans will not seek to drag out the nominees that will be left pending on the floor after today, as they did for the nominations left pending at the e… Continue Reading


09.06.13

Leahy Aide Ted Brady Named New State Director For USDA’s Rural Development Efforts In Vermont and New Hampshire

(FRIDAY, Sept. 6, 2013) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Friday afternoon officially announced that a key economic development aide to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has been named to be USDA's new State Director for Vermont and New Hampshire for Rural Development. Ted Brady, Leahy's Vermont Field Representative on Community and Economic Development, Transportation, and Telecommunications, joined Leahy's staff in 2000 and is a graduate of St. Michael's College. Leahy, who had recomm… Continue Reading

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