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

12.19.13

Vermont Wins $37 Million for Universal Pre-School

Vermont today won a $37 million federal grant for a statewide, pre-kindergarten program at public schools. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a member of the Senate education committee, worked closely with federal officials and Gov. Peter Shumlin's administration to secure the grant for early childhood education. Sanders said, "Psychologists tell us that, in terms of human development, the most important years are birth through four years of age. Yet, in terms of early childhood education, our natio… Continue Reading


12.19.13

Leahy: Awards To Vermont Boys & Girls Clubs Top $500,000

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Thursday that Vermont's Boys & Girls Clubs are being awarded $500,350 to help fund activities and programs administered by the six clubs that operate in Vermont. This latest round of awards brings the total for Vermont to over $8 million since 2005. The Boys & Girls Clubs of America provides awards to state clubs using funding provided by the U.S. Department of Justice dedicated to youth mentoring. This funding supplements the private contributions… Continue Reading


12.19.13

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On the Bipartisan Budget Act

In what I hope is a sign of things to come, today, I expect the Senate to pass the Bipartisan Budget Act. The result of the long awaited budget conference -- one that had long been requested by Chairwoman Murray but never agreed to by Senate Republicans - the agreement has found some common ground and reflects a shared commitment to work for the American people, something in short supply in Congress these days. The budget deal we are considering today is a true compromise. I believe it would be… Continue Reading


12.18.13

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Release of Recommendations by the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Release of Recommendations by the President's Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies December 18, 2013 [Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) released the following comment Wednesday after the White House released recommendations from the Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies to reform the nation's broad surveillance laws.] "The message to the… Continue Reading


12.18.13

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Republican Opposition To Judicial Confirmation Hearing On Consensus Nominees

[On Wednesday, Senate Republicans invoked procedural tactics to prevent the Judiciary Committee from convening a confirmation hearing for five district court nominees. The hearing was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.] "The Republican shutdown of the Judiciary Committee is consistent with the obstruction we have witnessed over the last five years, which has led to record high vacancies in federal courts throughout the country. Home state Senators were consulted with respect to the nominees sc… Continue Reading


12.17.13

Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing On Abusive Patent Practices

(Tuesday, December 17, 2013) -The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing titled "Protecting Small Businesses and Promoting Innovation by Limiting Patent Troll Abuse." Chairman Patrick Leahy is the author of the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013, a bipartisan bill to protect businesses and innovators who are being improperly targeted by patent trolls. Member statements, witness testimony and a live webcast are available online. Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.),… Continue Reading


12.16.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On the Confirmation of Jeh Johnson To be Secretary of Homeland Security

I am pleased to support the confirmation of Jeh Johnson to be the Secretary of Homeland Security. Mr. Johnson's distinguished career in public service, including his service as a Federal prosecutor and as General Counsel of the Department of Defense, will suit him well as he takes on this new and very challenging responsibility. I look forward to inviting Mr. Johnson to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee for an oversight hearing in the new year, which he has committed to do. Mr. Joh… Continue Reading


12.16.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On the The 10th Anniversary of the Passage of the Hometown Heroes Survivors Benefits Act Senate Floor

Today I am proud to recognize the 10th anniversary of the enactment of the "Hometown Heroes Survivors Benefits Act" which occurred this past Saturday. Back in 2003, I worked with a bipartisan group of senators to pass this legislation to improve the Department of Justice's Public Safety Officers' Benefits (PSOB) program by allowing families of public safety officers who suffer fatal heart attacks or strokes to qualify for federal survivor benefits. I am proud to mark the 10-year anniversary of … Continue Reading


12.16.13

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On D.C. District Court Ruling On The NSA’s Telephone Surveillance Program

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) released the following comment Monday after a D.C. District Court judge issued a preliminary injunction ruling regarding the National Security Agency's phone surveillance program. Leahy introduced in November the USA FREEDOM Act, a bipartisan bill that would end the bulk collection of phone records under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act.] "Americans deserve an open and transparent debate about the constitutionality, efficacy, and appropr… Continue Reading


12.14.13

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The One Year Anniversary Of The Tragedy At Sandy Hook Elementary School

"It has been one year since our hearts were broken by the unimaginable tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Marcelle and I give our thoughts and prayers in honor and remembrance of the innocent children and educators whose lives were taken, and to their brave and loving families who bear so great a burden. On this solemn anniversary, we keep in our hearts these families and a community that has lost so much." # # # # #… Continue Reading


12.13.13

Leahy Announces Witness List For Next Week’s Patent Troll Hearing

(FRIDAY, Dec. 13, 2013) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Friday released a witness list for the December 17 hearing on bipartisan legislation to combat so-called "patent trolls." New England Federal Credit Union President and CEO John Dwyer, from Williston, Vt., is among those scheduled to testify. Leahy has also invited Michael Makin, president and CEO of Printing Industries of America, to appear before the panel. "When small businesses in Vermont and across the… Continue Reading


12.13.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee on the Confirmation of Patricia M. Wald to be a Member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board

I commend the Senate for confirming Judge Patricia M. Wald to be a Member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board ("PCLOB"). The Senate previously confirmed Judge Wald to this post on August 2, 2012. The President re-nominated Judge Wald to this position in March, and the Judiciary Committee favorably reported the nomination without objection months ago. Like many other nominees, her confirmation has been held up on the floor for months by Senate Republicans. During her tenure on … Continue Reading


12.12.13

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Agreement To Restoring Users’ Ability to Unlock Cellphones

[The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday announced that it had reached a voluntary agreement with the wireless industry allowing consumers to "unlock" their cell phones. Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced the bipartisan Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, S. 517, in March after the United States Library of Congress declined to renew an exemption to section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that allowed consumers to easily t… Continue Reading


12.12.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Nomination of Cornelia “Nina” Pillard

Tonight we will vote on the nomination of Nina Pillard to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. On Tuesday, we were finally able to invoke cloture on her nomination, after it had been unjustifiably filibustered by Senate Republicans for nearly three months after being favorably voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The D.C. Circuit is often considered to be the second most important court in the Nation and should be operating at full strength. We are finally taking another st… Continue Reading


12.12.13

Senate Confirms Pillard To The D.C. Circuit Court

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) applauded on Thursday the confirmation of Nina Pillard to serve on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Pillard's confirmation to a seat left vacant since October 2011 also marks an historic milestone for the prestigious court that will now have five active female judges currently serving. "Despite having filled nearly half of law school classrooms for the last 20 years, women are grossly underrepresented on our Federal courts. We need w… Continue Reading


12.11.13

Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Third Oversight Hearing On Government Surveillance Programs

(Wednesday, December 11, 2013) -The Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday afternoon is holding a hearing titled "Continued Oversight of U.S. Government Surveillance Authorities." Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) convened similar oversight hearings in July and October on the use of government surveillance programs. Member statements, witness testimony and a webcast of today's hearing are available online. Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, Hearing o… Continue Reading


12.11.13

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Nomination Of Alejandro Mayorkas To Be Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Wednesday after the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee reported out the nomination of Alejandro Mayorkas to be Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. The position has not had a Senate-confirmed leader since April.] "I applaud Chairman Carper and members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee for approving the nomination of Alejandro Mayor… Continue Reading


12.10.13

Senate Moves Closer To Filling Vacancies On D.C. Circuit

The Senate moved closer Tuesday to confirming Nina Pillard to serve on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals after voting to overcome a filibuster of her nomination. Republicans last month blocked the Senate from debating Pillard's nomination, but recent changes to Senate rules have now enabled the chamber to overcome such obstruction. As a result, Pillard is poised to be confirmed to what is often referred to as the nation's second most important court behind the Supreme Court. "The D.C. Circuit… Continue Reading


12.10.13

Hearing On Assistance For Jordan And Lebanon And Refugee Relief, Related To The Civil War In Syria

Chairman Patrick Leahy Hearing On Assistance For Jordan And Lebanon And Refugee Relief, Related To The Civil War In Syria Department of State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee December 10, 2013 I want to welcome our witnesses: Anne Richard, who is the Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration; Ambassador Bouran of Jordan and Ambassador Chedid of Lebanon; and Andrew Harper and Ewen Macleod from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Thank… Continue Reading


12.10.13

Senate Confirms Millett To The D.C. Circuit Court

Senate Confirms Millett To The D.C. Circuit Court WASHINGTON (Tuesday, December 10, 2013) -Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) applauded on Tuesday the confirmation of Patricia Millett to serve on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Millett will be just the sixth woman ever to serve on the influential court in its 120-year history. "Patricia Millett has risen through the ranks of government and private practice to earn a place among the best appellate practitioners i… Continue Reading

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