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


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


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

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.),Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee,On Judicial NominationsSeptember 18, 2014 As the Senate prepares to go into recess, Senate Republicans are refusing to allow confirmation votes on the more than 20 judicial nominees who will now be stuck in limbo for months. There is no good reason why the Senate cannot confirm these nominees before the recess other than wholesale obstruction of a co-equal branch of government's nominees. The Senate Republicans' b… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On His Vote In Opposition To The Short-Term Continuing Resolution Including Authority For Arming Syrian Rebels

Mr. President, the Senate is about to vote on a continuing resolution to fund the federal government from October 1 to December 11. This vote should not be necessary. There is no good reason why we are not voting on fiscal year 2015 appropriations bills to fund the government the way we used to, rather than a continuing resolution that keeps the government on autopilot despite many new and compelling needs. Chairwoman Mikulski of the Appropriations Committee and her counterpart in the House… Continue Reading


Leahy Ushers Legislation To Reduce Rape Kit Backlogs Through The Senate Thursday Night

(THURSDAY, Sept. 18, 2014) - U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Thursday praised the Senate's passage of legislation to reauthorize the Debbie Smith DNA Backlog Reduction Program and urged Senators to support passage of a broader criminal justice bill - the Justice For All reauthorization bill - in the upcoming lameduck session. Leahy late Thursday brought the bill directly to the Senate Floor and asked unanimous consent for the Senate to pass it. He secured that… Continue Reading


Leahy: $650,000 In Grants Available To Organizations To Address Water Quality And Conservation Concerns On Lake Champlain

(THURSDAY, Sept. 18, 2014) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday joined the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) in announcing $650,000 in federal funding available to local watershed groups, towns and other organizations in Vermont and New York in the continued effort to implement a long-term management plan for Lake Champlain. The funding will play a key role in assisting local organizations respond to serious water quality and conservation concerns on the lake as well as working to enhance … Continue Reading


Leahy Bills OKd by Judiciary Committee…To Reduce Prison Recidivism And Crack Down On Human Trafficking Involving Runaway And Homeless Youths --

(Thursday, September 18, 2014) -- The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved bipartisan legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to reauthorize the Second Chance Act, a law that supports state and local reentry programs to reduce recidivism. In recent months, the Committee has considered ways to reduce prison costs for federal, state and local governments. Approval of the Second Chance Act on Thursday is the latest in that effort. The bill extends a 2008 law aimed at t… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch, Shumlin: $891,697 Awarded Under Farm Bill For Economic And Community Development In Northern Vermont

(THURSDAY, Sept. 18, 2014) - Vermont's congressional delegation -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D) - and Governor Peter Shumlin (D) Thursday announced that the State will receive $891,679 in Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) funds for economic development projects in Northern Vermont. This is a $400,000 increase over funds awarded in Vermont last year. The NBRC funds will be disbursed in five grants to five organizations in Nor… Continue Reading


Leahy Panel Hears Testimony Urging FCC To Support NET NEUTRALITY --

An Overwhelming Call To Protect A Free & Open Internet A record 3.7 million Americans have weighed in with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on its proposed rules to protect an open Internet. An overwhelming number of these comments from hardworking Americans called on the FCC to enact meaningful rules that will protect consumers and preserve competition online. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), author of the bicameral Online Competition and Consumer Ch… Continue Reading


Leahy Chairs SJC Hearing On Protecting an Open Internet

(Wednesday, September 17, 2014) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is chairing a hearing this morning entitled "Why Net Neutrality Matters: Protecting Consumers and Competition Through Meaningful Open Internet Rules." The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is currently undertaking a rulemaking to restore open Internet protections in light of a D.C. Circuit Court decision earlier this year. Leahy also chaired a field hearing on the issue in Vermont in July. Testimon… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch: USDA Awards $658,175 In Research Grants for UVM

(Wednesday, September 17) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D) Wednesday announced the University of Vermont Extension program received two grants totaling over $650,000 for agricultural research. The grant announcement is the most recent step in implementing the 2014 Farm Bill. Leahy, the senior most member on the Senate Agriculture Committee, was a conferee on the bill. The grants will be used to study soil quality on Vermont farms, foc… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Anniversary Of The Constitutional Convention

Tomorrow we will mark Constitution Day - a day set aside to reflect on our nation's charter and how it has shaped what it means to be American. On September 17, 1787, George Washington, James Madison, and their fellow Framers made the momentous decision to sign the Constitution and send it along to the American people for ratification - marking a new beginning in our nation's profound experiment in democracy. As important as the original charter continues to be, the Founders did not design it … Continue Reading


Leahy & Matsui in The Hill: Keep the Internet Free and Open for All

(Tuesday, September 16, 2014) - Below is the text of an op-ed coauthored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) published today in The Hill on the issue of net neutrality. The two joined together in June to introduce the Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act, legislation directing the FCC to ban paid prioritization agreements online. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is currently undertaking a rulemaking to restore o… Continue Reading


Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy On Vermont Health Connect

"Vermont has been, and continues to be, a leader in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. I am glad that Governor Shumlin is taking this critical step to fix Vermont Health Connect to ensure that it works as intended to help thousands of Vermonters gain access to quality health insurance. He is absolutely right that technology offers us benefits but also additional challenges when it comes to health care, and making these systems in Vermont and everywhere work as they should, and maki… Continue Reading


Leahy Urges Senators To Support Justice For All Reauthorization Act

(Monday, September 15, 2014) - In a floor statement Monday, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) called on Senators to support passage of the Justice for All Reauthorization Act, a bipartisan bill that seeks to help ensure that the criminal justice system functions fairly. "As a former prosecutor, I have great faith in our criminal justice system and in the men and women who have dedicated their lives to making it work. But I also know that our system is not perfect.… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch: Grant Will Help Expand The Lund Center’s Help To Pregnant And Postpartum Women In Conquering Substance Abuse

(THURSDAY, Sept. 12, 2014) -Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I), and Representative Peter Welch (D), announced a $524,000 grant to provide residential treatment for pregnant or postpartum women who are suffering from substance abuse in Vermont. The grant was awarded to the Lund Family Center in Burlington to extend outreach and support to as many as 645 low-income pregnant or postpartum women over three years. In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said: "Addiction t… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch: VT Nets $2.3 Million For Rural Development

(FRIDAY, Sept. 12, 2014) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT) Friday announced $2.3 million in funding for rural development in Vermont. The funding, under the new Farm Bill, has been awarded to 13 organizations across the state through 16 grants and loans by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and will be utilized to foster job growth, economic development and community initiatives. In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and We… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Proposed Constitutional Amendment To Permit Campaign Finance Reform To Stem The Flood Of ‘Dark Money’ Into The Political Process

[The Senate held the showdown vote Thursday afternoon on the proposed constitutional amendment. In a vote of 54-42, the Senate fell six votes short of the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture and prevent a filibuster on the resolution. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, supported it and successfully steered it through the Judiciary Committee's approval of the proposed amendment earlier this summer. Following is his closing statement in the week-long debate… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch: Grants Totaling $8.8 M. Will Help Newport’s Airport In Accommodating The Area’s Growth And Change

(THURSDAY, Sept. 11, 2014) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D) Thursday joined Federal Aviation Administrator Michael P. Huerta in announcing that the Newport State Airport will receive two FAA grants totaling $8.8 million to help with the airport's expansion. The grants to the airport in Newport, Vt., come on the heels of a Federal Aviation Administration grant of $8.1 million to Rutland-Southern Vermont Regional Airport for safety improv… Continue Reading

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