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


Leading Democratic Senators Praise FCC’s Adoption Of Net Neutrality Rules

(Thursday, February 26, 2015) - Democratic Senators Patrick Leahy (Vt.), Ron Wyden (Ore.), Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), Maria Cantwell (Wash.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Tom Udall (N.M.), Al Franken (Minn.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Ed Markey (Mass.), and Cory Booker (N.J.) issued a joint comment Thursday following a vote by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on updated open Internet rules. The new rules, which apply to all domestic broadband providers, prevent b… Continue Reading



"Today's FCC vote shows that Vermont commonsense can win the day, even in Washington. Over the last year Vermonters have spoken loudly and clearly. They do not want to be stuck in Internet slow lanes or to cope with new online tolls. Vermonters expect an Internet that remains equal and open to all. As Cabot Orton of the Vermont Country Store testified at the hearing I held in Burlington last July, Vermont small businesses are not looking for special treatment online, they are simply looking … Continue Reading


After Extended Delay, Judiciary Committee Approves Attorney General Nominee Lynch

(THURSDAY, Feb. 26, 2015) - A bipartisan majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved the nomination of Loretta Lynch to be the 83rd Attorney General of the United States. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the committee's Ranking Member, said the Senate must quickly confirm Lynch to serve as the nation's chief law enforcement officer. "Anyone who watched the Judiciary Committee hearings four weeks ago learned that Loretta Lynch is a well-respected prosecutor who has earned the … Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, Executive Business Meeting

This week, the Judiciary Committee held a powerful hearing outlining the importance of passing legislation that will help eradicate the scourge of human trafficking in this country. I commend Chairman Grassley and Senator Feinstein for holding the hearing. Members on both sides of the aisle made clear their commitment to passing meaningful legislation - not only to help existing victims of human trafficking, but also to help protect in the future those who all too often fall prey to human traf… Continue Reading


Ahead Of Committee Vote, Leahy Calls For SJC To Support AG Nominee Lynch

(Wednesday, February 25, 2015) - Tomorrow (Thursday), the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider the nomination of Loretta Lynch to be the 83rd Attorney General of the United States. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the committee's Ranking Member, said both the Committee and the full Senate must vote to confirm her without further delay. "Anyone who watched the Judiciary Committee hearing four weeks ago learned that Loretta Lynch is a superb prosecutor who has earned the respect and admiration… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On the Introduction of the Farm to School Act of 2015

Five years ago, the President signed into law the Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act. This law has made improvements to our school lunch program by making healthy food choices a reality for students nationwide. One of the best ways to help students make healthy choices is to teach them about their food and how it is grown. That is why I championed the inclusion of funding for a farm-to-school grant program, which was included in the Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act. The program has had tremend… Continue Reading


Leahy, Cochran Introduce Bill To Renew And Expand Emerging Farm To School Efforts

(WEDNESDAY, Feb. 25, 2015) - U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) Wednesday introduced legislation to extend a key nutrition program for school-aged children. The bipartisan Farm to School Act of 2015 will increase the federal resources committed to helping to bring fresh, local foods to schools nationwide. Companion legislation was also introduced Wednesday in the U.S. House of Representatives. Leahy is the author of the existing Farm to School program and champio… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy on Funding the Department of Homeland Security

Mr. President, somebody asked me a little while ago, shouldn't we be voting on the mishmash on Homeland Security that the House of Representatives sent over because of the immigration matters in it. I reminded them that the Senate in the last Congress voted by a two to one margin on a bipartisan comprehensive immigration bill which we sent to the House of Representatives, and the Speaker refused to bring the bill up. It probably would have passed. Had it passed, it would have been signed into l… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The President’s Veto Of The Bill To Fast-Track The Keystone XL Pipeline

When the Senate considered the bill to fast-track the Keystone XL Pipeline last month - the top legislative priority, over everything else, of this new Republican-led Congress -- I was proud to vote no. Though this reckless legislation ultimately passed the Senate and House, I applaud President Obama for following through on his pledge to veto it. Keystone is part of the carbon-heavy energy policies of the past. I will continue to oppose any attempt to fast-track this pipeline for the inheren… Continue Reading


At SJC Hearing On Human Trafficking, Witnesses Unify Behind Prevention Efforts

(TUESDAY, Feb. 24, 2015) -Congress must enact legislation that prevents vulnerable kids from falling victim to human trafficking and sexual exploitation, witnesses said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday. Tuesday's hearing came as the Judiciary Committee is poised to consider legislation later this week to address human trafficking. Jayne Bigelsen of the Covenant House, an organization serving homeless youth, cited a 2013 study by her organization that found that 1 in 4 homeless y… Continue Reading


Comment of Sen. Patrick Leahy On 'Another Made-In-Washington Shutdown Crisis' --

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) - "This is another needless, made-in-Washington crisis. Some are willing to hold hostage the security of the American people, as well as the dedicated public servants - including 2500 Vermonters - who work on the front lines to keep the public safe. The solution to this contrived disaster is simple. The Senate should pass a clean Homeland Security funding bill, without political policy riders. Then, if there's another debate to be had about immigration policy, … Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy Department of State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee Hearing on the FY 2016 Budget Request

Thank you Mr. Chairman. This is Senator Graham's first hearing as chairman of this subcommittee, and I congratulate him and thank him for the way he and his staff have worked with me and my staff over the years. This subcommittee has a history of bipartisanship. I remember 30 years ago when Senators Dan Inouye and Bob Kasten worked together, and myself with Senator McConnell, Senator Gregg, and since then with Senator Graham. I have served as chairman and ranking member. We have switched… Continue Reading


Opening Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy -- SJC Hearing On Human Trafficking

(Tuesday, February 24, 2015) - The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing entitled, "Human Trafficking in the United States: Protecting the Victims." The hearing was scheduled at the request of all 20 women Senators, four of whom are speaking before the Committee today. Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is the author of the bipartisan Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act, which aims to prevent trafficking by supporting grant programs that provide housing, educa… Continue Reading


Leahy Makes Recommendation For Vermont’s Next U.S. Attorney

(FRIDAY, Feb. 20, 2015) -- U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is recommending Burlington attorney Eric Miller to President Obama to be Vermont's next U.S. Attorney. Miller, 45, would be the 37th United States Attorney in Vermont's history, managing the U.S. Department of Justice's U.S. Attorney offices in Burlington and Rutland and overseeing the work of nearly 20 attorneys who represent the United States in criminal and civil investigations and litigation in Vermont. "I have been impressed wi… Continue Reading


Leahy, Schumer Effort To Uncork Growing Cider Industry In Vermont, N.Y. And Elsewhere Moves Forward

(THURSDAY, Feb. 12, 2015) - Legislation from Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) aimed at helping the growing hard cider industry in Vermont and New York took an important step forward this week. The CIDER Act - Cider Investment and Development through Excise Tax Reduction Act - would update the outdated federal definition of hard cider to meet current market expectations and manufacturing practices. The bill language was included in a non-controversial set of ta… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On the Nominations Of Ashton Carter to be the Secretary of Defense, And of Loretta Lynch to be Attorney General of the United States

The Senate will vote today on the confirmation of Dr. Ashton Carter to fill a critically important Cabinet position - that of Secretary of Defense. Dr. Carter is a dedicated and distinguished public servant. He has been confirmed - unanimously - to two senior positions in the Pentagon. He has been recognized as a four-time recipient of the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal, and he has been awarded the Defense Intelligence Medal. I have no doubt the vote today in support of hi… Continue Reading


Leahy Joins Bicameral Effort To Protect Vermont Dairy Farmers And Cheese Producers On International Stage

(THURSDAY, Feb. 12, 2015) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) joined a bipartisan, bicameral effort on Thursday raising concerns about changes to an international intellectual property treaty that will affect the dairy industry in Vermont and across the country. Leahy's efforts come as the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) prepares to consider changes to the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin, in May. The proposed changes to this international treaty would … Continue Reading


Leahy Joins In Introducing Bipartisan Bill To Lift Cuba Trade Embargo

(THURSDAY, Feb. 12, 2015) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday joined a bipartisan coalition of senators in introducing major legislation to lift the Cuba trade embargo. The bill is sponsored by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and cosponsored by Leahy and Senators Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). Their bill would eliminate the key barriers to Americans doing business in Cuba. The Freedom to Export to Cuba Act would pave the way fo… Continue Reading


Leahy: Senate Should Confirm Loretta Lynch As Atty Gen. … the nation’s top law enforcement officer --

(Thursday, February 12, 2015) - On the same day the Senate is poised to confirm Ashton Carter to serve as Secretary of Defense, Republicans on the Judiciary Committee postponed a vote on the nomination of Loretta Lynch to serve as the next Attorney General. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee, expressed his strong disappointment at the delay in considering Lynch's nomination. "Dr. Carter is receiving his confirmation vote little more than a week after he tes… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee Executive Business Meeting

The four judicial nominees listed on today's agenda have the distinction of both of their home state Senators sitting on this Committee. Two of the Texas nominees will fill judicial emergency vacancies. I hope the Senators from Texas and Utah have been able to convince their Republican colleagues that there is no good reason for these nominees to be held over. We should vote them out today. Loretta Lynch's nomination is listed on the agenda. Her nomination has been pending longer than any m… Continue Reading

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