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


Outside Witnesses on AG Nominee Loretta Lynch: “She is trustworthy and honest to the core of her being”

(Thursday, January 29, 2015) - During today's Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing regarding the nomination of Loretta Lynch to serve as Attorney General, a panel of outside witnesses including those who know her personally and professionally gave testimony about her record and qualifications. David Barlow, the former U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah and a former Chief Counsel for Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), offered insight into Lynch's record as an independent, apolitical prose… Continue Reading


Leahy Comment On FCC's Steps To Speed Internet Delivery For Rural Consumers

[The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday approved a new definition for what constitutes broadband service, dramatically increasing the required minimum speeds from the current standard and marking an important improvement for rural states to access high-speed Internet.] "Today, the FCC voted to recognize what millions of Americans living in rural areas have long realized - that minimum Internet speeds for rural consumers need to be faster. The FCC's action today has the potenti… Continue Reading


DAY TWO: Opening Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy -- SJC Hearing On Attorney General Nominee

(Thursday, January 29, 2015) - Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today spoke at a second hearing today regarding the nomination of Loretta Lynch, President Obama's nominee to be the 83rd Attorney General of the United States. Today's hearing includes a panel of outside witnesses who will testify about the nominee and the Department of Justice. Senator Leahy's opening statement is below, and is available online. Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking… Continue Reading


Historic AG Nominee Loretta Lynch, In Her Own Words

(Wednesday, January 28, 2015) - In compelling testimony Wednesday, Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch spoke of her personal story and her strong background as a federal prosecutor when describing the values she would bring to the Department of Justice. "I owe much to those who have worked to make [the Constitution's] promise real for all Americans, beginning with my own family," Lynch said. "All of them - and so many others - have supported me on the path that has brought me to this moment… Continue Reading


Leahy & Grassley Raise Privacy Concerns About DEA License Plate Tracking System

(Wednesday, January 28, 2015) -In a letter sent to Attorney General Eric Holder Wednesday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) questioned the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) use of a national database to track the movement of vehicles around the United States. News reports this week revealed that the DEA has expanded its license plate reader (LPR) surveillance program from the Southwest Border to include states across the … Continue Reading


AG Nominee Lynch: “I will fulfill my responsibilities with integrity and independence”

(Wednesday, January 28, 2015) - During this morning's session of the Senate Judiciary Committee's confirmation hearing for Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch, Lynch spoke about her experience as a career prosecutor and said she will address a range of challenges as Attorney General. "If confirmed to be Attorney General of the United States, I pledge to all of you and to the American people that I will fulfill my responsibilities with integrity and independence," Lynch said in her opening s… Continue Reading


Senator Leahy And Senator Lee Guest Column: Update Email Privacy Laws From The Digital Age

Americans routinely are bombarded with news stories about invasive new surveillance technologies. But Congress has yet to pass even the most basic legislation on the issue: a bill to ensure that law-enforcement agents cannot read Americans' private e-mails without search warrants. In the coming weeks, we will reintroduce legislation to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and safeguard the privacy of e-mail and other information stored in "the cloud." In the last Congress, th… Continue Reading


Loretta Lynch Has Received Widespread Support to be Attorney General

From The Senate Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff Loretta Lynch Has Received Widespread Support to be Attorney General Loretta Lynch currently serves as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York (April 2010-current). She previously served in this post during the Clinton administration (July 1999-June 2001). Lynch is highly qualified, fair-minded and independent, and has received broad bipartisan support for her nomination to be Attorney General. Endorsed by the Law En… Continue Reading


Opening Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy -- Confirmation Hearing For Attorney General Nominee Loretta Lynch

(Wednesday, January 28, 2015) - Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is attending a confirmation hearing this morning for Loretta Lynch, President Obama's nominee to be the 83rd Attorney General of the United States. Senator Leahy's opening statement is below, and is available online. Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on the Nomination of Loretta Lynch to Serve as Attorney General of the United States Ja… Continue Reading


On Eve of Confirmation Hearing, Leahy Urges Senators to Focus On Record of AG Nominee Lynch

(Tuesday, January 27, 2015) - Tomorrow (Wednesday), the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a confirmation hearing for Loretta Lynch to be the 83rd Attorney General of the United States. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the committee's ranking member, urged all Senators to focus on Lynch's credentials to serve as the nation's chief law enforcement officer. "The Senate has the constitutional advice and consent responsibility for considering presidential nominees, and tomorrow's confirmation hear… Continue Reading


Leahy, Collins Introduce Bipartisan Legislation To Combat Youth Homelessness & Trafficking

(Tuesday, January 27, 2015) - Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) on Tuesday reintroduced bipartisan legislation to curb youth homelessness, which affects 1.6 million teens throughout the country who are among the most likely to become victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) joined as original bill cosponsors. Thirty-nine percent of the homeless population is und… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Federal Communications Commission’s Settlement With Verizon On Rural Call Completion

[The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Monday announced a settlement with Verizon related to rural call completion problems, which affects Vermont among other states. Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has previously pressed the FCC about rural call completion problems.] "Today's settlement between the FCC and Verizon is an important reminder that rural areas like Vermont deserve equal access to quality communications services. Vermonters rightly expect that when… Continue Reading


Grassley & Leahy Press Administration On Use Of Radar Technology To Look Inside Private Homes

(Thursday, January 22, 2015) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) pressed Attorney General Eric Holder Thursday on the reported use of radar technology that may enable law enforcement agencies to track the movements of private citizens inside their homes. Until now, possible law enforcement use of this technology, which can detect movement within buildings, has not been publicly discussed, according to a recent news report. But … Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Requests To Return The Senate Intelligence Committee’s Torture Report

"Neither the Senate Intelligence Committee's historic report on the now-defunct CIA detention and interrogation program, nor the shameful truths it contains about the use of torture during the previous administration, can be wiped out of existence. Those Republicans who are in denial about this dark chapter in our history will stop at nothing to keep it under wraps. "The Senate at its best can act as the conscience of the Nation, and part of that responsibility is ensuring transparency in our … Continue Reading


Photos From Senator Patrick Leahy’s Recent Meetings In Cuba

THURSDAY, Jan. 22, 2015) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) from Jan. 17 to Jan. 19 led the first congressional delegation to Cuba following the President's announced policy change on December 17, the day Leahy escorted Alan Gross home, after Gross spent five years in a Cuban prison. Leahy and his delegation of four senators and two House members (including Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt.) were in Havana for three days of meetings. They met with Cuban officials to discuss expectations for the normalizat… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, Hearing On Nominations

I am encouraged that the first hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee under the helm of Chairman Grassley is on judicial nominations. I look forward to working with him throughout the 114th Congress to fill vacancies on our federal courts to ensure that our co-equal branch of government is working at full strength. I am also eager for this Committee to begin consideration of the nomination of Loretta Lynch to serve as our next Attorney General. Late in the George W. Bush administration, w… Continue Reading


Leahy & Grassley Press Administration On Use Of Cell Phone Tracking Program

(Wednesday, December 31, 2014) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) pressed top Obama administration officials on the use of cell-site simulators, which can unknowingly sweep up the cell phone signals of innocent Americans. Recent news reports have chronicled the use of such simulators by law enforcement, explaining that the simulators have the potential to capture data about the location of thousands of cell phones in their vici… Continue Reading


New England Lawmakers Call for Assessment of FairPoint Emergency Network Capabilities

() - U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) and Annie Kuster (D-NH) are calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to assess the ability of FairPoint Communications to operate emergency communications networks in New Hampshire and Vermont. In a letter to Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the FCC, the lawmakers specifically cited concerns about outages in both New Hampshire and Vermont that have caused lapses i… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Keystone XL Pipeline

As the most senior member of this body, I have served in both the majority and the minority, with three Democratic Presidents and four Republican Presidents, with Democratic and Republican House majorities. I know that we can be productive. The Keystone Pipeline legislation the Senate is considering today is not productive. I had hoped that we could begin the 114th Congress by showing the American people that Congress is putting the needs of hardworking American families over those of powerfu… Continue Reading


Leahy And Others Re-Intro DISCLOSE Act On Anniversary Of CITIZENS UNITED Decision –

(WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21, 2015) - Five years ago today, the Supreme Court issued its disastrous Citizens United decision, which opened the floodgates for unlimited, secret spending in American elections. Today, to mark this anniversary, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) reintroduced the DISCLOSE Act, legislation that would crack down on so-called "dark money" by requiring organizations that spend money to influence elections to disclose their spending as well as their major sources of funding i… Continue Reading

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