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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 On Vermont Site No Longer Considered For East Coast Missile Defense Site

"The ground-based interceptors being contemplated for an East Coast missile defense site cost huge sums of money, without delivering reliable capability. I welcome the news that Vermont's Camp Ethan Allen will not be considered as a site, and I continue to pursue redirecting those funds toward projects that have more proven and cost-effective success in keeping Americans safe."… Continue Reading


Reaction of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senate President Pro Tempore And Chairman Of The Appropriations Committee’s State Department And Foreign Operations Subcommittee, On The State Department’s EIS On The Proposed Keystone XL Pipeline

"I look forward to reviewing the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Keystone XL Pipeline. "While this process has included more than 1.5 million public comments and several years of analysis, I am concerned that it may not fully take into account the overwhelming evidence that this project will greatly accelerate the release of greenhouse gas pollution and further worsen climate change. This process was fraught with earlier missteps, and now a further review will occur, which is inte… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch Announce $2.5 Million in Heating Assistance for VT

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.), who have advocated for additional home heating aid as near-record winter cold grips Vermont, Thursday announced the federal release of an additional $2.5 million in heating assistance to the state. Leahy, Sanders and Welch have long championed the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Thursday released $2,536,734 to Vermont, bringin… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Senate Passage Of S. 1926 The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act Of 2014

[Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)praised Senate passage Thursday of legislation that would provide relief to homeowners subject to dramatic increases in flood insurance rates. The legislation would ensure that the Federal Emergency Management Agency completes a study on flood insurance affordability before new premiums take effect.] "Tropical Storm Irene brought into sharp focus the importance of the National Flood Insurance Program for non-coastal states like Vermont. Efforts to strengthen the p… Continue Reading


Whitcomb Jr. and Sr. High School

On January 30, Senator Leahy held his first online chat of 2014 with the Whitcomb Jr. and Sr. High School 9th grade social studies class. Using the internet to communicate with the students and their teachers, the Senator answered the students questions about the Leahy War Victims Fund and his work to ban anti-personnel landmines around the world. He also spoke with them about his pastime as a photographer, and his community involvement at home in Vermont.… Continue Reading


SJC Approves Historic, Bipartisan Legislation To Address The Nation’s Exploding Prison Population

(THURSDAY, Jan. 30, 2014) - In a strong and bipartisan vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved legislation to confront the unsustainable growth of the federal prison population. Three Republicans joined with all 10 Democrats on the panel to report the bill to the full Senate. The bill, a compromise agreement of the Smarter Sentencing Act, would lower nonviolent drug mandatory sentences, modestly expand the existing federal "safety valve," and promote sentencing consistent with th… Continue Reading


Privacy And Civil Liberties Oversight Board To Appear Before SJC Next Month

(Wednesday, January 29, 2014) - All five members of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), who recently issued a report on government surveillance programs, will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee next month to discuss their findings, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Wednesday. Members of the PCLOB will appear before the Committee on Wednesday, February 12, less than three weeks after the Board published a comprehensive report concluding that the bulk phone r… Continue Reading


Leahy Chairs DOJ Oversight Hearing With Attorney General Holder

(Wednesday, January 29, 2014) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is chairing a hearing this morning on oversight of the Department of Justice. Attorney General Eric Holder is testifying before the panel. Testimony, member statements, and a webcast of the hearing are available online. Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing On Oversight Of The Department Of Justice January 29, 2014 I welcome Attorney General Holder ba… Continue Reading


Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy To The President’s State Of The Union Message

"Too many families work hard and still fall behind. A greater percentage of the wealth is concentrated in the top 1 percent. It's time we pay attention to our middle class, the people who are the future of our country. I am glad to see the President speak of everyday Vermonters and Americans. They need his support. "After spending months shepherding bipartisan immigration reform through the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate last year, I am glad to see the President give a strong pus… Continue Reading


Vermont And The Farm Bill – AT-A-GLANCE Highlights –

Vermont And The Farm Bill - Top-Line Highlights At-A-Glance Dairy Margin Protection Program - A new Margin Protection Program for Dairy Producers will replace the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) safety net. This new approach creates a federally subsidized margin protection program that will help dairy farmers to offset low margins caused either by low milk prices or high input costs, and prevent an erosion of equity. A key element of the Senate Farm Bill -- the "market stabilization" provision… Continue Reading


Leahy: Long Overdue Farm Bill Clears Conference On Monday Night

(MONDAY p.m., Jan. 27, 2014) - Nearly one month after a one-year extension of legislation to protect the nation's farming, conservation and nutrition programs expired, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are poised this week to consider a final, comprehensive agriculture reform bill that will net more than $24 billion in savings, support 16 million American jobs, and make considerable progress in advancing conservation and wildlife protections. Vermont's Senator Patrick Leahy (D), the … Continue Reading


Leahy And Sanders Announce Merit Commission To Screen Candidates For Vermont’s Upcoming Federal Judicial Vacancy

U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Friday announced formation of a new Vermont Judicial Selection Commission to screen candidates for Vermont's upcoming federal judicial vacancy. On Jan. 15, U.S. District Court Judge William Sessions informed Leahy and President Obama that he will be taking senior status after 18 years on the federal bench in Vermont. The District Court in Vermont is at full strength with two active judges currently serving, but Judge Sessions… Continue Reading


AG Holder To Appear Before SJC This Month

Attorney General Eric Holder will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee for an oversight hearing on Wednesday, January 29, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced on Sunday. The oversight hearing will be just weeks after President Obama charged the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence with considering reforms to government surveillance programs, a top priority for Leahy and other members of the Judiciary Committee. Holder last appeared before the Senate Judiciary C… Continue Reading


Senator Patrick Leahy Comment On PCLOB Report

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Committee On The Judiciary, On The Report Of The Privacy And Civil Liberties Oversight Board January 23, 2014 [Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Thursday responded to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board's Report on the Telephone Records Program Conducted Under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and on the Operations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Leahy is the lead Democratic coaut… Continue Reading


Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Committee On The Judiciary, Following The President’s National Security Speech

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Friday responded to President Obama's announcement that he will work with Congress to improve oversight of government surveillance programs. Leahy is the lead Democratic coauthor of the bipartisan USA FREEDOM Act, and earlier this week presided over a hearing featuring all five members of the President's Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies to discuss their recent recommendations to overhaul the government's su… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Omnibus Appropriations Bill

Mr. President, I want to add my voice to those who have spoken in support of the Omnibus appropriations bill. I spoke about it earlier this week, so I am not going to repeat those remarks, but I want to be sure the American people understand the importance of what we are doing. Only Chairwoman Mikulski could have said it as well as she did. This compromise bill represents the end - hopefully for a long time - of "shut down, slow down, slam down politics." It shows that when people here wa… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Introduction of the 2014 Voting Rights Act Amendment

Almost five decades ago, President Lyndon Johnson signed the original Voting Rights Act into law. At the signing, he spoke eloquently about the central purpose of the law. He said: "This act flows from a clear and simple wrong. Its only purpose is to right that wrong. Millions of Americans are denied the right to vote because of their color. This law will ensure them the right to vote. The wrong is one which no American, in his heart, can justify. The right is one which no American, true… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sensenbrenner & Conyers Lead Bipartisan, Bicameral Introduction Of Legislation To Restore The Voting Rights Act

Leahy, Sensenbrenner & Conyers Lead Bipartisan, Bicameral Introduction Of Legislation To Restore The Voting Rights Act WASHINGTON - Following the bipartisan tradition of the Voting Rights Act, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) joined with Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Congressman John Conyers (D-Mich.) Thursday to introduce bipartisan legislation to uphold the most vital principles of the historic law. The legislation supported by a range of civil ri… Continue Reading


SJC Sends 30 Nominees To Full Senate

(Thursday, January 16, 2014) - The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved 30 judicial and executive nominees, including 10 nominees the Committee approved last year and 8 who would fill judicial emergencies. The Committee's action today comes as 94 judicial vacancies throughout the country prevent the courts from operating at full strength. The Senate failed at the end of last year to confirm dozens of judicial nominees pending in the Judiciary Committee and on the floor, who were retu… Continue Reading


Leahy Commends Judge Sessions For Years Of Service To Vermont

(Wednesday, January 15, 2014) - U.S. District Court Judge William Sessions on Wednesday informed the President that he will be taking senior status after 18 years on the federal bench. U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) praised Sessions for his years of service and vowed to find a highly qualified nominee for the next vacancy on the federal bench in Vermont. "I commend Judge Sessions for his years of service to our state and to this Nation. His commitment to the rule of law has made him among … Continue Reading

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