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


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


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The President’s State Of The Union Message

Of course, it is a special moment and an emotional one for Marcelle and for me to see Alan Gross in the Gallery with the First Lady. He is finally home with his family, and after 53 years of a failed policy on Cuba, the President has set us on a more constructive path to work toward normalizing our relationship to benefit both the American and the Cuban peoples. I wholeheartedly support the President's call tonight for Congress to end the embargo against Cuba. It has failed to achieve any of … Continue Reading


Leading Senate Democrats Join Together To Support Consumers, Open Internet For All

(Friday, January 16, 2015) - Democratic Senators Patrick Leahy (Vt.), Ron Wyden (Ore.), Al Franken (Minn.), and Cory Booker (N.J.) issued a joint comment Friday in response to proposed legislation released by Republican members of Congress. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will soon vote on updated open Internet rules that will affect millions of Americans, and Republicans recently unveiled proposed legislation intended to preempt the FCC from enacting new net neutrality rules. The De… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Voting Rights & Martin Luther King Jr. Day

"One year ago today, on the eve of the weekend celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s holiday, I introduced legislation to restore key protections of the Voting Rights Act that were gutted by the Supreme Court's Shelby County decision. Despite repeated efforts, not a single Senate Republican would join me in this effort to protect Americans from racial discrimination in voting. House Republicans refused to act, failing to even allow a hearing on this fundamental issue to our democracy. Whil… Continue Reading


Leahy: Vermont Boys & Girls Clubs To Receive $550,000

(FRIDAY, Jan. 16, 2015) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday announced that the Boys & Girls Clubs of Vermont will receive $550,000 in federal grants to fund activities and programs administered by five organizations in Vermont, an increase of nearly 10 percent over the previous year. Leahy, long the Senate's leading champion of the Boys & Girls Clubs, said: "The Boys & Girls Clubs play vital roles in our communities across Vermont. They serve as on the front line in creating sa… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy Saudi Arabia’s Crackdown on Human Rights Defenders

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, on January 12 in Saudi Arabia a prominent human rights lawyer, Mr. Waleed Abu al-Khair, was handed a five-year extension to his ten year prison sentence. Mr. Abu al-Khair, who is the founder and director of the watchdog group Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, was also fined, banned from travel outside the county for fifteen years after his release, and his websites will be shut down. What were the crimes that brought about this sentence? He was charged with har… Continue Reading


Advisory About Senator Leahy’s Congressional Delegation Mission To Cuba

Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who is heading the upcoming congressional delegation visit to Cuba: "This is the first congressional mission to Cuba since the change of policy announced by the President on December 17, the day Alan Gross returned home. We have all been to Cuba before, and we strongly support the President's new direction for our policy toward Cuba. We are going this time to discuss our expectations, and the Cubans' expectations, for the normalization of relations. … Continue Reading


Leahy Welcomes Proposals To Promote Broadband Access For Americans

"I welcome the President's focus on deploying high-speed broadband and improving competition in communities across America, particularly in rural areas. Broadband is long past the point of being a luxury - it is a necessity, and the gap between urban and rural America is not closing nearly fast enough. The lack of adequate choices for consumers is also one of the main reasons why the FCC must act swiftly to protect an open Internet. I stand ready to work with the President and other Members o… Continue Reading


Lake Champlain Water Quality Efforts Net $16 M. Over 5 Years Under New USDA Regional Conservation Partnership Program

(WEDNESDAY, Jan. 14, 2015) -- Efforts to improve Lake Champlain's water quality got another major boost Wednesday, coming hard on the heels of a succession of other announcements of funding for Lake cleanup efforts in recent months. Grants under a new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) resource conservation program in last year's Farm Bill were announced Wednesday in Washington by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and were hailed at an afternoon event at the Vermont State House by Governor Peter S… Continue Reading


Leahy Calls On Congress To Close Tax Loophole For Corporate Misconduct

(Tuesday, January 13, 2015) - Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Tuesday introduced legislation to close a tax loophole that allows businesses to write off the punishment they receive for corporate wrongdoing as an ordinary business expense. The No Tax Write-Offs for Corporate Wrongdoers Act provides a commonsense fix to eliminate this tax break for corporate misconduct. "Under current law, a corporation or individual business owner may deduct the cost of court-… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch: Final Signup Figures For New Dairy Margin Protection Program Show Majority of Vermont Dairy Farmers Are Taking Advantage Of Program

(MONDAY, Jan. 12, 2015) -- Vermont's congressional delegation - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) and Rep. Peter Welch (D) - applauded USDA's Monday announcement that 582 Vermont dairy farms - 67 percent of Vermont's registered dairy farms -- and more than 23,000 of the nation's dairy operations - more than half of the country's dairy farms -- enrolled in the new Margin Protection Program (MPP) that was created by the 2014 Farm Bill. The voluntary program offers financial assistan… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the President’s Proposals to Protect American Consumers

[The President announced on Monday a new commitment to protecting Americans from data breaches and requiring businesses to take steps to notify consumers and protect personal data. In each of the last four Congresses, Leahy has introduced the Personal Data Privacy and Security Act to set a national standard for data breach notification, and to require businesses that collect and store consumers' sensitive personal information to safeguard that information from cyber threats. Last year, Leahy c… Continue Reading


Woodstock Middle/High School

On February 11, 2015, Senator Leahy held an online chat with Woodstock Union High School's AP Government class. Senator Leahy was impressed by the students' engagement on topics such as Cuba, immigration, and clashes between police officers and citizens throughout the country. Senator Leahy was especially engaged in the students' highlighting of the Mount Anthony Union High School's "professional integrity audit" of Fox News after Bill O'Reilly aired a rather negative segment on Bennington, Verm… Continue Reading


Leahy Joins In Offering Bipart. Senate Res. Thanking Pope Francis For Role In Rls. Of Alan Gross, Impr. Relations With Cuba --

U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Susan Collins (R-ME) today introduced a resolution commending Pope Francis for his leadership in helping to secure the release of Alan Gross, and for working with the governments of the United States and Cuba to achieve a more positive relationship. "Pope Francis seems to find new ways every day to make the world a little better," said Durbin. "Over the p… Continue Reading


Leahy Introduces Bipartisan Bill To Reauthorize Lifesaving Bulletproof Vest Grant Program

(Thursday, January 8, 2015) - Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Thursday introduced bipartisan legislation cosponsored by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to reauthorize the lifesaving Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program, a federal grant program that helps state and local law enforcement agencies purchase bulletproof vests for officers working in the field. The program has issued more than one million lifesaving vests to 13,000 state and local law enforce… Continue Reading


Senator Leahy and Congresswoman Matsui Reintroduce Landmark Net Neutrality Legislation

(Wednesday, January 7, 2015) -Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), member of the House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee, on Wednesday reintroduced bicameral legislation to require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to ban so-called "paid prioritization" agreements between a broadband provider and a content provider. Reintroduction of the legislation comes as the FCC prep… Continue Reading


Leahy, Feinstein Re-Offer Bill To Restrict Use Of Cluster Munitions That Can Harm Innocent Civilians

Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today led a group of lawmakers in introducing the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act of 2015, which would restrict the use of dangerous cluster munitions. In the Senate, the legislation is also co-sponsored by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Ron W… Continue Reading


Senator Leahy Reintroduces Bill to Ensure Equal Treatment For All Spouses Under The Copyright Act

Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Tuesday joined with Senators Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Al Franken (D-Minn.) to reintroduce legislation that would close a loophole in the Copyright Act that discriminates among lawfully married couples. Today's bill introduction comes as Florida becomes the 36th state to allow all couples to marry. A provision in the Copyright Act grants rights to the surviving spouse of a copyrig… Continue Reading


Leahy: Senate Must Reauthorize Lifesaving Bulletproof Vest Grant Program Next Year

MONDAY, December 29, 2014 - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) will reintroduce legislation next month to reauthorize the lifesaving Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program, a federal grant program that helps state and local law enforcement agencies purchase bulletproof vests for officers working in the field. Leahy, a former prosecutor, coauthored the original law establishing the matching grant program, which has issued more than one million lifesaving vests to state and local law enforcement … Continue Reading

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