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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.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On NSA Security Breach

Today, the National Security Agency continues its indiscriminate collection of a massive number of phone records about Americans under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act. As a nation, we have long needed to have the national conversation about bulk collection that is finally underway, and the Section 215 program should have been declassified long before it was. But let me make clear, as I have said before: I do not condone the way this or other highly classified programs were disclosed. I am… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Committee On The Judiciary, On The Administration’s Move To Seek Court Approval For Searches of Phone Records

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment regarding Thursday's announcement by the Director of National Intelligence that the agency will seek approval from a FISA court judge to query phone records collected under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act. Leahy is the Democratic coauthor of the USA FREEDOM Act, a bill that would end the bulk collection program and install a public advocate at the FISA court. All five members of the Privacy and Civil Liber… Continue Reading


Nominees To Top DOJ Posts Approved By Senate Judiciary Committee

(Thursday, February 6, 2014) - The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved the nomination of Debo Adegbile to be the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice, an office that has been without a confirmed leader since July. "Debo is careful, he listens, and he understands the importance of building consensus. Anyone who personally knows him understands that he is a man of the utmost integrity," Leahy said during Thursday's markup. Adegbile has… Continue Reading


State Department Sochi Travel Update

The U.S. Department of State compiled the following visitor information for U.S. citizens traveling to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia. Senator Leahy encourages Vermonters traveling to the Olympic Games to utilize these resources. U.S. Department of State Sochi 2014 Visitor Information Page, providing travel information, helpful tips and available resources for those traveling to Sochi. The U.S. Department of State page for U.S. Embassies in Russia. The U.S. Department of… Continue Reading


Leahy Praises Work And Findings Of National Commission On The Structure Of The Air Force

(WEDNESDAY, Feb. 5, 2014) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), co-chair of the Senate National Guard Caucus, praised the work of the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force, which recently released its findings that the National Guard is a cost-effective, quality solution for the nation's security. The independent commission, which was set up by an act of Congress to propose a proper mix of Active Air Force, National Guard, and Reserve personnel, confirmed the Senate National Guard C… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy Support of Law Enforcement Officers and First Responders

Last week, Attorney General Eric Holder appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee for a regular oversight hearing. I appreciated the Attorney General's cooperation and willingness to appear before the Committee to discuss a variety of important matters. His testimony reminded us of the Justice Department's central role in carrying out the policy of Congress to support our nation's law enforcement officers and first responders. One vital program that provides support to the families of fa… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Administration’s New Material Support Exemptions For Refugees And Asylum-Seekers

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) responded Tuesday to several new exemptions to immigration law issued by the administration that will assist deserving refugees and asylees seeking admission to the United States. Vastly over-broad legislation barring admission of individuals who provided "material support" to terrorists was passed by Congress in the wake of September 11, 2001 and has led to the unfair and irrational exclusion of tens of thousands of refugees. For year… Continue Reading


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

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 that would have discouraged the over-supply of milk and prot… Continue Reading


Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy To Senate Passage Of The Farm Bill

(TUESDAY, Feb. 4, 2014) - The U.S. Senate Tuesday passed a long-overdue Farm Bill, in a vote of 68 to 32. The House passed the Farm Bill agreement last week, and the bill now goes to the President's desk. Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., says the President will sign it. Leahy was a conferee in the House-Senate Farm Bill negotiations. He is the most senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and a former chairman of the panel. Leahy long has led in Congress on dairy policy, conservation … Continue Reading


Leahy Chairs Hearing On Data Security And Consumer Privacy In Light Of The Target Data Loss And Other Breaches

(Tuesday, February 4, 2014) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is chairing a hearing this morning entitled "Privacy in the Digital Age: Preventing Data Breaches and Combatting Cybercrime." Leahy recently reintroduced the Personal Data Privacy and Security Act, a bill that would set a national standard for businesses to notify consumers of data breaches and ensure their personal privacy. Testimony, member statements, and a webcast of the hearing are available online. Also… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Farm Bill Agreement

We all know the Senate and House agriculture leaders unveiled the long-awaited conference report last week for the 2014 farm bill. It has been a long trip getting this far. Every conference committee, of course, has some controversy, but the 2014 farm bill has had more than its fair share of twists and turns--right down to the negotiations on the dairy policy in the fleeting hours--before we, as conferees, signed this conference report. It sounds like the old days of The Perils of Pauline when w… Continue Reading


Leahy And Welch Spotlight The Value To Vermont And Its Students Of The Vermont Student Assistance Corp.

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy (D) and Vermont Congressman Peter Welch (D) on Monday visited the Winooski, Vt., headquarters of the Vermont Student Assistance Corp. (VSAC) to highlight the nonprofit student lender for their efforts to provide Vermonters with the resources they need to pursue a higher education. These continued efforts are made possible, in part, by a provision the delegation fought to preserve in the federal omnibus spending bill passed earlier this year by Congress that will al… Continue Reading


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

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