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


Senator Patrick Leahy On SCOTUS Decision Not To Consider Pending Cases On Same-Sex Marriage

[The Supreme Court on Monday decided not to hear any of the five pending cases on same-sex marriage. The Court's decision effectively upholds the lower court decisions that struck down same-sex marriage bans in Indiana, Wisconsin, Utah, Virginia and Oklahoma. Couples in those states can now marry. Furthermore, several additional states are bound by these lower court rulings and same-sex couples in Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina will also be able to… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch: $278,631 Farm Bill Grant – A Third Larger Than Last Year -- Will Support VT Specialty Crops

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Friday announced a $278,631 federal grant under the new Farm Bill to support specialty crops in Vermont. The grant will support maple producers, organic specialty crop farmers and herb growers among others and is a 33 percent increase in investment in specialty crops in Vermont from the previous year. In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said: "This investment will leverage a wide ra… Continue Reading


Judiciary Committee Chairman Leahy, On Secret Service Developments Today

"I know and respect Acting Director Joseph Clancy. I hope that he can help get to the bottom of the alarming security breaches at the White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and take steps to ensure that nothing like that ever happens again. "The facts about the intrusion at the White House seem to be changing daily. Both the President and the public need and deserve a full accounting of the details, and as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, I look forward to review… Continue Reading


Leahy Sanders Welch: $594,645 Awarded Under Farm Bill To Help Promote Local Food Systems

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced $594,645 in federal grants to promote local food systems and organic agriculture in Vermont. The grants were released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to five organizations across the Green Mountain State as part of the 2014 Farm Bill's commitment to promoting access to local and organic agriculture. In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said, "Vermont ha… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch, Weinberger: HUD Awards City of Burlington $3.4 M. To Improve Housing Health And Safety

(TUESDAY, Sept. 30, 2014) -- Vermont's Congressional Delegation - Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D) -- and Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger Tuesday announced a U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant of $3.4 million to the Community & Economic Development Office (CEDO) for lead safety and to address home health and safety issues in low-income housing. The CEDO Burlington Lead Program will be awarded $3 million in program funding,… Continue Reading


Leahy, Wicker Statement on Hong Kong’s Pro-Democracy Demonstrations

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Senate President Pro Tempore, and U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Senate Republican Deputy Whip, today issued the following joint statement regarding the ongoing pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong: "We are distressed by the use of tear gas, pepper spray, and other such methods against peaceful demonstrators in Hong Kong. We urge the Hong Kong authorities to show restraint and engage in good-faith negotiations to resolve the situation. Hong Kong's … Continue Reading


A Step Closer to Banning Landmines Editorial

The Obama administration has vowed not to use the weapons outside the Korean Peninsula. Now it should close that exception. Anti-personnel landmines have been repudiated for the heavy toll they take on civilians and the lingering threat that buried munitions pose long after hostilities have ceased. Yet, the United States is among the few countries that have not signed a 1997 treaty banning their use. The Obama administration took a long overdue step this week by agreeing to destroy the bulk of… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Attorney General Eric Holder

"Attorney General Holder has been an extraordinary leader of the Department of Justice, and is to be congratulated for his service. Under his leadership, the Department has had remarkable success in convicting terrorists and disrupting threats to national security, while upholding the Department's mission of keeping our communities safe from crime and fighting fraud. I particularly appreciate how Attorney General Holder has restored the Civil Rights Division to its historical mission. His ded… Continue Reading


NEWS BACKGROUNDER from the Office of Senator Leahy On New Changes In U.S. Landmines Policy --

The United States now: will not use APL outside the Korean Peninsula; will not assist, encourage, or induce anyone outside the Korean Peninsula to engage in activity prohibited by the Ottawa Convention; and will undertake to destroy APL stockpiles not required for the defense of the Republic of Korea. This change to U.S. policy builds on the announcement in June that the U.S. will not produce or otherwise acquire any anti-personnel munitions that are not compliant with Ottawa, including … Continue Reading


Vt. Receives $1 Million To Reduce Prison Recidivism

(WEDNESDAY, Sept. 24, 2014) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced $1 million in federal funding to the Vermont Department of Corrections to meet statewide goals in reducing prison recidivism rates. Vermont was one of five states to receive funding from the U.S. Department of Justice for similar programs authorized by the Second Chance Act. Leahy said: "Reducing recidivism rates is a fundamental step to improving safety in communities around the country. Funding for this program… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Sentencing of Sulaiman Abu Ghayth

"The life sentence of Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghayth, shows once again the power and competence of our federal criminal court system, and the tremendous record prosecutors have had in securing criminal convictions in terrorism-related cases. Sending Abu Ghayth to Guantanamo would have been a serious mistake, and I commend President Obama, Attorney General Holder, and their national security team for rightly bringing him to face justice in federal criminal court. We can and s… Continue Reading


Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy To The White House Announcement Of Changes To U.S. Landmine Policy

"This is a crucial step that makes official what has been de facto U.S. practice for a decade and a half. The White House has recognized what our NATO allies declared long ago: These inherently indiscriminate weapons that disproportionately harm civilians have no place in the 21st Century, and those who use them should be condemned. I commend President Obama for taking this step, which brings U.S. policy closer to the international landmine ban treaty. It mirrors my legislation in 1997 cospo… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee,

As members of Congress prepare to head back to their home states, it is important to note that the 113th Congress does not end this week, or for that matter, on November 4. We still have a significant amount of unfinished business that must be resolved before the year's end, and the American people expect and deserve our commitment to getting that work done. I strongly support Majority Leader Reid's decision to reconvene the Senate shortly after the elections so that we can complete work on a … Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Judicial Nominations

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.),Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee,On Judicial NominationsSeptember 18, 2014 As the Senate prepares to go into recess, Senate Republicans are refusing to allow confirmation votes on the more than 20 judicial nominees who will now be stuck in limbo for months. There is no good reason why the Senate cannot confirm these nominees before the recess other than wholesale obstruction of a co-equal branch of government's nominees. The Senate Republicans' b… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On His Vote In Opposition To The Short-Term Continuing Resolution Including Authority For Arming Syrian Rebels

Mr. President, the Senate is about to vote on a continuing resolution to fund the federal government from October 1 to December 11. This vote should not be necessary. There is no good reason why we are not voting on fiscal year 2015 appropriations bills to fund the government the way we used to, rather than a continuing resolution that keeps the government on autopilot despite many new and compelling needs. Chairwoman Mikulski of the Appropriations Committee and her counterpart in the House… Continue Reading


Leahy Ushers Legislation To Reduce Rape Kit Backlogs Through The Senate Thursday Night

(THURSDAY, Sept. 18, 2014) - U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Thursday praised the Senate's passage of legislation to reauthorize the Debbie Smith DNA Backlog Reduction Program and urged Senators to support passage of a broader criminal justice bill - the Justice For All reauthorization bill - in the upcoming lameduck session. Leahy late Thursday brought the bill directly to the Senate Floor and asked unanimous consent for the Senate to pass it. He secured that… Continue Reading


Leahy: $650,000 In Grants Available To Organizations To Address Water Quality And Conservation Concerns On Lake Champlain

(THURSDAY, Sept. 18, 2014) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday joined the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) in announcing $650,000 in federal funding available to local watershed groups, towns and other organizations in Vermont and New York in the continued effort to implement a long-term management plan for Lake Champlain. The funding will play a key role in assisting local organizations respond to serious water quality and conservation concerns on the lake as well as working to enhance … Continue Reading


Leahy Bills OKd by Judiciary Committee…To Reduce Prison Recidivism And Crack Down On Human Trafficking Involving Runaway And Homeless Youths --

(Thursday, September 18, 2014) -- The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved bipartisan legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to reauthorize the Second Chance Act, a law that supports state and local reentry programs to reduce recidivism. In recent months, the Committee has considered ways to reduce prison costs for federal, state and local governments. Approval of the Second Chance Act on Thursday is the latest in that effort. The bill extends a 2008 law aimed at t… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch, Shumlin: $891,697 Awarded Under Farm Bill For Economic And Community Development In Northern Vermont

(THURSDAY, Sept. 18, 2014) - Vermont's congressional delegation -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D) - and Governor Peter Shumlin (D) Thursday announced that the State will receive $891,679 in Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) funds for economic development projects in Northern Vermont. This is a $400,000 increase over funds awarded in Vermont last year. The NBRC funds will be disbursed in five grants to five organizations in Nor… Continue Reading


Leahy Panel Hears Testimony Urging FCC To Support NET NEUTRALITY --

An Overwhelming Call To Protect A Free & Open Internet A record 3.7 million Americans have weighed in with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on its proposed rules to protect an open Internet. An overwhelming number of these comments from hardworking Americans called on the FCC to enact meaningful rules that will protect consumers and preserve competition online. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), author of the bicameral Online Competition and Consumer Ch… Continue Reading

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