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

03.07.13

Leahy’s Bipartisan Legislation To Support Victims of Domestic And Sexual Violence Signed Into Law

The reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), signed into law today by President Barack Obama, will strengthen programs and policies meant to prevent domestic and sexual violence and protect victims, ensuring continued services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Senators Patrick Leahy and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), the bill's lead Senate authors, both attended a White House signing ceremony Thursday that they said was long overdue but a bright spot in a divided Congr… Continue Reading


03.07.13

SJC Approves Bipartisan Legislation to Combat Gun Trafficking Authored By Chairman Leahy

-- The Senate Judiciary Committee, on a bipartisan vote, Thursday approved legislation authored by Chairman Patrick Leahy and coauthored by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) that would for the first time explicitly make illegal the abusive practice of straw purchasing and trafficking of firearms. The committee vote is the first legislative vote on measures related to gun violence in either the Senate or the House since the Newtown tragedy, and it comes amid a markup session scheduled by Leahy on fou… Continue Reading


03.06.13

Republicans Block Highly Qualified Circuit Court Nominee

Senator Patrick Leahy expressed great disappointment Wednesday after Republicans blocked the nomination of Caitlin Halligan, a highly qualified judicial nominee, to serve on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Leahy noted that Senate Republicans previous statements about working together on judicial nominations in order to fix a broken system were nothing more than empty pledges. "Republican Senators who were part of the Gang of 14 just a few years ago, others who said they would never filibust… Continue Reading


03.05.13

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Restoring Users’ Ability to Unlock Their Cellphones

[Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday announced that he will explore solutions to restore the exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that permits consumers to unlock their mobile phones to access competing wireless providers after their contracts expire. Such action would reverse an October rulemaking by the Library of Congress that prohibits mobile phone unlocking for new phones. The White House announced Monday that the Administration supports restori… Continue Reading


03.05.13

Senate Should Confirm Highly Qualified D.C. Circuit Court Nominee

Senator Patrick Leahy Tuesday called on Republicans to act in a bipartisan manner to vote on the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to fill a vacancy on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Halligan previously served as solicitor general of New York, and President Barack Obama first nominated her to the D.C. Circuit in September 2010. She has been nominated a total of five times, most recently January of this year. Halligan's nomination is strongly supported by the law enforcement community, and if… Continue Reading


03.05.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy on Women's History Month

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On the Commemoration of Women's History Month and the Centennial Women's Suffrage March February 28, 2013 Tomorrow we will begin commemoration of Women's History Month -- an annual occasion to celebrate and honor the many contributions of women to American history, culture and society. Since our Nation's founding, generations of women have fought injustice and broken down barriers at home, in the workplace and in their communities in pursuit of the American… Continue Reading


03.04.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Nominations of Pamela Chen and Katherine Failla March 4, 2013

[The Senate on Monday night approved two long-pending district court nominees who have been awaiting floor action since last year. With the two confirmation votes tonight, there are now 68 district court vacancies throughout country and 10 district court nominees pending on the Senate calendar.] Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Nominations of Pamela Chen and Katherine Failla Last week, Congress failed to act to avoid indiscriminate across… Continue Reading


03.04.13

Next Stop For Domestic Violence Bill: The President’s Desk

[PHOTOS] Next Stop For Domestic Violence Bill: The President's Desk WASHINGTON (Monday, March 4, 2013) -- Senate President Pro Tem Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday signed the newly passed Leahy-Crapo Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) bill - the last stop before it reaches the President to be signed into law. Two photos are available at the links below. Bills passed by the House and Senate are engrossed and then signed by House Speaker John Boehner and Senate President Pro Tem… Continue Reading


03.04.13

Bipartisan Senators Announce Agreement On Legislation to Combat Gun Trafficking

Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) unveiled on Monday a new bill to combat straw purchasing and gun trafficking that will be considered by the Judiciary Committee later this week. The Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2013 provides law enforcement officials with the tools they need to investigate and prosecute the all-too-common practices of gun trafficking and straw purchasing, where an in… Continue Reading


03.01.13

Leahy And More Than 200 Other Members Of Congress File Historic Amicus Brief On DOMA Case Before U.S. Supreme Court

- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy Friday joined in filing an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court in U.S. v. Edith Schlain Windsor, a landmark challenge to Section 3 of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA. Leahy is a leading cosponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal DOMA, and as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee he presided over an historic hearing on DOMA in June 2011. Key findings from that hearing are frequently cited in … Continue Reading


02.28.13

Feinstein, Leahy, McGovern Introduce Bill To Restrict Use of Cluster Munitions

-- U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday introduced the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act, a bill to restrict the use and deployment of dangerous cluster munitions. Congressman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives. Cluster bombs are canisters designed to open in the air before making contact, dispersing between 200 and 400 small munitions that can saturate a radius of 250 yards. The bombs are inten… Continue Reading


02.28.13

THE LEAHY LETTER News Update: Today The Leahy-Crapo Violence Against Women Act Cleared Its Final Hurdle And Heads To The President’s Desk

The House of Representatives today voted overwhelmingly to pass the Senate's bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA), sending the bill to the President for signature after months of delay. Senator Patrick Leahy, lead author of the legislation, applauded the House's move of casting partisanship aside and taking up the consensus, Senate measure. Leahy, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee and now also is President Pro Tem of the Senate, successfully pressed to make VAWA a… Continue Reading


02.28.13

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Sequestration’s Devastating Impacts on Vermont Senate Floor Thursday, February 28, 2013

Earlier this week, I shared with the Senate the consequences of sequestration for the budget of the Department of State and foreign operations, and its impact on the security of the United States. Funding for the entire Department of State and foreign operations budget amounts to only about one percent of the Federal budget, not the 15 or 20 percent some mistakenly believe. That one percent includes funding to operate our embassies and consulates in over 290 countries, to carry out diplomacy i… Continue Reading


02.28.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act

Mr. President, I am pleased to join with my friend from California, Senator Feinstein, in introducing the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act of 2013. It is identical to the bill that she and I have introduced in prior years, and I commend her for her persistence on this important humanitarian issue. I come to this issue having devoted much effort over many years to shining a spotlight on and doing what can be done to help innocent victims of war. In the last century, and continuing … Continue Reading


02.28.13

[BREAKING] Leahy Hails House Passage of Bipartisan Senate VAWA Bill

The House of Representatives today voted overwhelmingly to pass the Senate's bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA), sending the bill to the President for signature after months of delay. Senator Patrick Leahy, lead author of the legislation, applauded the House's move of casting partisanship aside and taking up the consensus, Senate measure. Leahy, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee and now also is President Pro Tem of the Senate, successfully pressed to make VAWA … Continue Reading


02.28.13

SJC Begins Consideration Of Legislation To Curb Gun Violence

- The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday began consideration of four proposals relating to gun violence that will continued to be marked up next week. Senator Patrick Leahy, lead author of legislation that would make illegal the dangerous practice of straw purchasing and illegal trafficking in firearms, indicated in his January speech outlining the Committee's agenda that addressing gun violence would be a top legislative priority this year. The Committee has held three hearings since Jan. … Continue Reading


02.27.13

Leahy: SJC To Hold DOJ Oversight Hearing Next Week

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold an oversight hearing of the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday, March 6, Senator Patrick Leahy announced today. Attorney General Eric Holder will testify at the hearing. The Senate Judiciary Committee has held periodic oversight hearings of DOJ with the Attorney General. Next week will mark Holder's eighth appearance before the Committee as Attorney General. The oversight hearing will be held on Wednesday, March 6, at 9:30 a.m., in room 226 of t… Continue Reading


02.26.13

Link To Guest Column By Senator Leahy In USA Today: House Must Pass The Violence Against Women Act:

http://www.leahy.senate.gov/external_link/index.cfm?location=http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/02/26/violence-against-women-act-leahy/1948693/… Continue Reading


02.26.13

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Senate’s Confirmation Of Chuck Hagel As Secretary Of Defense

"I worked across the aisle with Chuck Hagel in the Senate, and I have traveled with him to war zones. He has the integrity, and he has the ability, for what it will take to steer the Defense Department through the challenges that lie ahead. He is well prepared, and he learned defense policy and practice from the ground up. Our troops are not alone in recognizing the significance of having a Secretary of Defense who will be the first to have served as an enlisted member of our armed forces." … Continue Reading


02.26.13

In Bipartisan Letter To Speaker Boehner, Senators Call On House To Act On Senate-Passed Violence Against Women Act

In Bipartisan Letter To Speaker Boehner, Senators Call On House To Act On Senate-Passed Violence Against Women Act WASHINGTON (TUESDAY, Feb. 26)- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the lead author of the Senate's Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, sent a bipartisan letter with Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) Tuesday to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), urging him to bring up the Senate-passed bill rather than act on a partisan measure. The House is po… Continue Reading

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