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

02.26.13

Leahy: SJC To Hold Annual Sunshine Week Hearing

Senator Patrick Leahy announced Tuesday that the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a Freedom of Information Act oversight hearing next month entitled, "We the People: Fulfilling the Promise of Open Government Five Years After The OPEN Government Act." Leahy is a longtime advocate of open and transparent government, and has been a leader in Congress in advancing reforms to strengthen FOIA for more than three decades. In 1996 he was inducted into the FOIA Hall of Fame for his leadership and a… Continue Reading


02.26.13

Fraternal Order Of Police Is Latest Law Enforcement Org. To Endorse The Leahy Bill To Counter Gun Trafficking And Straw Purchasing

NATIONAL FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE® 328 MASSACHUSETTS AVE., N.E. WASHINGTON, DC 200PHONE 202-547-8189 • FAX 202-547-8190 CHUCK CANTERBURY JAMES O. PASCO, JR. NATIONAL PRESIDENT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR 25 February 2013 The Honorable Patrick J. Leahy Chairman Committee on the Judiciary United States Senate Washington, D.C. 20510 Dear Mr. Chairman, I … Continue Reading


02.26.13

On Eve Of Supreme Court Hearing, Leahy Spotlights Continuing Need For Voting Rights Act

As the Supreme Court prepares to hear challenges to the landmark Voting Rights Act this week, Senator Patrick Leahy highlighted the significant record that demonstrates the continuing need for this crucial law that protects minority voters from discrimination. Leahy, who had a lead role in reauthorizing the law in 2006, noted that the high court's consideration of a challenge to the law will come on the same day that Congressional leaders honor the legacy of civil rights icon Rosa Parks by unve… Continue Reading


02.25.13

Republicans Reverse Position, Vote Unanimously To Support Bacharach Nomination

After voting to filibuster the consensus nominee last year, Senate Republicans voted Monday night to approve the nomination of Robert Bacharach to serve on the 10th Circuit. Bacharach, whose nomination has lagged a total of 228 days on the executive calendar since last year, was unanimously approved in a roll call vote of 93-0. Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) welcomed the approval of Bacharach's nomination, but warned that further obstruction of consensus judicial picks will … Continue Reading


02.25.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Continuing Need for the Landmark Voting Rights Act

Less than seven years ago, Republicans and Democrats in the Senate and in the House of Representatives joined together to reauthorize key expiring provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. We explained and documented our findings that this landmark civil rights law was still needed because of continuing discrimination and to preserve the progress that had been made. Because of this extensive record and the acceptance of the Voting Rights Act's importance in our country, our 2006 reauthoriza… Continue Reading


02.25.13

Leahy: House VAWA Bill A Poor, Partisan Alternative

Nearly two weeks after the Senate overwhelmingly passed the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) called on the House of Representatives to put aside partisan politics and act in the same bipartisan manner to pass this important legislation. Leahy's comments on the floor came as the House is poised to begin consideration of a Republican alternative to VAWA that omits vital protections and bipartisan provisions that were includ… Continue Reading


02.25.13

Leahy, Sanders, Welch: Vermont NeighborWorks Groups Garner $427,230 To Help Vermonters Find Affordable Rental Housing

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) and Rep. Peter Welch (D) Monday announced that NeighborWorks will be awarding $427,230 in federal funds to help inform Vermonters about homeownership and to preserve and develop affordable rental housing. This first round of 2013 grants allocates federal budget funds for the first half of the fiscal year. NeighborWorks is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving distressed communities. The NeighborWorks America program is awarding five c… Continue Reading


02.22.13

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On House Republicans’ Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act

[House Republicans today filed their version of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, which the House is scheduled to debate next week. The House version omits vital protections and bipartisan provisions that were included in the Senate bill authored by Senator Patrick Leahy, which was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate last week. Leahy worked closely with stakeholders and members from both parties to craft bipartisan legislation that won 78 votes in the Senate, including all women … Continue Reading


02.15.13

Sen. Leahy, Gov. Shumlin Announce Agreement and Funding for the Redevelopment of a State Office Complex Building for Affordable Housing

WATERBURY - U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy and Gov. Peter Shumlin today announced a $950,000 award from the Agency of Commerce and Community Development to redevelop Ladd Hall in Waterbury into 27 new homes. The project is made possible by a recent agreement by the state to transfer ownership of the building and include affordable housing in the redevelopment of the State Office Complex. Joining them was Regional Administrator Barbara Fields from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development… Continue Reading


02.15.13

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Department Of Justice Announcement Of New Forensics Initiative

[FRIDAY, Feb. 15-The Department of Justice and National Institute of Standards and Technology announced Friday a new commitment to improving the use of forensic science through the establishment of a National Commission on Forensic Science. Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a former prosecutor, introduced the Criminal Justice and Forensic Science Reform Act in the last Congress to improve the use of forensic evidence in criminal cases, and he held a hearing on the issue… Continue Reading


02.14.13

SJC Sends 13 Judicial Nominees To Full Senate

- The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved thirteen judicial nominees, including two circuit court nominees, who all had to be renominated at the start of this year. Caitlin Halligan, nominated to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and Patty Shwartz, nominated to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, each won committee approval last year but were ultimately denied action on the Senate floor before the 112th Congress adjourned. Both were renominated by President Barack Obama in January… Continue Reading


02.14.13

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Nomination Of Chuck Hagel To Be Secretary of Defense

The Senate has before us the President's nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense. I strongly support this nomination, and I urge all Senators to support it. At a time of fiscal austerity, we need a leader at the Pentagon who understands what it takes to maintain the strongest military force in the world. Senator Hagel, a former enlisted soldier, understands defense policy and practice from the ground up. He is such a leader. Senator Hagel is experienced by any me… Continue Reading


02.13.13

Senate Votes To Confirm First Judicial Nominee This Year

The Senate voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to confirm William Kayatta, a circuit court nominee whose nomination has lagged for ten months since he was first reported by the Judiciary Committee last year. Senator Patrick Leahy welcomed the Senate's approval of Kayatta's nomination to the First Circuit, which received 88 bipartisan votes on the floor, and called on Senators to take up and vote on other pending nominees to reduce the judicial backlog plaguing the nation's courts. "While it is go… Continue Reading


02.13.13

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Obama Administration’s Cybersecurity Executive Order

[U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Wednesday after President Barack Obama announced in his State of the Union address Tuesday night an executive order to improve cybersecurity.] "I appreciate the President's Executive Order to strengthen our cybersecurity. Developing a comprehensive national cybersecurity strategy is one of the most serious and threatening unmet needs confronting the nation. Now Congress must do its part and enact m… Continue Reading


02.13.13

Leahy And Collins Introduce Bipartisan Uniting American Families Act

Senator Patrick Leahy and Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) on Wednesday introduced bipartisan legislation to update U.S. immigration law to permit American citizens to sponsor same-sex "permanent partners" applying for legal residency in the United States. The Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) would allow American citizens who are in long term committed relationships to sponsor their foreign partners for green cards under the family immigration system, just as heterosexual married couples ar… Continue Reading


02.13.13

The Leahy Letter -- VAWA Special Edition

The Leahy Violence Against Women Act Passes Senate Senator Leahy hailed Senate passage Tuesday of his Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA), which will renew and strengthen VAWA's proven efforts to prevent and remedy domestic and sexual violence and help victims. The bipartisan Leahy-Crapo bill (Senator Mike Crapo of Idaho is his lead Republican cosponsor of the Leahy bill) passed in a strong vote of 78 to 22. The bill now goes to the House for consideration, and Senator Leahy i… Continue Reading


02.13.13

Judiciary Committee Holds First Senate Hearing On Immigration Reform In New Congress

(Wednesday, February 13, 2013) - The Senate Judiciary Committee is currently holding a hearing entitled, "Comprehensive Immigration Reform." Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) scheduled the hearing to focus on one of Congress's top legislative priorities this year. 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 "Comprehensive Immigration Re… Continue Reading


02.12.13

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The President’s State Of The Union Message

The challenges the President outlined are difficult, but they are solvable. The job of political leaders is to find solutions, on issues which range from strengthening the economy and creating jobs, to deficit reduction and investing in our future. We need to move beyond the recent pattern of obstruction at any cost. Festering problems only worsen, and lost opportunities are wasteful. It will mean hard work, but that is not a sufficient reason to do nothing. The strong, bipartisan Senate pa… Continue Reading


02.12.13

Leahy, Crapo Hail Senate Passage Of Bipartisan VAWA Reauthorization

(Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) hailed Senate passage Tuesday of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA), a bipartisan bill cosponsored by a total of 62 Senators which won 78 votes on the Senate floor. The measure now goes to the House for consideration. "There is strong, bipartisan support for VAWA reauthorization, and together we can finally finish what we started last year," said Leahy, the lead author of the VAWA bill… Continue Reading


02.12.13

Senate Overwhelmingly Backs Leahy Amendment To Combat Human Trafficking

(Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013) - U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) hailed the Senate's overwhelming and bipartisan adoption Tuesday of an amendment to the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) that would combat human trafficking. Leahy's amendment, adopted with the support of 93 Senators from both parties and states all over the country, would reauthorize the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPRA). The reauthorization provides law enforcement the tools th… Continue Reading

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