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

06.17.13

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Nominations of Judge Luis Restrepo and Kenneth Gonzales

Last week the Senate failed to complete action on one of the three nominations pending for vacancies in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Even though Senate Democrats had expedited three of President Bush's nominees to that court, confirming them all by voice vote just one day after they had been reported by the Judiciary Committee, Senate Republicans refused to do the same for President Obama's nominees. They refused even though all three had the bipartisan support of their home state Sen… Continue Reading


06.17.13

D.C. Circuit Court Nominees To Appear Before SJC Next Month

[Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Monday that the Judiciary Committee will next month begin confirmation hearings for President Barack Obama's nominees to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court is currently one-third vacant, and earlier this month the President nominated Patricia Millett, Nina Pillard, and Judge Robert Wilkins to fill the open seats.] Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.),Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Recent Nominations to the Circuit Court of… Continue Reading


06.17.13

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Supreme Court’s Decision In Alleyne v. United States

The Supreme Court ruled today in Alleyne v. United States that facts underlying a mandatory minimum sentence must be proved to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt. Previously, these sentences could be imposed using a much lower standard of proof and without a jury finding. The Court's decision overrules prior case law that allowed severe mandatory sentences to be imposed based on this lower standard. Justice Thomas, in his opinion for the majority, concluded that this practice violated the Sixth… Continue Reading


06.17.13

Leahy: Vulnerable Populations Must Be Protected

Vital safety net programs that protect immigrant women and children should not be stripped during the Senate's consideration of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said Monday. Some lawmakers are seeking to deny or significantly delay protections currently in the bipartisan legislation that would help individuals who will apply for Registered Provisional Immigrant status, but Leahy said such protections … Continue Reading


06.17.13

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Supreme Court Decision On Reverse Patent Settlements

The Supreme Court issued a 5-3 decision Monday in the case FTC v. Actavis. The Court reversed the Eleventh Circuit's decision, which had held that so-called "reverse-payment settlements" are immune from antitrust challenge if the anticompetitive effects fall within the scope of the patent term. "In early 2007, I chaired a hearing raising concerns about reverse-payment settlements between brand-name and generic pharmaceutical companies that are harming consumers and raising health care costs.… Continue Reading


06.13.13

Leahy Statement On ATF Nominee

(Thursday, June 13, 2013) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) entered the following statement into the Record Thursday regarding the nomination of B. Todd Jones to serve as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Jones was nominated to the post in January and appeared before the Judiciary Committee for a confirmation hearing this week. # # # # # Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the… Continue Reading


06.13.13

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Nominations of Judge Nitza Quiñones Alejandro and Judge Jeffrey Schmehl

There are currently three nominations pending for vacancies in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. All three of these nominees have the bipartisan support of their home state Senators, Democratic Senator Bob Casey and Republican Senator Pat Toomey. All three were reported unanimously by the Judiciary Committee three months ago. Yet Senate Republicans are permitting votes on only two of them. They are forcing Judge Luis Restrepo to continue to wait for a vote, even though he would fill a se… Continue Reading


06.12.13

#CIRfloor: Immigration Reform Bill Includes Strong Border Protections

From The Senate Judiciary Committee Majority Staff S. 744: The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act Immigration Reform Bill Includes Strong Border Protections Both Republican and Democratic Senators acknowledge the pending immigration reform bill will take extraordinary steps to further secure the nation's borders. "For the last several months - even before a bill was drafted - we have heard some people argue that we cannot proceed with immigration reform … Continue Reading


06.12.13

Air Force Opens Initial Comment Period On F-35 Basing

Senator Leahy received notice from the Air Force that it has initiated a comment period lasting through July 16, 2013, on the revised draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). All interested Vermonters should provide their comments in writing to Mr. Nick Germanos, F-35A EIS Project Manager, HQ ACC/A7NS, 129 Andrews Street, Suite 332, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia 23665-2769. For additional information, please contact Ms. Kathy White at the Air Combat Command Public Affairs Office at (757) 7… Continue Reading


06.12.13

Immigration Reform Must Be Comprehensive To Be Effective

Significant border security provisions in the sweeping immigration bill before the Senate should clear the way for broader reform this year, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said in a floor statement Wednesday. Leahy, who successfully added two border-related amendments to the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act during Committee consideration last month, noted the legislation appropriates money for fence building and boosts the number… Continue Reading


06.12.13

Leahy Files Amendments To Immigration Reform Bill

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Tuesday filed three amendments to the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, including an amendment to provide equal protection to lawfully married bi-national same sex couples that other spouses receive under existing immigration law. Leahy said such an amendment, which can be viewed online, would "remove discrimination from our immigration system." "Seeking equal protection under our laws for the … Continue Reading


06.12.13

Senator Leahy and Senator Carper Letter On S. 744, The Border Security, Economic Opportunity And Immigration Modernization Act

June 11, 2013 Dear Colleague, As the Senate prepares to take up S.744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, as amended, we write to draw your attention to the strong border security provisions in the bill. As chairmen of the Judiciary Committee and the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, we have conducted extensive oversight of the Department of Homeland Security and its enforcement record. The United States has made significant prog… Continue Reading


06.11.13

Senate Begins Consideration Of Historic Immigration Legislation

The Senate moved Tuesday to begin consideration of the bipartisan the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, the comprehensive immigration reform bill. Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who is managing the bill on the Senate floor, called on lawmakers to pass the measure and send it to the House for consideration. "We should send to the House the best bill that we can," Leahy said. "We should do what is right, what is fair, and what is just… Continue Reading


06.11.13

Vermont Highlights Of The 2013 Farm Bill

Here is a summary of many of the Vermont highlights of the Senate-passed Farm Bill: Dairy The Senate's Farm Bill includes new dairy provisions to replace the MILC safety net. The new approach, endorsed by major dairy producers in Vermont, creates a federally subsidized margin insurance program. A key element of this new program is a "market stabilization" provision that would discourage over-supply of milk. "This new safety net approach will help us break the harmful cycle of rollercoasterin… Continue Reading


06.11.13

Statement Of Administration Policy: S. 744 - Boder Security, Economic Opportunity And Immigration Modernization Act

EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET WASHINGTON, D.C. 20503 June 11, 2013 (Senate) STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY S. 744 - Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (Sen. Schumer, D-NY, an… Continue Reading


06.11.13

The bill before the Senate received fair, full and transparent consideration in the Judiciary Committee

From The Senate Judiciary Committee Majority Staff S. 744: The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization ActA Fair And Open Process The Senate has begun floor discussion of S.744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. The comprehensive immigration reform bill will make the first truly meaningful reforms to the nation's immigration system in a generation, and it is the product of hours of markup and debate in the Senate Judicia… Continue Reading


06.11.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), On Passage of The Senate Farm Bill, S. 954

Across Vermont's food system, businesses are starting, expanding, and creating good jobs. Ever more local food is available in stores, restaurants, and institutions throughout the state and in greater supply, for more months of the year. Important programs are reaching more food insecure Vermonters with fresh, healthy food. Thanks to the Senate Farm Bill we will continue to see these improvements in Vermont and across the country Nationwide agriculture supports 16 million jobs. In Vermont our … Continue Reading


06.10.13

Senate Adopts Leahy Amendment To Invest in Gigabit Broadband Networks In Rural Areas

Senate Adopts Leahy Amendment To Invest in Gigabit Broadband Networks In Rural Areas WASHINGTON (MONDAY, June 10, 2013) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday won passage of his amendment to the Farm Bill to establish a pilot program within the Rural Utilities Service Broadband Program to invest in broadband projects offering ultra-high speed gigabit Internet service in rural areas. Leahy's amendment was approved in a vote of 48 to 38, just before the Senate gave final passage to the Farm Bill… Continue Reading


06.10.13

Leahy And Sanders Herald New Dairy Program In Senate-Passed Farm Bill

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said a farm bill that the Senate approved Monday includes dairy safety net provisions that would help Vermont's family farms. The Farm Bill was approved in a final passage vote of 66 to 27. The new dairy program would replace the existing price supports and direct payments under the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program with a voluntary insurance program that will help protect farm income when profit margins shrink to unsustain… Continue Reading


06.10.13

The Time Is Now To Consider Comprehensive Immigration Reform

(Monday, June 10, 2013) -In a floor statement Monday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy said the Senate should consider comprehensive immigration reform in an open manner that "will promote the public's engagement in this process as it did during the Committee's consideration of the legislation." First, Leahy noted, Senators should support a procedural motion to consider the bipartisan measure. "The legislation before us is the result of a bipartisan group of Senators who came … Continue Reading

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