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

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


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

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