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


Leahy Announces June 25 Hearing On The Voting Rights Amendment Act

(Monday, June 16, 2014) - Next week, on the one year anniversary of the Supreme Court's devastating Shelby County decision that gutted the core of the Voting Rights Act, the Senate Judiciary Committee will meet to hear testimony about bicameral legislation to strengthen the original law. The hearing, entitled "The Voting Rights Amendment Act, S.1945: Updating the Voting Rights Act in Response to Shelby County v. Holder," will occur exactly one year after the Court issued its divided opinion th… Continue Reading


Judiciary Chairman Leahy's REAX To FCC Announcement to Review Internet Interconnection Agreements

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On FCC Announcement to Review Internet Interconnection Agreements June 13, 2014 "I welcome Chairman Wheeler's announcement that the FCC will focus on interconnection issues. Shining more light on how content is delivered across the backbone of the Internet is an important step in ensuring that consumers receive the service they are paying for. As I said during the Judiciary Committee's hearing on the Comcast-Time… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee On the 47th Anniversary of Loving v. Virginia

On June 12, 1967, during a period of significant political and racial tension in our Nation, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous landmark decision in Loving v. Virginia that overturned laws banning interracial marriage. This decision ushered in a transformative moment in American history. As we approach the first anniversary of another landmark Supreme Court decision in the Windsor case, we should remember the foundational work that was laid when the Supreme Court came together nearly 50 year… Continue Reading


Leahy Steers Crawford Nomination Through Senate Judiciary Committee

(THURSDAY, June 12, 2014) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday secured unanimous bipartisan committee approval of the nomination of Vermont Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Crawford for an upcoming vacancy on Vermont's U.S. District Court. Crawford earned unanimous support by the committee for his nomination to fill the vacancy that will occur this weekend, on June 15, when Judge William Sessions takes senior status. Leahy, who recommended Justice Crawford to the … Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, Executive Business Meeting

This morning we have a full agenda and I hope we can make some progress. We have 15 judicial nominees that can be reported out today with some cooperation and an important bipartisan bill introduced by Senator Coons and cosponsored by most of us here. As the senior Senator from Vermont, I can tell you that it is very rare that we have a judicial nominee before us from my home state because we only have two authorized district court judgeships. Today, I hope the Committee will report the nominat… Continue Reading


Leahy Praises Progress On VA Reform

"Today's action in the Senate is an important step toward making much needed changes at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Senator Sanders has taken a strong leadership role in crafting the bipartisan Veterans' Access to Care Through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act, which will give the new VA leadership important tools to improve accountability, and provide veterans additional choices for receiving prompt care when they need it. The House of Representatives should act quickly on … Continue Reading


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

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Wednesday on Committee consideration of several judicial nominations from the State of Georgia at this week's executive business meeting. The Committee will consider six nominees from Georgia, four of which would fill emergency vacancies. Five of the six nominees are women.] "This week, the Judiciary Committee will begin consideration of a number of important judicial nominations. After consulting with Rank… Continue Reading


Leahy Chairs Oversight Hearing On Department Of Homeland Security With Secretary Johnson

(Wednesday, June 11, 2014) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is chairing an oversight hearing this morning of the Department of Homeland Security. Secretary Jeh Johnson is testifying before the panel for his first oversight hearing since he was confirmed to lead the Department last 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 Oversi… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On the “Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act”

Tomorrow, the Senate will vote to proceed to a bill that I am proud to cosponsor, to allow students to refinance their student loans at lower interest rates. We must take this commonsense approach to allow those with student loans to take advantage of historically low interest rates. It should go without saying that student loan costs should not rise so high that students cannot repay. Yet in recent years, average college tuition rates have climbed faster than inflation, far outp… Continue Reading


Leahy, Grassley Introduce Legislation to Reauthorize Soon-To-Expire Satellite TV Law

(Tuesday, June 10, 2014) - U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced legislation Tuesday to reauthorize the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act, a law known as "STELA" that provides certain consumers access to distant broadcast television content by satellite. STELA's current authorization expires at the end of the year. In order to ensure a timely reauthorization so that satellite custo… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Committee On The Judiciary, On The Department Of Justice’s Initiative To Ensure Access To Voting For Native Americans and Alaska Natives

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Monday praised the Department of Justice for taking steps to ensure that those living on tribal lands have access to voting. Leahy is the author of the bipartisan Voting Rights Amendment Act.] "I welcome Attorney General Holder's comments about starting a conversation with sovereign tribes to address the very real obstacles that the American Indian and Alaska Native populations have in casting their vote. Whether it involves inacces… Continue Reading


Leahy Praises Inclusion Of Commission On The Future Of The Army In Defense Authorization Bill

(MONDAY, June 9, 2014) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), co-chair of the Senate National Guard Caucus, praised the inclusion of a provision to establish a National Commission on the Future of the Army in the Senate Armed Service Committee's mark of the Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act. The independent review panel will evaluate major changes proposed in the President's budget for the Army and National Guard. In the meantime the proposed law will freeze the transfer of most A… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Sanders-McCain VA Bill

"I commend Senator Sanders and Senator McCain for putting veterans' needs above all the partisan finger pointing. We need to put things right in the VA health system, we need to do it promptly, and that can only happen if we work together."… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Government Surveillance And Senate Consideration Of The USA FREEDOM Act

"One year after Americans first learned that the government was secretly collecting massive amounts of Americans' phone records, I am pleased that there is now a groundswell of support for the USA FREEDOM Act that I introduced with Congressman Sensenbrenner last year. The House took an important step last month by approving a modified version of our bill, but at this historic moment, we cannot stop there. We must restore the nation's role as a beacon of individual freedoms, under the rule of l… Continue Reading


Remarks of Senator Patrick Leahy Full Committee Mark-up Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill

I very much appreciate the hard work of Senators Mikulski and Shelby to protect so many important programs for law enforcement, victims, and other key issues in the fiscal year 2015 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. I would like to thank the Chairwoman Mikulski and Ranking Member Shelby for including additional resources for state task forces working to combat the emerging heroin crisis that has particularly impacted Vermont. It is a crisis that impacts too m… Continue Reading


[BREAKING --] Leahy: Key Panel Thursday Advances Bill To Set Up New Federal Agency Anti-Heroin Task Force And Fund New Anti-Heroin Grant Program For State Task Forces

The Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday approved a new anti-heroin grant program for state-based drug task forces and directs the Justice Department to produce an interagency action plan at the federal level. The unprecedented steps targeting the sharp rise of heroin and opioid addiction in New England states like Vermont and in communities across the nation reflect top priorities of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) in the annual Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations … Continue Reading


Leahy Introduces Transparency In Cost Of Veterans Care Act

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday introduced legislation to close what he said is a wasteful loophole in Veterans Administration' (VA) construction project accounting. He said his bill would save tax dollars and improve veterans' access to convenient health care when VA facilities are closed for renovation or expansion. Speaking Wednesday on the Senate Floor, Leahy said, "As various techniques for gaming the system used by too many VA employees have come to light, one truth is acknowle… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Needed Reforms at the Department of Veterans Affairs

Mr. President, following the resignation of Secretary Shinseki last week, it is time for some deep soul-searching about the future of the Department of Veterans Affairs. As details slowly emerge from the inspector general's investigation, I am struck by a disturbing aspect of organizational culture within the VA that prioritizes meeting goals and checking boxes instead of providing true quality care for veterans. Secretary Shinseki himself was a decorated veteran, and I am sure he must have been… Continue Reading


Leahy Holds Hearing On Constitutional Amendment To Rein In Massive Campaign Spending

(Tuesday, June 3, 2014) - The Senate Judiciary Committee is currently holding a hearing titled "Examining a Constitutional Amendment to Restore Democracy to the American People." The hearing's focus is on a constitutional amendment in response to the Supreme Court's decisions regarding campaign finance and money in politics. It also marks the first time ever that the Majority and Minority leaders in the Senate will testify before the Judiciary Committee to speak on a policy matter. Testimony, me… Continue Reading


Canaan Elementary School

On June 2, Senator Leahy held an online chat with Canaan Elementary School. The Senator discussed with both the teachers and the students about how laws are made and the difficult elements of being a United States Senator. This online chat was held on one of 25 computers at Canaan that were donated through the Computers for Schools program, which is run by the United States Senate Sargent at Arms. Each year, Computers for Schools distributes used computers to different schools across the count… Continue Reading

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