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


Chairman Patrick Leahy State Department And Foreign Operations Subcommittee Opening Remarks Full Committee Markup FY 2015 State, Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill

I want to thank the Chairwoman and Ranking Member Shelby for the support they and their staffs have given the subcommittee. And I thank Senator Graham for his input and support. This bill is better because of it. I also want to thank the staff: Paul Grove and Adam Yezerski for the Minority, and Tim Rieser, Janet Stormes, and Alex Carnes for the Majority. They have worked as a team, as they always do. We could not have produced this bill without the dedicated, hard work of the editorial an… Continue Reading


SJC Approves 13 Judicial Nominees

(Thursday, June 19, 2014) - The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved 13 nominees to fill judicial vacancies and began discussion of bipartisan legislation authored by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to reauthorize the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act. Six of the nominees approved on Thursday would fill emergency vacancies, including two emergency vacancies on the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. Another nominee, Ronnie White, was first nominated in 1997 by Preside… Continue Reading


Harkin, Eight Senate Democrats Introduce Bill to Restore Overtime Protections for American Workers

Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, along with eight Senate Democrats, introduced legislation to restore overtime protections for low- and mid-wage salaried workers. The Restoring Overtime Pay for Working Americans Act would help to restore the 40-hour workweek for these workers. Today, only 12 percent of salaried workers are guaranteed overtime pay based on their salaries, compared to 65 percent in 1975. This bill wou… Continue Reading



− The Senate State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Subcommittee today approved a fiscal year 2015 bill that provides $48.285 billion in discretionary budget authority to project U.S. leadership and protect a wide array of U.S. security, humanitarian and economic interests around the world. Of this amount, $8.625 billion is for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) in the frontline states (Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq) and other areas in political transition (incl… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Capture of Ahmed Abu Khattala

"I congratulate our brave troops and the skilled men and women of the Justice Department and the FBI, under the leadership of Attorney General Holder, Director Comey and Secretary Hagel, for the capture of Ahmed Abu Khattala. I look forward to his prosecution in the U.S. court system. That is what Americans do when faced with murderers and terrorists - we prove their guilt and hold them accountable for what they have done. We will try Khattala just as we have successfully tried more than 500 … Continue Reading


Senator Leahy and Congresswoman Matsui Introduce Landmark Net Neutrality Legislation

Today, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA), member of the House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee, introduced bicameral legislation to require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to ban so-called "paid prioritization" agreements between a broadband provider and a content provider. The Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act would help prevent the creation of a two-tiered Internet … Continue Reading


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

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