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

11.14.12

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Judicial Nominations

Now that the elections are over, I renew my call for all of us to come together to do what is right and to act in the interests of the American people. We should come together to avert the fiscal cliff and the automatic cuts that will otherwise occur in domestic and defense spending. I am hopeful that, working together, Democrats and Republicans can come to an agreement so that we can avoid sequestration. The automatic cuts from sequestration would further damage our Federal courts. Accordi… Continue Reading


11.13.12

Vermont To Receive Infusion Of Home Heating Assistance

(Tuesday, Nov. 13) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) announced on Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is releasing $17.69 million in home heating assistance funding to Vermont. The congressional delegation has been calling for the release of these funds and the continued support of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This funding is part of a nationwide release of $3.1 billion in LI… Continue Reading


10.25.12

Leahy Marks Free Speech Week With Keynote Speech Before The Media Institute

(Thursday, October 25, 2012) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a leading voice on First Amendment issues, today delivered the keynote address to the First Amendment Advisory Council of the Media Institute to celebrate Free Speech Week. Leahy is the leading author of the 2010 SPEECH Act, a law to protect American authors from foreign libel lawsuits. He has been critical of foreign governments that restrict free speech on the Internet. Co-founder and co-chair of the Cong… Continue Reading


10.22.12

Leahy Participates In Opening Of Major New Industrial Park In Earthquake-Ravaged Haiti

(MONDAY, Oct. 22, 2012) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday is visiting Haiti with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former President Bill Clinton and others for the official opening of a $300 million industrial park in the earthquake-ravaged Caribbean nation that is intended to create thousands of jobs and help transform the economy of the impoverished nation. Monday's ceremonies mark the opening of Carocol Industrial Park, a public-private partnership in Cap-Haitien, on the northern coa… Continue Reading


10.21.12

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Death Of Former Senator George McGovern (D-S.D.)

"He was an authentic American original. He was a brave hero of World War II, flying far more dangerous missions than he was required to. He loved his country and he hewed to all the greatness that his country and its people have to offer. He gave his voice to those without voice or clout in the halls of policymaking. He challenged the conventional wisdom during a difficult period in our history when many lives might have been spared if his wisdom had been heeded. "After he left the Senate, I… Continue Reading


10.18.12

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Federal Appeals Court Ruling On The Defense Of Marriage Act

[Senator Leahy is a leading cosponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). He chaired the first-ever congressional hearing examining the effects of DOMA on American families. As Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he led the panel's consideration of the legislation. The Committee approved the bill in November 2011.] "This latest court decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals echoes testimony heard during an historic hearing be… Continue Reading


10.17.12

Leahy: Vt. Law Enforcement Agencies Receive Federal Grants To Buy Bulletproof Vests For Their Officers

(WEDNESDAY, Oct. 17) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced that the U.S. Department of Justice has awarded grants to 25 law enforcement departments across Vermont to aid in the purchase of bulletproof vests for state and local officers. Jurisdictions slated to receive awards include individual towns, counties and the Vermont State Police. The grants are made possible by the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program, which Leahy authored in 1998. Since its inception the Bul… Continue Reading


10.16.12

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The 2013 Social Security COLA Announcement

[Today (Tuesday) the Social Security Administration announced that monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for nearly 62 million Americans will rise 1.7 percent in 2013. Beginning in January, Social Security beneficiaries will receive, on average, $21 more per month ($252 per year) as a result of the cost-of-living increase. Cost-of-living increases have averaged about four percent, but in the last three years there have been two years with no increase and one y… Continue Reading


10.16.12

Leahy And Shumlin Applaud Revision’s Turnaround Of Newport Helmet Manufacturing Facility And Planned Doubling Of Workforce

NEWPORT, Vt. (TUESDAY, Oct. 16) -- Governor Peter Shumlin (D-Vt.) and U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday said Revision Military's plans to double the helmet manufacturer's workforce from 40 to 80 by the end of the year is achieving "a great turnaround" for a facility that was on the ropes only six months ago. The assessment of the facility came as the pair announced that Revision had begun work on a new $21.6 million contract for more than 90,000 new helmets. Revision Military CEO Jonat… Continue Reading


10.15.12

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Death Of Senator Arlen Specter

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following statement on the death of Senator Arlen Specter (D-Pa.). Senator Leahy served as ranking member of the Judiciary Committee while Senator Specter served as chairman and vice versa. They enjoyed a close and cooperative bipartisan relationship that spanned nearly three decades, with the two working on issues ranging from protecting civil liberties following the Sept. 11 attacks to advancing bipartisan asbestos l… Continue Reading


10.11.12

Leahy To Introduce The Dalai Lama At Middlebury College On Saturday

Saturday, October 13 -- 9:00 a.m. - Senator Leahy to introduce the Dalai Lama during public event at Nelson Arena, Middlebury College. [BACKGROUND: Senator Leahy has long been a leading champion of human rights, including the human rights of the Tibetan people in the face of the Chinese government's campaign to obliterate Tibetan Buddhism. He has labeled that campaign a form of cultural genocide. He has met many times with the Dalai Lama on these issues. As chairman of the budget committ… Continue Reading


10.04.12

Wave Of Anti-Voter State Laws Detailed By GAO

, Oct. 4 - New state laws that make it harder for millions of voters to cast ballots are detailed in a Government Accountability Office report released today. The comprehensive study was requested by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.). The senators asked the non-partisan research arm of Congress to investigate what they called an "alarming number" of new state laws that will make it "significantly harder" for millions of voters … Continue Reading


10.03.12

VTel Wireless A Winner In FCC’s First ‘Mobility Fund Auction,’ Netting $2 M. To Build Out 941 More Miles Of Wireless Coverage In Vermont

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.): "Advances in wireless technology are vital to Vermont's economy, and good coverage and quality are important in Vermonters' daily lives. Rural areas have lagged the rest of the country as networks have built out broadband access and mobile phone coverage, and Vermont's terrain also has been a longstanding factor. Vermonters deserve the same 3G and 4G coverage that is available in other parts of the country. I am pleased that VTel has won these new re… Continue Reading


10.02.12

Vermont Wins Two Grants For Regional Development

BURLINGTON, Vt., Oct. 2 - The Northern Border Regional Commission has awarded grants totaling $373,447 for regional development projects in Vermont, Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) announced today. The grants will support the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail in Lamoille County and develop key regional business clusters in the Northeast Kingdom. The $249,982 grant for the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail will be leveraged by a $5.2 million grant Sanders p… Continue Reading


10.01.12

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Expiration Of The Current Farm Bill At Midnight Sunday Night

[Current Farm Bill programs expired Sunday night (Sept. 30, last night) at Midnight, with no new Farm Bill in place. House leaders failed to bring a Farm Bill to the House Floor after the Senate passed a bipartisan Farm Bill on June 21 with a strong bipartisan vote. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the most senior member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, And Forestry, led efforts to include several key components in the Senate Farm Bill, including a new dairy safety net program … Continue Reading


10.01.12

Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy On DHS Deferred Action Policy For Same Sex Partners

[Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano recently announced that DHS's prosecutorial discretion policy concerning immigrants that pose no risk to national security will expressly cover those in same-sex relationships. The policy will direct immigration officials to consider LGBT family ties when evaluating eligibility for relief under administration policy. The announcement follows up on Napolitano's announcement in June concerning deferred action for qualifying young people… Continue Reading


09.28.12

President Friday Signs Into Law Leahy-Authored Bill To Renew Successful Job-Creating Foreign Investment Program

(FRIDAY, Sept. 28, 2012) - President Obama Friday signed into law legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that will extend a successful, job-creating immigrant visa program that has helped promote economic growth in Vermont and in communities throughout the country. Without Leahy's bill the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center program would have expired this weekend, on Sunday, Sept. 30. Leahy's new charter will extend the program for three years. The EB-5 program enjoys broad… Continue Reading


09.27.12

Remarks Of Senator Patrick Leahy At Jay Peak For The Announcement Of A $500 Million Economic Development Initiative Made Possible By The EB-5 Program

It is a great pleasure to be with all of you today. And it is even more special to be here on the heels of Congress' passage of a reauthorization for the EB-5 Regional Center Program. I'm delighted that we persevered right to the end of the congressional session and that my bill reached the President's desk right on time for today's announcements. About a year ago, the Vermont Chamber of Commerce recognized Bill as Vermont's 2011 Citizen of the Year - largely in recognition of what he has … Continue Reading


09.25.12

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On President Obama’s Announcement Of New Initiatives To Fight Human Trafficking

[TUESDAY, September 25 -- Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is the lead sponsor of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA). Leahy introduced the bipartisan legislation last June, and last November he moved the bill through the Judiciary Committee with a bipartisan vote. The legislation currently has 52 cosponsors, including 14 Republicans. The latest proposal is the fourth reauthorization of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which was first… Continue Reading


09.24.12

Senate Republicans Leave Town After Blocking Dozens Of Judicial Nominations

(Monday, September 24, 2012) -The Senate recessed last week with 15 district court nominees left pending on the executive calendar, and another four circuit court nominees also still awaiting Senate approval. With court vacancies at historic highs, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) blasted Republicans for allowing just two pending district nominees to be confirmed before leaving town. "We all know that justice delayed is justice denied. By denying confirmation votes to … Continue Reading

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