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


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

Last Thursday, the Senate voted to end the filibuster on the nomination of John Owens of California to a judicial emergency vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. This is the longest running vacancy in our entire Federal court system. Today the Senate will finally vote to confirm this outstanding nominee to a court that is in desperate need of judges. The Ninth Circuit is the busiest circuit court in the country, and yet, it has … Continue Reading


The Surge In Opioid And Heroin Addiction Looms As A Key Topic As Leahy Sets Oversight Hearing With Drug Enforcement Chief

(WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has set an oversight hearing with the head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) at which a key focus of the discussion will be the rise of opioid and heroin addiction and related problems in communities in Vermont and across the nation. Leahy announced that DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart will testify at the hearing, which is set for 10 a.m. next Wednesday, April 30, on Capitol Hill in Wa… Continue Reading


Government Releases 2 Dissidents In Advance Of Leahy’s Arrival In Vietnam

(WEDNESDAY, April 16, 2014) - Government leaders in Vietnam this week released two prominent imprisoned dissidents in advance of the arrival Wednesday of U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). Leahy, accompanied by Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.), is heading a bicameral, bipartisan congressional delegation to China and Vietnam, while Congress is not in session. In Vietnam over the next five days, the lawmakers will meet with key government leaders, representatives of civil society, Vietnamese… Continue Reading


Vermont Delegation Backs Governor’s Call for Congressional Action on Road Fund

BURLINGTON, VT., April 16 - In a joint statement today, Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) commented on Governor Shumlin's letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) regarding the urgent need to restore the federal Highway Trust Fund. In their joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said: "Ensuring safe and adequate transportation infrastructure should not be a partisan issue, but unfortunately … Continue Reading


Leahy, Welch Set Policy Visits In China, Vietnam

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), accompanied by Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.), is heading a bicameral, bipartisan congressional delegation to China, Vietnam, and Hong Kong. The delegation departs Washington on Saturday, April 12, and returns Wednesday, April 23, during a period in which Congress is not in session. Leahy chairs the Senate's Judiciary Committee and the Appropriations Subcommittee on the State Department and Foreign Operations, and now is the Senate's President Pro Tempore. W… Continue Reading



News From -- Senator Patrick Leahy Senator Jeanne Shaheen Senator Richard Burr Senator Susan Collins (Washington, DC) - A bipartisan coalition of 51 senators are urging the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies to support the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and Forest Legacy programs as they begin considerations for the upcoming fiscal year. In a letter led by U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Richard Burr (R-N… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Urging Passage of The Justice for All Act During National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

This week marks the 30th annual National Crime Victims' Rights Week. It is a time to recognize victims of crime and their families, and to acknowledge the efforts to help them recover and rebuild their lives in the wake of tragedy. It is also a time to ask what more we can do to help serve victims of crime and improve our criminal justice system. We have an opportunity this week to pass a bill that will not just pay lip service to crime victims, but actually impact and improve their lives. I… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch: Vermont Nets $257,300 in Rural Development Grants

U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and U.S. Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced that two Vermont towns have received a total of $257,300 in grants for rural development projects. The grants were awarded by the United States Department of Agriculture to Greensboro and Brattleboro. In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said: "Whether funding public safety needs in Greensboro or strengthening the local food system in Brattleboro, USDA Rural… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Committee On The Judiciary, On Committee Consideration Of Patent Legislation

"For weeks, members of the Judiciary Committee have been engaged in extensive bipartisan negotiations on legislation to address abuses in the patent system. We have made enormous progress, and we now have a broad bipartisan agreement in principle. This is a complex issue and we need additional time to draft the important provisions that have been the subject of discussion. "I have talked to many Senators on both sides, and because I want to be sure everyone is comfortable with how these pie… Continue Reading


LEAHY: US Must Sign Treaty Banning Landmines

[Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has long been the leading U.S. official pressing for a worldwide ban on the use of these weapons. In a statement today on the Senate floor, he again urged the administration to sign the international treaty banning landmines. Leahy has pressed every administration since the Clinton administration to join the international treaty. Leahy is the most senior member of the United States Senate, and chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee responsible for overseei… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Paycheck Fairness Act

[The Senate is now holding a procedural vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation cosponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that would close the gender wage-gap and help ensure equal pay for equal work. The legislation has twice before been considered by the Senate, and has twice been filibustered. Today's procedural vote is on a motion to proceed to the bill, which would enable the Senate to begin debate on the measure. Senator Leahy's statement on the legislation follows.] Stateme… Continue Reading


Leahy Chairs SJC Hearing On Proposed Cable Merger

(Wednesday, April 9, 2014) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is chairing a hearing this morning entitled "Examining the Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger and the Impact on Consumers." This is the first Congressional hearing on the pending merger of the nation's top two cable companies. 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 "Examinin… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing On “Environmental Protection Agency Fiscal Year 2015 Budget”

[At a hearing of the Interior Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today urged the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Gina McCarthy, to renew the Agency's commitment to the cleanup and preservation of Lake Champlain. Faced with new water quality regulations imposed by the EPA for Lake Champlain, Vermont will face new challenges, as the President's budget request cuts funding for critical federal programs to help states address wat… Continue Reading


Statement of Chairman Patrick Leahy Subcommittee on the Department of State and Foreign Operations Hearing on USAID’s Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Request

Good morning. We are meeting today to hear testimony from Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, who will discuss USAID's fiscal year 2015 budget request. Dr. Shah, thank you for being here. USAID, like every federal agency, needs to adapt to a fast changing world. So does the Congress. In order to do that effectively, we need a shared understanding of USAID's core purpose. I have always assumed it is sustainable development, and I am sure… Continue Reading


Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Senate Passage of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act

[The Senate Monday night approved the bipartisan Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act by a vote of 59-38, legislation which will reauthorize emergency unemployment insurance benefits for five months, allowing for retroactive payments going back to December 28, when the benefits expired.] "Our economy is showing strong signs of improvement, but millions of Americans, including thousands of Vermonters, remain out of work, still trying to find a job to help support their families and their hous… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee On the 5th Anniversary of Marriage Equality in the State of Vermont

Today I am particularly proud of my home state, as we commemorate the fifth anniversary of the passage of Vermont's law guaranteeing marriage equality. Throughout history, Vermont has taken a leadership role in America's journey to build a more just society. Vermont was the first state in the Union to outlaw slavery and Vermonters offered shelter to runaway slaves seeking refuge while in transit to Canada - serving as one of the last stops on the Underground Railroad. Vermont was also the fi… Continue Reading


‘Blue Slips’ Help Make Constitutional ‘Advice and Consent’ A Reality

A New York Times editorial reprinted in Thursday's paper ("Leahy Should End Blue Slips") wrongly suggests that an "archaic Senate tradition" is to blame for the Obama administration's failure to have every judicial vacancy filled. The editorial comes across more like a fundraising blog post than a credible analysis of the nominations process in today's Senate. All the more so, considering that the Times published not just one but three earlier editorials, when we had a Republican president, ta… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Senate Intelligence Committee’s Torture Report

"The Intelligence Committee's report on the now-defunct CIA detention and interrogation program should be shared with the American people to the greatest extent possible. The Senate at its best can act as the conscience of the Nation, and part of that responsibility is ensuring transparency in our government. We cannot learn from our mistakes without understanding what happened and how they occurred. The administration should move swiftly to review the committee's executive summary, findings … Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Governor Shumlin’s Initiative On Opioid Prescription Medicine

"I applaud Governor Shumlin for taking steps to ensure that powerful prescription opioids, which clearly have a high potential for abuse, are tightly controlled in Vermont. Smart regulation, combined with vigilant prescribing practices, will help keep Vermonters from sliding into addiction and will save lives. I am also urging the FDA to quickly review safer, abuse-deterrent formulations of single-ingredient hydrocodone products. As we learned at a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in R… Continue Reading


SJC Approves Judicial Nominees, Continues Work On Patent Legislation

(Thursday, April 3, 2014) - The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved four judicial nominees and the nominee to lead the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and continued its discussion of legislation authored by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to rein in abuses in the patent system. Cheryl Krause, nominated to fill a judicial vacancy on the 3rd Circuit, was approved unanimously. The Committee also approved three district court nominees during Thursday's executive business meeti… Continue Reading

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