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


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


Leahy Praises EPA’s Historic New Limits On Pollution From The Power Sector

(MONDAY, June 2) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday praised the historic announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and President Obama of a plan to cut carbon emissions from the power sector by 30 percent by 2030. The move is the latest step under President Obama's Climate Action Plan and will reduce carbon pollution from power plants, which are the nation's largest source of carbon pollution. Leahy has long championed clean air and water policies and has been the Senate's… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Resignation Of Veterans Affairs Secretary Shinseki

With the resignation of Secretary Shinseki, it is time for deep soul-searching at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Secretary Shinseki is himself a disabled veteran, an experienced leader and an ardent patriot. He oversaw some notable achievements during his tenure that are benefitting veterans. But the fact that he was unable to lead the VA to a place where it can routinely provide the quality, timely care our veterans earned should be deeply troubling to all of us. Systemic reforms, suff… Continue Reading


Leahy Posts Official Notice Of June 4 Confirmation Hearing For Vermont Chief Justice Crawford, Nominated For Vermont’s Upcoming District Court Vacancy

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy Thursday formally announced the confirmation hearing for the Vermonter nominated to fill the state's upcoming U.S. District Court vacancy. The hearing, on Wednesday, June 4, will focus on the nomination of Vermont Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Crawford, as well as on three nominees to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The President officially nominated Justice Crawford on May 20, after earlier indicating his intention to nominate him. Leahy h… Continue Reading



Today, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following statement on the military coup in Thailand. Senator Cardin is Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Senator Menendez is Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Leahy is Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related programs. "We are deeply disappointed by the coup carried out … Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Nomination Of David Barron to the First Circuit Court Of Appeals

Today, we are voting on the confirmation of David Barron, who has been nominated to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Yesterday, were able to overcome the unjustified Republican filibuster of this extraordinary nominee. Currently a professor at Harvard Law School, he is a nationally recognized expert on constitutional law, the separation of powers, administrative law, and federalism. He clerked on the U.S. Supreme Court for Justice John Paul Stevens. Justice … Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On House Passage Of The USA FREEDOM Act

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Thursday after the House approved a modified version of the USA FREEDOM Act. Leahy is the lead Democratic coauthor of the bipartisan USA FREEDOM Act, a bill he introduced jointly with Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) in October. The legislation approved by the House is based on the bipartisan legislation that Leahy and Sensenbrenner have championed since last year.] "I applaud the House of Repr… Continue Reading


Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Patent Legislation

We have been working for almost a year with countless stakeholders on legislation to address the problem of patent trolls who are misusing the patent system. This is a real problem facing businesses in Vermont and across the country. Unfortunately, there has been no agreement on how to combat the scourge of patent trolls on our economy without burdening the companies and universities who rely on the patent system every day to protect their inventions. We have heard repeated concerns that the H… Continue Reading


SJC Chairman Leahy Chairs FBI Oversight Hearing

(Wednesday, May 21, 2014) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is chairing an oversight hearing this morning of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Director James Comey is testifying before the panel for his first oversight hearing since he became the Bureau's new director 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 Oversight O… Continue Reading


President Announces Intention To Nominate Vermont Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Crawford For Vermont’s Upcoming U.S. District Court Vacancy

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Monday said that President Obama will nominate Vermont Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Crawford to be the next judge on Vermont's U.S. District Court. Leahy had recommended Justice Crawford in March to the White House, after screening by a nine-member nonpartisan Vermont Judicial Nominating Commission. Justice Crawford had been one of the panel's two finalists, who then were interviewed by Leahy. Leahy said, "The President sees in Justice Crawford what I, … Continue Reading


Mettawee Community School

On May 19, Senator Leahy held his fourth online chat of 2014 with 30 4th and 5th grade students from the Mettawee Community School of West Pawlet. The students questions ranged from addressing the Senator's work in securing bulletproof vests for law enforcement in Vermont to the Senator's thoughts on gun control. The Senator also spoke about his love of fishing and photography and his home on a tree farm in Vermont.… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Proposed Merger of AT&T and DirecTV

"DirecTV is a nationwide competitor with cable and plays an important role in providing television service to rural areas like Vermont. With this latest proposed merger, I am concerned that the telecommunications marketplace is trending even further toward one that favors big companies over consumers. I will closely monitor the FCC and the antitrust authorities' response to this announcement. The Senate Judiciary Committee will be looking closely at this transaction." # # # # #… Continue Reading


U.S. Energy Secretary Addresses Vermont Energy Summit

MIDDLEBURY, Vt., May 16 - U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz spoke at a Vermont Energy Summit today as part of a first-hand look at how Vermont is on the cutting edge of transforming its energy systems from fossil fuels to sustainable energy. In remarks at Middlebury College, Moniz focused on the need to reduce the cost of clean energy. Vermont, he added, "really looks unique" in terms of public and private cooperation on energy issues. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) an… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On FCC Chairman Wheeler’s Proposed Net Neutrality Rules

"Paid arrangements between broadband providers and websites do not reflect open Internet principles and I will not support any effort by the FCC to condone those kinds of agreements. The very essence of net neutrality is that a better idea or service should be allowed to succeed on its merits and not have to pay tolls to reach potential customers. Rules allowing pay-to-play deals would also harm consumers, who could no longer be confident that the Internet speeds they pay for are sufficient to… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces June 3 Hearing On Constitutional Amendment To Rein In Massive Campaign Spending

(Thursday, May 15, 2014) -The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing next month on a constitutional amendment in response to the Supreme Court's decisions regarding campaign finance and money in politics, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Thursday. The hearing comes on the heels of the Court's McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission decision, in which five justices reversed long-standing precedent and declared aggregate limits on campaign contributions in elections to be uncons… Continue Reading

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