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

12.04.12

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Senate Consideration Of The United Nations Convention On The Rights Of Persons With Disabilities

Mr. President. The Senate today is considering the ratification of an important treaty that will further strengthen the United States' longstanding role as a beacon of human rights around the world. I support ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and hope that this treaty, which enjoys bipartisan support, will be approved by the Senate today. I have long been a strong supporter of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which has… Continue Reading


12.04.12

Leahy Highlights Need To Enact Faster FOIA Act

(Tuesday, December 4, 2012) - Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a congressional leader in open government issues and a coauthor of the bipartisan Faster FOIA Act, called on the Obama administration to make transparency a top priority in its second term after a report released by the National Security Archive today found a majority of government agencies have not updated their Freedom of Information Act regulations despite requirements to do so under the OPEN Government … Continue Reading


11.30.12

Detention Policy And The Defense Bill: Statement Of Senator Leahy On Feinstein Amendment SA 3018 to S.3254, The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that was enacted into law last December contained several deeply troubling provisions related to the indefinite detention of individuals without charge or trial. These provisions undermine our Nation's fundamental principles of due process and civil liberties. I strongly opposed these provisions during last year's debate, and believe that we must eliminate and fix those flawed provisions. Toward that end, I voted last night in favor of the amendme… Continue Reading


11.30.12

SJC Chairman Leahy Calls For Consideration Of Judicial Nominees In Lameduck

(Friday, November 30, 2012) - Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), in a Congressional Record statement published Friday, highlighted the list of judicial nominees who have been pending on the Senate calendar as far back as March. While those nominees continue to wait, the number of judicial vacancies nationwide hovers at 80. Leahy called on Republicans to drop unfounded opposition and follow the precedent of previous lameduck sessions after presidential elections, when the Senate… Continue Reading


11.29.12

Leahy: Victims Have Waited Too Long, House Republicans Must Pass Senate VAWA Bill Now

[This Friday marks the one-year anniversary since Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced with Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. The Leahy-Crapo VAWA bill has broad bipartisan backing and was recently the subject of a supportive New York Times editorial- the latest of many -- urging completion of congressional action on the bill in this lame-duck session. With only a few weeks left in the year, Senator Leahy submitted a st… Continue Reading


11.29.12

Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Leahy-Authored Legislation To Update Video Privacy Protection Act, Electronic Communications Privacy Act

(Thursday, November 29, 2012) -- The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday overwhelmingly approved legislation authored by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that updates the Video Privacy Protection Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, two of the nation's premier digital privacy laws. The bill updates the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, first enacted in 1986, so that Americans will have added privacy safeguards for their email and other electronic communications. The issue of em… Continue Reading


11.29.12

Leahy’s Bill To Improve Program That Supports Injured First Responders Advances In Senate

(THURSDAY, Nov. 29, 2012) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday night won Senate approval to add to the pending defense authorization bill his "Dale Long Act," which will strengthen and improve a federal program that provides a crucial safety net for the families of first responders who are killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. The Senate vote on Leahy's amendment was 85 to 11. The step is Leahy's most recent effort to remedy gaps in the Public Safety Officers' Benefits Act (… Continue Reading


11.29.12

News Alert: Washington Post Endorses Leahy’s #ECPA Reform To Strengthen Email Privacy

Post: Keeping E-mail Private (Editorial) In an editorial Thursday the Washington Post voices its support for Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy's legislation to update the nation's outdated privacy laws, particularly the Electronic Communication Privacy Act. The Judiciary Committee will consider Chairman Leahy's Manager's amendment to update that law, which was enacted more than 25 years go, and the Video Privacy Protection Act. Excerpts: "The advertisements that the Postal… Continue Reading


11.28.12

Senate Approves Leahy Bill to Address Trade Secret Theft

(Wednesday, November 28, 2012) -- The Senate late Tuesday approved legislation authored by Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to address the theft of trade secrets. The bill, which passed the Senate unanimously Tuesday night, responds to a recent Second Circuit decision that cast doubt on the scope of the Economic Espionage Act (EEA) by narrowly interpreting the law. The legislation makes clear that the EEA protects all trade secrets related to a product or service used… Continue Reading


11.27.12

Leahy, Coons & Law Enforcement Representatives Mark Million-Vest Milestone For Bulletproof Vest Grant Program

Leahy, Coons & Law Enforcement Representatives Mark Million-Vest Milestone For Bulletproof Vest Grant Program WASHINGTON (Tuesday, November 27, 2012) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), and officials from law enforcement today highlighted the success of the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Program, which they announced has crossed the threshold of issuing more than one million lifesaving vests to state and local law enforcement officers thr… Continue Reading


11.26.12

Comment Of Senator Leahy On Committee Consideration of Legislative Updates to the Video Privacy Protection Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and Release of Text of Manager’s Amendment

"I welcome the upcoming Senate Judiciary Committee debate on updating the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) to better protect Americans' digital privacy rights. Today, this critical privacy law is significantly outdated and out-paced by rapid changes in technology and the changing mission of our law enforcement agencies. "When I led the effort to write the ECPA more than 25 years ago, no one could have imagined that emails would be stored electronically for years or envisioned the … Continue Reading


11.26.12

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Departure Of USPTO Director David Kappos

[Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Monday on the departure of David Kappos, who has served as Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office since August 2009. Chairman Leahy worked closely with Director Kappos on the bipartisan Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, which was signed in to law by President Barack Obama on September 16, 2011.] "I have had the distinct pleasure of … Continue Reading


11.26.12

The New York Times, On The Lame-Duck Showdown Over Passing Leahy's Bill To Renew The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

In an editorial Sunday The New York Times calls on Republicans in Congress to allow final action on the bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, authored by chief sponsor Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). The lead Republican cosponsor of the Leahy-Crapo bill is Senator Michael Crapo (R-Idaho). Excerpts: "If Republicans are serious about repairing their party's standing among women, gay and Hispanic voters, they need to adjust some policies and stop sending hostile messages. A good pl… Continue Reading


11.25.12

The G.O.P. And Violence Against Women

In an editorial Sunday The New York Times calls on Republicans in Congress to allow final action on the bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, authored by chief sponsor Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). The lead Republican cosponsor of the Leahy-Crapo bill is Senator Michael Crapo (R-Idaho). Excerpts: "If Republicans are serious about repairing their party's standing among women, gay and Hispanic voters, they need to adjust some policies and stop sending hostile messages. A goo… Continue Reading


11.20.12

Section By Section Breakdown Of Senator Leahy's ECPA Amendment

The rumors about warrant exceptions being added to ECPA are incorrect. Many have come forward with ideas for discussion before markup resumes on my bill to strengthen privacy protections under ECPA. As normally happens in the legislative process, these ideas are being circulated for discussion. One of them, having to do with a warrant exception, is one that I have not supported and do not support. The whole thrust of my bill is to remedy the erosion of the public's privacy rights under the r… Continue Reading


11.16.12

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Department Of Justice Settlement With BP Over The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Friday after the Department of Justice announced it has reached a settlement with BP over the deadly 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP agreed to pay a record $4 billion in criminal fines and penalties and plead guilty to manslaughter and other crimes including obstruction of Congress. Three BP officials will also face federal criminal charges. In 2010 Senato… Continue Reading


11.14.12

Vermont Nets $100,000 In Grants To Connect School Cafeterias With Local Farms And Firms

(WEDNESDAY, Nov. 14, 2012) - A farm to school program authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is investing $100,000 in efforts to connect Vermont's school cafeterias with local agricultural producers. Leahy included the farm to school grant initiative in the child nutrition bill of 2010 - the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act -- and he also included its mandatory funding source. Leahy and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) have been strong advocates in Congress… Continue Reading


11.14.12

Leahy: Republican Leaders Should Not Stand In The Way Of VAWA

(Wednesday, November 14, 2012) - The Senate voted nearly six months ago in favor of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, a bill that has broad support and provides meaningful resources for thousands of rape and domestic violence victims throughout the country. With little time left before Congress adjourns for the year, and with VAWA's current charter already expired, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) called on Congress to pass his reauthorization bill without further delay.] # # # # # … Continue Reading


11.14.12

Break The Impasse And Pass The Farm Bill

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I think the distinguished senior Senator from Florida has done the Senate and the country a service in what he has said. We each represent our own States. We have matters of interest in our States, but also so many times they are national interests. During this past recess, I was in just about every part of Vermont. I was stopped time and time again by Vermont farmers who asked me why Congress left town without passing a farm bill. They knew we had passed it in the Sena… Continue Reading


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

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