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Press Releases

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



Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee: I have the privilege of serving as the Chief of Police in Burlington, VT. Burlington is a community of approximately 40,000, located on the eastern shores of Lake Champlain about 35 miles south of the Canadian border. It is the central hub of activity, commerce, and services for northwestern Vermont, which encompasses a population of approximately 150,000 residents. We have a 149-year history of providing law enforcement services to Vermont's larges… Continue Reading


Leahy Chairs Hearing On Life-Saving Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program

(Wednesday, May 14, 2014) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is chairing a hearing this morning titled "The Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program: Supporting Law Enforcement Officers When it Matters Most." Leahy is the author of legislation to reauthorize the Bulletproof Vest Grant Partnership Program, a life-saving program whose charter expired in 2012. Today's hearing coincides with National Police Week. Testimony, member statements, and a webcast of the hearing … Continue Reading


Lake Champlain Funds Secured By Leahy Spawn Innovative Sea Lamprey Barrier

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday announced the opening of an innovative sea lamprey barrier on Morpion Creek, a tributary of the Pike River in Notre-Dame-de-Stanbridge, Quebec. The barrier will address one of the largest uncontrolled populations of sea lamprey in the Lake Champlain Basin. Leahy worked to secure nearly $1.3 million for the barrier through the Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC). The barrier represents a unique international partnership between the U.S. Fish and Wildlif… Continue Reading


Stowe Student Council at Stowe Elementary School

On May 13, Senator Leahy held his 10th online chat with Stowe Elementary School. Senator Leahy enjoyed an engaging conversation with both the students and teachers in the classroom. The conversation focused his work to make college education more affordable for students and a discussion of some of the most difficult decisions he has had to make as a United States Senator. The students even discussed the Senator's most recent experience on the set of the new Batman movie.… Continue Reading


WWII Aviator And Vermont Native Bert Smith Finally Receives His Long-Delayed Service Medals

(FRIDAY, May 9, 2014) -- A 90-year-old Vermont native now has his long-delayed medals from his service as an aviator in World War II. Bert Smith, accompanied by family members, met with Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday in Leahy's office in the U.S. Capitol for a quiet visit to receive the medals from Leahy, the Senate's President Pro Tempore. He was accompanied by his daughter Maureen Barnes and her husband Gary, of South Burlington and Florida, and their son Tyler Barnes, of South Burli… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces $230,000 For ('Great') Lake Champlain

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has announced $230,000 in Sea Grant funding to the University of Vermont for research and management of fisheries, water quality, invasive species control and other efforts for Lake Champlain and its surrounding watershed. The funding is the latest installment made possible because of the status Lake Champlain now has within the Sea Grant Program, run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Leahy memorably fought and won his battle in 1998 t… Continue Reading


Senate Makes Progress To Fill Judicial Vacancies

(Thursday, May 8, 2014) - The Senate confirmed three district court nominees on Thursday, the same day the Judiciary Committee reported four nominees to fill emergency vacancies to the floor. Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) praised the Senate's progress on judicial nominations at a time when Republicans routinely demand procedural votes on even the most noncontroversial nominees. "From day one of this President's time in office, Senate Republicans have obstructed and slowed the confirmation proc… Continue Reading


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

"Earlier today, the Ranking Member requested that the administration provide materials relating to Anwar Al-Awlaki so that all Senators would be able to properly evaluate Mr. Barron's nomination. The administration has now made available unredacted copies of any memo issued by Mr. Barron regarding the potential use of lethal force against Anwar Al-Awlaki. I hope and expect that all Senators will review these materials today." # # # # #… Continue Reading


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

Today, we are again voting to overcome Republican filibusters of four highly qualified judicial nominees. The nominees are Judge Robin Rosenbaum to fill an emergency vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit; Indira Talwani to fill a vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts; James Peterson to fill an emergency vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin; and Nancy Rosenstengel to fill an emergency vacancy on the U.S. Distr… Continue Reading


Police Officer Saved By Bulletproof Vest To Testify Before SJC Next Week

(Thursday, May 8, 2014) - A female police officer whose life was saved because she was wearing a bulletproof vest will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Thursday. Officer Ann Carrizales of the Stafford, Texas, Police Department was shot twice during a routine traffic stop last year. One shot grazed her face and the other struck her chest and was blocked by her protective vest. Carrizales heroically pursued the suspects in her squ… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Action by the House Judiciary Committee to End Bulk Collection

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Wednesday after the House Judiciary Committee approved a modified version of the USA FREEDOM Act to end bulk collection. 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 Judiciary Committee Wednesday is based on the bipartisan legislation that Leahy and Sen… Continue Reading


Leahy, Graham Introduce Bill To Launch Commission To Evaluate Army Budget Changes Proposed By The Administration

(TUESDAY, May 6, 2014) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), co-chairs of the Senate National Guard Caucus, are leading a bipartisan group of 19 senators in introducing the National Commission on the Future of the Army Act, to establish an independent panel that will be responsible for analyzing the major changes to the U.S. Army proposed in the President's budget. Leahy said, "The Army's budget for Fiscal Year 2015 puts us on a path to major, irreversible change… Continue Reading


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

"I applaud the administration for making available to all Senators the Justice Department memo regarding Anwar Al Awlaki. All members of the Judiciary Committee were previously able to review this memo, and I am glad all Senators will have the opportunity to do so now. "Senate Republicans have consistently blocked most of President Obama's judicial nominees so it comes as no surprise that they continue to do so with this nominee. David Barron is a brilliant lawyer who is committed to public s… Continue Reading


Leahy To Chair Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing Next Week On Life-Saving Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program

(Tuesday, May 6, 2014) - The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing next week on the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program, a life-saving program whose charter expired in 2012. Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) sought earlier Tuesday to pass legislation reauthorizing the program, but was blocked by a Republican objection. "No one can dispute that this program saves lives," Leahy said. "Through compelling testimony at next week's hearing, I hope Republicans will finally end their obstr… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy Unanimous Consent Request Seeking Passage of S.933 The Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program Reauthorization Act

Next week we will commemorate National Police Week, a time when the nation pays tribute to the sacrifices made by all who serve in law enforcement, particularly those who have lost their lives in the line of duty. These law enforcement officers risk their lives every day to protect our communities, and we often speak eloquently here in the Senate about supporting law enforcement and their families. Although such tributes are important and well-deserved, the police officers in our communities d… Continue Reading


Ahead of Police Week, Leahy TODAY Will Urge Senate to Renew Life-Saving Bulletproof Vest Program

(Tuesday, May 6, 2014) - Ahead of National Police Week next week, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) will seek a live unanimous consent request today, at 11:30 a.m., to reauthorize the Bulletproof Vest Grant Partnership Program, a federal grant program that helps state and local law enforcement agencies purchase lifesaving vests. Leahy coauthored the original law establishing the matching grant program, which since 1999 has issued more than one million vests to state and… Continue Reading


Leahy REAX On House Judiciary Committee’s Bipartisan Agreement To End Bulk Collection (NSA) --

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Monday after House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) announced a bipartisan agreement on legislation to end bulk collection. Leahy is the lead Democratic coauthor of the bipartisan USA FREEDOM Act, a bill he introduced jointly with Sensenbrenner in October. The new agreement unveiled in the House today … Continue Reading


Senators to NRC: Do Not Exempt Decommissioning Nuclear Reactors from Emergency Response and Security Measures

(May 2, 2014) - In a letter sent today to Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairman Allison Macfarlane, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), and Senators Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) called on the agency to stop the "unwise policy" of issuing exemptions for emergency response regulations to decommissioning nuclear reactors which house decades-worth of spent nuclear… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On White House Big Data Review and Reform of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act

I commend the Obama administration on its review and its careful consideration of both the costs and benefits of "big data." In particular, I welcome the President's support of bipartisan legislation that I have authored to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). Since its enactment three decades ago, advances in technologies and the way we communicate has far outpaced the privacy considerations that ECPA sought to accomplish. I am working with Senator Lee and many others in C… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Supporting Victims And Urging Passage of the Justice for All Reauthorization Act of 2013

Last year, the Senate came together to pass meaningful legislation that was supported by victims of violence, law enforcement, and those committed to working to end domestic and sexual abuse. That bill, the Leahy-Crapo Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, had the support of all Senate Democrats and a majority of Senate Republicans. It cleared the Republican House overwhelmingly and it was signed into law one year ago. In a divided Congress, this historic reauthorization was made possible… Continue Reading

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