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


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


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Supreme Court’s Decisions Regarding Campaign Finance, Voting Rights, and Democracy

Earlier this month, the United States Supreme Court once again chose to dismantle campaign finance laws which had protected hardworking Americans for decades. In McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, a sharply divided Court held that aggregate limits on campaign contributions are a violation of the First Amendment. These were the same five justices who, just four years ago, reversed a century of precedent in Citizens United by declaring that corporations have a First Amendment right to en… Continue Reading


SJC Chairman Leahy Chairs DEA Oversight Hearing

(Wednesday, April 30, 2014) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is chairing an oversight hearing this morning of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Administrator Michele Leonhart is testifying before the panel. 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 Of The Drug Enforcement Administration April 30, 2014 I welcome Admi… Continue Reading


Roxbury Village School

On April 29, Senator Leahy held his second online chat of 2014 with the 4th and 6th grade students of the Roxbury Village School. Senator Leahy answered their questions about what led him to become a United States Senator, and how his years as a Vermont prosecutor helped him throughout his career in Congress.… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Scourge of Landmines

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I have spoken several times in the past few weeks, and a great many times over the past two decades, about the scourge of landmines. These inherently indiscriminate weapons are triggered by the victim, and often it is an innocent civilian who is either killed or horribly maimed. Although the United States has not exported, produced, or used anti-personnel mines for more than 20 years, we are not among the 161 nations that have joined the international treaty bannin… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Recent Developments in Egypt Senate Floor

[Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) chairs the State Department and Foreign Operations Subcommittee -- the Appropriations Committee panel that oversees the State Department's budget as well as foreign aid programs. In his role as chairman, Leahy has put a hold on the Administration's April 25 request to obligate $650 million in military assistance for Egypt that was provided under the Fiscal Year 2014 Appropriations bill enacted early this year. Leahy has worked on writing current and previous cong… Continue Reading


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

More than two weeks ago, the Senate voted to end the filibuster on the nomination of Michelle Friedland of California to fill a judicial emergency vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. That vote was the fourth time this year that the Senate had to overcome a Republican filibuster of a highly qualified circuit court nominee. In stark contrast, the Senate confirmed 18 of President Bush's circuit nominees within a week of being reported by the Judiciary Committee. The Nint… Continue Reading



LEAHY, BLUMENTHAL CALL ON FDA TO EXPEDITE REVIEW OF PAIN KILLERS WITH ABUSE-DETERRENT PROPERTIES (Washington, DC) - In a letter to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) urged the agency to expedite review of pain killers with built-in properties to curb abuse. Last year, the pain killer Zohydro ER was approved by the FDA despite lacking abuse-deterrent properties a… Continue Reading


Leahy Nets 1st Award For Social Media Use In Congress;

(MONDAY, April 28, 2014) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday netted two more awards for his use of the Internet in his Senate work. In their latest report and citations for the current 113th Congress, the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF), whose evaluations of congressional websites have become the standard, awarded Leahy a Silver Mouse Award for his website, and a Gold Mouse Award For Citizen Engagement On Social Media - the first time the group has assessed congressional use of soc… Continue Reading


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

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