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

12.14.12

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The EPA’s Next Round Of Clean Air Standards To Reduce Harmful Soot Pollution

"I applaud the EPA and Administrator Jackson for this new standard that will save thousands of lives each year, giving Vermonters and all of the American people the priceless benefit of being able to breathe cleaner air. At last we have an air pollution standard that is based on the best available science and an extensive body of scientific evidence as the law requires. The courts have rightfully determined that the old standard is too weak to adequately protect Americans' health. We do not h… Continue Reading


12.14.12

Leahy: Trafficking Victims Deserve Senate Action

(Friday, December 14, 2012) - U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), lead sponsor of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act is urging Congress to make passing the bipartisan bill a priority before the end of the year. In a statement on Thursday, Leahy noted that Congress has acted three times before to reauthorize TVPRA to assist in the continued fight against human trafficking. More than 27 million people fall victim to human trafficking annually, accor… Continue Reading


12.14.12

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The President’s Remarks On The Conflict Between Federal And State Laws

"The President's brief comments on this subject reflect common sense. In a time of tight budget constraints, I want law enforcement to focus on violent crime. But now that we have a gap between federal and state laws on marijuana we need more information and a wider discussion about where our priorities should be and a clear plan going forward so that states can execute their own laws. I expect the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing next year to help focus attention and action on accomplishin… Continue Reading


12.13.12

Senate Approves Two District Court Nominees, 16 Judicial Nominees Awaiting Consideration

(Thursday, December 13, 2012) - On Thursday, the Senate voted to confirm two district court nominees who each waited five months on the calendar before received a floor vote, an unreasonable amount of time that U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said only hurts the courts and Americans who seek justice in our Federal courts. "We have a constitutional responsibility to advise and consent, and we must also help our courts uphold their constitutional responsibility to p… Continue Reading


12.13.12

Leahy: House Republicans Still Have A Chance To Pass VAWA Reauthorization

(Thursday, December 13, 2012) - U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday again called on Republican leaders in the House of Representatives to act quickly and support protections for tribal women in the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. The Senate acted on the legislation in April, and time is running out for Congress to send a bill to the President. Leahy released a statement Thursday that follows a request made last week for House Republican… Continue Reading


12.13.12

Leahy To Examine Marijuana Policy

(THURSDAY, Dec. 13, 2012) - In light of recently passed state laws legalizing personal marijuana use, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday released a letter sent earlier this month to the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) seeking information about how the administration intends to proceed in light of differences between federal and state laws. Leahy also announced Thursday that he intends to hold a hearing looking into the matter wh… Continue Reading


12.12.12

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Proposal To Base F-35s In Vermont

"There have already been a number of public hearings in Vermont to discuss the proposal to base F-35s in Burlington. In 2012 alone there have been eight public meetings and forums in Chittenden County. I and the members of the Vermont delegation have facilitated communication between Vermonters and the Air Force and I have responded to hundreds of Vermonters with questions about the F-35 basing decision. I have made it clear that I support noise abatement steps, just as operational controls l… Continue Reading


12.12.12

Judiciary Panel Holds Hearing On Ending The School-To-Prison Pipeline

(Wednesday, December 12, 2012) - The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights is currently holding a hearing on "Ending the School-to-Prison Pipeline." Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has long championed legislation ensuring effective approaches to juvenile justice, including the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act in 2009. The subcommittee is chaired by Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). Testimony, member statements… Continue Reading


12.12.12

Leahy Slams House Leaders For Taking Farmers And Struggling Families Hostage In Farm Bill Standoff

(WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12, 2012) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) took to the Senate Floor again this week as part of the effort to jump-start final action on the Farm Bill. With only days to go before the end of the post-election "lame duck" congressional session, House leaders continue to thwart final action on a Farm Bill, even though most agriculture and nutrition programs will expire on Dec. 31, and several - including a safety net program for dairy farmers - already have expired. The latest dem… Continue Reading


12.12.12

Leahy: The Senate Must Clear The Nominations Backlog

(Wednesday, December 12, 2012) - The Senate Judiciary Committee today heard testimony from four nominees to fill vacancies on federal district courts, continuing the progress the Committee has made to vet and report judicial nominees to the Senate for consideration. In a statement for the record at Wednesday's hearing, Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) observed that the Senate remains far behind the pace set in earlier administrations in confirming judicial nominees, particularly those … Continue Reading


12.11.12

Leahy: The Senate Must Consider All Pending Judicial Nominees

The Senate late Tuesday confirmed two long-pending district court nominees, while 13 additional district court nominees and four circuit court nominees await action before the end of the year. In a statement for the Congressional Record, Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said the Senate must clear this needless backlog before the end of the year. "Both of these nominees were voted out of the Judiciary Committee by voice vote before the August recess and should have bee… Continue Reading


12.11.12

Southern Vermont receives $470,000 to bolster long-term recovery efforts following Irene

(Tuesday, December 11, 2012) - The Windham Regional Commission and the Bennington County Regional Commission will receive $470,000 in Economic Development Administration (EDA) funds to bolster long-term recovery efforts in southern Vermont following Tropical Storm Irene, Vermont's congressional delegation announced today. The funds will be used by the regional planning commissions to expand the capacity of public officials and economic development organizations to work with businesses and encou… Continue Reading


12.10.12

Leahy: SJC Will Hold Hearing On The State Of The Right To Vote After The 2012 Election

(MONDAY, December 10, 2012) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Monday that the Committee will hold a hearing to examine Americans' access to the voting booth and the continuing need for protections against efforts to limit or suppress voting. At the December 19 hearing, the Committee will look at how the barriers to voting explored in previous hearings held by Leahy and by Constitution Subcommittee Chairman Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) affected the right to vote in… Continue Reading


12.07.12

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Supreme Court Decision To Consider Challenge To The Defense Of Marriage Act

[The Supreme Court announced Friday it will review two court cases on same-sex marriage this year, including one, Windsor v. United States, challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is a leading cosponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal DOMA, and he chaired the first-ever congressional hearing examining the effects of DOMA on American families. As Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he led the panel's cons… Continue Reading


12.06.12

Twenty Judicial Nominees Still Awaiting Senate Action

(Thursday, December 6, 2012) -The Senate voted on Thursday to confirm two long-pending judicial nominees, each of whom won convincing bipartisan support on the floor. While Mark Walker and Terrence Berg waited six months and five months, respectively, for floor votes, 20 others remain pending, the victims of general GOP obstruction. In a statement for the Congressional Record, Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) spoke out against the groundless obstruction of consensus nominees, … Continue Reading


12.06.12

Senator Leahy Welcomes ‘Constructive’ New House GOP Proposal On Tribal Violence As He Pushes For Final Action On VAWA

(Thursday, December 6, 2012) - Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), lead author of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, Thursday highlighted a key provision in the measure that would allow tribal courts limited jurisdiction to consider domestic violence offenses committed against Indian women on tribal lands by non-Indian. This piece of the widely supported Leahy-Crapo measure was included to ensure that VAWA covers all victims in this country, and especially th… Continue Reading


12.05.12

Senate Republicans Setting Dangerous New Precedent For Nominations In Lame Duck Session

The Senate voted on Wednesday to confirm Michael Shea, a district court nominee from Connecticut who has been waiting on the Senate calendar since April. Seventeen additional circuit and district court nominees are still pending on the calendar, and despite broad bipartisan support for most, Republicans continue to break Senate tradition and obstruct. "Senate Republicans are establishing another harmful precedent by refusing to proceed on judicial nominees with bipartisan support before the en… Continue Reading


12.05.12

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On False Claims Act Settlements In 2012

[Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) commented Wednesday on news that the Department of Justice has recovered a record $5 billion in settlements and judgments under the False Claims Act cases, particularly in cases involving mortgages and health care. Senator Leahy has authored legislation to combat health care fraud and is the author of the Fraud Enforcement Recovery Act, a law strengthens tools and increase resources available to federal prosecutors to find, prosecute and jail t… Continue Reading


12.05.12

House Approves Leahy-Grassley Legislation To Implement Patent Law Treaties To Help U.S. Businesses Overseas

(Wednesday, December 5, 2012) - The House of Representatives Wednesday passed legislation authored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to implement two patent law treaties that will help American businesses expand into foreign markets, sending the bill to the White House for signature. The Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012 implements two treaties that will help American businesses expand into foreign markets by re… Continue Reading


12.04.12

Leahy Introduces Legislation To Encourage The Humanitarian Work Of American Innovators

(Tuesday, December 4, 2012) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Committee member Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) introduced legislation today that encourages and rewards the use of patented technology to address humanitarian needs. The bill, which builds on an existing program at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, seeks to reward patent holders who use their technology to improve the health and quality of life in impoverished nations by granting those business… Continue Reading

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