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Press Releases

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

03.22.13

Leahy & Others Introduce Bill To Expand Cyber National Guard

U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, David Vitter, Chris Coons, Roy Blunt, Mary Landrieu, Patrick Leahy, Mark Warner and Patty Murray today introduced the Cyber Warriors Act of 2013. This legislation would, for the first time, establish Cyber and Computer Network Incident Response Teams (CCNIRT), known as Cyber Guards, as part of the National Guard, significantly expanding the limited cyber mission being performed by the National Guard. "Cyber attac… Continue Reading


03.22.13

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On the Withdrawal of the Nomination Of Caitlin Halligan to the D.C. Circuit

[Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Friday after the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals was withdrawn. Halligan was first nominated in September 2010 to fill a vacancy left open since 2005. She was nominated a total of five times.] "Caitlin Halligan is a woman who is extraordinarily well-qualified and amongst the most qualified judicial nominees I have seen from any administration. It is a shame that narrow,… Continue Reading


03.22.13

Citing Vile Conditions In Many Foreign Prisons, Leahy And Inhofe Offer Bill To Spotlight Problems And Spur Reforms

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) are renewing their drive to spur improvements in many foreign prisons where conditions are reminiscent of the Dark Ages. On Friday they reintroduced their Foreign Prison Conditions Improvement Act, which would systematically spotlight and document inhumane prison conditions, and then authorize a series of steps, including incentive grants, as catalysts for reform. Both senators have visited overcrowded and ill-equipped prisons.… Continue Reading


03.21.13

Leahy And Lofgren Lead Bicameral Introduction Of Refugee Protection Act

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) introduced companion legislation in the Senate and House of Representatives Thursday that would improve the Nation's immigration laws to ensure the longstanding American tradition of protecting refugees and asylum seekers fleeing persecution in their home countries. The Refugee Protection Act responds to shortfalls in current immigration law by repealing some of the most harsh, inefficient and unnecessary … Continue Reading


03.21.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) President Obama’s Trip to the Middle East

Mr. President, President Obama arrived in the Middle East today. It is his first visit as President to Israel and the West Bank. Some in the press have focused on the fact that the White House has lowered expectations for what will be accomplished in the three days of the President's visit. Others, including Members of Congress, have signed letters to the President. Rather than prejudge what can be achieved by this trip or try to tie the President's hands concerning the Middle East, I want … Continue Reading


03.21.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Vermonters Making a Difference

Mr. President, I have been privileged to serve Vermonters for many years as a voice on foreign policy matters, and I am always reminded that my work is a reflection of the outward looking posture of the people of my state. Vermonters have a long history of defending human rights and social justice at home and abroad. The longest functioning international exchange program is based in Vermont, and there are over 3,600 nonprofits registered in Vermont that are carrying out programs to protect th… Continue Reading


03.21.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Explosive Growth of Cities and the World’s Changing Climate

Mr. President, during the past 50 years there has been significant progress in improving living standards in developing countries. Some of the successes have been particularly noteworthy: eradicating smallpox and almost eradicating polio, stabilizing population growth rates in many areas, longer life spans, lower infant mortality, fewer people living in poverty, the expansion of democracy. Investments in international development made by government agencies, nonprofits, businesses, and phila… Continue Reading


03.21.13

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On A Threat to Free Speech in the Americas

Mr. President, there is much at the Organization of American States that needs to be reformed, but the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) is not among them. Yet that is what the Government of Ecuador, and some other Latin American governments, purport to be calling for when the OAS general assembly meets this coming Friday. In reality, it is not about reform at all, but a concerted effort to severely weaken the IACHR, the one institution in the Americas that has been a consiste… Continue Reading


03.20.13

Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing On Due Process And Immigration

(Wednesday, March 20, 2013) - The Senate Judiciary Committee is currently holding a hearing entitled, "Building an Immigration System Worthy of American Values." The hearing is being chaired by Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), and marks the third immigration-related of the committee since last month. Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who chaired the first hearing on comprehensive immigration reform this year, entered the following statement into the record. Testimony, member stateme… Continue Reading


03.20.13

Bipartisan Legislation To Give Judges More Flexibility For Federal Sentences Introduced

(Wednesday, March 20, 2013) -- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced bipartisan legislation Wednesday to allow judges greater flexibility in sentencing federal crimes where a mandatory minimum punishment is considered unnecessary. The bipartisan Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013 expands the so-called "safety valve" that allows judges to impose a sentence below the mandatory minimum in qualifying drug cases to all federal crimes. By gi… Continue Reading


03.20.13

Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing On Domestic Use Of Drones

(Wednesday, March 20, 2013) - The Senate Judiciary Committee is currently holding a hearing entitled, "The Future of Drones in America: Law Enforcement and Privacy Considerations." Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who outlined his concerns about the growing use of drones by federal and local authorities in January, delivered the following opening remarks at today's hearing. Testimony, member statements, and a webcast of the hearing are available online. # # # # # Statement of … Continue Reading


03.19.13

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Sequestration’s Impact on Vermont Senate Floor

It has been more than two weeks since an all too familiar stalemate in Congress prevented the passage of commonsense legislation and triggered the across-the-board budget cuts that are better known as sequestration. And while in the weeks leading up to sequestration we heard almost daily from Federal agencies, defense contractors and members from both sides of the aisle about just how harmful these cuts would be, the deadline for intervention has come and gone. Yet, incredibly, much of the foc… Continue Reading


03.19.13

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

Today the Judiciary Committee welcomes two more of President Obama's nominees, and I thank Senator Blumenthal for chairing this important hearing. Gregory Phillips is nominated to a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, and Karol Mason is nominated to lead the Office of Justice Programs at the Department of Justice. This is our fourth nominations hearing this year, and we continue to work to make progress in the consideration of the President's nominees. I expect that a… Continue Reading


03.19.13

Leahy, Lee Introduce Legislation To Update Electronic Communications Privacy Act

(TUESDAY, March 19, 2013) -- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced bipartisan legislation Tuesday to strengthen the 27-year-old Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and better protect digital privacy rights. "No one could have imagined just how the Internet and mobile technologies would transform how we communicate and exchange information today," Leahy said of the original ECPA law, which he authored in 1986. "Privacy laws … Continue Reading


03.19.13

Leahy Announces $200,000 Grant To Target Domestic Violence Homicides In Rutland

RUTLAND, Vt. (THURSDAY, March 14, 2013) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday announced that the City of Rutland will receive a $200,000 federal grant to combat domestic violence homicides - a crime category that accounts for more than half of all homicides in Vermont. The award comes just one week after Leahy's Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) was signed into law, renewing and strengthening its proven programs. Rutland is one of only 12 sites across the nation receiving t… Continue Reading


03.18.13

On Anniversary Of Historic SCOTUS Decision, Leahy Introduces Gideon’s Promise Act

On the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's landmark decision in Gideon v. Wainwright, which established the right to a lawyer for all criminal defendants, Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced legislation that would ensure fairness in the criminal justice system for all participants. The Gideon's Promise Act of 2013 takes important new steps to help realize the fundamental right to counsel articulated in Gideon. The legislation authored by Leahy, a former prosecutor,… Continue Reading


03.18.13

Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing On Families And Comprehensive Immigration Reform

- The Senate Judiciary Committee is currently holding a hearing entitled, "How Comprehensive Immigration Reform Should Address the Needs of Women and Families." Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who presided over the committee's first immigration hearing this year, entered the following statement into the record on today's hearing. Testimony, member statements, and a webcast of the hearing are available online. # # # # # Statement of Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) "How Compreh… Continue Reading


03.18.13

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Nomination Of Tom Perez To Be Secretary Of Labor

"Tom Perez will bring an impressive resume to the top spot at the Department of Labor. A former Secretary of Labor in Maryland, and a fierce defender of workers' rights and civil rights, Tom is uniquely suited to serve in this important post at a critical time when Congress will be considering issues like immigration reform, reducing unemployment, and continuing our economic recovery. He is a dedicated public servant, and since 2009, he has worked hard to restore the reputation of the Civil Ri… Continue Reading


03.15.13

Leahy Lauds Multiple Federal Economic Flood-Recovery Tools Being Deployed This Week In Bennington, Windham and Windsor Counties

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. - During a Friday afternoon visit to Brattleboro, Senator Patrick Leahy congratulated southern Vermont planning and development organizations on the deployment of two federal economic flood recovery initiatives he worked with Senator Bernie Sanders, Representative Peter Welch and Governor Peter Shumlin to secure. Leahy's visit coincided with Thursday's launch of the Southern Vermont Post-Irene Recovery Project and the first grant awards to Southern Vermont businesses impacted b… Continue Reading


03.15.13

Bill Introduced In House and Senate To Improve Veterans Groups Access To Surplus Federal Property

U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Tom Carper (D-DE) and Congressman Dan Benishek (R-MI-01) and Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA-26) have introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation that would improve veterans groups' access to surplus personal property donated by the federal government. The General Services Administration (GSA) currently oversees the distribution of surplus property to eligible organizations, such as medical institutions, providers of … Continue Reading

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