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


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Judicial Nominations in 2013

Republicans are once again-for the fifth year in a row-rejecting the longstanding Senate practice of scheduling confirmation votes on consensus nominees before the end of the session. Rather than working in a bipartisan fashion to confirm consensus nominees to fill judgeships as we wind down for the year, Senate Republicans have deliberately refused to agree to vote on consensus nominees who could and should be confirmed without delay. The result is that we will spend a significant portion of… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Target Data Breach

"Like many Americans, I am troubled by the revelation that Target suffered a major data security breach involving 40 million credit and debit cards used to pay for purchases at its stores. This data security breach is just the latest in a series of breaches that have impacted the privacy of millions of American consumers in recent years. It is also an important reminder that the Congress must act to develop a comprehensive national strategy to improve the nation's cybersecurity. "In the Dig… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy on the 2014 Defense Authorization Act.

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, the compromise Fiscal Year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act is an important authorization bill that I intend to support. This will be the second legislative matter considered by the Senate this week that reflects the kind of compromise too often missing from our deliberations in Congress. It does not meet the needs of every Senator, but it marks a step in the right direction and will allow the Department of Defense to move forward key programs in the coming year.… Continue Reading


Leahy Hails Confirmation Of Mayorkas To Top DHS Position

(Friday, December 20, 2013) -Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) hailed the Senate's vote Friday to confirm Alejandro Mayorkas to serve as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. The position has been without a Senate-confirmed leader since April. "The Department of Homeland Security is the leading agency for some of the most pressing issues facing our Nation, from providing disaster relief to protecting our borders," said Leahy, who spoke on the floor in … Continue Reading


Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Confirmation of Alejandro Mayorkas To be Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security is the leading agency for some of the most pressing issues facing our Nation, from providing disaster relief to protecting our borders. To serve the American people, this agency needs a full complement of leaders, and that is why I am glad the Senate is considering the nomination of Alejandro Mayorkas to be Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security. I commend Senator Carper, Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, for making his nom… Continue Reading


Protecting Citizens, and Their Privacy

In NYT Op-E, All 5 Members Of President's Review Group On NSA/Surveillance Endorse A Key Element Of The Leahy-Sensenbrenner USA FREEDOM Act: End The Domestic Program For Storing Bulk Telephone Metadata… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch Welcome FDA’s Pledge To Redraft Controversial FDA Food Safety Rules, Reflecting Concerns They Raised On Behalf Of Vermont Food Producers

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed Thursday that they will redraft controversial new food safety rules, and then seek additional public input, as requested last month by Vermont's congressional delegation -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I), and Congressman Peter Welch (D). In a joint statement Leahy, Sanders and Welch said: "We supported the Food Safety Modernization Act when it was adopted in 2011, but we also have serious concerns about FDA's first … Continue Reading


Vermont Wins $37 Million for Universal Pre-School

Vermont today won a $37 million federal grant for a statewide, pre-kindergarten program at public schools. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a member of the Senate education committee, worked closely with federal officials and Gov. Peter Shumlin's administration to secure the grant for early childhood education. Sanders said, "Psychologists tell us that, in terms of human development, the most important years are birth through four years of age. Yet, in terms of early childhood education, our natio… Continue Reading


Leahy: Awards To Vermont Boys & Girls Clubs Top $500,000

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Thursday that Vermont's Boys & Girls Clubs are being awarded $500,350 to help fund activities and programs administered by the six clubs that operate in Vermont. This latest round of awards brings the total for Vermont to over $8 million since 2005. The Boys & Girls Clubs of America provides awards to state clubs using funding provided by the U.S. Department of Justice dedicated to youth mentoring. This funding supplements the private contributions… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On the Bipartisan Budget Act

In what I hope is a sign of things to come, today, I expect the Senate to pass the Bipartisan Budget Act. The result of the long awaited budget conference -- one that had long been requested by Chairwoman Murray but never agreed to by Senate Republicans - the agreement has found some common ground and reflects a shared commitment to work for the American people, something in short supply in Congress these days. The budget deal we are considering today is a true compromise. I believe it would be… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Release of Recommendations by the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Release of Recommendations by the President's Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies December 18, 2013 [Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) released the following comment Wednesday after the White House released recommendations from the Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies to reform the nation's broad surveillance laws.] "The message to the… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Republican Opposition To Judicial Confirmation Hearing On Consensus Nominees

[On Wednesday, Senate Republicans invoked procedural tactics to prevent the Judiciary Committee from convening a confirmation hearing for five district court nominees. The hearing was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.] "The Republican shutdown of the Judiciary Committee is consistent with the obstruction we have witnessed over the last five years, which has led to record high vacancies in federal courts throughout the country. Home state Senators were consulted with respect to the nominees sc… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing On Abusive Patent Practices

(Tuesday, December 17, 2013) -The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing titled "Protecting Small Businesses and Promoting Innovation by Limiting Patent Troll Abuse." Chairman Patrick Leahy is the author of the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013, a bipartisan bill to protect businesses and innovators who are being improperly targeted by patent trolls. Member statements, witness testimony and a live webcast are available online. Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.),… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On the Confirmation of Jeh Johnson To be Secretary of Homeland Security

I am pleased to support the confirmation of Jeh Johnson to be the Secretary of Homeland Security. Mr. Johnson's distinguished career in public service, including his service as a Federal prosecutor and as General Counsel of the Department of Defense, will suit him well as he takes on this new and very challenging responsibility. I look forward to inviting Mr. Johnson to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee for an oversight hearing in the new year, which he has committed to do. Mr. Joh… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On the The 10th Anniversary of the Passage of the Hometown Heroes Survivors Benefits Act Senate Floor

Today I am proud to recognize the 10th anniversary of the enactment of the "Hometown Heroes Survivors Benefits Act" which occurred this past Saturday. Back in 2003, I worked with a bipartisan group of senators to pass this legislation to improve the Department of Justice's Public Safety Officers' Benefits (PSOB) program by allowing families of public safety officers who suffer fatal heart attacks or strokes to qualify for federal survivor benefits. I am proud to mark the 10-year anniversary of … Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On D.C. District Court Ruling On The NSA’s Telephone Surveillance Program

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) released the following comment Monday after a D.C. District Court judge issued a preliminary injunction ruling regarding the National Security Agency's phone surveillance program. Leahy introduced in November the USA FREEDOM Act, a bipartisan bill that would end the bulk collection of phone records under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act.] "Americans deserve an open and transparent debate about the constitutionality, efficacy, and appropr… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The One Year Anniversary Of The Tragedy At Sandy Hook Elementary School

"It has been one year since our hearts were broken by the unimaginable tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Marcelle and I give our thoughts and prayers in honor and remembrance of the innocent children and educators whose lives were taken, and to their brave and loving families who bear so great a burden. On this solemn anniversary, we keep in our hearts these families and a community that has lost so much." # # # # #… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces Witness List For Next Week’s Patent Troll Hearing

(FRIDAY, Dec. 13, 2013) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Friday released a witness list for the December 17 hearing on bipartisan legislation to combat so-called "patent trolls." New England Federal Credit Union President and CEO John Dwyer, from Williston, Vt., is among those scheduled to testify. Leahy has also invited Michael Makin, president and CEO of Printing Industries of America, to appear before the panel. "When small businesses in Vermont and across the… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee on the Confirmation of Patricia M. Wald to be a Member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board

I commend the Senate for confirming Judge Patricia M. Wald to be a Member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board ("PCLOB"). The Senate previously confirmed Judge Wald to this post on August 2, 2012. The President re-nominated Judge Wald to this position in March, and the Judiciary Committee favorably reported the nomination without objection months ago. Like many other nominees, her confirmation has been held up on the floor for months by Senate Republicans. During her tenure on … Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Agreement To Restoring Users’ Ability to Unlock Cellphones

[The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday announced that it had reached a voluntary agreement with the wireless industry allowing consumers to "unlock" their cell phones. Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced the bipartisan Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, S. 517, in March after the United States Library of Congress declined to renew an exemption to section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that allowed consumers to easily t… Continue Reading

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