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Press Releases

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

05.11.12

Reaction of Senator Patrick Leahy To The Administration’s Decision To Resume Sales To Bahrain Of Major Military Equipment

[Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chairs the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Department of State and Foreign Operations. He is the author of the Leahy Law which prohibits U.S. aid to foreign security forces that violate human rights, and of an amendment enacted last year that restricts tear gas and other crowd control items to security forces of countries undergoing democratic transition in the Middle East.] "The U.S. and the Government of Bahrain share strategic interests, but if history has … Continue Reading


05.11.12

Senate Passes Leahy-Authored Resolution Commemorating National Peace Officers Memorial Day

(Friday, May 11, 2012) - The Senate Thursday night adopted a resolution authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to commemorate the service of law enforcement officers across the country and honor those who lost their lives in the line of duty in the last year. The Senate adopted the resolution in advance of Police Week, an annual remembrance of those officers killed in the line of duty. The Leahy-authored resolution recognizes May 15, 2012, as National Peace Officers Memorial Day. Next wee… Continue Reading


05.10.12

President Taps General Dubie To Be Deputy Commander Of NORTHCOM

(THURSDAY, May 10) - The Vermont Congressional Delegation announced Thursday that President Obama has tapped the Adjutant General of the Vermont National Guard, Major General Michael Dubie, for a top post in the U.S. military's homeland defense mission. General Dubie has been nominated to be the next Deputy Commander of the United States Northern Command (NORTHCOM), the military's unified command in charge of protecting U.S. territory and providing military support for civil authorities in the… Continue Reading


05.10.12

Leahy: SJC Will Hold Hearing On Citizens United Constitutional Amendment Proposals

(May 10, 2012) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced today that the Constitution Subcommittee will hold a hearing to examine pending constitutional proposals to remedy the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision. Leahy has asked Subcommittee Chairman Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) to hold the hearing, which is scheduled for July 17. "The devastating effects of the Court's divisive decision in Citizens United are already being felt in states and communities across… Continue Reading


05.09.12

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On President Obama’s Announced Support For Marriage Equality

[Senator Leahy is a leading cosponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, legislation that would repeal the 15-year-old Defense of Marriage Act. 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 consideration of the legislation. The Committee approved the repeal bill in November.] "In the 15 years since the Defense of Marriage Act, Vermonters have led the way in supporting equalit… Continue Reading


05.09.12

Leahy Chairs Hearing On Oversight Of The IP Enforcement Coordinator

(Wednesday, May 9, 2012) - The Senate Judiciary Committee today holds an oversight hearing with the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC). Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) was a lead author of the 2008 Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property (PRO-IP) Act, which established the office of the IPEC within the Executive Office of the President. The office coordinates efforts across government agencies to combat intellectual property theft. Testifyi… Continue Reading


05.08.12

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On House Judiciary Committee Consideration Of Legislation To Reauthorize VAWA

Republican members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee ignored the broad bipartisan support for the Senate-passed Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. Instead, the House Judiciary Committee Republicans insisted on crafting a controversial bill that that not only fails to include the Senate's improved protections for Native American women and gay and lesbian victims, it removes historic protections for immigrant women and leaves them more vulnerable to domestic and sexual abuse. "It is… Continue Reading


05.08.12

Leahy Urges End Of Filibuster Of Bill To Avert Doubling Of Student Loan Rates

(TUESDAY, May 8) -- The U.S. Senate Tuesday failed in the first attempt to end the filibuster that is preventing debate and votes on a bill to head off a sharp interest rate hike in federally subsidized Stafford student loans that is looming for 20,000 Vermont students on July 1. A bill cosponsored by U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) - the "Stop Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act" - would keep the Stafford loan interest rates nationwide from doubling to 6.8 percent, from the current rate of … Continue Reading


05.07.12

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Nominations Of Jacqueline Nguyen, Kristine Baker, and John Lee

For the last four months, the Senate has been forced to slowly work its way through the backlog created by Republican objections at the end of last year to consensus nominees. Finally, with consideration today of the long-delayed nomination of Judge Nguyen to fill a longstanding judicial emergency vacancy on the overburdened Ninth Circuit, the Senate will have completed the confirmations that could and should have taken place last year. Today, five months into the year, is the first time the S… Continue Reading


05.07.12

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy The Assault On Freedom Of Expression In Ecuador

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, May 3rd was World Press Freedom Day. In this country, we recognize freedom of expression as our most cherished right. It forms the foundation for every other freedom, and an independent press is essential to its exercise. Yet in many countries expression is often censored and punished. Journalists are threatened, imprisoned, and killed for exposing official corruption and criticizing government repression. Not only is the media targeted and silenced, the entire po… Continue Reading


05.07.12

Leahy Introduces Bill To Reauthorize Lifesaving Bulletproof Vest Grant Program

(Monday, May 7, 2012) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday introduced legislation to reauthorize the lifesaving Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program, a federal grant program that helps state and local law enforcement agencies purchase bulletproof vests for officers working in the field. Leahy authored the law establishing the matching grant program. "Law enforcement officers in Vermont and across the country are putting their lives on the line each and every day to keep our communitie… Continue Reading


05.07.12

The Leahy Letter -- May 7, 2012

Senate Passes Bipartisan Leahy Bill To Renew And Strengthen The Violence Against Women Act The Senate on April 26 passed the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA), a major step forward in the continued fight against domestic and sexual abuse. Senator Leahy, joined by Republican Senator Mike Crapo of Idaho, introduced the bill last November. The Leahy-Crapo bill garnered a solid bipartisan vote of 68 to 31. A former prosecutor in Vermont and longtime champion of crime victims… Continue Reading


05.04.12

Remarks Of Senator Patrick Leahy At The Vermont Bar Association’s Law Day Event

I am pleased to be here with all of you today to participate in on Vermont's commemoration of Law Day. Preserving the rule of law, ensuring access to justice, and maintaining a fair and independent judiciary are issues that I am working on every day in Washington, because they matter to people here in Vermont. State and federal courts are charged with protecting Vermonters and all Americans from government overreach. We depend on our courts, and the lawyers like many of you here today who adv… Continue Reading


04.27.12

Leahy Rescues $3.9 M. For Vermont Law School And Vermont-Based Institute For Sustainable Communities To Continue Program That Is Helping To Foster Environmental Advocacy In China

(FRIDAY, April 27) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has rescued $3.9 million to continue the work of two pioneering Vermont organizations that are helping to nurture the emergence of environmental advocacy in China. Leahy, who chairs the Senate's committee on the budget for the State Department, foreign aid and other U.S. foreign operations, has secured about $15 million each year for several years to fund a competitive grant program for rule-of-law training in China, where the judiciary is of… Continue Reading


04.26.12

Leahy: Taylor Conviction Shows That The World Can Hunt Down War Criminals And Bring Them To Justice

(THURSDAY, April 26) -- A UN-backed tribunal Thursday convicted former Liberian president Charles Taylor of aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity - the first time a head of state has been convicted by an international court since the Nazi trials at Nuremberg. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) worked closely with successive prosecutors at the Special Court for Sierra Leone in making today's breakthrough possible. Leahy, as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee's Subcommi… Continue Reading


04.26.12

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Senate Passage Of S.1925, The Leahy-Crapo Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, In A Bipartisan Vote Of 68 To 31

"The Senate's action to pass important legislation ensuring access to the life-saving resources provided by VAWA is a testament to what the Senate can do when we work together to meaningfully address needs identified by our constituents. Our consideration of this bill should serve as a model for how the Senate considers legislation, without needless procedural delays and unrelated amendments. "The Violence Against Women Act has always been and continues to be a bipartisan priority. Our efforts… Continue Reading


04.26.12

Leahy: Republican VAWA Proposal Fails To Meet Unmet Needs Of Victims

There are few tools more important in the fight to end domestic and sexual violence than the Violence Against Women Act. This landmark legislation has fundamentally changed the way society views these horrible crimes, and it has resulted in a more than 60 percent decrease in domestic violence offenses. We have been successful because we have learned from experience and adapted our efforts to better meet the needs of victims. Each reauthorization of VAWA has played a critical role in this process… Continue Reading


04.26.12

Senate Confirms Two To District Courts In Texas; Leahy Statement

(Thursday, April 26, 2012) - The U.S. Senate Thursday confirmed two long-pending nominations to fill vacancies on district court benches in Texas. Both nominations were reported to the full Senate by the Judiciary Committee in December, each with unanimous support. Last month, Senate leadership reached an agreement to consider a number of pending judicial nominations, including the nominations confirmed Thursday. Just three nominations covered by that agreement remain to be confirmed; however… Continue Reading


04.26.12

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy, Committee On Agriculture, Nutrition, And Forestry At The Markup Of The 2012 Farm Bill

Madam Chairwoman and Ranking Member Roberts, you had an especially tough row to hoe in writing this 2012 Farm Bill. This Committee has widely varied interests, which are even more pronounced under the difficult fiscal constraints Congress faces. While I think most of us can agree that this bill is not perfect, you have done a good job working together and we commend your staffs for their dedication and responsiveness to each of the members of this Committee. I am glad we are working together … Continue Reading


04.25.12

Senate Begins Debate On Reauthorizing Landmark Violence Against Women Act

The U.S. Senate is proceeding to debate on legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) to reauthorize the landmark Violence Against Women Act. Leahy chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, which reported the legislation to the full Senate for consideration in February. The legislation is endorsed by more than 1,000 national, state and local organizations, from law enforcement to religious organizations, victim advocates to health professionals. The Vi… Continue Reading

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