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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 The Employment Non-Discrimination Act

The Senate has an historic opportunity today to take discrimination out of the workplace by casting a vote for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Today's vote has been 20 years in the making, and it is long overdue for Congress to extend these protections to all American workers. Years from now we will look back on this remedy as another substantial milestone on our Nation's everlasting quest to achieve a more perfect union - a quest to realize more completely the motto engraved in Vermont… Continue Reading


SJC To Hold Additional Oversight Hearing On Government Surveillance Programs

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a third oversight hearing on the government's use of surveillance authorities later this month, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Wednesday. Leahy has invited Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Gen. Keith Alexander, Director of the National Security Agency, and Deputy Attorney General James Cole to testify before the Committee on Wednesday, Nov. 20, at a hearing titled "Continued Oversight of U.S. Government Surveillance Authorities.… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On NSA Oversight and Accountability

We are at a watershed moment in the history of intelligence oversight, like nothing I have seen since the Church Committee. Some of the recent revelations have led to important national conversations about the scope of our nation's intelligence-gathering powers here at home, and to renewed legislative efforts to recalibrate those authorities and the related oversight regimes. The USA FREEDOM Act that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner and I introduced last week along with more than 100 members of C… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy Consequences of the House Allocation for the Department of State and Foreign Operations

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, as the Budget conferees work to reach agreement on the fiscal year 2014 budget, I want to join those who have expressed strong support for their efforts. We all know what the consequences will be if they do not reach agreement on a budget. Draconian cuts to defense acquisitions and readiness, to social safety net programs, to infrastructure, public schools, police - every federal program will suffer, and every American will feel the impact. Having been in the Senat… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Reducing Waste and Unnecessary Spending at the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development

Mr. President, during this time of budget constraints, sequestration, and continuing resolutions, it is crucial that every Federal department and agency identify maximum cost savings and improve efficiencies to minimize the impact of reductions on critical programs and personnel. It is also the responsibility of Congress to encourage departments and agencies to consistently identify and implement such savings and efficiencies. We do not have the luxury of allowing the continuation of programs … Continue Reading


Guest Column By Senator Patrick Leahy: Another Successful Vermont Drug Take Back Day

Another Successful Vermont Drug Take Back Day by U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy On October 26, police agencies around Vermont took part in a program that allowed Vermonters to dispose of their prescription drugs, no questions asked, at safe disposal sites in every county of the state. In just one day, Vermonters turned in 3,429 pounds of unused prescription drugs at 57 collection sites, taking thousands of dangerous pills out of circulation. They include leftover painkillers like Vicodin and OxyC… Continue Reading


SJC Holds Oversight Hearing On Bureau Of Prisons

The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing titled "Oversight of the Bureau of Prisons & Cost-Effective Strategies for Reducing Recidivism." Charles Samuels, the director of the Bureau of Prisons, is testifying before the panel. Chairman Leahy, who has made sentencing reform a priority this year and is a coauthor of the Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013, delivered the following statement at the beginning of today's hearing. Member statements, witness testimony and a webcast of today'… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on “Oversight of the Bureau of Prisons & Cost-Effective Strategies for Reducing Recidivism”

This is the second hearing this fall in which the Judiciary Committee turns its attention to the unsustainable growth in the federal prison population. In the last 30 years, the Bureau of Prisons has seen a 700 percent increase in its population, which now accounts for a full quarter of the Justice Department's operating budget. This dramatic increase in the prison population threatens public safety and critical funding for victim services. As BOP's budget diverts more and more resources from… Continue Reading


Senate Unanimously Passes Leahy-Grassley Bill To Protect Whistleblowers In Criminal Antitrust Cases

The Senate on Monday night unanimously passed legislation to extend whistleblower protection for employees who provide information to the Department of Justice related to criminal antitrust violations. U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and coauthors of the Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act, applauded the Senate's quick action on the bipartisan measure. Approval of the bill comes just days after th… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch: Vermont Receives $16.6 Million In Home Heating Assistance

Leahy, Sanders, Welch: Vermont Receives $16.6 Million In Home Heating Assistance (MONDAY, Nov. 4, 2013) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.), who have pressed for the release of federal home heating aid funds as winter weather has descended on Vermont, welcomed the federal release Monday of $16.6 million in heating assistance to the state. Leahy, Sanders and Welch have long championed the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee On The Employment Non-Discrimination Act

Leahy: "Until we pass legislation banning all discrimination in the workplace, we will fail to achieve the motto engraved in Vermont marble above the Supreme Court building that declares 'Equal justice under law.'" Today, Senators will finally have a chance to cast a vote that will put, on the Record, where every Senator stands on a fundamental issue of fairness. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act will help bring this great Nation one step closer to the goal of equal rights for all American… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee On the Nominations of Debra Brown and Gregory Woods

Today, we are voting on the nominations of Debra Brown and Gregory Woods to fill vacancies on the District Courts of Mississippi and New York. If confirmed, Ms. Brown would be the first African American woman to serve as a Federal judge in Mississippi. I am proud that together we will reach a landmark moment in diversity on the Federal bench, and I commend President Obama, Senator Wicker, and Senator Cochran for their important efforts. These nominations come at a trying time for the Federal … Continue Reading


USA FREEDOM Act Draws Bipartisan Praise

- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.), chairman of the Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee in the House, welcomed the broad support among stakeholders for legislation they introduced this week that would end the government's dragnet collection of phone records and require greater oversight, transparency and accountability with respect to domestic surveillance authorities. "The breadth of support for our bipartisan, bicameral legisl… Continue Reading


Leahy: More Than $4.2 M. In Grants Awarded To Tackle Domestic Violence in Vermont

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday announced that Vermont organizations have received more than $4.2 million in federal grants to support programs that are vital in preventing and prosecuting crimes related to domestic violence. The funding was recently awarded in a total of 10 grants from the U.S. Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women. Leahy chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, which oversees the Justice Department. Leahy authored and, this year, steered to enactment… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Nomination of Patricia Millett to the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Patricia Millett is unquestionably qualified to be the next judge on the D.C. Circuit. The Senate will soon vote to end debate on her nomination and I hope that the rank partisanship that shut down our government earlier this month will not be on display again with this upcoming vote. I hope the moderates who prided themselves in finding a solution to the shutdown will agree that Ms. Millett is an extraordinary nominee who should not be filibustered. Over the last few weeks, I have heard t… Continue Reading


Senate Panel Approves Nomination To D.C. Circuit

(Thursday, October 31, 2013) -- The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday continued its work of processing judicial vacancies by approving the nomination of Robert Wilkins to serve on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Wilkins would fill one of three vacancies on the 11-seat court. The Committee's approval of Judge Wilkins's nomination comes as the full Senate is poised to consider another nominee to the D.C. Circuit, Patricia Millett. Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said the Senate must confir… Continue Reading


Statement of Chairman Patrick Leahy Business Meeting Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act

The antitrust laws play a key role in promoting competition and protecting consumers. Criminal violations of these laws, which include offenses like price fixing, have a particularly negative effect on consumers. Proper enforcement of the antitrust laws ensures a free and fair marketplace where companies compete and consumers benefit. The bipartisan Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act will aid in the enforcement of these laws by protecting those who blow the whistle on criminal antitrust … Continue Reading


For Freedom's Sake

On Tuesday Senator Pat Leahy introduced the USA Freedom Act. It would dramatically curtail the National Security Agency's dragnet domestic surveillance programs by creating privacy advocates in the FISA Courts, requiring transparency of the secret court's decisions, and obligating the government to justify the collection of Americans' communications before doing so. A companion bill was introduced in the House by Wisconsin Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R). The House bill is particularly no… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Reports Of NSA Break-In Of Email Data Centers

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Wednesday responding to reports that communications links between the data centers of Internet companies Google and Yahoo were infiltrated by the National Security Administration. This week, Leahy introduced the bipartisan USA FREEDOM Act with Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) that would require greater oversight, transparency, and accountability with respect to the government's surveillance authorities… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), House-Senate Farm Bill Conference Committee

At long last, we are convening to reconcile our differences and enact a meaningful Farm Bill. I hope we will work in the same bipartisan spirit that has guided every Farm Bill conference of which I have been a part - and there have been seven of them since 1981. It has been 13 months since the last Farm Bill expired. I hear from farmers and rural communities in Vermont every day, telling me how imperative it is that we overcome our differences. This is not only a Farm Bill; it is a trade bill… Continue Reading

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