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


Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Second Oversight Hearing On Government Surveillance Programs

(Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013) -The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing titled "Continued Oversight of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act." This is the second oversight hearing convened by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) since July on the use of government surveillance programs. Member statements, witness testimony and a webcast of today's hearing are available online. Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, Hearing on "Continuing Oversig… Continue Reading


Leahy Applauds Senate Passage Of Bipartisan Bill To Reauthorize Critical Visa Program For Iraqi Translators

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) hailed the Senate's unanimous approval of a bipartisan measure to extend an important visa program for Iraqi translators who support U.S. troops abroad. The Senate unanimously approved a bipartisan bill late Monday night, just as the program's authorization was set to expire, and Leahy called on the House to act quickly. "This program offers nothing short of a lifeline for the Iraqi men and women who risked everything supporting the United States' mission in Iraq,… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On the Possible Shutdown of the United States Government

I am disappointed that a small group of extremists continue to insist on shutting down the Federal government, placing their own political agenda ahead of the good of the country. The obsession with defunding or delaying the Affordable Care Act, which will continue to be implemented in the event of a government shutdown, is out of touch and it poses serious threats for our economy and for the well-being of thousands of hardworking Federal employees and those who rely on important government ser… Continue Reading


Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), On The Looming Government Shutdown September 30, 2013

"With the government on the verge of shutting down, a small group in Congress continues to play politics with the very programs and policies so vital to millions of Americans. Children on Head Start programs. Veterans returning from combat. Seniors who depend on Medicare. Repairs are suspended to roads and bridges that are about to collapse. Our recovery from floods and hurricanes is hurt. Our nation's security is at risk. "Our constituents elect us to lead, not to play bumper sticker polit… Continue Reading


Leahy: Six Vermont Jurisdictions Net Over $700,000 For New Police Hires

(Friday, Sept. 27, 2013) - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday announced that Vermont will receive $744,558 in grants for the hiring and rehiring of law enforcement officers. The grants to six law enforcement agencies across Vermont are administered by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) through the federal agency's COPS Hiring Program. Leahy, a former prosecutor, said, "COPS hiring grants remain a crucial source of support for our state and local… Continue Reading


Patty Stonesifer to Keynote Senator Leahy’s 17th Annual Women’s Economic Opportunity Conference

Registration is open for Vermont's 17th Annual Vermont Women's Economic Opportunity Conference, to be held Saturday, Oct. 19, at Vermont Technical College in Randolph. The free conference, presented by U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, draws hundreds of women from around Vermont who want to hone their business skills, polish their résumés or explore new career possibilities. This year's conference will feature nearly 30 morning and afternoon workshops, including a range of offerings des… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy Consequences of a Government Shutdown and a Full Year Continuing Resolution for U.S. National Security Senate Floor

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I have listened this week to the distinguished Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee who has made a compelling case for passing a clean, short term continuing resolution through November 15th so we can get on to the business of debating and passing appropriations bills. I agree with everything she has said, and particularly about the bipartisan way the Committee has written and reported bills this year. Any of those bills could be debated and voted on today, co… Continue Reading


[BREAKING] With Time Running Out For Champlain Basin River Gages, Leahy Announces Funding Solution To Keep Them Operating

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Thursday that agreements are being finalized among key partners to prevent the looming shutdown of several U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) river gages in the Lake Champlain Basin. Leahy for years has been the driving force in keeping the gages operating. The measuring devices have become vital tools in monitoring water quality and flood dangers, as seen during Irene and again in this year's flooding. The Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) Steering Com… Continue Reading


Following is the summary of the revised EIS on F-35 basing that the members of the Vermont Congressional Delegation received late Wednesday from the Air Force:

Following is the summary of the revised EIS on F-35 basing that the members of the Vermont Congressional Delegation received late Wednesday from the Air Force: (SOURCE: U.S. Air Force -) F-35A OPERATIONAL BASING FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT SUMMARY *Preferred Alternative only; Record of Decision will be made in the Fall of 2013 The "Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for United States Air Force F-35A Operational Basing" analyzes the Air Force proposal to base F-35A aircraft … Continue Reading


Leahy Applauds Senate Passage Of Legislation To Reauthorize National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) welcomed the chamber's unanimous approval Wednesday of bipartisan legislation to extend a successful program supporting efforts to find missing and exploited children. The House overwhelmingly approved the measure to reauthorize the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) more than a week ago, but despite the bill's broad bipartisan support, its passage in the Senate was delayed over anonymous objections. The Center's current charter is set to ex… Continue Reading


Senate Votes To Confirm Federal Circuit Court Nominee

(Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) hailed the unanimous confirmation Tuesday of Todd Hughes to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Leahy also noted that Hughes's confirmation marks an important milestone for the judicial branch-he is the first openly gay judge ever to serve on a Federal appellate court. The Senate voted to confirm him 98-0. "I am proud that today the Senate is finally taking this critical step to break … Continue Reading


Senator Leahy Speaks On Senate Floor About The Budget Stalemate, And The House’s Slashing Cuts To The SNAP Food Aid Program

Today we are voting on the nomination of Todd Hughes to fill a judicial vacancy on the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. This vote marks an important milestone: If confirmed, Mr. Hughes will be the first openly gay judge to serve on a Federal appellate court in our Nation's history. I am proud that the Senate is finally taking an historic step to break down another barrier and increase diversity on our Federal bench. I ask that the full text of my statement be placed in… Continue Reading


Leahy Delivers Keynote Address On Foreign Surveillance Oversight At Georgetown University Law Center

NOTE: Prepared remarks include Chairman Leahy's announcement that he is working with members in the House and Senate on new legislation to reform and improve certain provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act and FISA Amendments Act. The Judiciary Committee will also meet next week to hear additional testimony on the issue. A webcast of the speech and panel discussion featuring former Vice President Walter Mondale and Senator Gary Hart can be viewed here. REMARKS OF SENATOR PATRICK LEAHY GEORGETOWN UNI… Continue Reading


Leahy: Norwich University Applied Research Institutes Gains Multi-Million Dollar Cybersecurity Contracts

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday announced that Norwich University Applied Research Institutes (NUARI) of Northfield has been awarded competitive contracts worth up to $9.9 million from the Department of Homeland Security. NUARI will provide research and development services in support of developing a national cyber war-gaming capability designed to make critical infrastructure more resilient to cyber-attacks. The initial award is $1.5 million and the total potential value of the ongoing … Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Members Call For IG Review Of Surveillance Authorities

A bipartisan group of nine Senate Judiciary Committee members, led by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), sent a letter Monday calling for the inspector general of the intelligence community to conduct a full-scale review of the use of surveillance authorities and make public the findings. Specifically, the Senators are asking for detailed information on the surveillance of Americans under FISA and Patriot Act authorities and any misuse of these authoritie… Continue Reading


Leahy Praises EPA Announcement Of New Limits On Pollution From Future Power Plants

-- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday praised the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) announcement of new, separate limits on the amount of pollution that new natural gas and coal power plants can release into the air. The announcement is one of the first steps under President Obama's Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon pollution from power plants, which are the nation's largest stationary sources of carbon pollution. Leahy has long championed clean air and water policies and has been t… Continue Reading


Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy As House Votes To Slash Nutrition Relief To The Poor And To Erect Yet Another Barrier To Enactment Of A Farm Bill

- The U.S. House of Representatives late Thursday voted for massive cuts in food assistance for the poorest Americans, creating further obstacles to passing a long-delayed Farm Bill. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the most senior member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, said, "This attack on one of the most vital strands of the already frayed poverty safety net is cobbled from myths and fueled by mean-spiritedness heaped on those who are struggling the most in our… Continue Reading


Judiciary Committee Passes Leahy-Backed National Blue Alert Bill To Help Find Criminals Who Injure Or Kill Law Enforcement Officers

By a vote of 15 to 3, the Senate Judiciary Committee today passed the National Blue Alert Act, S. 357, which would create a nationwide alert system to apprehend violent criminals who have injured or killed police officers. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), author of the bill, and cosponsor Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), called the vote an important pledge of support for America's law enforcement officers. Similar to the successful Amber Alert system, the program would allow… Continue Reading


D.C. Circuit Nominee Approved By Judiciary Committee

(Thursday, September 19, 2013) - The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved the nomination of Nina Pillard to serve on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. If confirmed, Pillard would fill one of three vacancies on the court. "Professor Pillard's character and qualifications are unassailable," Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said during Thursday's executive business meeting. "Some may not agree with everything she has written as a law professor, but I hope that every m… Continue Reading


Leahy, Schumer Introduce Bill To Help Growing U.S. Cider Industry

- U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) teamed up on Thursday to introduce legislation aimed at helping the growing hard cider industry in Vermont and New York. Their CIDER Act - Cider Investment and Development through Excise Tax Reduction Act - would update the federal definition of hard cider to meet current market expectations and manufacturing practices. Leahy said: "Vermont is closely associated with the booming market for hard cider, and this is a great oppo… Continue Reading

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