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Press Releases

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

03.14.12

Gov. Peter Shumlin, Vermont’s Congressional Delegation And FEMA Announce Major Flood Recovery Investments

NORTHFIELD - Gov. Peter Shumlin, Vermont's Congressional delegation and FEMA officials today announced a $19.8 million investment to reduce the risk of property damage due to future flooding, and help homeowners and businesses whose properties are currently located in dangerous flood plains. The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program will enable communities to buy eligible properties damaged in 2011 and at serious risk of future flooding. The award list contains 72 projects, including the buy-out of 1… Continue Reading


03.14.12

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy At A Hearing On The Fiscal Year 2013 USAID Budget Request

Welcome Dr. Shah and thank you for being here. This morning we will discuss the United States Agency for International Development's budget request for fiscal year 2013. It has been a little over two years since you became USAID Administrator and began to address the serious cultural, management, and programmatic problems you inherited that have plagued USAID for years. We appreciate your efforts. You are taking steps to improve efficiency and reduce costs, which are reflected in your budge… Continue Reading


03.13.12

Leahy, Sanders Join in Urging FDA to Require Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods

Leahy, Sanders Join in Urging FDA to Require Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods 55 Senate and House Lawmakers Call on Agency to Ensure Consumers Can Make Informed Choices About What They Eat Washington, D.C. - Senator Patrick Leahy and Senator Bernie Sanders joined with 53 other Senate and House lawmakers in sending a letter urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require the labeling of genetically engineered foods so that consumers can make informed choices about what they … Continue Reading


03.13.12

Bipartisan Legislation Will Protect Older Workers from Discrimination

Iowa Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) have today joined with Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to introduce legislation that revives vital civil rights protections for older workers that were limited following the Supreme Court's decision in Gross v. FBL Financial. Harkin is Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee while Senators Leahy and Grassley are the Chairman and ranking member respectively of the Senate Judiciary Committee. In Gross, the Supr… Continue Reading


03.13.12

Leahy Chairs Annual Sunshine Week Hearing In Senate Judiciary Committee

(Tuesday, March 13, 2012) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) chaired a hearing Tuesday on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the nation's premier open government law. The nation is celebrating Sunshine Week, an observance of the importance of an open and transparent government. "Sunshine Week is a timely reminder that, as the Congress considers how best to safeguard critical infrastructure information in cyberspace, we must also safeguard the American public's rig… Continue Reading


03.13.12

Leahy: Pattern Of Obstruction And Filibusters Hurts Our Federal Courts

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) spoke Tuesday on the Senate floor about the obstruction of judicial nominations pending before the full Senate. On Monday, Majority Leader Harry Reid filed cloture on 17 judicial nominations to fill vacancies on federal district courts across the country, some of which were reported by the Judiciary Committee with unanimous support in October. The Senate is expected to turn to the nominations on Wednesday.] Statement Of Senator Pat… Continue Reading


03.12.12

Leahy Applauds Move To Bring Long-Pending Judicial Nominations To A Vote

(Monday, March 12, 2012) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday applauded a move by leadership to force votes on 17 judicial nominations awaiting final approval by the Senate. At the opening of Monday's session of the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed procedural motions on district court nominations currently pending before the full Senate, some reported by the Judiciary Committee as long ago as October 2011. "Needless, unexplained delays have stalle… Continue Reading


03.12.12

Remarks Of Senator Patrick Leahy At An Event With Invisible Children At Champlain College

I am very pleased to be part of this effort to highlight the atrocities of the Lord's Resistance Army, and I congratulate the Champlain students who have taken the initiative to educate other students and the entire community. I also want to thank Mr. Quinto for being here. As Mr. Quinto described from his own experience, the LRA has terrorized the people of northern Uganda, the Congo, and elsewhere in Central Africa, for more than 20 years. Thousands of people have been uprooted from th… Continue Reading


03.07.12

Leahy Is Part Of New Effort To Help Communities Flip Vacant Homes And Commercial Buildings To Accelerate Rebound Of Real Estate Markets, Spurring Economic Recovery

(WEDNESDAY, March 7) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has joined in offering new legislation to breathe new life into homes and businesses made vacant by foreclosures. Leahy is an original cosponsor of the Project Rebuild Act, introduced in the Senate this week by Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.). Leahy said, "Vacant homes and businesses are a drag on entire neighborhoods and communities. Abandoned buildings are a foot on the brake pedal, depressing home and commercial property values and slowing the… Continue Reading


03.07.12

Senate Approves Leahy-Grassley Bill To Increase Penalties For Counterfeit Drugs

The Senate Tuesday night unanimously approved a bill authored by U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to increase penalties for trafficking counterfeit drugs. The legislation responds to recommendations made by the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator and the administration's Counterfeit Pharmaceutical Inter-agency Working Group. The Counterfeit Drug Penalty Enhancement Act will increase penalties for the trafficking of counterfeit drugs to reflect the … Continue Reading


03.06.12

Leahy, Grassley Introduce Bill To Reauthorize Drug Free Communities Program

(Tuesday, March 6, 2012) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday introduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the critical Drug Free Communities (DFC) Program, which provides valuable grants to help community coalitions respond to serious drug and substance abuse problems in their communities. The bill is cosponsored by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa.). The legislation introduced Tuesday will reauthorize the Drug Free Communities Program through 2017. Under the program, community coalitio… Continue Reading


03.06.12

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Nominations Of Mary Elizabeth Phillips To The Western District Of Missouri And Thomas Owen Rice To The Eastern District Of Washington

Today the Senate will vote on the confirmation of two highly-qualified, consensus nominees to the Federal bench: Mary Elizabeth Phillips to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri and Thomas Owen Rice to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington. I thank the Majority Leader for pressing for these votes. These are nominees who were reported unanimously by the Senate Judiciary Committee last October, almost five months ago. They are both supported by t… Continue Reading


03.06.12

Balancing Security And Open Government In The Cyber Age

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has been a bulwark of our open society since it was signed into law by President Johnson 45 years ago. Today, amid debates in Congress about how best to improve the nation's security in cyberspace, we must remember that while we have an obligation to protect the government's most sensitive information, we also have an equally compelling duty to safeguard the public's "right to know" about threats to their health and safety. Of course government secrecy has… Continue Reading


03.05.12

Vermont Wins $3.4 Million for Head Start Education

BURLINGTON, Vt., March 5 - U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) announced today that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded Vermont $3.4 million in funding to help support Head Start programs in Barre and Burlington. The Central Vermont Community Action Agency in Barre was awarded $1.8 million. Another $1.5 million will go to the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity of Burlington. Head Start programs provide educ… Continue Reading


03.02.12

Leahy Announces $3 M. For Local Water Quality, Fisheries And Ecosystem Restoration Work

BURLINGTON, Vt. (FRIDAY, March 2) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday announced $3 million in new funding for a wide range of locally managed water quality, fisheries and ecosystem restoration work on Lake Champlain during the coming year. The federal dollars, just recently confirmed, are part of the newly enacted federal budget for this federal fiscal year. Leahy is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the funds he secures for Vermont have long been the main engine fo… Continue Reading


03.01.12

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Egyptian Government’s Release Of U.S. NGO Workers

[Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee's budget panel for the State Department and foreign operations, is the architect of newly enacted conditions on U.S. military aid to Egypt. Leahy's committee included $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt in the Fiscal Year 2012 budget, signed into law in December. But for the first time, the aid is subject to conditions proposed by Leahy which are based on Egyptian military leaders' Arab Spring pledges to the Egyptia… Continue Reading


03.01.12

Durbin, Leahy, Feinstein, Menendez, Cardin And Casey Ask President Obama To Extend Temporary Protected Status For Syrians In The U.S.

US Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Bob Casey (D-PA) wrote to President Obama today, asking his Administration to extend temporary protected status (TPS) to Syrian nationals currently in the United States. Such a designation would allow Syrians living in the United States to temporarily stay because violence in their home country poses a serious threat to their safety. "In light of the ongoing violence a… Continue Reading


03.01.12

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Blunt Amendment

The Senate is considering a bipartisan bill that would reauthorize critical infrastructure investments and that will protect an estimated 1.8 million jobs if enacted before the end of this month. Unfortunately, in order to move forward on this important legislation, my friends on the other side of the aisle have demanded that we first consider an amendment entirely unrelated to transportation or even job creation. We have now spent the past two days considering a Republican amendment that would… Continue Reading


02.29.12

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On NOPEC Amendment To The Moving Ahead For Progress In The 21st Century Act

I am proud to join Senator Kohl and have long supported the No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act (NOPEC). We were able to pass this NOPEC bill as a response to the OPEC oil cartel by a vote of 70 to 23 a few years ago. The Senate should pass it again. This time, the House should also adopt this sensible application of our antitrust laws to those who fix prices and manipulate the oil market to the detriment of American consumers. We should be doing what we can to ensure that oil pric… Continue Reading


02.29.12

Leahy Statement At Hearing On Banning Indefinite Detention Of Americans

[Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) strongly opposed provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act that permit the indefinite detention of terrorism suspects, including American citizens arrested in the United States. Senator Leahy is a lead cosponsor of the Due Process Guarantee Act, bipartisan legislation that would ensure that the detention provisions of the NDAA do not permit the indefinite detention of citizens and lawful permanent residents of the United States. The Senate Judiciary Co… Continue Reading

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