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


Washington Post Calls For Prompt Senate Vote On The Leahy E-Mail Privacy Bill --

Senator Leahy's email privacy bill, updating and reforming the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, or ECPA, has been approved again this year by the Judiciary Committee, which Leahy chairs. Leahy's bill, cosponsored by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, is now awaiting a vote by the full Senate, which could come soon. Following is a link to an editorial by the Washington Post, "An E-Mail Loophole Congress Needs To Close" - LINK:… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Comprehensive Immigration Reform

"It seems that nearly every day, we are reminded of the broad support from across the political spectrum for commonsense and humane immigration reform. Former President George W. Bush spoke of the need for immigration reform today in Texas, and expressed his hope that a 'benevolent spirit' will help inform the debate. And this morning President Obama released a report detailing the enormous economic benefits that will come with immigration reform. I worked with President Bush in 2006 when he … Continue Reading


Leahy Announces July 17 Hearing On The Voting Rights Act

(Wednesday, July 10, 2013) -The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing next week entitled "From Selma to Shelby County: Working Together to Restore the Protections of the Voting Rights Act," Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Wednesday. The hearing will review the impact of the Supreme Court's decision last month in Shelby County v. Holder, in which the Court struck down the coverage formula under the law. Leahy announced Wednesday that Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.), a civil ri… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Meeting with Attorney General Holder Regarding Review of Justice Department Press Guidelines

"The Committee had a good and constructive meeting with the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General to discuss proposed revisions to the Justice Department's guidelines for requesting information from the news media. In an open society, a free press is essential to guaranteeing the public's right to know. That is why the burden is always on the government, when it seeks information about the press or confidential sources, to protect freedom of speech and First Amendment rights. I commend… Continue Reading


Leahy Chairs SJC Confirmation Hearing With James Comey, FBI Director Nominee

(Tuesday, July 9, 2013) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is chairing a confirmation hearing this morning for James Comey, President Obama's nominee to be director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a ten-year term. Member statements and a webcast of the hearing are available online. Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Nomination of James B. Comey Jr. To Be Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation… Continue Reading


Leahy: Nominees Deserve Senate Attention

The Senate voted unanimously Monday to confirm Gregory Phillips to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. With a host of important judicial and executive nominees pending before the Senate and in the Judiciary Committee, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) urged lawmakers to work together to fill vacancies throughout the government. "Our Constitution provides the Senate an important role to play in providing advice to the President and in voting on whether to confirm nominees for our third branch of gov… Continue Reading


Leahy Welcomes News That The FDA Will Move Forward With Proposed Rulemaking To Protect Consumers Using Generic Drugs

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Wednesday welcomed news that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will move forward with a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to ensure that generic manufacturers of prescription drugs can update their warning labels to provide better patient safety information to consumers. Leahy has long championed this public safety issue, following two Supreme Court cases in which patients who were injured by a prescription drug were unable to seek … Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., Chairman Of The Budget Committee For The State Department And Foreign Assistance) On The Military Takeover In Egypt

"The Morsi government has been a great disappointment to the people of Egypt, and to all who wish Egypt a successful transition to responsive, representative government under the rule of law. He squandered an historic opportunity, preferring to govern by fiat rather than work with other political parties to do what is best for all Egyptians. Egypt's military leaders say they have no intent or desire to govern, and I hope they make good on their promise. In the meantime, our law is clear: U.… Continue Reading


Provisions Relevant To The Situation In Egypt In The FY12 State Department And Foreign Operations Appropriations Law --

Coups d'Etat Sec. 7008. None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available pursuant to titles III through VI of this Act shall be obligated or expended to finance directly any assistance to the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup d'etat or decree or, after the date of enactment of this Act, a coup d'etat or decree in which the military plays a decisive role: Provided, That assistance may be resumed to such government if the Preside… Continue Reading


Bipartisan Group of 26 Senators Seek Answers from DNI Clapper on Bulk Data Collection Program

The recent public disclosures of secret government surveillance programs have exposed how secret interpretations of the USA PATRIOT Act have allowed for the bulk collection of massive amounts of data on the communications of ordinary Americans with no connection to wrong-doing. Reliance on secret law to conduct domestic surveillance activities raises serious civil liberty concerns and all but removes the public from an informed national security and civil liberty debate. In order to foster tha… Continue Reading


Leahy Hails Passage of Historic Immigration Reform Bill

(Thursday, June 27, 2013) -Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) hailed the chamber's passage of sweeping immigration reform legislation that aims to unite families, boost the economy and bring millions into the legal immigration system. Leahy, the Senate's most senior member and president pro tem, managed the three-week floor debate on the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act that was approved in a bipartisan 68 to 32 vote. "With this leg… Continue Reading


Leahy Closing Statement On The Senate’s Historic Debate Of Comprehensive Immigration Reform

(THURSDAY, June 27, 2013) -Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who is managing debate of the bipartisan immigration reform bill that has been pending for the last three weeks, made the following floor statement - his closing remarks in the debate -- on the Senate's historic consideration of this legislation. The Senate will vote momentarily on final passage of the bipartisan measure that was also the subject of extensive consideration in the Judiciary Committee under Leahy… Continue Reading


Vermont Wild and Scenic Rivers

, June 27 - The Upper Missisquoi and Trout rivers in northern Vermont would be added to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System under legislation introduced today by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.). The system managed by the Department of the Interior was established in 1968 to recognize and preserve rivers with remarkable scenic and recreational value. Today, 40 other states have rivers listed under the Wild and Scenic Rivers System. The … Continue Reading


Victims' Groups Oppose Amendments Offered By Republican Senators As Having Destructive Unintended Consequences

From The Senate Judiciary Committee Majority Staff S. 744: The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act Victims' Groups Oppose Amendments Offered by Republican Senators As Having Destructive Unintended Consequences During floor debate, some Republican opponents of S.744 objected to votes on 32 non-controversial amendments offered by Republican and Democratic Senators unless they received votes on a series of controversial amendments, including amendments relatin… Continue Reading


Leahy Applauds DOMA Decision, Vows To Continue Fight For Equality For All Americans

(Wednesday, June 26, 2012) -Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) hailed the Supreme Court's decision Wednesday to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, and he vowed to continue working to ensure the nation's laws provide equal protection for all citizens. "Today, thousands of gay and lesbian individuals and families across the country have had their rights vindicated by the Supreme Court's decision," Leahy said, adding that "I share the joy of millions of American families… Continue Reading


The FISA Accountability and Privacy Protection Act of 2013

For Background Purposes Public revelations about two classified data collection programs have brought renewed attention to the powerful Government surveillance authorities contained in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), particularly the impact on law-abiding Americans of provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008. The Director of National Intelligence has acknowledged that they are being conducted pursuant to Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT and Sect… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Supreme Court’s Decision Overturning The Defense Of Marriage Act

[The Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision Wednesday in Windsor v. United States that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is a leading cosponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, a legislative fix to repeal DOMA. As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he led the panel's consideration of the legislation and he chaired the first-ever congressional hearing examining the effects of DOMA on American families. The Judiciary Commi… Continue Reading


Remarks of Senator Patrick Leahy At The Center For Victims Of Torture Eclipse Award

I appreciate this award, but frankly, in all honesty, it should not exist. This award should not exist. The fact that each year the Center for Victims of Torture presents this award to someone who has worked on behalf of torture survivors and for the prevention of torture, tells us a lot about the world today. It is shocking that in 2013, sixty-four years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, torture is still practiced in the vast majority of countries. While mos… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The President’s Address On Climate Change And Power Plant Emissions

I agree with the President that climate change represents one of the greatest challenges of our time, but it is also a challenge uniquely suited to our strengths as a country. Our scientists, researchers, universities and entrepreneurs stand ready to design and build new, less polluting energy sources. Vermont's and our country's farmers and forestland owners stand ready to grow renewable fuels. American businesses will innovate and develop new energy technologies that will reduce pollution a… Continue Reading


Leahy: A Vermonter’s Perspectives On Immigration, Family Values, And American Values

(TUESDAY, June 25, 2013) -Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who is managing consideration of the comprehensive immigration reform bill before the Senate, delivered the following statement Tuesday about his family's immigration experience. "Nearly every American family has a story like mine and Marcelle's. We are more alike than we are different from today's immigrants and first-generation Americans. The majority of new immigrants will continue this proud tradition… Continue Reading

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