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

12.02.11

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Cloture Motion On The Nomination Of Caitlin Halligan To Serve On The U.S. Court Of Appeals For The District Of Columbia

Majority Leader Reid Thursday night filed cloture on the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The Senate will vote at approximately noon on Tuesday on the motion to invoke cloture. "Caitlin Halligan is a widely respected attorney with an impressive background and long record of public service. Her nomination to fill one of three vacant seats on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has received support from across … Continue Reading


12.01.11

Senate Adopts Leahy Amendment To Promote Transparency In Defense Auth. Bill

(Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011) - The U.S. Senate Thursday adopted an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to limit an overbroad legislative exemption to the Freedom of Information Act. The amendment was adopted unanimously. The Senate will vote on final passage of the NDAA later this evening. Leahy's amendment adds a public interest balancing test requiring the Secretary of Defense to consider whether the disclosure of critical infrast… Continue Reading


12.01.11

Leahy Hails Naming Of Vermont’s Jean Richardson To National Organic Standards Board

(THURSDAY, Dec. 1) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Thursday that a Vermont maple producer and rural development and environmental policy expert has been named to the advisory board that helps set standards for organic agriculture and products. Leahy said University of Vermont emeritus professor Jean Richardson will assume the consumer/public interest slot on the 15-member National Organic Standards Board, which has a key role in the national organic standards and labeling program, es… Continue Reading


12.01.11

Leahy: Senate Should Not Limit Law Enforcement, Intelligence Gathering Tools

(Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011) - U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) spoke Thursday on the Senate floor in support of an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to ensure that the requirement of military detention of terrorism suspects does not apply domestically. Leahy is a cosponsor of the amendment, which is sponsored by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The Secretary of Defense, the Directo… Continue Reading


12.01.11

Vermont Syrup Produces To Receive Grants To Make Production More Energy Efficient

, Dec. 1 - Vermont's congressional delegation - Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch - Thursday welcomed nearly $54,000 in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grants to five Vermont maple syrup producers to make their operations more energy efficient. The news came as USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager is visiting Vermont. The funding is provided through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and will allow producers to install reverse osmos… Continue Reading


11.30.11

Leahy, Crapo Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Reauthorize Landmark Violence Against Women Act

(Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011) - Nearly 20 years after the Violence Against Women Act was first signed into law, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced bipartisan legislation Wednesday to further strengthen and improve the programs authorized under the landmark law to assist victims and survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The legislation is cosponsored by Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was first enacted in 1994 … Continue Reading


11.29.11

Senate Okays Leahy-Graham Amendment To Give The National Guard A Seat On The Joint Chiefs Of Staff, Elevating The Guard’s Role In Pentagon Decision Making

(TUESDAY, Nov. 29) -- The U.S. Senate has approved legislation by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to give the National Guard its first seat on the nation's highest military council, the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The bill, which has 71 Senate cosponsors, was added by voice vote Monday night as an amendment to the annual Defense Authorization Bill. Leahy and Graham are the co-chairs of the Senate's 84-member National Guard Caucus. Their National Guard Empowerment … Continue Reading


11.29.11

Vermont Awarded $18 Million for Health Care

, Nov. 29 - Vermont will receive more than $18 million to help the state implement a new national health care reform law, the state's congressional delegation announced today. The federal funds will help the state devise an insurance exchange to make it simpler for consumers to select affordable health insurance policies. Under the national health care law, insurance exchanges must be established in every state to provide consumers more affordable choices for health insurance coverage beginnin… Continue Reading


11.29.11

Leahy: Detainee Provisions In National Defense Authorization Act Deserve Thorough Review

(Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) released the following statement Tuesday afternoon in support of a bipartisan amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to delay any legislative action on detainee matters until the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with other members of the national security team, report to Congress about detention authorities. Leahy is a cosponsor of the amendment, which has been offered by Senator Mark Udall (D… Continue Reading


11.28.11

Senate Okays Leahy-Graham Legislation To Give The National Guard A Seat On The Joint Chiefs Of Staff, Elevating The Guard’s Role In Pentagon Decision Making

(MONDAY, Nov. 28) - The U.S. Senate Monday night approved legislation by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to give the National Guard its first seat on the nation's highest military council, the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Their bill, which has 71 Senate cosponsors, was added by voice vote as an amendment to the annual Defense Authorization Bill. Leahy and Graham are the co-chairs of the Senate's 84-member National Guard Caucus. Their National Guard Empowerment and … Continue Reading


11.28.11

Senate Confirms Second Circuit Nominee

(Monday, Nov. 28, 2011) - The U.S. Senate Monday night unanimously confirmed the long-pending nomination of Christopher Droney to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The nomination secured unanimous support from the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 21, and has been pending on the Senate's Executive Calendar since then - more than four months. Droney will fill a judicial emergency on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. "I have been urging a vote on this consensus nominee for weeks; his … Continue Reading


11.28.11

Leahy, Crapo To Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Reauthorize Landmark Violence Against Women Act

(Monday, Nov. 28, 2011) - Bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) will be introduced later this week by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Leahy announced in remarks delivered on the Senate floor Monday evening. The law is at the center of the federal government's efforts to combat domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. "The resources and training provided by VAWA have changed attitudes toward these… Continue Reading


11.28.11

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Guard Empowerment Amendment

Mr. President, I rise to discuss the Leahy-Graham National Guard Empowerment Amendment, Senate amendment number 1072. Over the past decade, the National Guard has undergone a profound and historic change. Once a hollow force considered only a "strategic reserve" for nightmare contingencies, the National Guard has become an "operational reserve" that deploys in regular rotation with the active duty force. As a matter of policy and reality, Army and Air National Guard troops from states around … Continue Reading


11.22.11

$15 Million Emergency Aid for Vermont

BURLINGTON, Vt., Nov. 22 - The U.S. Department of Transportation will release $15 million in emergency funds to help Vermont rebuild and repair roads and bridges destroyed or damaged by floods, Vermont's congressional delegation announced today. The Federal Highway Administration emergency grant includes $14 million for repairing damage caused last August by Tropical Storm Irene, according to Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.). Another $1 million wi… Continue Reading


11.22.11

The Leahy Letter -- November 2011

Vermont's 'Job One' After Irene - Help To Repair And Rebuild Damaged Roads, Bridges And Rail Lines -- Crosses The Finish Line As the second-most-senior member of the Appropriations Committee and a senior member of its Transportation subcommittee, Senator Leahy led in securing funding and key cost-waivers that are Vermont's top priority in Congress in recovering from Tropical Storm Irene. President Obama signed the bill that includes this emergency help on Nov. 18. These cost-waivers will mean… Continue Reading


11.21.11

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Failure Of The Super Committee To Reach Agreement On A Debt And Deficit Reduction Package

The fact that a fair compromise is beyond the super committee's reach is disappointing. The fact that fairness could not be agreed upon as a common denominator is maddening. Why are some so dead-set against a fair solution to these debt questions? Yet there is an insistence not only on extending the Bush tax cuts for millionaires, but on expanding them. We are still seeing the paralyzing and corrosive effects of a my-way-or-nothing mentality, coupled with a willingness to inflict real damage… Continue Reading


11.21.11

Leahy Hails President’s Signing Of Veterans Workforce Measures

[President Obama Monday signed into law legislation, cosponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy, that includes veterans employment tax credits, which President Obama earlier had proposed to Congress. The package also includes the 'Hiring Heroes Act,' also cosponsored by Leahy, and the VOW Act, to renew Montgomery GI Bill benefits over a two-year period for unemployed veterans between the ages of 35 and 60. Following are Leahy's comments after the President signed the package.] "These are targeted a… Continue Reading


11.21.11

Leahy, Sanders, Welch Announce Grants Totaling More Than $1 M. For Economic Development Planning In East-Central And Northwestern Vermont

(MONDAY, Nov. 21) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Congressman Peter Welch (D) announced Monday that the Northwest Regional Planning Commission and the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission will receive economic development planning grants totaling more than a million dollars from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The two grants are among only a few dozen regional planning projects approved by HUD nationwide. The Northwest Regional Pla… Continue Reading


11.18.11

Leahy, Sanders And Welch Ask CBP To Keep Morses Line Open

(FRIDAY, Nov. 18) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and U.S. Rep. Peter Welch have called on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to keep the Morses Line Port of Entry open, in their letter to the agency submitted as part of an ongoing public comment period on the future of the Franklin County Port of Entry. The public comment period allows individuals, including Vermonters and Canadians, to respond to a formal CBP proposal to close the Port of Entry, published in th… Continue Reading


11.17.11

Congress Thursday Night Clears Transportation Funding Bill With Crucial Post-Irene Emergency Road/Bridge Repair Aid Needed By Vermont

(THURSDAY, NOV. 17, 7:15 P.M.) - In a decisive vote of 70 to 30, the U.S. Senate Thursday night gave final approval to a transportation budget bill that includes provisions added by Senator Patrick Leahy (D) to replenish the federal government's depleted transportation emergency fund, along with the crucial cost waivers he authored that will mean tens of millions of additional dollars for road and bridge repair aid that will speed Vermont's recovery from Tropical Storm Irene. The Senate's vote … Continue Reading

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