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Press Releases

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

11.10.11

Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Landmark DOMA Repeal Bill

(Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011) - The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee today approved legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a critical step forward in restoring the rights of all lawfully married couples. The Respect for Marriage Act would repeal DOMA, which was enacted in 1996. Under the current law, legally married, same-sex couples cannot take advantage of federal protections available to every other married couple. Specifically, lawfully married same-sex couples cannot: Fi… Continue Reading


11.10.11

Vermont’s Village Revitalization Initiative, Led By Leahy, Bruhn, HUD, Receives National Historic Preservation Award

(THURSDAY, Nov. 10) - The Village Revitalization Initiative-a cooperative effort among Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the Preservation Trust of Vermont, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) - drew national recognition Thursday in garnering the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's (ACHP) Chairman's Award for Achievement in Historic Preservation. "This creative and important initiative demonstrates how effective partnerships can use relatively modest funding to accom… Continue Reading


11.10.11

In Congress, Vermont’s Job One After Irene Is Rebuilding Our Transportation Network

Of all the body blows we suffered when Irene raked our state from border to border, repairing the damage to our roads, bridges and rail lines is one of our most urgent priorities. It also is the costliest one. The huge expense of mending our transportation network is well beyond the ability of a small state like ours. As we tallied the destruction, it quickly became clear that Vermont will need far more federal help than is now in the pipeline. In the Senate Appropriations Committee, where… Continue Reading


11.10.11

Op-ED: In Congress, Vermont’s Job One After Irene Is Rebuilding Our Transportation Network

by Patrick Leahy Of all the body blows we suffered when Irene raked our state from border to border, repairing the damage to our roads, bridges and rail lines is one of our most urgent priorities. It also is the costliest one. The huge expense of mending our transportation network is well beyond the ability of a small state like ours. As we tallied the destruction, it quickly became clear that Vermont will need far more federal help than is now in the pipeline. In the Senate Appropriation… Continue Reading


11.09.11

Governor Shumlin: Vermont Receives Grant to Aid Veterans with Transit Needs

MONTPELIER - Gov. Peter Shumlin announced today that the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) received a $352,900 grant from the Federal Transit Administration to develop software and Internet services that will help U.S. veterans and their families access public transportation services that are specific to their needs. The money will be used for several purposes, including development of a website that provides veterans specific information about their eligibility for a host of transit se… Continue Reading


11.09.11

Senator Leahy Expresses Concerns About Refugees, Asylees Under Material Support For Terrorism Laws

On November 9, Senator Leahy sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, expressing concerns about the implementation of current law on material support for terrorism in the refugee and asylee context. November 09, 2011 The Honorable Janet Napolitano Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security U.S. Department of Homeland Security Washington, D.C. 20528 Dear Madam Secretary: I write on a topic I raised in the October 19, 2011, hearing of the Committee o… Continue Reading


11.09.11

Lake Region Union High School

On November 9, 2011 Senator Leahy held his first online chat of the 2011-2012 school year with 16 juniors and seniors from Lake Region Union High School. Using Skype to communicate with students, their advisors, and principal, Senator Leahy shed light on several pieces of legislation the students were interested in including The Respect for Marriage Act, PROTECT IP, The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, and others. Students also asked about his role in the movie The Dark Knigh… Continue Reading


11.08.11

Delegation Announces Assistance To Franklin, Washington and Windham To Help With Spring Flooding Damage

Nov. 8 - Vermont's congressional delegation - Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch - today announced a disaster declaration that will bring federal assistance to counties affected by this spring's flooding that were until now ineligible for such assistance. The declaration - issued today by President Obama - will make public assistance available for damages sustained as a result of the storm on May 20th in Franklin, Washington and Windham counties. Previously, the disaste… Continue Reading


11.08.11

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy At A Hearing On Oversight Of The Department Of Justice

We welcome Attorney General Holder back before the Judiciary Committee as we continue our important focus on oversight. When Attorney General Holder was here in May, details were just emerging about the successful military and intelligence operation that killed Osama bin Laden, providing a measure of justice and closure for Americans resulting from the horrific attacks of September 11th. That was not an isolated success; during the last couple of years, the Obama administration has successful… Continue Reading


11.08.11

As Disaster Deadlines Approach, Leahy Warns That Vermonters May Be Leaving On The Table The Recovery Help That They Need

(TUESDAY, Nov. 8) - U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy Tuesday cautioned Vermonters that Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Small Business Administration (SBA) registration and application deadlines associated with Tropical Storm Irene now are only one week away (November 15). Leahy urged Vermonters hurt by the storm to register with FEMA and submit SBA applications right away, even if they are unsure they need or plan to use the federal disaster recovery help. "Vermonters have one shot at ta… Continue Reading


11.07.11

Leahy Asks DOJ Acting IG If Ongoing Investigation Includes Review Of Past ATF Operations

(Monday, Nov. 7, 2011) - U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) sent a letter Monday asking the Department of Justice's Acting Inspector General whether the office's investigation of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' (ATF) Operation Fast and Furious includes a review of tactics developed and used in prior ATF operations. Documents recently released by the Department of Justice revealed that the ATF used similar investigative techniques dating back … Continue Reading


11.03.11

Senate Unanimously Confirms Two District Court Nominations

(Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011) - The U.S. Senate Thursday afternoon unanimously confirmed two district court nominations reported by the Judiciary Committee nearly two months ago. Another 20 nominations are pending on the Executive Calendar, and the Judiciary Committee reported an additional five nominations to the full Senate during a business meeting today. The Senate has been slow to confirm judicial nominations during the Obama administration, with many nominations reported unanimously by the Ju… Continue Reading


11.03.11

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Justice Department’s Decision To Withdraw A Proposed Rule To Revise Freedom Of Information Act Regulations

"I commend Attorney General Holder and the Obama administration for promptly withdrawing the Department's proposed rule on the treatment of requests for sensitive law enforcement records under the Freedom of Information Act. For five decades, the Freedom of Information Act has given life to the American value that in an open society, it is essential to carefully balance the public's right to know and government's need to keep some information secret. The Justice Department's decision to withdr… Continue Reading


11.03.11

Senate Judiciary Committee Set To Vote On DOMA Repeal Bill Next Thursday

(Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011) - The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee today began debate on legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), setting the path for a vote on the measure at a business meeting next Thursday. Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) kicked off the Committee's consideration of the Respect for Marriage Act. "The Respect for Marriage Act would restore the power of states to define and determine 'marriage' without the federal government imposing its restrictive definition o… Continue Reading


11.02.11

Local Farms, Food And Jobs Act Would Shorten Supply Chains, Connect Farmers And Families

(WEDNESDAY, Nov. 2) -- Senator Leahy has joined as an original cosponsor of reforms to support Vermont's family farms and expand rural farming businesses, while creating jobs and investing in local and regional food economies. The Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act (S.1773) is a comprehensive package of Farm Bill reforms that would help Vermont's farmers and expand upon Vermont's Farm to Plate Initiative by addressing production, aggregation, marketing and distribution needs. The bill also priori… Continue Reading


11.02.11

Leahy: More Help For Disaster Victims In Vermont

(WEDNESDAY, Nov. 2) - Low-income Vermonters struggling to rebuild and recover in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene will receive support for civil legal assistance through a grant from the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) was informed Tuesday that Legal Services Law Line of Vermont has been awarded more than $65,000 under the grant program. "This will help some Vermonters who are struggling in Irene's aftermath," said Leahy. "The need for this help is acute among m… Continue Reading


11.01.11

Reaction of Senator Patrick Leahy To The State Department’s Response To A Senate Letter On The Process Of Considering The Keystone/XL Pipeline Project

"As problematic as the process has been, I have been even more concerned about the project's fundamental defects. The environmental harm and risks associated with this project far outweigh any benefits, and I hope the Administration will use this opportunity to advance a long overdue change of course away from our dependence on polluting fossil fuels such as tar sands." # # # # #… Continue Reading


11.01.11

Senate Passes Transportation Funding Bill, Including Leahy Cost Waivers Crucial for Vermont In Repairing Roads In Irene’s Aftermath

(TUESDAY, Nov. 1) - The U.S. Senate Tuesday approved a transportation budget bill that includes crucial cost waivers included in the bill by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), which Governor Shumlin and others consider to be crucial to the repair and rebuilding of roads and bridges damaged by Tropical Storm Irene. The vote on the bill was 69 to 30. The bill also includes Leahy's truck weight provisions for Vermont, to move heavy trucks from smaller state roads, including roads crossing through the… Continue Reading


11.01.11

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Transportation-HUD Appropriations Bill And Vermont's Disaster Recovery Needs

I am encouraged by the progress made on the Transportation-HUD Appropriations Bill, which the Senate has now approved. In addition to funding our Nation's ongoing transportation infrastructure investments, this legislation also includes crucial emergency disaster funding for Vermont and other states struggling to recover from Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene and other natural disasters. This bill is part of the response needed from Congress by thousands of Vermonters and millions of other Ameri… Continue Reading


11.01.11

Delegation Announces Immediate Release Of Over $11 Million In Heating Assistance To Vermont

, Nov. 1 - On the heels of the first winter storm of the season, Vermont's congressional delegation - Sens. Patrick Leahy, Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch - today announced the immediate release over $11 million in heating assistance to eligible Vermonters. The funds will provide assistance through the Low Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP). With continued uncertainty over the final FY2012 funding levels for LIHEAP, Leahy, Sanders and Welch have pushed in recent weeks for the funds… Continue Reading

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