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Press Releases

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

10.31.11

Senate To Vote On Pending Circuit Court Nomination

(Monday, Oct. 31, 2011) - The U.S. Senate tonight will vote on a long-pending nomination to fill a judicial emergency vacancy on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Senate Judiciary unanimously reported the nomination of Stephen Higginson to the Fifth Circuit in July. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) spoke on the Senate floor in advance of the vote.] Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Judicial Nominations October 3… Continue Reading


10.31.11

The Leahy Letter -- October 2011

Coming Home From Iraq: Senator Leahy's Reaction To The President's Announcement "I was pleased to hear President Obama announce that our troops will finally come home, by the end of this year. Our two countries need to finally and fully turn the page on this costly and unnecessary war. "The plan to finally end this misbegotten war is bittersweet news. From the beginning, this war was a matter of choice - a poor choice - and not necessity. Our troops and their families have shouldered the he… Continue Reading


10.31.11

Leahy Welcomes President’s Actions Targeting Prescription Drug Shortages

(MONDAY, Oct. 31) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday lauded action by President Obama to step up efforts to remedy the widening shortages of some prescription drugs needed by millions of Americans. Between 2005 and 2010, shortages of some medications nearly tripled, forcing many, including in Vermont, to switch to less-effective drugs or to stop their courses of treatment. The President Monday signed an Executive Order directing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to work with the Depar… Continue Reading


10.31.11

Leahy Announces Department Of Justice Oversight Hearing

(Monday, Oct. 31, 2011) - Attorney General Eric Holder will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, November 8, 2011, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced today. Under Leahy's chairmanship, the Senate Judiciary Committee has held regular oversight hearings with the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, and other agencies and offices in the executive branch. The hearing will be held on Tuesday, November 8, 2011, at… Continue Reading


10.25.11

Leahy Announces DOMA Repeal Debate To Begin In Senate Judiciary Committee On Nov. 3

(Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011) - The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will begin debate on legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage (DOMA) on November 3, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Tuesday. Leahy announced earlier this month his intention to schedule Committee consideration of the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill that would repeal DOMA. Leahy announced the agenda Tuesday for the Committee's November 3 executive business meeting. The agenda includes a number of items held over fro… Continue Reading


10.24.11

Leahy’s Website Garners High Honor In Congressional Awards

(Monday, Oct. 24) - Senator Patrick Leahy's website has been honored once again by the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) with a Silver Mouse Award. The CMF, a non-profit, nonpartisan organization, assesses all official Congressional websites every two years and ranks them based on various criteria related to ease of use and quality. The CMF began studying congressional websites in 1998 with the objective of providing members of Congress with feedback on how best to communicate with cons… Continue Reading


10.24.11

Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats Urge Removal Of Controversial Detainee Provisions From National Defense Authorization Act

(Monday, Oct. 24, 2011) - Democratic Senators on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Judiciary Committee last Friday sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), expressing opposition to the controversial detainee provisions included in the National Defense Authorization Act and requesting that the provisions be removed. Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) are the lead signatories … Continue Reading


10.24.11

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The President’s Announcement Of The Total Withdrawal Of U.S. Troops From Iraq

"I was pleased to hear President Obama announce that our troops will finally come home, by the end of this year. Our two countries need to finally and fully turn the page on this costly and unnecessary war. "The plan to finally end this misbegotten war is bittersweet news. From the beginning, this war was a matter of choice - a poor choice - and not necessity. Our troops and their families have shouldered the heaviest burdens of this war, and our small state has endured more than its shar… Continue Reading


10.21.11

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The President's Nomination Of Mark Lippert To Be Assistant Secretary Of Defense For Asian And Pacific Security Affairs

(FRIDAY, Oct. 21) -- "I commend the President for nominating Mark Lippert to be the next Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs. Mark is a person of extraordinary intellect and the highest integrity. He did an outstanding job for me on the Appropriations Committee where he focused on U.S. policy and programs in Asia, and went on to serve at the National Security Council and as an officer in the U.S. Navy. He will do an excellent job at the Department of Defense… Continue Reading


10.20.11

Leahy Marks 25th Anniversary Of ECPA, Announces Plan To Mark Up Reform Bill

(Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011) - As the Electronic Communications Privacy Act approaches the 25th anniversary of its enactment, the law's lead Senate author, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), announced Thursday that he plans to schedule Judiciary Committee consideration of legislation to make needed updates to the privacy law before the end of the year. Leahy chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. "When I led the effort to write the ECPA 25 years ago, no one could have contemplated the many emerging t… Continue Reading


10.20.11

Leahy, Collins, Sanders, Snowe, and Others Propose MAPLE Act

U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced legislation Thursday to make the fraudulent sale of maple syrup a felony offense. The legislation is cosponsored by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). The bill is called the Maple Agriculture Protection and Law Enforcement (MAPLE) Act. "Vermonters take pride in the natural products our state produces, and I have been alarmed by the growing number of individuals and businesses claiming to sell Vermont maple syrup when they… Continue Reading


10.19.11

Leahy: Oppose Amendment To Block Federal Court Prosecution of Terrorists

(Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, spoke on the Senate floor Wednesday night in opposition to an amendment pending before the Senate to prohibit the use of federal funds to prosecute terrorists in Article III criminal courts. The text of Leahy's statement, as prepared for delivery, follows.] Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, U.S. Senate Committee On The Judiciary On Ayotte Amendment SA753 to H.R.2112 (To … Continue Reading


10.19.11

Three Judicial Nominations Approved By Senate

(Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011) - The U.S. Senate Wednesday afternoon confirmed three pending nominees to fill vacancies on federal district courts in Pennsylvania and Florida. The nominations were approved by the Judiciary Committee in July. Another 23 judicial nominations are pending on the Senate's Executive Calendar awaiting final approval. "I hope that in the weeks ahead we can build on today's progress by considering more of the nearly two dozen well-qualified nominees still awaiting a Senat… Continue Reading


10.19.11

Leahy Chairs DHS Oversight Hearing With Secretary Napolitano

(Wednesday, October 19, 2011) - The Senate Judiciary Committee today is holding a Department of Homeland Security oversight hearing with Secretary Janet Napolitano. Under the Chairmanship of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the Judiciary Committee has held periodic oversight hearings with the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. The Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over immigration, citizenship and related issues. Member statements, witness testimony, and a live webcast are ava… Continue Reading


10.18.11

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Cornyn Amendment No. 775 To H.R. 2112

It is not a good idea to legislate law enforcement tactics on an appropriations bill. To the extent the amendment by the Senator from Texas that has been modified with the help of the Subcommittee Chair restates Department of Justice policy, it is unneeded. To the extent it seeks to create a well-intentioned implementation of that policy, it does so in a way that may adversely affect FBI operations and other law enforcement efforts, including joint task forces among Federal, state and local la… Continue Reading


10.18.11

Another Test Of Marriage Equality

Senator Patrick Leahy, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, took a step toward true equality for all Americans last week by planning a vote next month on whether to repeal the law that bars the federal government from recognizing lawfully performed marriages between same-sex couples. Mr. Leahy's committee held a hearing on the Defense of Marriage Act in July, the first since Congress passed a bill 15 years ago that defined marriage as limited to a man and a woman and President B… Continue Reading


10.18.11

The New York Times: Another Test of Marriage Equality

Today, The New York Times published an editorial in support of repealing the Defense of Marriage Act. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced last week that he intends to schedule a Committee vote in November on legislation to repeal DOMA. In July, Leahy chaired the first-ever congressional hearing on repealing DOMA. The hearing focused on the impact of this law on thousands of American families across the country. The Respect for Marriage Act, the… Continue Reading


10.17.11

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Transportation-HUD Appropriations Bill

Mr. President, I would like to take a few moments to talk about the Transportation-HUD appropriations bill that the Senate will next be debating. First I want to thank the Subcommittee Chair, Senator Murray, and the Ranking Member, Senator Collins, for all of the assistance they have provided me on several issues that are particularly important to Vermont - and especially in the wake of Hurricane Irene's massive devastation just a few short weeks ago. As I have spoken about here on the floor … Continue Reading


10.17.11

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Judicial Nominations

Today the Senate will vote on the nomination of Cathy Bissoon to the Western District of Pennsylvania, one of 27 judicial nominations reported favorably by the Judiciary Committee and on the Senate's Executive Calendar awaiting a vote. Like 24 of those 27 nominations, the nomination of Judge Bissoon was reported unanimously by the Judiciary Committee, with every Republican and every Democrat voting in support. Judge Bissoon is supported by both of her home state Senators, Senator Casey, a Demo… Continue Reading


10.14.11

Senators Raise ‘Serious Concerns’ About State Department Study on Tar Sands Oil Pipeline

, Oct. 14 - Three key senators today questioned the U.S. State Department about its dealings with a Canadian company seeking U.S. approval to build a crude oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. The State Department is responsible for deciding whether to approve the billion-dollar Keystone XL pipeline project. TransCanada, the company trying to build the pipeline, reportedly was permitted to screen private firms bidding to perform an environmental impact study. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I… Continue Reading

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