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


Leahy and Collins Announce Agreement with NRA On Legislation to Combat Gun Trafficking

Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) announced on Wednesday an agreement has been reached with the National Rifle Association (NRA) on a modified version of the Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2013 that addresses all substantive concerns and provides law enforcement officials with the tools they need to investigate and prosecute illegal gun trafficking and straw purchasing. "Senator Collins and I are both strong supporters and advocates of Second Amendment righ… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces Fourth SJC Hearing On Immigration Reform

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing next week on comprehensive immigration reform legislation, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said Wednesday. "Next week, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold its fourth hearing this year on immigration," said Leahy. "Our hearings have informed the Senate and the public of the various and pressing needs to reform the Nation's broken immigration system. I look forward to continuing that discussion next week as we head toward marking up legisla… Continue Reading


Richmond Elementary School

On Tuesday, April 9, Senator Leahy held his third online chat of the 113th Congress with fourth-grade students from Richmond Elementary School. Using the internet to communicate with the students and their teachers, Senator Leahy answered the students' questions on several issues, including his day-to-day life in the Senate, his favorite hobbies and what issues he is working on as a member of the Senate Agricultural Committee. Students also asked about his work in several Batman films. Leahy h… Continue Reading


Senate Votes To Confirm Shwartz To Third Circuit

The Senate voted Tuesday to approve the nomination of Patty Shwartz to serve on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. A highly qualified nominee with the support of New Jersey's Republican governor, Shwartz's nomination was stalled for 13 months. Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) welcomed the Senate's vote of 64-34 to approve Shwartz's nomination, but he noted that "This is another of the many judicial nominees who could have been confirmed last year." "Judged on her qualificati… Continue Reading


Leahy: Senators Should Support Measure To Fight Gun Trafficking Crimes

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday called on the Senate to support legislation that would explicitly make illegal the abusive practice of straw purchasing and trafficking of firearms. The bipartisan Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act would assist law enforcement officers fighting gun crimes. It goes after gun traffickers and closes a gaping loophole to background checks by also penalizing straw purchasers, who buy firearms for another person who is proh… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing On “Current Issues In Campaign Finance Law Enforcement”

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a longtime champion of efforts to promote transparency and accountability in the electoral process, issued the following statement for today's Senate Judiciary Committee Crime & Terrorism Subcommittee entitled "Current Issues in Campaign Finance Law Enforcement." Leahy has been a leading sponsor of the DISCLOSE Act that would shed light on secret spending in elections and strengthen campaign finance laws. Despite broad support, Repu… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch, and Shumlin: $1.6 M. Disaster Grant Will Help Prevent Digital Isolation In Future Disasters

MONTPELIER, Vt. - U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy, Bernie Sanders, Congressman Peter Welch, and Governor Peter Shumlin announced Friday that the U.S. Department of Economic Development (EDA) has awarded the Vermont Telecommunications Authority (VTA) a $1.6 million grant to help deploy disaster resilient cellular and broadband services to towns impacted by Irene and other 2011 flooding. The grant comes from disaster funding Leahy, Sanders, and Welch fought to include in the 2012 federal budget in the wa… Continue Reading


Leahy Continues Dialogue On Process For Immigration Reform; Letter To Senator Rubio

[Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) sent the following response Tuesday to Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) regarding the Committee's process for considering immigration reform legislation. Senator Rubio had sent Senator Leahy a letter Sunday night concerning the Committee's timeline for proceeding to legislation. Senator Leahy said in January that the Committee would devote considerable time this spring to the issue of reforming the Nation's immigration system, and he chai… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch, Shumlin: In One Of Largest Grants To State For Rebuilding After Irene, Vermont To Receive Nearly $18 M. In Federal Community Development Funds

In one of the largest single grants to the state to help after Tropical Storm Irene, Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I), Congressman Peter Welch (D) and Governor Peter Shumlin (D) Wednesday announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is releasing $17,932,000 in community rebuilding funds to Vermont from a disaster relief appropriations bill passed by Congress and signed by the President in January. Leahy, Sanders and Welch supported the disaster … Continue Reading


A Window Of Opportunity For Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Guest Column By Senator Patrick Leahy, Brattleboro Reformer, March 12, 2013 It's a busy time in our national conversations - around kitchen tables, in Town Meetings, and in the halls of Congress -- about a lengthening list of big questions. Many of these issues are on the minds of Vermonters these days, if my visits around Brattleboro last weekend are any guide. One that comes up often is the need to fix our broken immigration system. Our immigration laws are outdated. After years of debate… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee On the Nominations of Ketanji Jackson, Raymond Moore, and Troy Nunley

Last week, I spoke at the Judicial Conference about the damaging effect of sequestration on our Federal courts and our system of justice. These indiscriminate cuts are already causing both Federal prosecutors and Federal public defenders to be furloughed. The Administrative Office of U.S. Courts has done its best to address these cuts, but the judicial system can only weather the effects of sequestration for so long before it is irreparably harmed. In a letter dated March 5, 2013, Judge Thoma… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy on Health Reform's Third Anniversary

Three years ago tomorrow, President Obama signed into law the Affordable Care Act. This landmark law will extend health insurance coverage to millions of uninsured Americans when the reforms are fully implemented next year. Getting to this point has been an arduous process. But in the end, this achievement proved that real reform is possible, and that the voices of so many Americans who over the years have called on their leaders to act have finally been heard. Since its passage, Americans… Continue Reading


FEMA agrees to funding for flood-resistant culverts

MONTPELIER - Gov. Peter Shumlin and Vermont's Congressional Delegation announced today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has agreed to funding eligibility of the full cost to replace a large culvert on Townshend's Dam Road that was destroyed during Tropical Storm Irene. This ruling could be a precedent that would allow dozens of Vermont towns to qualify for funds to receive full reimbursement-at 90 percent of project costs-from FEMA for similar projects. "This is critical for Townsh… Continue Reading


Leahy & Others Introduce Bill To Expand Cyber National Guard

U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, David Vitter, Chris Coons, Roy Blunt, Mary Landrieu, Patrick Leahy, Mark Warner and Patty Murray today introduced the Cyber Warriors Act of 2013. This legislation would, for the first time, establish Cyber and Computer Network Incident Response Teams (CCNIRT), known as Cyber Guards, as part of the National Guard, significantly expanding the limited cyber mission being performed by the National Guard. "Cyber attac… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On the Withdrawal of the Nomination Of Caitlin Halligan to the D.C. Circuit

[Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Friday after the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals was withdrawn. Halligan was first nominated in September 2010 to fill a vacancy left open since 2005. She was nominated a total of five times.] "Caitlin Halligan is a woman who is extraordinarily well-qualified and amongst the most qualified judicial nominees I have seen from any administration. It is a shame that narrow,… Continue Reading


Citing Vile Conditions In Many Foreign Prisons, Leahy And Inhofe Offer Bill To Spotlight Problems And Spur Reforms

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) are renewing their drive to spur improvements in many foreign prisons where conditions are reminiscent of the Dark Ages. On Friday they reintroduced their Foreign Prison Conditions Improvement Act, which would systematically spotlight and document inhumane prison conditions, and then authorize a series of steps, including incentive grants, as catalysts for reform. Both senators have visited overcrowded and ill-equipped prisons.… Continue Reading


Leahy And Lofgren Lead Bicameral Introduction Of Refugee Protection Act

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) introduced companion legislation in the Senate and House of Representatives Thursday that would improve the Nation's immigration laws to ensure the longstanding American tradition of protecting refugees and asylum seekers fleeing persecution in their home countries. The Refugee Protection Act responds to shortfalls in current immigration law by repealing some of the most harsh, inefficient and unnecessary … Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) President Obama’s Trip to the Middle East

Mr. President, President Obama arrived in the Middle East today. It is his first visit as President to Israel and the West Bank. Some in the press have focused on the fact that the White House has lowered expectations for what will be accomplished in the three days of the President's visit. Others, including Members of Congress, have signed letters to the President. Rather than prejudge what can be achieved by this trip or try to tie the President's hands concerning the Middle East, I want … Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Vermonters Making a Difference

Mr. President, I have been privileged to serve Vermonters for many years as a voice on foreign policy matters, and I am always reminded that my work is a reflection of the outward looking posture of the people of my state. Vermonters have a long history of defending human rights and social justice at home and abroad. The longest functioning international exchange program is based in Vermont, and there are over 3,600 nonprofits registered in Vermont that are carrying out programs to protect th… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Explosive Growth of Cities and the World’s Changing Climate

Mr. President, during the past 50 years there has been significant progress in improving living standards in developing countries. Some of the successes have been particularly noteworthy: eradicating smallpox and almost eradicating polio, stabilizing population growth rates in many areas, longer life spans, lower infant mortality, fewer people living in poverty, the expansion of democracy. Investments in international development made by government agencies, nonprofits, businesses, and phila… Continue Reading

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