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

03.27.12

The Leahy Letter -- Health Care Reform Special Edition

The Affordable Care Act Turns Two Two years ago last week, President Obama signed into law the Affordable Care Act. This landmark Act will extend health insurance coverage to 30 million uninsured Americans in the next few years. Reform based on good-quality and affordable health insurance, talked about for decades, is finally becoming a reality. Americans are already beginning to see some of the benefits of insurance reform. Since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, more than 4000 … Continue Reading


03.26.12

Leahy To Introduce Bill To Protect Consumers Who Take Generic Drugs

(Monday, March 26, 2012) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) will introduce legislation as early as this week to reverse a recent Supreme Court decision that threatens the safety of consumers taking generic drugs. In a narrow, 5-4 decision in 2011, the Supreme Court held that state law tort claims against generic manufacturers are preempted by federal law, which requires generic drug manufacturers to use the same label as a brand name drug, even when the generic pharmaceutical company knows that th… Continue Reading


03.26.12

Leahy, Cornyn Urge DOJ To Clarify Department’s Position On FOIA Ombudsman

(Monday, March 26, 2012) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) today sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, urging the Department of Justice to clarify its proposed modifications to the Department's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) system of records. The Justice Department recently noticed publicly its proposed modifications to its Privacy Act and Freedom of Information Act system of records. The modifications included several references to the Office of In… Continue Reading


03.26.12

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Federal Trade Commission Report On Consumer Privacy

"The Federal Trade Commission's report released today called on Congress to enact legislation to protect the privacy of American consumers, including data security and data breach notification legislation. Last year, I reintroduced comprehensive data privacy legislation that will better protect Americans' sensitive personal data and reduce the risk of data security breaches. The Judiciary Committee has approved this legislation, and the Senate should consider it without further delay. "The Per… Continue Reading


03.26.12

Courts, Cameras, And The Public's Right To Know

This week, when the Supreme Court hears an historic six hours of oral arguments about the constitutionality of the health insurance reform law, only a few dozen citizens at a time will be allowed into the chamber to watch and listen. The Court's decisions on the Affordable Care Act will decide whether the people's elected representatives have the authority to regulate the nation's health insurance market to make health care more affordable, to hold insurers accountable and to rein in runaway an… Continue Reading


03.26.12

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Department Of Homeland Security Decision To Grant Temporary Protected Status For Syrians In The United States

[Today, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that Temporary Protected Status (TPS) would be designated for Syrians currently present in the United States. Due to the ongoing violence in Syria, returning to their home would pose a serious threat to their safety. This status ensures that Syrians living in the U.S. can remain here safely; however, those with criminal backgrounds or who pose a threat to national security are ineligible for TPS. Only those Syrians l… Continue Reading


03.23.12

Marking Two-Year Anniversary Of Health Care Reform, Leahy And Welch Tout Benefits To Vermonters

BURLINGTON, Vt., March 23 - On the two-year anniversary of landmark health care reform, Sen. Patrick Leahy and Rep. Peter Welch today touted the benefits of the law to Vermonters. "Two years after enacting historic, health care reforms, Vermonters are better off," Leahy and Welch said in a statement. "Parents of young adults have the peace of mind that comes with knowing their child has health care coverage. Prescription drug costs for seniors are lower. And thousands of Vermonters have access … Continue Reading


03.23.12

Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy To Secretary Clinton's Announcement That She Will Waive The Conditions On U.S. Military Aid To Egypt

"I have enormous respect for Secretary Clinton and the superb job she does for our country. On this issue, however, we disagree. Waiving the new conditions on democracy and human rights is regrettable, and handing over the entire $1.3 billion at once to the Egyptian military compounds the mistake by dissipating our future leverage. We have a long partnership with the Egyptian government, and these conditions are intended to broaden our partnership to fully include the Egyptian people and the… Continue Reading


03.23.12

Law Is Firmly Rooted in Congressional Practice, Constitutional Precedent

Two years ago, Congress passed the landmark Affordable Care Act to provide millions of Americans with access to health care and to bring spiraling costs under control. The ACA also is helping to protect some of our most vulnerable citizens by eliminating discriminatory practices by health insurers, ensuring that a patient's gender is no longer a pre-existing condition and reducing the cost of prescription drugs for seniors. These historic and long-overdue reforms also provide the necessary res… Continue Reading


03.22.12

Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy, Author Of The New Democracy And Human Rights Conditions On U.S. Military Aid For Egypt, To Secretary Clinton’s Decision To Waive The Conditions On National Security Grounds

"I am disappointed by this decision. I know Secretary Clinton wants the democratic transition in Egypt to succeed, but by waiving the conditions we send a contradictory message. The Egyptian military should be defending fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, not harassing and arresting those who are working for democracy. They should end trials of civilians in military courts and fully repeal the Emergency Law, and our policy should not equivocate on these key reforms. Now that Secretary … Continue Reading


03.22.12

Leahy Urges Senate To Consider Bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act

(Thursday, March 22, 2012) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) released a statement Thursday, urging the Senate to consider legislation to reauthorize the landmark Violence Against Women Act, a 1994 law that has become the bedrock of the nation's response to domestic and sexual violence. Leahy is the lead author of the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, which he introduced in November with Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). A total of 61 Senators have si… Continue Reading


03.22.12

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy In Opposition To The IPO Bill (The “JOBS Act”), Passed By The Senate

"The top priority of Congress should be creating new jobs to help Vermonters get back to work, not reopening loopholes in federal law that led to catastrophic scandals like Enron, WorldCom and Bernie Madoff. "These scams, along with the recent financial crisis and economic collapse, revealed several flaws in our federal regulatory system. Agencies like the SEC and the Justice Department lacked the authority to provide the necessary oversight to stop these reckless actions and abuses. Congres… Continue Reading


03.21.12

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Supreme Court’s Decisions On The Sixth Amendment’s Right To Counsel

[Today, the Supreme Court issued two opinions clarifying the Sixth Amendment's right to effective assistance of counsel. In Missouri v. Frye, the Court, by a vote of 5-4, held that the Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel extends to the consideration of plea offers that lapse or are rejected, and the Court reaffirmed that it applies to all critical stages of a criminal proceeding. In Lafler v. Cooper, also by a vote of 5-4, the Court put forth what a defendant must prove to… Continue Reading


03.21.12

Leahy Joins As A Leading Cosponsor Of New Bill To Shine Light On Anonymous Campaign Spending

(Wednesday, March 21, 2012) - Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy today joined as a cosponsor of new legislation designed to address the effects of the Supreme Court's 2010 decision in Citizens United. The DISCLOSE Act of 2012 will help put an end to secretive campaign spending by strengthening disclosure laws. Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is the lead sponsor of the bill. The bill is cosponsored by another 33 Senators, including Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Jeff Merkley … Continue Reading


03.21.12

Leahy Chairs Hearing On Post-Conviction DNA Testing, Justice For All Act

(Wednesday, March 21, 2012) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday chaired a hearing focused on components of the landmark Justice for All Act, including how best to ensure the integrity of the nation's justice system. Leahy has been a longtime proponent of legislative efforts to ensure that the guilty are punished and the innocent are exonerated. Leahy was a key sponsor of the original Justice for All Act, and has authored legislation this Congress to reauthoriz… Continue Reading


03.21.12

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy: “Justice For All: Convicting The Guilty And Exonerating The Innocent”

Over the next two weeks, the Judiciary Committee will focus on a vital component of our jurisdiction: ensuring the integrity of convictions in our criminal justice system. As a former prosecutor, I have great faith in the men and women of law enforcement, and I know that the vast majority of the time, our criminal justice system works fairly and effectively. In those rare instances when the criminal justice system does not work the way it should, the consequences are grave, and our faith in th… Continue Reading


03.20.12

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The STOCK Act

"It is becoming harder and harder to remember a time when the Senate and House followed the legislative process and came together to reconcile their differences and send meaningful legislation to the President. "I regret that Republicans in the House eliminated the bipartisan anti-corruption amendment in the STOCK Act, which was adopted overwhelmingly by the Senate, and I am disappointed that there are now objections to going to conference to restore this important anti-corruption provision." … Continue Reading


03.20.12

Remarks Of Senator Patrick Leahy At NeighborWorks Legislative Day

It is great to see so many familiar faces here from Vermont. Mert, Brenda, Connie and Elieen, thank you for being here to represent your organizations. NeighborWorks America creates opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated $20 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation… Continue Reading


03.20.12

VAWA Reauthorization Now Cosponsored By 60 Senators

(Tuesday, March 20, 2012) - Bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reached a critical point Tuesday, as Nevada Republican Dean Heller became the 60th Senator to cosponsor the legislation. The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act was introduced in November by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). "The Violence Against Women Act has always been, and continues to be, a bipartisan priority," said Leahy. "I am grateful … Continue Reading


03.20.12

The Leahy Letter -- Sunshine Week Special Edition

Another Illuminating "Sunshine Week" Another successful "Sunshine Week," an annual opportunity to take inventory of the public's right to know what their government is doing, has come and gone. Americans from coast to coast participated in ways large and small. Sunshine Week usually coincides with the March 16 birthday of James Madison, one of the authors of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and an early champion of openness in government. Senator Leahy is always working at the crossro… Continue Reading

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