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

10.14.11

Leahy Announces Plans To Schedule Committee Consideration Of DOMA Repeal Bill

(Oct. 14, 2011) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Friday that he intends to schedule Committee consideration of the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), in November. "The march for equality continues, and now is the time to ensure equality for gay and lesbian Americans who are lawfully married," said Leahy, who is a cosponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act. "Next month, I will call up the Respect for Marriag… Continue Reading


10.13.11

Senate Confirms Three Judicial Nominees

(Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011) - Three pending judicial nominees won final approval by the U.S. Senate Thursday, three months after having been reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee. There remain more than two dozen judicial nominations awaiting final action by the Senate after having been approved by the Judiciary Committee, including nominations reported by the Committee prior to the August recess. "We can and must do better to address the serious judicial vacancies crisis on Federal courts … Continue Reading


10.13.11

Leahy Introduces Bill To Improve Program That Supports Injured First Responders

(Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy has introduced legislation to strengthen and improve a federal program that provides an important safety net for first responders who are killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. The legislation is Leahy's most recent effort to address gaps in the Public Safety Officers' Benefits Act (PSOB) that have left some first responders without benefits when they are injured or killed in the line of duty. The Public Safety Officers' Bene… Continue Reading


10.13.11

Leahy, Sanders, Welch: Washington Electric Cooperative Nets $7.4 M. Loan For Service Improvements, Including ‘Smart-Grid’ Components

(THURSDAY, Oct. 13) - Vermont's Congressional Delegation - Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D) - Thursday announced a $7.4 million federal loan for electric power grid improvements, including new "smart meter" components, in Washington, Orange and Caledonia Counties. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Electric Program loan to Washington Electric Cooperative of East Montpelier will fund construction of 15 miles of new distri… Continue Reading


10.13.11

Leahy-Authored Bill To Fight Human Trafficking Moves To Senate Floor With Bipartisan Committee Vote

(Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved bipartisan legislation to reauthorize historic legislation which has enhanced the government's efforts to combat human trafficking in the United States and abroad. The bipartisan Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) is authored by Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and received bipartisan support during the Committee's vote Thursday. "Human trafficking is abhorrent. It is a modern-day form… Continue Reading


10.12.11

Leahy Is Concerned About SBA’s Handling Of Disaster Loans To VT Businesses In Irene’s Aftermath

(WEDNESDAY, Oct. 12) -- Concerned about what seems to be a slow and low approval rate for U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) emergency loans to Vermont businesses slammed by Tropical Storm Irene, Senator Patrick Leahy Wednesday asked the agency to promptly review its process and report back the findings. The exchange on Wednesday took place in a rare multi-agency hearing by the Senate Appropriations Committee, called to assess rapidly evolving local needs and rapidly diminishing federal… Continue Reading


10.12.11

Vt. Law Enforcement Agencies Receive Funds To Purchase Bulletproof Vests Under Leahy-Authored Grant Program

(WEDNESDAY, Oct. 12) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Wednesday that 27 towns and counties across Vermont have been awarded grants from the U.S. Department of Justice to help purchase bulletproof vests for law enforcement officers. The grants are provided through the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program, which Leahy authored in 1998. The Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program has helped to provide nearly one million bulletproof vests to law enforcement officers across t… Continue Reading


10.11.11

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Judicial Nominations

In a few moments the Senate has the opportunity to proceed to the American Jobs Act. The bill the President asked us to pass a month ago includes bipartisan proposals that have received broad approval in the past from members of both parties, including road and bridge repairs, teacher retentions and extensions of tax relief for businesses to encourage hiring. We should answer the President's call and the American people's needs and act to help get Americans back to work and grow the economy. … Continue Reading


10.11.11

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Foiled Plot To Assassinate Saudi Ambassador To The United States

"More details are sure to emerge in the coming days about this investigation. What is clear from today's announcement is that the Department of Justice, together with the FBI, the DEA and other agencies, worked collaboratively to bring these charges and foil this alleged plot. I congratulate our national law enforcement team, including Attorney General Holder and Director Mueller, on what appears to be an exceptionally effective and well coordinated counterterrorism effort." # # # # #… Continue Reading


10.11.11

Leahy: Northfield Clothing Firm Wins $3 M. Marine Corps Contract

(TUESDAY, Oct. 11) -- U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has announced a major U.S. Marine Corps contract - totaling $3 million for 450,000 merino wool boot socks - with Darn Tough Vermont, a clothing manufacturer in Northfield, Vt. Darn Tough Vermont, a domestic manufacturer of premium all-weather performance socks, has been steadily expanding its military sales through the company's Tactical sock line. This latest contract is the company's largest Tactical order yet. The competitive contrac… Continue Reading


10.11.11

Leahy: Vermont Nets $70,000 To Help Market Vt. Maple Products

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (TUESDAY, Oct. 11) - Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy Tuesday traveled to Dakin Farms Store in South Burlington to announce that Vermont has received a $70,000 federal grant to help support marketing of the state's signature maple products. The grant is funded through the U.S. Forest Service and supports value-added use of Vermont forests, including the marketing of maple products produced in Vermont. Over the last four years Leahy has helped secure $250,000 for Vermont thr… Continue Reading


10.11.11

Cuts To Foreign Aid Cost The U.S. Globally

Foreign aid today is an oft-maligned term that is widely misunderstood. It is viewed by many as a form of charity, or a luxury we can do without, or as a sizable part of the federal budget. It is none of those things. What we call "foreign aid" pays for our embassies that help the millions of Americans who travel and work overseas. It pays for UN peacekeeping that does not require the costly deployment of U.S. troops, UNICEF, the operations of our NATO security pact, aid for refugees who have f… Continue Reading


10.11.11

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On United States Global Leadership

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, as Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Department of State and Foreign Operations I have strongly supported funding to protect United States interests around the world. I am also fortunate to have Senator Lindsey Graham as a Ranking Member, who, like Senators Judd Gregg and Mitch McConnell before him, is a strong supporter of these programs. We recognize, as does the Pentagon, that military power alone is not sufficient to protect our security. In fa… Continue Reading


10.05.11

Leahy Chairs Hearing With Justices Breyer, Scalia

(Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) chaired a hearing today featuring testimony from two of the nation's top jurists, Supreme Court Justices Stephen Breyer and Antonin Scalia. "I believe that public discussions like this serve our democracy," said Leahy. "As public officials, we owe it to all Americans to be transparent about what we do in our official capacities. We justify their trust by demonstrating how our Government works to uphold our c… Continue Reading


10.05.11

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy At A Hearing On “America’s Agricultural Labor Crisis: Enacting A Practical Solution”

I thank Senator Schumer for holding this important hearing. I am pleased that the subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees, and Border Security will focus on the needs of America's farmers and the important role that foreign workers play on our Nation's farms. For many years, American farmers have been urging Congress to act to reform our immigration laws. Unfortunately, the difficult politics of this issue have stood in the way. I hope today's hearing will help to refocus the Senate's attention on… Continue Reading


10.05.11

Delegation And Governor Announce Economic Development Funds To Lyndon And Brighton

, October 5 - Vermont's congressional delegation - Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch - and Gov. Peter Shumlin today announced that over $200,000 in Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) funds will go to support two economic development projects in Lyndon and Brighton. Lyndon State College and the Northeastern Vermont Development Association will receive $128,500 to boost manufacturing in the area. The funds will help develop professional resources, create collabor… Continue Reading


10.03.11

Senate Confirms 6 Of 27 Pending Judicial Nominees

(Monday, Oct. 3, 2011) - The U.S. Senate Monday night unanimously confirmed six of the more than two dozen judicial nominees approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) welcomed the action, expressing hope that the Senate has turned a new page in the consideration of pending judicial nominations, which has slowed to a crawl during the Obama administration. "If this is an indication that the needless stalling is ending, that Senate Republicans will aband… Continue Reading


10.03.11

Leahy, Graham Pass 60 Mark In Cosponsors For National Guard Empowerment Bill

(MONDAY, Oct. 3) -- U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) Monday announced they now have 61 Senate cosponsors of their latest "Guard Empowerment" effort, the National Guard Empowerment and State-National Defense Integration Act of 2011 (S.1025), which Leahy and Graham introduced in May. The legislation - known as Guard Empowerment II - builds on reforms made in 2008 by giving the Guard and Reserve a seat at the Pentagon's budget and policymaking tables and updating jur… Continue Reading


09.30.11

Delegation Announces Grant To Help Train New Vermont Farmers

Vermont's congressional delegation - Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch - today announced a $659,784 grant to the Vermont New Farmer Network (VNFN). The grant will allow VNFN to provide training and assistance to beginning farmers and ranchers to help them run successful and sustainable farms. The Vermont New Farmers Network is a working group of agricultural organizations committed to serving the needs of new and aspiring farmers in Vermont. The grant is made possible … Continue Reading


09.30.11

The Leahy Letter -- September 30, 2011

A Senseless Roller Coaster Ride For Disaster Recovery Funding By the time Irene hit Vermont, federal disaster relief coffers already were perilously depleted after a tough year in which 48 states have had disaster declarations within their borders. As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Leahy's Job 1 in the weeks after the storm has been to also make replenishing those disaster aid funds the Senate's Job 1. This month he worked to steer disaster aid funding bills through … Continue Reading

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