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

11.11.11

Leahy Wins Extension Of Program To Reduce Heavy Truck Traffic In Vermont Downtowns

(THURSDAY, Nov. 11) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has won House and Senate negotiators' approval of a 20-year extension of a pilot program in Vermont to move heavy trucks off state secondary roads and onto the state's Interstate highways. Leahy's provisions for Vermont -- and similar provisions for Maine, advocated by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine -- have now been agreed to by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees' negotiators on the transportation budget bill. Leahy had include… Continue Reading


11.11.11

Veteran’s Day Message Of Senator Patrick Leahy

On this Veteran's Day, we Vermonters join together to remember, to appreciate, and to thank our veterans. They and their families have sacrificed so much to make sure that we can live in safety and in freedom from fear. Let our thanks not go unspoken. And let our remembrances be accompanied by deeds. We know that some are confronting hopelessness, especially in a difficult economy, and this knowledge demands not only our empathy but our action to ease their burdens. Marcelle and I and all … Continue Reading


11.10.11

In Rare Public Appearance, Joint Chiefs Rally To Try To Block Leahy’s Bill To Elevate The National Guard To Their Ranks

(THURSDAY, Nov. 10) - In a rare joint public appearance, the current members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff banded together Thursday to testify against adding the National Guard to their ranks, which would happen under legislation introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). At issue is the latest National Guard Empowerment Bill (S.1025), introduced by Leahy, longtime co-chair of the Senate's 84-member National Guard Caucus, and joined by Caucus co-chair Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). The Leah… Continue Reading


11.10.11

Leahy Hails Senate’s Vote To Reject A Bid To Kill The EPA Cross-Border Dirty Air Limits That Will Help Curb Pollution-Drift Into Vermont And Other Downwind States

(THURSDAY, Nov. 10) - The U.S. Senate Thursday voted to reject a resolution of disapproval offered by Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) that would have derailed EPA's new cross-border pollution rule, which would greatly benefit Vermont and other "downwind" states. The resolution was voted down in a procedural vote of 56-41. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who supports the EPA rule and who voted against the move to kill the new standards, cited the rule's many benefits to Vermonters and to all Americans… Continue Reading


11.10.11

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Senate’s Approval Thursday Of Employment Assistance For Veterans

[The U.S. Senate Thursday approved legislation that includes veterans employment tax credits proposed by President Obama. The veterans tax credits were added to legislation to repeal a requirement that federal, state and local governments begin withholding 3 percent of payments to their contractors in 2013. The bill goes next to the House for action. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) voted for this and two other veterans workforce assistance measures approved by the Senate Thursday and is an origina… Continue Reading


11.10.11

Reaction Of Senator Leahy To The State Department's Announcement Of A Delay In The Keystone/XL Review Process

"While this is a sign that the State Department has been listening during the comment period, there are many problems with this pipeline, and the tar sands project behind it, that go far beyond the particular route it would take. This pollution-ridden project and its path through our country should not go forward at all. The environmental harm and risks that are inseparable from this project far outweigh any benefits, and I hope the Administration will pull the plug on an inherently bad idea."… Continue Reading


11.10.11

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Respect For Marriage Act

Today we will vote to right an injustice that goes to the core of what we stand for in this great Nation: freedom and equality. The fundamental freedom to make a public and lifetime commitment to the one you love and the equality of all state-sanctioned marriages are at the heart of the Respect for Marriage Act. I am proud that my home state of Vermont has long taken an active role in America's journey to build a more just society. Vermont was the first state in the Union to outlaw slavery. … Continue Reading


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

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