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Leahy, Sanders, Welch: Vermont NeighborWorks Groups Garner $427,230 To Help Vermonters Find Affordable Rental Housing

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) and Rep. Peter Welch (D) Monday announced that NeighborWorks will be awarding $427,230 in federal funds to help inform Vermonters about homeownership and to preserve and develop affordable rental housing. This first round of 2013 grants allocates federal budget funds for the first half of the fiscal year. NeighborWorks is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving distressed communities. The NeighborWorks America program is awarding five c… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On House Republicans’ Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act

[House Republicans today filed their version of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, which the House is scheduled to debate next week. The House version omits vital protections and bipartisan provisions that were included in the Senate bill authored by Senator Patrick Leahy, which was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate last week. Leahy worked closely with stakeholders and members from both parties to craft bipartisan legislation that won 78 votes in the Senate, including all women … Continue Reading


Sen. Leahy, Gov. Shumlin Announce Agreement and Funding for the Redevelopment of a State Office Complex Building for Affordable Housing

WATERBURY - U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy and Gov. Peter Shumlin today announced a $950,000 award from the Agency of Commerce and Community Development to redevelop Ladd Hall in Waterbury into 27 new homes. The project is made possible by a recent agreement by the state to transfer ownership of the building and include affordable housing in the redevelopment of the State Office Complex. Joining them was Regional Administrator Barbara Fields from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Department Of Justice Announcement Of New Forensics Initiative

[FRIDAY, Feb. 15-The Department of Justice and National Institute of Standards and Technology announced Friday a new commitment to improving the use of forensic science through the establishment of a National Commission on Forensic Science. Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a former prosecutor, introduced the Criminal Justice and Forensic Science Reform Act in the last Congress to improve the use of forensic evidence in criminal cases, and he held a hearing on the issue… Continue Reading


SJC Sends 13 Judicial Nominees To Full Senate

- The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved thirteen judicial nominees, including two circuit court nominees, who all had to be renominated at the start of this year. Caitlin Halligan, nominated to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and Patty Shwartz, nominated to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, each won committee approval last year but were ultimately denied action on the Senate floor before the 112th Congress adjourned. Both were renominated by President Barack Obama in January… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Nomination Of Chuck Hagel To Be Secretary of Defense

The Senate has before us the President's nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense. I strongly support this nomination, and I urge all Senators to support it. At a time of fiscal austerity, we need a leader at the Pentagon who understands what it takes to maintain the strongest military force in the world. Senator Hagel, a former enlisted soldier, understands defense policy and practice from the ground up. He is such a leader. Senator Hagel is experienced by any me… Continue Reading


Senate Votes To Confirm First Judicial Nominee This Year

The Senate voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to confirm William Kayatta, a circuit court nominee whose nomination has lagged for ten months since he was first reported by the Judiciary Committee last year. Senator Patrick Leahy welcomed the Senate's approval of Kayatta's nomination to the First Circuit, which received 88 bipartisan votes on the floor, and called on Senators to take up and vote on other pending nominees to reduce the judicial backlog plaguing the nation's courts. "While it is go… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Obama Administration’s Cybersecurity Executive Order

[U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Wednesday after President Barack Obama announced in his State of the Union address Tuesday night an executive order to improve cybersecurity.] "I appreciate the President's Executive Order to strengthen our cybersecurity. Developing a comprehensive national cybersecurity strategy is one of the most serious and threatening unmet needs confronting the nation. Now Congress must do its part and enact m… Continue Reading


Leahy And Collins Introduce Bipartisan Uniting American Families Act

Senator Patrick Leahy and Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) on Wednesday introduced bipartisan legislation to update U.S. immigration law to permit American citizens to sponsor same-sex "permanent partners" applying for legal residency in the United States. The Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) would allow American citizens who are in long term committed relationships to sponsor their foreign partners for green cards under the family immigration system, just as heterosexual married couples ar… Continue Reading


The Leahy Letter -- VAWA Special Edition

The Leahy Violence Against Women Act Passes Senate Senator Leahy hailed Senate passage Tuesday of his Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA), which will renew and strengthen VAWA's proven efforts to prevent and remedy domestic and sexual violence and help victims. The bipartisan Leahy-Crapo bill (Senator Mike Crapo of Idaho is his lead Republican cosponsor of the Leahy bill) passed in a strong vote of 78 to 22. The bill now goes to the House for consideration, and Senator Leahy i… Continue Reading


Judiciary Committee Holds First Senate Hearing On Immigration Reform In New Congress

(Wednesday, February 13, 2013) - The Senate Judiciary Committee is currently holding a hearing entitled, "Comprehensive Immigration Reform." Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) scheduled the hearing to focus on one of Congress's top legislative priorities this year. Testimony, member statements, and a webcast of the hearing are available online. # # # # # Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing On "Comprehensive Immigration Re… Continue Reading


Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The President’s State Of The Union Message

The challenges the President outlined are difficult, but they are solvable. The job of political leaders is to find solutions, on issues which range from strengthening the economy and creating jobs, to deficit reduction and investing in our future. We need to move beyond the recent pattern of obstruction at any cost. Festering problems only worsen, and lost opportunities are wasteful. It will mean hard work, but that is not a sufficient reason to do nothing. The strong, bipartisan Senate pa… Continue Reading


Leahy, Crapo Hail Senate Passage Of Bipartisan VAWA Reauthorization

(Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) hailed Senate passage Tuesday of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA), a bipartisan bill cosponsored by a total of 62 Senators which won 78 votes on the Senate floor. The measure now goes to the House for consideration. "There is strong, bipartisan support for VAWA reauthorization, and together we can finally finish what we started last year," said Leahy, the lead author of the VAWA bill… Continue Reading


Senate Overwhelmingly Backs Leahy Amendment To Combat Human Trafficking

(Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013) - U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) hailed the Senate's overwhelming and bipartisan adoption Tuesday of an amendment to the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) that would combat human trafficking. Leahy's amendment, adopted with the support of 93 Senators from both parties and states all over the country, would reauthorize the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPRA). The reauthorization provides law enforcement the tools th… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On His Human Trafficking Amendment To The Violence Against Women Act

Today, after more than a week of consideration, the Senate will finally vote on the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. This is a good bill that makes needed changes recommended by victims and those who work with them every day. I urge all those Senators who have opposed reauthorizing VAWA to end their opposition and join with us. Despite the predictions by some that the Republican House of Representatives will refuse to consider the Senate bill, as it did last year, I see reason for h… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy At A Hearing On Proposals To Reduce Gun Violence: Protecting Our Communities

I want to thank Senator Durbin for chairing today's hearing. Two weeks ago, the Committee began the new Congress with a hearing on what our Nation should do to address gun violence in the wake of the tragic shootings in Newtown. We have begun the collective effort to find solutions to help ensure that no family, no school, and no community ever has to endure such a grievous tragedy again. Today's hearing will continue this important discussion and make clear that we are mindful of the constit… Continue Reading


Leahy Calls On Senate To Support Efforts To Combat Human Trafficking

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, lead author of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) currently pending on the floor, called on the Senate today to support his amendment to combat human trafficking. The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) provides law enforcement the tools they need to investigate human trafficking crimes domestically and supports efforts to address the issue of trafficking abroad. Leahy was the lead author of this … Continue Reading


Leahy Announces Witnesses For February 13 Hearing On Comprehensive Immigration Reform

- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy Friday released a list of witnesses invited to appear at a February 13 hearing on comprehensive immigration reform. Next week's hearing is the Senate's first on immigration reform this Congress, and will occur one day after President Barack Obama delivers his annual State of the Union address. The panel of witnesses will offer a broad range of testimony on an issue that will be at the forefront of both the Judiciary Committee, led by Leahy, a… Continue Reading


New England Senators Applaud Regional Effort to Reduce Carbon Pollution

Today, Senators from New England states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) are applauding their states' recently announced commitments to prevent carbon emissions from exceeding the 2012 emissions levels of 91 million tons and to further reduce emissions in the years ahead. This commitment will boost local economies by sparking further investment in energy efficiency programs and renewable energy development. RGGI is a market-based effort to reduce greenhouse gas em… Continue Reading


Senator Leahy Joins Bipartisan Coalition To Strengthen, Improve Mental Health Care

(FRIDAY, Feb 8., 2013) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) joined a bipartisan group of senators Thursday to introduce the Excellence in Mental Health Act to strengthen mental health services. The bill, introduced in the wake of the recent tragedy in Newtown, would help integrate the primary health system and mental and behavioral health care, to allow us to begin addressing the significant unmet need for mental health services in our communities. The bill is also sponsored by Senator Debbie Staben… Continue Reading

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