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Press Releases

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


Thacker Confirmed To Fourth Circuit; Nominee Is Just Second Circuit Nomination Confirmed This Year

(Monday, April 16, 2012) - The Senate Monday night confirmed the long-pending nomination of Stephanie Thacker to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The nomination is just the second nomination confirmed this year to fill vacancies on Courts of Appeals around the country. Her nomination was confirmed by a vote of 91-3. Thacker was reported to the full Senate for consideration in November, with the unanimous support of the 18-member Senate Judiciary Committee. Sev… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Applying 'Buffett Rule' Fairness to The U.S. Tax Code

Mr. President, I rise today in strong support of the Paying a Fair Share Act, which would apply the so-called "Buffett Rule" to the U.S. Tax Code. This commonsense bill would ensure that taxpayers at the top of the economic ladder pay at least the same tax rate paid by hardworking middle-class families. No longer should handsomely compensated CEOs or those who live off trust funds pay a lower effective tax rate than the people who work for them. It is remarkable, and regrettable, that such a… Continue Reading


Leahy: Senate Should Consider VAWA Reauthorization Without Delay

(Monday, April 16, 2012) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday again urged the Senate to consider legislation to reauthorize the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Leahy is the lead author of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, bipartisan legislation to strengthen and improve the 1994 law which has become the bedrock of the nation's response to domestic and sexual violence. Leahy introduced the legislation in November with Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). The bill is cospon… Continue Reading


Statement Released By Senator Patrick Leahy For Presentation To The Public Gathering About The Future Of Vermont Yankee

My highest concern about Vermont Yankee has always been the safety of Vermonters and everyone living near the plant. Everything else is secondary. While the Atomic Energy Act gives the Nuclear Regulatory Commission exclusive jurisdiction over safety issues, I was not alone last year in spotlighting the irony of NRC's renewal of Vermont Yankee's license just as similar reactors in Japan were careening perilously out of control. Even today this plant is running at less than full power because o… Continue Reading


Reaction of Senator Leahy -- Rising Dairy Feed Prices Trigger 1st MILC Payments To Dairy Farmers Since 2010

USDA Thursday announced the first payments to farmers since April 2010 under the basic dairy safety net program, the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) Program. The new payments are triggered mostly by rising feed prices. The MILC Program kicks in when milk prices fall substantially below the costs of production. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) says the cost pressures facing farmers spotlight the need for effective reforms in dairy programs in the upcoming 2012 Farm Bill. Leahy is the most senio… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Leahy, Grassley Bill To Reauthorize Drug Free Communities Program

(Thursday, March 29, 2012) - The Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation authored by the Committee's Chairman, Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Ranking Member, Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), to reauthorize the critical Drug Free Communities (DFC) Program, which provides valuable grants to help community coalitions respond to serious drug and substance abuse problems in their communities. "The myth persists that drug abuse and drug-related crime are only big-city problems, but rural America, includi… Continue Reading


Leahy Speaks At Senate Hearing About Impact Of Citizens United

(THURSDAY, March 29) - Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy spoke Thursday at a Senate hearing in Washington about his concerns about the impact of the Supreme Court's 2010 decision in Citizens United. Leahy chaired the first congressional hearing following the 2010 decision in Citizens United. The decision is just one of a series of narrowly decided cases considered by the Supreme Court. In many of them, including Citizens, just five Justices, comprising what is considered the conservative bloc of … Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act

Mr. President, it is long past time to close the wasteful tax loopholes for Big Oil. Over the past 10 years, the five biggest private sector oil companies -- BP, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, and ConocoPhillips -- have amassed combined profits of almost $1 trillion. Last year was no different. Due to skyrocketing prices for oil, these same five corporations raked in a record-breaking $137 billion in profits. Despite this massive windfall, Big Oil continued to receive billions of dollars in tax… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Nominations Of Miranda Du And Susie Morgan

Today, the Senate will finally vote on the nominations of Miranda Du to fill a judicial emergency vacancy in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada and Susie Morgan to fill a judicial vacancy in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Both nominations have the bipartisan support of their home state Senators, and were reported by the Judiciary Committee over four months ago. The Senate is still only considering judicial nominations that could and should have b… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders and Welch Announce That Economic Development Disaster Assistance Applications Are Now Being Accepted

(WEDNESDAY, March 28) - U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch Wednesday announced the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is now accepting applications from Northeastern communities affected by disasters last year, including in Vermont, for $53,753,000 of disaster recovery assistance. On Wednesday the EDA posted a Federal Funding Opportunity on, the federal government's central grant application clearinghouse, that calls for applications from sta… Continue Reading


Leahy Chairs Hearing On Report On Stevens Prosecution

[Member statements and a live webcast are available online.] Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, "Hearing on the Special Counsel's Report on the Prosecution of Senator Ted Stevens" March 28, 2012 I have said many times and in many contexts that our criminal justice system is the envy of the world. Our constitutional framework provides that all individuals are guaranteed the right to fair treatment and a fair trial. In order for our criminal … Continue Reading


Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy Following Today’s Supreme Court Arguments On The Affordable Care Act

"I was fortunate to be able to attend today's arguments in the Supreme Court about the Affordable Care Act with Senator Grassley, and to watch in person and in real time. Hundreds of thousands of Vermonters, and millions of Americans across the country, who benefit from the Affordable Care Act were not. The Supreme Court's decision in this landmark case will affect every American. I think that every American should have had a chance to see it, and the Supreme Court should open its proceedings … Continue Reading


Delegation Announces Funding To Provide Permanent Housing To 25 Homeless Vermont Veterans

, March 27 - Vermont's congressional delegation - Sen. Patrick Leahy, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch - today announced $153,000 in federal funds to provide permanent housing and support services to 25 homeless Vermont veterans. The funds will bring 25 Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers to Vermont to cover the cost of qualifying rental apartments for homeless veterans. The vouchers will allow veterans to move from homelessness or temporary shelter into more permanent h… Continue Reading


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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