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

09.22.11

Remarks of Senator Leahy: Vermont Mourns The Death Of Master Sergeant Shawn Stocker

After Irene,The Guard Is There For Vermonters Senate FloorSeptember 22, 2011 Mr. President, I rise today to call the attention of the Senate once again to the loss and the suffering and the disruption experienced by Vermonters in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. I have discussed several aspects of Vermont's response to that disaster. One key component of our response is the skillful and tireless work of the Vermont National Guard. It was with profound sadness that I learned yesterday that… Continue Reading


09.22.11

Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Leahy-Authored Data Privacy Bill

Legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to enhance data privacy and cybersecurity protections for Americans' personal information was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee at a business meeting held Thursday. The Personal Data Privacy and Security Act, which incorporates several cybersercurity proposals put forth by the Obama administration earlier this year, was reported by the Committee for the fourth time in as many Congresses. The Leahy-authored data privacy bill builds … Continue Reading


09.22.11

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On “Countering Terrorist Financing: Progress And Priorities” September 21, 2011

I commend Senator Whitehouse for convening this hearing today, and thank the witnesses for their testimony. The investigation of terrorist financing activities is a critical element of preventing and prosecuting terrorism, and yet tracking funds can be difficult and time intensive. The 9/11 Commission reported that al Qaeda moved, stored, and spent money in traditional ways as it plotted the 9/11 attacks. Its tradecraft was not particularly sophisticated and yet it eluded detection. Al Qaeda… Continue Reading


09.21.11

Key Panel Advances Leahy’s Bid To Permanently Reduce Heavy Truck Traffic In Vermont Downtowns

The Senate Appropriations Committee Wednesday advanced legislation by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that would permanently move heavy trucks off state secondary roads and onto the state's Interstate highways. Leahy's provision will help Vermont businesses and communities struggling due to the large number of state and local roads heavily damaged during the recent flooding disaster. Leahy included his provision in the annual transportation funding bill that the Senate Transportation Appropriat… Continue Reading


09.21.11

Leahy Heralds Committee Passage Of Additional Emergency Funds To Help Rebuild Vermont’s Roads And Bridges

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced on Wednesday that the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved his amendment to add $1.9 billion in emergency assistance for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to help rebuild roads and bridges washed out by Hurricane Irene and other federal disasters. The committee's bill also includes key waivers that would allow Vermont to access all of the funding it needs without overly burdensome cost-sharing requirements. The provisions were inclu… Continue Reading


09.21.11

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The District Of Columbia District Court’s Decision In Shelby v. Holder

"Today's decision upholding the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act reauthorization that Congress passed overwhelmingly five years ago is a welcomed decision. Judge Bates' careful and thorough opinion reflects an appropriate deference to the extensive testimony received over the course of nearly 20 hearings before the Senate and House Judiciary Committees. The continuing importance of these Voting Rights Act protections cannot be overstated, particularly at a time when many states are p… Continue Reading


09.20.11

Delegation Announces Grant To Create Flood Clean-Up Jobs For Out-Of-Work Vermonters

(TUESDAY, Sept. 20) -- Vermont's congressional delegation - Sens. Patrick Leahy (D) and Bernie Sanders (I) and Rep. Peter Welch (D) - today announced a $1.7 million grant to put unemployed Vermonters to work helping clean up and recover from Tropical Storm Irene. The Department of Labor grant will create 100 temporary jobs assisting with clean-up, demolition, repair, renovation, and reconstruction of destroyed public structures, facilities, and lands throughout Vermont's 14 counties as well as … Continue Reading


09.20.11

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Vermonters Helping Vermonters After Irene

In the weeks since Tropical Storm Irene devastated much of our state, Vermonters continue to struggle to regain a sense of normalcy. Bridges, railways and roads remain damaged or wiped out. Many homes, businesses and schools that were not entirely washed away need profound repairs. Farmers are struggling to salvage what they can of their livelihoods. From amid the din and destruction and debris of this horrific natural disaster come hundreds of heartening stories I have heard or witnessed abou… Continue Reading


09.20.11

Leahy Wins Initial Approval To Permanently Reduce Heavy Truck Traffic In Vermont Downtowns

(TUESDAY, Sept. 20) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has won initial approval of legislation that would permanently move heavy trucks off state secondary roads and onto the state's Interstate highways. Leahy's provision will help Vermont businesses and communities struggling due to the large number of state and local roads heavily damaged during the recent flooding disaster. Leahy included his provision in the annual transportation funding bill that the Senate Transportation Appropriation… Continue Reading


09.20.11

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Repeal Of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

[Today, September 20, 2011, marks the full and final repeal of the controversial "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) law, which prevented gays and lesbians from openly serving in the U.S. military. Congress last year approved legislation to repeal the discriminatory policy. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) was a leading cosponsor of the legislation to repeal DADT.] Last week, we celebrated the 224th anniversary of the United States Constitution, the document that enshrines the ideals we cherish in th… Continue Reading


09.20.11

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Judicial Nominations

President Obama came to Congress two weeks ago and made a compelling case for passing the American Jobs Act. The bill he asked us to pass includes bipartisan proposals that have received broad approval in the past from members of both parties, including extensions of tax relief for businesses to encourage hiring. They are consensus proposals we can enact today. We should answer the President's call and act right away to help get Americans back to work and grow the economy. With the unemploym… Continue Reading


09.19.11

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The FBI’s Release Of 2010 Crime Statistics

"I was glad to see that crime rates, and particularly violent crime rates, declined significantly once again in 2010. The men and women working in federal, state, and local law enforcement everyday are on the front lines protecting our communities and keeping us all safe. Continuing the trend of reducing crime rates at a time of recession and budget crisis is a significant achievement. I am glad that the efforts of Congress and the Obama administration to ensure federal funding to state and l… Continue Reading


09.19.11

Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy On President Obama’s Plan For Economic Growth And Deficit Reduction

"I applaud President Obama's call for requiring the wealthiest people and biggest corporations to pay their fair share to reduce the deficit and spur job growth. It's too early to know whether Congress will act on these proposals, but Congress should act on these proposals. This is a balanced plan, these ideas have enjoyed bipartisan support, and the American people agree that budget solutions need to be fair. "The President is right to demand that people making more than $1 million a year sh… Continue Reading


09.16.11

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Latest USPS Cost-Cutting Initiatives

I am concerned about the rash nature of the Postal Service's latest cost-cutting initiative. In Vermont, USPS is considering closing or consolidating 14 post offices, as well as Vermont's only two mail processing facilities - in Essex Junction and White River Junction - which together employ nearly 300 Vermonters. Closing or consolidating our two mail facilities would put these jobs at risk at a time when sustaining and creating jobs is more important than ever. Shuttering these facilities … Continue Reading


09.16.11

Leahy and Sanders Redouble Push for Senate-Passed Irene Relief

, Sept. 16 - Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today hoped for quick House approval next week of a Senate-passed bill to provide $6.9 billion in additional federal disaster relief funds for Vermont and other states. The measure includes $5.1 billion in funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's disaster relief fund. Of that, $500 million would be available immediately. The rest would go to other departments and agencies that have seen their coffers dwindle in a y… Continue Reading


09.16.11

Leahy, Sanders, Welch Announce Opening Of Apartments To Storm-Displaced Vermonters

(FRIDAY, Sept. 16) -- Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Friday announced that about 90 vacant federally assisted apartments will be available to Vermonters displaced by Tropical Storm Irene, thanks to a federal waiver from the U.S. Treasury Department granted at the request of Governor Peter Shumlin and through the Vermont congressional delegation's advocacy. In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene, the Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) identif… Continue Reading


09.16.11

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On President Obama’s Signing Of The Historic Leahy-Smith America Invents Act

[Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy witnessed the signing of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act at an event in Alexandria, Va., today. President Barack Obama signed the bill into law, capping a six year bipartisan effort led by Leahy to enact the first comprehensive reforms to the nation's patent system in nearly six decades.] "Vermonters have a long legacy of innovation and creativity. With the improvements included in the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, that legacy is sure to continue. "Fe… Continue Reading


09.15.11

Leahy, Sanders: Senate’s Thursday Night Vote Adds Momentum To Disaster Aid Funding Bill

(THURSDAY, Sept. 15) - The U.S. Senate late Thursday approved a bill to allocate additional federal disaster relief funds that are crucial for recovery in Vermont and other states in the aftermath of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene. The Senate approved the measure by a vote of 62 to 37. Vermont's two senators - Senator Patrick Leahy (D) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I) -- had fought for the bill and said its passage adds momentum to their urgent congressional push to top-up the depleted coffers of… Continue Reading


09.15.11

Senate Judiciary Committee Makes Progress On Leahy-Authored Data Privacy And Cybersecurity Bill

(Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011) - The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday adopted a trio of amendments to a bill authored by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that will enhance data privacy and cybersecurity protections for Americans' personal information. The Committee is expected to resume consideration of the legislation when it next meets. "I am pleased the Committee adopted my substitute amendment, as well as other amendments to further improve the Personal Data Privacy and Security Act," sa… Continue Reading


09.14.11

Senators Lautenberg And Leahy Lead New Push For Comprehensive Disaster Relief

(WEDNESDAY, Sept. 14) -- U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), along with 10 colleagues from states impacted by Hurricane Irene, Wednesday called on Senate leaders to provide comprehensive disaster aid through a variety of federal agencies. The aid would help to ensure that families, businesses, local governments, farmers and damaged federal roads receive the resources needed to rebuild and recover from the devastating storm and flooding. Leahy and Lautenberg are… Continue Reading

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