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


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Supreme Court Decision To Apply Fair Sentencing Act

BACKGROUND: The Supreme Court held in a 5-4 decision today that the Fair Sentencing Act's new, lower mandatory minimum provisions for offenses involving crack cocaine apply to sentences imposed after passage of the legislation even for offenses that occurred before passage of the legislation. Justice Breyer, writing for the majority and joined by Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan, gave deference to the clear congressional intent to avoid further unfair disparities. Senator Leahy … Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The House Oversight And Government Reform Committee Contempt Vote

"This is a dispute between the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the Justice Department. I do believe it could and should have been resolved. The Department has made extraordinary efforts to balance the sensitivities associated with ongoing criminal investigations and the need to be responsive to congressional oversight. The Bush Justice Department was not nearly this forthcoming and never tried to reach a reasonable accommodation in response to our oversight efforts. "Beca… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Lee Amendment Concerning The Forest Legacy Program

Mr. President, I strongly oppose the Lee Amendment to repeal the Forest Legacy Program. This program, which I helped to establish in the 1990 Farm Bill, is a true success story that has delivered tremendous benefits to the American people and their communities across the Nation. It has led to the conservation of more than 2.2 million acres of working forest lands in 49 states, playing a key role in sustaining our rural economies and essential ecosystems. The benefits of the Forest Legacy Prog… Continue Reading


Addison County Health Center Funded As Part Of Major Expansion Of Community Health Centers

, June 20 - More than $128 million to operate 219 community health centers around the country - including $160,417 for the first facility in Addison County - was awarded today in a new round of grants under the Affordable Care Act. A provision by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the 2010 health care reform law authorized $11 billion to build, expand, and operate community health centers nationwide. The funding was designed to dramatically double to 40 million the number of patients served by heal… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards Rule

The Senate will vote today on whether to proceed to a Congressional Resolution of Disapproval that I strongly oppose. This resolution would repeal the Environmental Protection Agency's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards Rule and undo the great strides that the agency has taken to safeguard the public's health and welfare and our quality of life in this great land. The EPA's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards represent a true breakthrough in environmental policy. This rule offers clear benefits to… Continue Reading


Leahy Chairs Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing On Implementation Of Leahy-Smith America Invents Act

(Wednesday, June 20, 2012) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is chairing a hearing this morning on oversight of the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the implementation of the bipartisan Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, which was signed into law last year. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Director David Kappos is testifying before the panel. Testimony, member statements, and a webcast of the hearing are available online. The Leahy-Smith American In… Continue Reading


Put Victims Before Politics: Senator Leahy's Guest Column On The Violence Against Women Act

On Wednesday, June 20, Senator Leahy and Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) authored a guest column on the Violence Against Women Act, which passed the Senate in April and is still awaiting a vote in the House of Representatives. An excerpt from the piece, which was published in The Hill newspaper, is below, followed by a link to the full article. # # # # # Nearly six months ago, we joined together to introduce the Leahy-Crapo Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2011. For almost 18 years,… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On the Equal Employment Opportunity Restoration Act of 2012

Today, I am pleased to join Senator Franken to introduce the Equal Employment Opportunity Restoration Act of 2012. This important legislation will respond to the Supreme Court's decision in Wal-Mart v. Dukes, and restore women's ability to challenge discrimination in the workplace. Today marks the one year anniversary of that case-where just five Justices disqualified the claims of 1.5 million women who had spent nearly a decade seeking justice for sex discrimination by their employer, Wal-Mar… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch: Vermont Nets Nearly $8 Million To Complete Rail Upgrades From St. Albans To Canadian Border

(TUESDAY, June 19) - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Tuesday announced that Vermont will receive a $7.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to upgrade the New England Central Railroad in northern Vermont. The federal grant will be used to rehabilitate 19 miles of track between St. Albans and the Canadian border in Alburgh with new rail, ballast and ties, and to make structural and deck repairs on six bridges. By achievi… Continue Reading


Senators Seek Public Access To Historic Supreme Court Ruling

(Tuesday, June 19, 2012) - Senators Chuck Grassley and Patrick Leahy have asked Chief Justice John Roberts to consider live television coverage of proceedings when the Supreme Court delivers its ruling on the 2010 health care law, which is expected this month. Leahy and Grassley, who serve as Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, made their request in a letter sent Monday. Both senators are longtime advocates of allowing broadcast coverage of federal court proceedin… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Leahy On The Lewis Nomination And On Lewis Nomination And Obstruction In The Senate

(Monday, June 18, 2012) - The Senate will vote tonight at 5:30 p.m. on the nomination of Mary Geiger Lewis to be United States District Judge for the District of South Carolina. The nomination was reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee in March. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, and spoke on the Senate floor today about the nomination. Leahy's full statement can be read on his website.] # # # # # Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, … Continue Reading


Remarks Of Senator Patrick Leahy At The Opening Of The Burlington Community Health Center

Others have delved into the rich history of the health center, its origins as a true outgrowth of the community with a mission of those who needed its services, regardless of ability to pay. From my days as States Attorney, I remember the Center's first home on North Street. Since those days, I have been proud to see the Center receive its designation as a Federally Qualified Health Center, to have helped find funding to help the Center after it outgrew current spaces, secured the resources… Continue Reading


Senator Leahy: Egypt’s Rulers Are Throwing The Transition Into Question

(FRIDAY, June 15) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is the author of the new conditions on U.S. military aid to Egypt. Secretary Clinton earlier this year invoked the Leahy law's waiver authority to allow military aid to resume, but contract-by-contract decisions are ongoing. Leahy chairs the budget committee for the State Department and foreign aid and operations - the Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on the State Department and Foreign Operations. On Friday he commented on the new dev… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On DHS Deferred Action Policy For Certain Noncitizens

"I commend Secretary Napolitano for exercising the discretion available to her by law in the deportation of young people. These youths - brought to the United States as children - enrich our culture, support our communities, contribute to our economy and serve our nation ably as members of our Armed Forces. President Obama and Secretary Napolitano should be praised for embracing this temporary relief for qualified young people, brought here through no fault of their own. In many cases this is… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Leahy On The Assault On Freedom Of The Press In Ethiopia

Mr. Leahy. Mr. President, later this month, I and other Members of Congress will be watching what happens in a courtroom 7,000 miles from Washington, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. That is where a journalist named Eskinder Nega stands accused of supporting terrorism simply for refusing to remain silent about the Ethiopian government's increasingly authoritarian drift. The trial is finished, and a verdict is expected on June 21. Eskinder Nega is not alone. Since 2011, the Ethiopian government ha… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Republican Opposition To Consensus Nominees

[On Wednesday, Senate Republicans announced they are invoking the so-called "Thurmond Rule" and will not allow further votes on the President's circuit court nominees this year, despite continued high vacancies and consensus bipartisan nominees reported by the Judiciary Committee and awaiting consideration on the Senate calendar.] "This shutdown is consistent with what the partisan Senate Republican leadership did in 1996 and again at the end of President Clinton's presidency, and can be contr… Continue Reading


Leahy Releases Bipartisan Senate Letter: House Should Set Up-Or-Down Vote On Senate’s Consensus VAWA Bill To Support ALL Victims Of Violence

(TUESDAY, June 12)- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the lead author of the Senate's Violence Against Women Act, sent a bipartisan letter with Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) Tuesday to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), urging him to bring up the Senate-passed Violence Against Women Act. This landmark law has been at the foundation of the nation's response to domestic and sexual violence since 1994, and the Senate's bipartisan reauthorization measure is based on months of work with survivors,… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Leahy On The Nomination Of Andrew D. Hurwitz To The Ninth Circuit Court Of Appeals

Last night the Senate voted to end the Republican filibuster of this outstanding nominee. For the 28th time since President Obama was elected, the Majority Leader was forced to file cloture to get an up-or-down vote on one of President Obama's judicial nominations. Justice Hurwitz is not a nominee who should have been filibustered. With the support of Senator Kyl, the partisan effort to stall yet another judicial nomination was defeated. I thank Senator Kyl and the Republican Senators who ha… Continue Reading


Leahy Chairs Senate Judiciary Committee Oversight Hearing With Attorney General Eric Holder

(Tuesday, June 12, 2012) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is chairing a hearing this morning on oversight of the Department of Justice. Attorney General Eric Holder is testifying before the panel. 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 Oversight of the Department Of Justice June 12, 2012 I welcome our Attorney General Holder b… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Nomination Of Andrew D. Hurwitz To The Ninth Circuit Court Of Appeals

(Monday, June 11, 2012) - The Senate will vote tonight at 5:30 p.m. on the motion to invoke cloture on the nomination of Andrew D. Hurwitz to be a judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The nomination was reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee in March. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, and spoke on the Senate floor today about the nomination. Leahy's full statement can be read on his website.] # # # # # Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D… Continue Reading

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