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


Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Passing Of Senator Daniel K. Inouye

Senator Inouye was the best of the ideals and the great promise of the nation that he loved and served so valiantly. What better role model for public service could any American ask for. What a remarkable life he led. A veteran of World War II and the Greatest Generation, he received the Congressional Medal of Honor. A pioneer who helped forge Hawaii's emergence as a state, he was his beloved home's first member of Congress. We worked together on so many matters, large and small, and over … Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Emergency Supplemental Spending Bill

Mr. President, on behalf of Chairman Inouye, today I would like to introduce an emergency supplemental and disaster aid bill that will help respond to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy. The eyes, ears, and hopes of tens of millions of our fellow Americans who were in this storm's path are now trained upon the United States Senate. And with us in this effort, as well, is the good will of the entire Nation. When 'Superstorm' Sandy hit the East Coast seven weeks ago, it had swelled to… Continue Reading


Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist And Voting Rights Leaders To Testify Before Senate Judiciary Committee This Week

(MONDAY, December 17, 2012) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Monday that former Florida Governor Charlie Crist will join the witness panel at the Committee's hearing on voting rights this week. Crist will offer testimony about the impact of restrictions on voting and the importance of the Voting Rights Act on Wednesday during the Committee's hearing on "The State Of The Right To Vote After The 2012 Election." As Florida governor from 2007 to 2011, long lines… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy, On The Tragedy In Connecticut

"Few events in my lifetime have emotionally roiled the Nation - all of us - as deeply as have the senseless killings last Friday in Newtown, Connecticut. Wrenching images and personal stories that spilled out from that tragedy have forever been imprinted on our collective memories. "In my family, and I know in families from coast to coast, parents called their children. Brothers called sisters. Neighbors reached out to neighbors. Over the weekend and again today, in discussions across churc… Continue Reading


Comment of Senator Leahy on the school shootings in Newtown, Conn.

"What a tragedy on so many levels. Our hearts and prayers are with the victims and their families in Connecticut."… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The EPA’s Next Round Of Clean Air Standards To Reduce Harmful Soot Pollution

"I applaud the EPA and Administrator Jackson for this new standard that will save thousands of lives each year, giving Vermonters and all of the American people the priceless benefit of being able to breathe cleaner air. At last we have an air pollution standard that is based on the best available science and an extensive body of scientific evidence as the law requires. The courts have rightfully determined that the old standard is too weak to adequately protect Americans' health. We do not h… Continue Reading


Leahy: Trafficking Victims Deserve Senate Action

(Friday, December 14, 2012) - U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), lead sponsor of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act is urging Congress to make passing the bipartisan bill a priority before the end of the year. In a statement on Thursday, Leahy noted that Congress has acted three times before to reauthorize TVPRA to assist in the continued fight against human trafficking. More than 27 million people fall victim to human trafficking annually, accor… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The President’s Remarks On The Conflict Between Federal And State Laws

"The President's brief comments on this subject reflect common sense. In a time of tight budget constraints, I want law enforcement to focus on violent crime. But now that we have a gap between federal and state laws on marijuana we need more information and a wider discussion about where our priorities should be and a clear plan going forward so that states can execute their own laws. I expect the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing next year to help focus attention and action on accomplishin… Continue Reading


Senate Approves Two District Court Nominees, 16 Judicial Nominees Awaiting Consideration

(Thursday, December 13, 2012) - On Thursday, the Senate voted to confirm two district court nominees who each waited five months on the calendar before received a floor vote, an unreasonable amount of time that U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said only hurts the courts and Americans who seek justice in our Federal courts. "We have a constitutional responsibility to advise and consent, and we must also help our courts uphold their constitutional responsibility to p… Continue Reading


Leahy: House Republicans Still Have A Chance To Pass VAWA Reauthorization

(Thursday, December 13, 2012) - U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday again called on Republican leaders in the House of Representatives to act quickly and support protections for tribal women in the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. The Senate acted on the legislation in April, and time is running out for Congress to send a bill to the President. Leahy released a statement Thursday that follows a request made last week for House Republican… Continue Reading


Leahy To Examine Marijuana Policy

(THURSDAY, Dec. 13, 2012) - In light of recently passed state laws legalizing personal marijuana use, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday released a letter sent earlier this month to the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) seeking information about how the administration intends to proceed in light of differences between federal and state laws. Leahy also announced Thursday that he intends to hold a hearing looking into the matter wh… Continue Reading


Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Proposal To Base F-35s In Vermont

"There have already been a number of public hearings in Vermont to discuss the proposal to base F-35s in Burlington. In 2012 alone there have been eight public meetings and forums in Chittenden County. I and the members of the Vermont delegation have facilitated communication between Vermonters and the Air Force and I have responded to hundreds of Vermonters with questions about the F-35 basing decision. I have made it clear that I support noise abatement steps, just as operational controls l… Continue Reading


Judiciary Panel Holds Hearing On Ending The School-To-Prison Pipeline

(Wednesday, December 12, 2012) - The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights is currently holding a hearing on "Ending the School-to-Prison Pipeline." Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has long championed legislation ensuring effective approaches to juvenile justice, including the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act in 2009. The subcommittee is chaired by Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). Testimony, member statements… Continue Reading


Leahy Slams House Leaders For Taking Farmers And Struggling Families Hostage In Farm Bill Standoff

(WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12, 2012) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) took to the Senate Floor again this week as part of the effort to jump-start final action on the Farm Bill. With only days to go before the end of the post-election "lame duck" congressional session, House leaders continue to thwart final action on a Farm Bill, even though most agriculture and nutrition programs will expire on Dec. 31, and several - including a safety net program for dairy farmers - already have expired. The latest dem… Continue Reading


Leahy: The Senate Must Clear The Nominations Backlog

(Wednesday, December 12, 2012) - The Senate Judiciary Committee today heard testimony from four nominees to fill vacancies on federal district courts, continuing the progress the Committee has made to vet and report judicial nominees to the Senate for consideration. In a statement for the record at Wednesday's hearing, Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) observed that the Senate remains far behind the pace set in earlier administrations in confirming judicial nominees, particularly those … Continue Reading


Leahy: The Senate Must Consider All Pending Judicial Nominees

The Senate late Tuesday confirmed two long-pending district court nominees, while 13 additional district court nominees and four circuit court nominees await action before the end of the year. In a statement for the Congressional Record, Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said the Senate must clear this needless backlog before the end of the year. "Both of these nominees were voted out of the Judiciary Committee by voice vote before the August recess and should have bee… Continue Reading


Southern Vermont receives $470,000 to bolster long-term recovery efforts following Irene

(Tuesday, December 11, 2012) - The Windham Regional Commission and the Bennington County Regional Commission will receive $470,000 in Economic Development Administration (EDA) funds to bolster long-term recovery efforts in southern Vermont following Tropical Storm Irene, Vermont's congressional delegation announced today. The funds will be used by the regional planning commissions to expand the capacity of public officials and economic development organizations to work with businesses and encou… Continue Reading


Leahy: SJC Will Hold Hearing On The State Of The Right To Vote After The 2012 Election

(MONDAY, December 10, 2012) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Monday that the Committee will hold a hearing to examine Americans' access to the voting booth and the continuing need for protections against efforts to limit or suppress voting. At the December 19 hearing, the Committee will look at how the barriers to voting explored in previous hearings held by Leahy and by Constitution Subcommittee Chairman Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) affected the right to vote in… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Supreme Court Decision To Consider Challenge To The Defense Of Marriage Act

[The Supreme Court announced Friday it will review two court cases on same-sex marriage this year, including one, Windsor v. United States, challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is a leading cosponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal DOMA, and he chaired the first-ever congressional hearing examining the effects of DOMA on American families. As Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he led the panel's cons… Continue Reading


Twenty Judicial Nominees Still Awaiting Senate Action

(Thursday, December 6, 2012) -The Senate voted on Thursday to confirm two long-pending judicial nominees, each of whom won convincing bipartisan support on the floor. While Mark Walker and Terrence Berg waited six months and five months, respectively, for floor votes, 20 others remain pending, the victims of general GOP obstruction. In a statement for the Congressional Record, Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) spoke out against the groundless obstruction of consensus nominees, … Continue Reading

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