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

10.19.11

Leahy: Oppose Amendment To Block Federal Court Prosecution of Terrorists

(Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, spoke on the Senate floor Wednesday night in opposition to an amendment pending before the Senate to prohibit the use of federal funds to prosecute terrorists in Article III criminal courts. The text of Leahy's statement, as prepared for delivery, follows.] Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, U.S. Senate Committee On The Judiciary On Ayotte Amendment SA753 to H.R.2112 (To … Continue Reading


10.19.11

Three Judicial Nominations Approved By Senate

(Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011) - The U.S. Senate Wednesday afternoon confirmed three pending nominees to fill vacancies on federal district courts in Pennsylvania and Florida. The nominations were approved by the Judiciary Committee in July. Another 23 judicial nominations are pending on the Senate's Executive Calendar awaiting final approval. "I hope that in the weeks ahead we can build on today's progress by considering more of the nearly two dozen well-qualified nominees still awaiting a Senat… Continue Reading


10.19.11

Leahy Chairs DHS Oversight Hearing With Secretary Napolitano

(Wednesday, October 19, 2011) - The Senate Judiciary Committee today is holding a Department of Homeland Security oversight hearing with Secretary Janet Napolitano. Under the Chairmanship of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the Judiciary Committee has held periodic oversight hearings with the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. The Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over immigration, citizenship and related issues. Member statements, witness testimony, and a live webcast are ava… Continue Reading


10.18.11

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Cornyn Amendment No. 775 To H.R. 2112

It is not a good idea to legislate law enforcement tactics on an appropriations bill. To the extent the amendment by the Senator from Texas that has been modified with the help of the Subcommittee Chair restates Department of Justice policy, it is unneeded. To the extent it seeks to create a well-intentioned implementation of that policy, it does so in a way that may adversely affect FBI operations and other law enforcement efforts, including joint task forces among Federal, state and local la… Continue Reading


10.18.11

Another Test Of Marriage Equality

Senator Patrick Leahy, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, took a step toward true equality for all Americans last week by planning a vote next month on whether to repeal the law that bars the federal government from recognizing lawfully performed marriages between same-sex couples. Mr. Leahy's committee held a hearing on the Defense of Marriage Act in July, the first since Congress passed a bill 15 years ago that defined marriage as limited to a man and a woman and President B… Continue Reading


10.18.11

The New York Times: Another Test of Marriage Equality

Today, The New York Times published an editorial in support of repealing the Defense of Marriage Act. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced last week that he intends to schedule a Committee vote in November on legislation to repeal DOMA. In July, Leahy chaired the first-ever congressional hearing on repealing DOMA. The hearing focused on the impact of this law on thousands of American families across the country. The Respect for Marriage Act, the… Continue Reading


10.17.11

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Transportation-HUD Appropriations Bill

Mr. President, I would like to take a few moments to talk about the Transportation-HUD appropriations bill that the Senate will next be debating. First I want to thank the Subcommittee Chair, Senator Murray, and the Ranking Member, Senator Collins, for all of the assistance they have provided me on several issues that are particularly important to Vermont - and especially in the wake of Hurricane Irene's massive devastation just a few short weeks ago. As I have spoken about here on the floor … Continue Reading


10.17.11

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Judicial Nominations

Today the Senate will vote on the nomination of Cathy Bissoon to the Western District of Pennsylvania, one of 27 judicial nominations reported favorably by the Judiciary Committee and on the Senate's Executive Calendar awaiting a vote. Like 24 of those 27 nominations, the nomination of Judge Bissoon was reported unanimously by the Judiciary Committee, with every Republican and every Democrat voting in support. Judge Bissoon is supported by both of her home state Senators, Senator Casey, a Demo… Continue Reading


10.14.11

Senators Raise ‘Serious Concerns’ About State Department Study on Tar Sands Oil Pipeline

, Oct. 14 - Three key senators today questioned the U.S. State Department about its dealings with a Canadian company seeking U.S. approval to build a crude oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. The State Department is responsible for deciding whether to approve the billion-dollar Keystone XL pipeline project. TransCanada, the company trying to build the pipeline, reportedly was permitted to screen private firms bidding to perform an environmental impact study. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I… Continue Reading


10.14.11

Leahy Announces Plans To Schedule Committee Consideration Of DOMA Repeal Bill

(Oct. 14, 2011) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Friday that he intends to schedule Committee consideration of the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), in November. "The march for equality continues, and now is the time to ensure equality for gay and lesbian Americans who are lawfully married," said Leahy, who is a cosponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act. "Next month, I will call up the Respect for Marriag… Continue Reading


10.13.11

Senate Confirms Three Judicial Nominees

(Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011) - Three pending judicial nominees won final approval by the U.S. Senate Thursday, three months after having been reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee. There remain more than two dozen judicial nominations awaiting final action by the Senate after having been approved by the Judiciary Committee, including nominations reported by the Committee prior to the August recess. "We can and must do better to address the serious judicial vacancies crisis on Federal courts … Continue Reading


10.13.11

Leahy Introduces Bill To Improve Program That Supports Injured First Responders

(Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy has introduced legislation to strengthen and improve a federal program that provides an important safety net for first responders who are killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. The legislation is Leahy's most recent effort to address gaps in the Public Safety Officers' Benefits Act (PSOB) that have left some first responders without benefits when they are injured or killed in the line of duty. The Public Safety Officers' Bene… Continue Reading


10.13.11

Leahy, Sanders, Welch: Washington Electric Cooperative Nets $7.4 M. Loan For Service Improvements, Including ‘Smart-Grid’ Components

(THURSDAY, Oct. 13) - Vermont's Congressional Delegation - Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D) - Thursday announced a $7.4 million federal loan for electric power grid improvements, including new "smart meter" components, in Washington, Orange and Caledonia Counties. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Electric Program loan to Washington Electric Cooperative of East Montpelier will fund construction of 15 miles of new distri… Continue Reading


10.13.11

Leahy-Authored Bill To Fight Human Trafficking Moves To Senate Floor With Bipartisan Committee Vote

(Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved bipartisan legislation to reauthorize historic legislation which has enhanced the government's efforts to combat human trafficking in the United States and abroad. The bipartisan Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) is authored by Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and received bipartisan support during the Committee's vote Thursday. "Human trafficking is abhorrent. It is a modern-day form… Continue Reading


10.12.11

Leahy Is Concerned About SBA’s Handling Of Disaster Loans To VT Businesses In Irene’s Aftermath

(WEDNESDAY, Oct. 12) -- Concerned about what seems to be a slow and low approval rate for U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) emergency loans to Vermont businesses slammed by Tropical Storm Irene, Senator Patrick Leahy Wednesday asked the agency to promptly review its process and report back the findings. The exchange on Wednesday took place in a rare multi-agency hearing by the Senate Appropriations Committee, called to assess rapidly evolving local needs and rapidly diminishing federal… Continue Reading


10.12.11

Vt. Law Enforcement Agencies Receive Funds To Purchase Bulletproof Vests Under Leahy-Authored Grant Program

(WEDNESDAY, Oct. 12) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Wednesday that 27 towns and counties across Vermont have been awarded grants from the U.S. Department of Justice to help purchase bulletproof vests for law enforcement officers. The grants are provided through the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program, which Leahy authored in 1998. The Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program has helped to provide nearly one million bulletproof vests to law enforcement officers across t… Continue Reading


10.11.11

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Judicial Nominations

In a few moments the Senate has the opportunity to proceed to the American Jobs Act. The bill the President asked us to pass a month ago includes bipartisan proposals that have received broad approval in the past from members of both parties, including road and bridge repairs, teacher retentions and extensions of tax relief for businesses to encourage hiring. We should answer the President's call and the American people's needs and act to help get Americans back to work and grow the economy. … Continue Reading


10.11.11

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Foiled Plot To Assassinate Saudi Ambassador To The United States

"More details are sure to emerge in the coming days about this investigation. What is clear from today's announcement is that the Department of Justice, together with the FBI, the DEA and other agencies, worked collaboratively to bring these charges and foil this alleged plot. I congratulate our national law enforcement team, including Attorney General Holder and Director Mueller, on what appears to be an exceptionally effective and well coordinated counterterrorism effort." # # # # #… Continue Reading


10.11.11

Leahy: Northfield Clothing Firm Wins $3 M. Marine Corps Contract

(TUESDAY, Oct. 11) -- U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has announced a major U.S. Marine Corps contract - totaling $3 million for 450,000 merino wool boot socks - with Darn Tough Vermont, a clothing manufacturer in Northfield, Vt. Darn Tough Vermont, a domestic manufacturer of premium all-weather performance socks, has been steadily expanding its military sales through the company's Tactical sock line. This latest contract is the company's largest Tactical order yet. The competitive contrac… Continue Reading


10.11.11

Leahy: Vermont Nets $70,000 To Help Market Vt. Maple Products

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (TUESDAY, Oct. 11) - Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy Tuesday traveled to Dakin Farms Store in South Burlington to announce that Vermont has received a $70,000 federal grant to help support marketing of the state's signature maple products. The grant is funded through the U.S. Forest Service and supports value-added use of Vermont forests, including the marketing of maple products produced in Vermont. Over the last four years Leahy has helped secure $250,000 for Vermont thr… Continue Reading

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