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

08.03.11

FDA Announces Long-Awaited Standards for Labeling of Gluten-Free Food

(Wednesday, Aug. 3) - After more than four years of inaction, the Food and Drug Administration has announced that a final rule setting standards for the labeling of gluten-free food will move forward. U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) two weeks ago had written to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, asking that the agency end more than four years of silence and fulfill FDA's statutory requirement to establish standards for the growing gluten-free food industry. "I am del… Continue Reading


08.03.11

Leahy, Blumenthal Press Leading National Mortgage Servicing Companies About Foreclosures In Bankruptcy Courts

(Wednesday, August 3, 2011) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Committee Member Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) last week sent letters to several of the nation's leading mortgage servicers, requesting information about policies and practices related to foreclosures in the bankruptcy courts. Leahy and Blumenthal, in letters to 11 leading mortgage services, inquired about steps the companies are taking to ensure that homeowners are treated fairly, consistently and honest… Continue Reading


08.03.11

Senate Confirms Just Four Of 24 Pending Judicial Nominees Before Recess

(Tuesday, August 2, 2011) - The Senate Tuesday evening confirmed just four pending judicial nominees before the chamber recessed for the August in-state work period, leaving 20 nominees approved by the Judiciary Committee on the Senate's calendar. The Senate has confirmed just 11 judicial nominations since the Memorial Day recess in May, and just 35 nominees this year. "The Senate's failure to take action and vote on 20 of the 24 judicial nominees reviewed by the Judiciary Committee and report… Continue Reading


08.02.11

Comment Of Senator Leahy On The Senate Motion To Proceed To The America Invents Act

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid today filed cloture on the motion to proceed to H.R. 1249, the House-passed Leahy-Smith America Invents Act. The Senate will vote on cloture on the motion to proceed to the bill when it returns to session in September. "Congress is closer than ever to enacting meaningful reforms to give American inventors and innovators the 21st century patent system they need to compete in an evolving global marketplace. The product of six years of debate, the America Invent… Continue Reading


08.02.11

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Application Of Material Support Laws To Humanitarian Relief In Somalia

"I have long urged reform of our laws governing so-called material support for terrorism. The current law is so broad as to be unworkable. Aid workers trying to provide relief to starving Somalis fear they could be prosecuted if some of it were to end up in the hands of al-Shabab, an al Qaeda affiliate that controls parts of Somalia. And so while the situation in Somalia grows more desperate each day, with children dying needlessly, the delivery of food and medicines is hampered, first by al-… Continue Reading


08.02.11

Leahy Reacts To Senate Passage Of Bipartisan Solution On The Debt Ceiling Crisis

Remarks of Senator Patrick Leahy Senate Passage Of The Bipartisan Agreement On The Debt Ceiling Tuesday, August 2, 2011 With no time to spare, this bipartisan solution has averted a manufactured crisis that has held hostage our entire economy and every American family in it. A default on U.S. obligations for the first time in our history would have imposed incalculable harm and a credit rate tax on every citizen, every state, every community and every business. This is not a… Continue Reading


08.02.11

Senate – Again – Unanimously Approves Leahy-Authored Faster FOIA Act

(Tuesday, August 2, 2011) - For the second time this year, the U.S. Senate Monday night unanimously approved legislation to make improvements to the nation's premier open government law, the Freedom of Information Act. The Senate passed the Faster FOIA Act in May, but leaders in the House of Representatives tapped the legislation as a vehicle for passing a bill to address the nation's debt ceiling. Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy (D) reintroduced the legislation on Monday, and the Senate acted q… Continue Reading


08.01.11

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy In Support Of The Agreement To End The Debt Ceiling Crisis

This is not a solution I would have preferred, but the compromise finally reached by the White House and congressional leaders has the potential to end this manufactured crisis. It is a solution that puts common sense and the national interest above partisanship and ideology. The country has been brought to the brink of catastrophe. The choice at hand is not this bill or something better. The choice is between the only bipartisan practical solution to the debt ceiling crisis, or a devastatin… Continue Reading


07.30.11

Senate Floor Address By Senator Patrick Leahy, On The Debt Ceiling Crisis

Remarks of Senator Patrick Leahy The Debt Ceiling Crisis Senate Floor Saturday, July 30, 2011 It is unfortunate that a partisan faction first manufactured this debt limit crisis and now continues to prevent a bipartisan solution. An unwillingness to compromise and find a bipartisan solution has led us to the brink. The United States of America is now just three days away from defaulting on its obligations, for the first time in our history. We are needlessly risking financial turmoil t… Continue Reading


07.29.11

Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy To House Passage Of The Boehner Debt Ceiling Package

"It is unfortunate that a partisan faction first manufactured this debt limit crisis and now continues to prevent a bipartisan solution. Everyone knows that this lopsided House debt package has no chance of averting a debt catastrophe. "Instead of taking days to play political games, Republicans and Democrats should come together in good faith for the good of the country. Vermonters and the rest of the American people want this solved, they want it solved fairly, and they want it solved now."… Continue Reading


07.29.11

Leahy: Nuclear Waste Report Is Impetus For Congress To Forge Sensible Waste Storage Program

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Draft Report On Nuclear Waste Management Of The Blue Ribbon Commission On America's Nuclear Future July 29, 2011 In its draft of its final report today on nuclear waste management in the United States, the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future has made constructive recommendations. If appropriately implemented, their conclusions can become an action plan to renew confidence in the nation's nuclear waste management program. Forging the … Continue Reading


07.29.11

Vermont Delegation Opposes Post Office Closings

, July 29 - A U.S. Postal Service proposal to close more than 3,600 post offices and branches, including 14 in Vermont, drew opposition today from the Vermont congressional delegation. "Post offices in a rural state like Vermont are not just post offices - they are often the heart and soul of the town - and they must not be closed down," Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) said in a letter to Postal Service commissioners. "Many of these post off… Continue Reading


07.28.11

Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Leahy-Authored Bipartisan Anti-Corruption Bill

(Thursday, July 28, 2011) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved bipartisan legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) that will give prosecutors new tools to identify, investigate, and prosecute criminal conduct by public officials. The Public Corruption Prosecution Improvements Act (PCPIA) will strengthen existing federal criminal law for acts of public corruption, and raise maximum statutory penalties. The bill will also clarify the… Continue Reading


07.28.11

Leahy-Chaired Panel Approves Bill To Make Designer Drugs Known As “Bath Salts” Illegal

(Thursday, July 28, 2011) - A panel chaired by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday approved legislation to make synthetic drugs known commonly as "bath salts" illegal. The Combating Dangerous Synthetic Stimulants Act was approved unanimously by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and will make so-called "bath salts" a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. Schedule I drugs have the highest abuse potential, and are not used for medical treatment in the United States. The h… Continue Reading


07.27.11

Leahy: Leadership, Stability, Continuity Needed At The FBI

(Wednesday, July 27, 2011) - The U.S. Senate later today will vote on the President's nomination of Robert S. Mueller, III, to be the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for up to two additional years. Mueller's 10-year term is set to expire on August 2. In May, President Obama requested that Congress enact legislation to provide for a one-time extension of Mueller's service. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced bipartisan legislation in May to resp… Continue Reading


07.27.11

Leahy Chairs Hearing On Consular Notification Treaty Obligations

(Wednesday, July 27, 2011) - The Senate Judiciary Committee under the Chairmanship of Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) held a hearing Wednesday about U.S. obligations under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR), a key treaty ensuring access to consulates for citizens detained abroad. "Each year, thousands of Americans - including from every state represented by the Members of this Committee - are arrested overseas while they study, travel, work, and serve in the military," said Leahy. "Thei… Continue Reading


07.27.11

The Washington Post: Freedom of Information Act Needs a Push

Today, The Washington Post published an editorial endorsing the Faster FOIA Act, legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to make improvements to the nation's premier open government law, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Leahy has been a longtime leader in Congress on open government issues, and has partnered with Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas to author recent laws to strengthen FOIA, including the OPEN Government Act and the OPEN FOIA Act. The Senate unanimously ap… Continue Reading


07.26.11

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Renomination Of Robert S. Mueller, III, To Be The Director Of The FBI

"I am pleased the President has signed the bill to extend the FBI Director's term and sent the nomination of Robert Mueller to the Senate. I urge Senate leaders to promptly schedule a vote on the nomination. There is no time to waste to ensure that there is no lapse in leadership at the FBI." # # # # #… Continue Reading


07.26.11

Delegation Announces Northern Border Regional Commission Funding

, July 26 - Vermont's congressional delegation today announced that the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) will begin accepting applications for federal assistance beginning August 1st, with the goal of awarding approximately $1.25 million by September 30th. Vermont's delegation was influential in creating the NBRC, which directly invests federal resources for economic development and job creation in economically distressed regions of northern Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York.… Continue Reading


07.26.11

Senator Leahy's Address On The Debt Limit Crisis And The Proposed Solution Introduced Tuesday By Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

I applaud President Obama and Majority Leader Reid for real leadership and persistence over many months in trying to find a bipartisan solution to the debt crisis. Senator Reid has put forward a solution that would end the current crisis and reduce our unsustainable national debt. This is a solution that has the potential to draw support from lawmakers from both parties who are willing to put common sense and the national interest above partisanship and ideology. By repeatedly walking away fr… Continue Reading

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