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Press Releases

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

06.06.11

Senate Confirms Solicitor General Nominee Donald Verrilli

(Monday, June 6, 2011) - The Senate Monday night voted overwhelmingly to confirm Donald Verrilli to be the Solicitor General of the United States. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to report Verrilli's nomination to the full Senate on May 12. Shortly before the vote Monday night, the Senate reached an agreement to hold a final, confirmation vote on the nomination, vitiating a cloture motion filed before the Senate recessed on May 26, and avoiding the first filibuster of a Solicitor General … Continue Reading


05.30.11

Senator Leahy Offers A Perspective On Memorial Day From Flanders Fields

We are gathered in a cemetery consecrated by the sacrifice of soldiers of our countries who died in the final days of what, in their time, was called the "Great War" and "The War To End All Wars." It was a battle so fierce that almost a century later, as we gaze across their places of rest, we can still feel their valor and their anguish. These crosses, row on row, carry remembrance forward, and so does the annual reappearance of the poppies in these fields. Like the Vermonters who have falle… Continue Reading


05.27.11

Comment On Justice Department Settlement With Mortgage Companies On Military Foreclosures

"The settlement announced Thursday by the U.S. Department of Justice with mortgage servicing subsidiaries of Bank of America and Morgan Stanley is good news for the men and women in our military whose protections under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act have been violated. The last thing struggling Americans need right now is to be victimized by their home lenders. This is especially true of men and women risking their lives in the service of their country. I welcome the pledge by these firm… Continue Reading


05.27.11

Senate Unanimously Approves Leahy-Cornyn Faster FOIA Act

The U.S. Senate Thursday night unanimously approved legislation to make improvements to the nation's premier open government law, the Freedom of Information Act. The Faster FOIA Act, which is authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), will now be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration. "I commend the Senate for unanimously passing the Faster FOIA Act of 2011," said Leahy. "This important bill will establish a bipartisan commission to examine t… Continue Reading


05.26.11

Leahy, Grassley, Feinstein, Chambliss Introduce Bill To Extend Director Mueller’s Term

(Thursday, May 26, 2011) - The top Democrats and Republicans of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Select Committee on Intelligence introduced legislation Thursday to address President Obama's request to extend the term of FBI Director Robert Mueller for two years. Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) introduced a bill to prov… Continue Reading


05.26.11

Republicans Object To Vote On Leahy Amendment To Add Oversight, Privacy Protections To USA PATRIOT Act Extension

(Thursday, May 26, 2011) - Senate Republicans objected to a request from Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to hold a vote on Leahy's bipartisan amendment to pending legislation to extend until June 2015 three provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act which are set to expire at midnight. The amendment is based on legislation that won bipartisan support earlier this year in the Senate Judiciary Committee, which Leahy chairs. The amendment would bolster oversight and accountability, as well as privacy prote… Continue Reading


05.26.11

Senate Judiciary Committee Unanimously Approves Bipartisan Bill To Crack Down On Rogue Websites

(Thursday, May 26, 2011) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday voted to approve legislation aimed at countering the illegal online sale of counterfeit goods. The Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act, or PROTECT IP Act, is sponsored by Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), former Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). Nine other members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are cosponsors o… Continue Reading


05.25.11

Leahy Chairs Hearing On Ensuring Accountability For Government Contractors, Employees Working Abroad

(Wednesday, May 25, 2011) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday chaired a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on "Holding Criminals Accountable: Extending Criminal Jurisdiction to Government Contractors and Employees Abroad." The hearing focused on the need to ensure accountability for crimes committed by government contractors and employees working abroad. Leahy is expected to reintroduce legislation in the coming weeks to close a gap in current law to make certain that American gov… Continue Reading


05.24.11

Leahy: Bipartisan Leahy-Paul Amendment Promotes Transparency, Civil Liberties

(Tuesday, May 24, 2011) - Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy (D) spoke today on the Senate floor urging Senators to join a bipartisan effort to improve pending legislation to extend three expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act. Leahy is leading Senate efforts to adopt an amendment he has authored and which is cosponsored by Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky that will make significant improvements to the underlying legislation, promote transparency, and expand privacy and civil liberties s… Continue Reading


05.24.11

Leahy Introduces Bill To Fight Creditor Fraud In Bankruptcy Courts

(Tuesday, May 24, 2011) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced legislation Tuesday to strengthen the tools available to U.S. bankruptcy trustees to protect American homeowners from creditor fraud in bankruptcy court. Leahy introduced the Fighting Fraud in Bankruptcy Act, with cosponsors Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). The Executive Office of the U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee (EOUST) was established within the Department of Justice in 1978 to protect the integrity of… Continue Reading


05.23.11

Leahy To File Bipartisan Amendment To PATRIOT Act Extension Bill

(Monday, May 23, 2011) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) will file an amendment later today to legislation pending before the Senate that will extend expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act until June 1, 2015. The Leahy-authored amendment will be cosponsored by Kentucky Republican Rand Paul and others, and closely tracks legislation Leahy introduced earlier this year. That bill won approval by a bipartisan majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee in March. The t… Continue Reading


05.23.11

Leahy-Backed Agriculture And Capital Initiatives Aim To Grow Vermont’s New Economy And Enhance Vermont’s Marketing Identity

CHARLOTTE, Vt. (Monday, May 23) - During a visit to an organic grain farm in Charlotte Monday, U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy unveiled two dozen value-added agricultural projects and the creation of a new risk capital fund for value-added agricultural and green economy businesses in Vermont. The two initiatives, the Vermont Agricultural Innovation Center and a risk capital fund created by the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF), the VSJF Flexible Capital Fund, L3C, are beneficiaries of Leahy-secured … Continue Reading


05.19.11

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On President Obama’s Arab Spring Speech And Funding Request

This is an historic time in the political geography of the Middle East, and this is a crucial time for our relations with the people in that region. The President movingly expressed our nation's support for universal human rights, and for those who are protesting for better governance and a better future. It was a speech that gave voice to American values, while identifying our national interests as the Arab Spring unfolds. I will review the President's proposal to provide additional aid fo… Continue Reading


05.19.11

Leahy, Graham Unveil Next Steps For National Guard Empowerment Reforms

"This is the boldest, most far-reaching agenda for the Guard that I've ever seen in Congress." --Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C., Co-Chair, Senate National Guard Caucus, at a news conference Thursday with Co-Chair Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.) [Senate National Guard Co-Chairs Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) Thursday introduced their new National Guard Empowerment Act, which builds on earlier reforms proposed and enacted through the work of Leahy and the National Guard Caucus, … Continue Reading


05.19.11

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Proposed Changes To The EB-5 Foreign Investor Program

"I commend Director Mayorkas for taking these very positive steps to improve the EB-5 Regional Center Program. The administration and Director Mayorkas clearly recognize the potential of the EB-5 Regional Center Program as an important economic engine for communities across the country. With these improvements, stakeholders will benefit from a more efficient and predictable process for the approval of capital investment projects. Investor confidence will be bolstered, and the agency will have… Continue Reading


05.19.11

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Cloture On The Nomination Of Goodwin Liu To The Ninth Circuit

The Senate should confirm the nomination of Professor Goodwin Liu of California to fill a judicial emergency vacancy on the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Certainly, his nomination should not require cloture in order to have an up-or-down vote. Professor Liu is admired by legal thinkers and academic scholars from across the political spectrum. He has spent his career in public service, private practice and as a teacher since receiving degrees from Stanford University and Yale Law Sc… Continue Reading


05.19.11

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Vote On The Motion To Invoke Cloture On The Nomination Of Goodwin Liu To The Ninth Circuit Court Of Appeals

"The partisan filibuster of Goodwin Liu's nomination is another example of Republicans' shifting standards on judicial nominations. I have not been this disappointed in a vote on a judicial nomination since Senate Republicans voted in lock step to reject Missouri Justice Ronnie White in 1999. Professor Liu deserved better treatment than the Senate has allowed. All Americans suffer from this filibuster." # # # # #… Continue Reading


05.19.11

Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Leahy-Grassley Anti-Fraud Bill

(Thursday, May 19, 2011) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved legislation authored by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to bolster law enforcement's ability to investigate and prosecute fraud. The Fighting Fraud to Protect Taxpayers Act will enhance existing efforts to investigate fraud, including the scourge of mortgage, foreclosure, financial and health care fraud that has victimized thousands of unsuspecting Americans. The legislation w… Continue Reading


05.19.11

Leahy: Vermont Nets More Than $8.5 M. In Law Enforcement, Homeland Security Grants

(THURSDAY, May 19) - State and local law enforcement will receive more than $8.5 million in federal grant assistance to help with prevention and preparedness, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Thursday. The grants will be released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). "Police officers, fire fighters, emergency medical technicians and a long list of other first responders keep criminals off the street, protect our communities, and help secure our borders," said … Continue Reading


05.19.11

Senate Judiciary Committee Sends Leahy-Authored Environmental Crimes Enforcement Bill To Full Senate

(Thursday, May 19, 2011) - The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to boost accountability for corporations and individuals responsible for environmental crimes. The Environmental Crimes Enforcement Act (ECEA) is aimed at deterring environmental crime while protecting and compensating victims of environmental crimes. "Too often corporations treat fines and monetary penalties as a mere cost of doing business to be factored against… Continue Reading

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