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Press Releases

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

07.07.11

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Denied Request For A Stay In The Leal Case And On The Consular Notification Compliance Act

"I am disappointed that the Supreme Court has denied the administration's request to grant a brief stay in the Leal case in order to allow Congress time to act on the Consular Notification Compliance Act. Americans detained overseas rely on their access to U.S. consulates every day. If we expect other countries to abide by the treaties they join, the United States must also honor its obligations. "This case is not an isolated instance; the issue of consular notification remains a serious dipl… Continue Reading


07.07.11

Leahy: Vermonters And Residents Of Other Downwind States Will Breathe Easier Under New EPA Rule On Cross-State Air Pollution

(THURSDAY, July 7) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) hailed a major new rule targeting cross-state air pollution and cleaning Vermont's air that has been in the works for more than 20 years. Leahy said the release Thursday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of a final Cross-State Air Pollution Rule "goes directly to the distant sources of pollution that have long bedeviled clean air strategies in Vermont, New England and other areas of the country. This will substantially red… Continue Reading


07.07.11

Leahy Announces Plan To Hold First-Ever Congressional Hearing On Repealing Defense Of Marriage Act

(Thursday, July 7, 2011) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday announced that, in the coming weeks, the Committee will hold the first congressional hearing on proposals to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Earlier this year, Leahy joined with Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and others to introduce the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill that would repeal DOMA and restore the rights of all lawfully married couples, inc… Continue Reading


07.01.11

Microsoft Announces Support For Leahy-Authored Uniting American Families Act

Microsoft Corporation has announced its support for the Uniting American Families Act, legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to promote equality under U.S. immigration law and allow American citizens to sponsor permanent, same-sex partners applying for legal residency in the United States. The letter is available online. "I welcome Microsoft's support for the Uniting American Families Act. A core tenet of our immigration policy is preserving family unity. Yet our immigration … Continue Reading


07.01.11

Leahy: Essex Junction’s Revision Wins Nearly $2 M. In Army Contracts For Developing A Next-Generation Helmet

ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt. (FRIDAY, July 1) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has announced a new U.S. Army contract with Revision, for work in Essex Junction, on a next-generation helmet that will be designed to apply the grim lessons of troop injuries in Iraq Afghanistan in improving head protection for U.S. soldiers. The three-year contract is with the U.S. Army's Natick Labs Soldier Systems division and is worth $1,990,340. Leahy is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and of its … Continue Reading


06.30.11

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Unanimous U.S. Sentencing Commission Vote To Apply Fair Sentencing Act Guidelines Retroactively

"I applaud the United States Sentencing Commission's unanimous decision to give retroactive effect to federal sentencing guidelines changes implementing the Fair Sentencing Act, which Congress passed last year. That historic legislation took important steps to reduce the disparity between sentences for crack cocaine offenses and those for powder cocaine offenses - a disparity that has disproportionately impacted African Americans. Today's courageous decision, which will help people sentenced u… Continue Reading


06.30.11

Delegation And Governor Announce $1.2 Million Emergency Grant To Create Flooding Clean-Up Jobs

BURLINGTON, VT, June 30 - Vermont's congressional delegation - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) and Rep. Peter Welch (D) - and Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) on Thursday announced a $1.2 million National Emergency Grant (NEG) from the US Dept of Labor to create jobs for displaced workers and long-term unemployed Vermonters to help with flooding clean-up. The grant of $1,201,250 being awarded to the Vermont Department of Labor will create about 75 temporary jobs for eligible dislocated wo… Continue Reading


06.29.11

Leahy, Brown, Kerry Introduce Bill To Fight Human Trafficking

(Wednesday, June 29, 2011) - Legislation introduced Wednesday by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) will reauthorize the historic Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which enhanced the government's efforts to combat human trafficking in the United States and abroad. The law is set to expire this year. The bipartisan Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) will extend the authorization of the current law until 2015, and improve coop… Continue Reading


06.29.11

As FOIA Anniversary Approaches, Leahy Urges House To Pass Faster FOIA Act

(Wednesday, June 29, 2011) - As the nation prepares to mark the 45th anniversary of the enactment of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is urging the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the bipartisan Faster FOIA Act, which won unanimous approval in the Senate in May. "On July 4th, the Nation will celebrate the 45th anniversary of the enactment of the Freedom of Information Act," said Leahy. "Today, the United States government is more committed than in a… Continue Reading


06.29.11

Leahy, Judiciary Committee Look At Impact Of SCOTUS Decisions On Access To Justice, Corporate Accountability

(Wednesday, June 29, 2011) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday chaired a hearing to examine how recent Supreme Court decisions will impact Americans' access to justice and affect corporate behavior. The hearing focused on the Court's recent decisions in Wal-Mart v. Dukes, Janus Capital group, Inc. v. First Derivative Traders, and AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion. The hearing is the latest in a series that Leahy has chaired in the Judiciary Committee to examine … Continue Reading


06.28.11

Senate Confirms Three Nominations To Critical National Security Posts At DOJ

(Tuesday, June 28, 2011) - The Senate Tuesday confirmed three nominees to fill important national security posts at the Department of Justice, including the long-stalled nomination of Jim Cole to be the Deputy Attorney General. Cole was first nominated in May 2010, and was first reported by the Judiciary Committee in July 2010. The nomination was filibustered in May by Senate Republicans. "The unprecedented filibuster of the nomination of the Deputy Attorney General has been especially egregi… Continue Reading


06.28.11

Senate Judiciary Committee Holds First-Ever Hearing On DREAM Act

(Tuesday, June 28, 2011) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday morning held the first-ever hearing on the DREAM Act, legislation that would allow a select group of immigrant students to start on a path to citizenship. The DREAM Act would give students who came to the U.S. as children under the age of 15, are long-term U.S. residents, have good moral character, graduate from high school or obtain a GED, and complete two years of college or military service in good standing a chance to earn le… Continue Reading


06.27.11

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Supreme Court Decision In Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett, Secretary Of State Of Arizona

"In yet another closely divided opinion, five justices overturned a state law designed to fight corruption in elections. The Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Act sought to increase public discourse in that state's elections, and was approved by Arizona voters in response to several political scandals. But today, five justices overturned that law, holding that the public matching funds available to candidates somehow restricts free speech. "I disagree with the Court, and agree with the dissen… Continue Reading


06.24.11

Leahy: General Dynamics of Williston Nets Nearly $300 M. Army Contract For More Hydra Rockets

(JUNE 24) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has announced a $285,970,132.30 extension of a U.S. Army contract with General Dynamics Armaments and Technical Products. Of the contract total, 71 percent will pay for work, managed in Williston, on Hydra 2.75-inch rockets. The contract will sustain 40 jobs at the General Dynamics Williston facility, which employs 400 workers. The U.S. Army Contracting Command in Redstone Arsenal, Ala., awarded the contract, exercising an option on an existing cont… Continue Reading


06.24.11

Senate Judiciary Committee To Examine Impact Of Supreme Court Decisions On Access To Justice, Corporate Accountability

(Friday, June 24, 2011) - The Senate Judiciary Committee, under the chairmanship of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), will hold a hearing June 29 to examine how recent Supreme Court decisions will impact Americans' access to justice and affect corporate behavior. Recent Court opinions that will be discussed include Wal-Mart v. Dukes, Janus Capital Group, Inc. v. First Derivative Traders, and AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion. The final decisions of the Supreme Court's term are expected to be announ… Continue Reading


06.23.11

Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy On Passage Of H.R. 1249, the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act

"Long-awaited patent reform moves one step closer to becoming law today with the House's action on the America Invents Act. This bill will unleash American Innovation and create good, well-paying jobs for American workers. It is commonsense legislation that goes to the heart of our shared agenda: reinvigorating the American economy and promoting job growth. "I commend Chairman Smith, Mr. Hoyer, and others for their work to create and pass true patent reform. I particularly thank my friend fr… Continue Reading


06.23.11

Senate Judiciary Committee Reports Leahy-Authored Civilian Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act

(Thursday, June 23, 2011) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved legislation authored by Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to provide accountability for American contractors and government employees working abroad. The Civilian Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (CEJA) would close a gap in current law to ensure that government employees and contractors working overseas are not immune from prosecution for criminal acts. "Now, more than ever, Congress must make sure that our c… Continue Reading


06.23.11

Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy On Supreme Court Decision In Sorrell v. IMS Health Inc.

"Today the Supreme Court has overturned a sensible Vermont law that sought to protect the privacy of the doctor-patient relationship. This divided ruling is a win for data miners and large corporations and a loss for those of us who care about privacy not only in my home state of Vermont but across the nation. States like Vermont must be able to protect the privacy of sensitive information exchanged between a doctor and patient. This decision undermines that ability, and risks unduly influenc… Continue Reading


06.23.11

Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy On The President's Address To The Nation On Withdrawal Of Some Troops From Afghanistan

"The good news is that the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan has finally begun, and for that I commend the President. But I had hoped to see significantly more troops coming home immediately and a sharper reduction over the coming months, and I will work with others to encourage the President and our military commanders to expedite this process. We can neither justify nor afford the human and fiscal costs of this war." # # # # #… Continue Reading


06.22.11

Leahy Joins Democratic Leaders, Others To Reintroduce Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill

(Wednesday, June 22, 2011) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), joined with Senators Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) to reintroduce a comprehensive immigration reform bill aimed at addressing the broken immigration system with tough, smart, and fair measures. The bill includes measures to strengthen border security, enhance worksite enforcement of immigration laws, and requirements that … Continue Reading

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