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Press Releases

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

03.18.11

Leahy Renews Effort To Permanently Charter Successful Job-Creating Foreign Investment Program

BURLINGTON, Vt. (FRIDAY, March 18) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Friday that he is renewing his effort to make permanent the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center pilot program. Vermont's Regional Center program, established in 1997, has been a highly successful private-public partnership between the State of Vermont and several Vermont businesses. "Vermont's regional center program is an economic engine for the state," said Leahy at a news conference in Burlington. "In a small … Continue Reading


03.16.11

Leahy: Small Businesses Will Benefit From America Invents Act

(Wednesday, March 16, 2011) - The U.S. Senate this week is debating legislation to reauthorize the Small Business Innovation Research Program and Small Business Technology Transfer Program. The bill will improve small businesses' ability to take part in federally-funded research. Last week, the Senate overwhelmingly voted to approve the America Invents Act, legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that will also benefit small businesses by making important updates to the nation's … Continue Reading


03.16.11

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The FY 2012 Budget Request For The EPA

Administrator Jackson, welcome. Since the passage of the Lake Champlain Designation Act 20 years ago, the EPA has been a strong partner in the cleanup of Lake Champlain. Vermont and New York have valued that partnership. We have worked with Republican and Democratic administrations alike to identify and address threats to the quality of Lake Champlain. Everyone in the Champlain Basin wants to preserve and protect the Lake that is not only a natural wonder but also an integral part of our eco… Continue Reading


03.16.11

Leahy, Cornyn Renew “Faster FOIA” Effort During Sunshine Week

(Wednesday, March 16, 2011) - As Sunshine Week commemorations continue, Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas.) Wednesday renewed their legislative efforts to improve the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the nation's premier open government law. Leahy and Cornyn are longtime leaders in Congress on FOIA issues. The Faster FOIA Act will establish an advisory panel to examine agency backlogs in processing FOIA requests. The panel, named the Commission on Freedom of Informati… Continue Reading


03.16.11

Richmond Elementary School

On March 16, 2011 Senator Leahy spent a half hour speaking with students from Richmond Elementary School. The 4th grade students who had just finished studying Vermont civics and government asked a variety of questions about life as a United States Senator, Lake Champlain, Farm to School Program, and technology in schools. This was Senator Leahy's first online chat with Richmond Elementary School. The questions asked during the chat are listed below. Raina: Why did you want to run for Senate … Continue Reading


03.15.11

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy on The Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act

MR. LEAHY. Mr. President, on March 10th, my friend from California, Senator Feinstein, and I introduced S. 558, the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act of 2011. It is identical to the bill that she and I introduced last year, and similar to those in prior years. Cluster munitions, like any weapon, have some military utility. But anyone who has seen the indiscriminate devastation cluster munitions cause over a wide area understands the unacceptable threat they pose to civilians. These … Continue Reading


03.15.11

Leahy Marks Sunshine Week With FOIA Hearing

(Tuesday, March 15, 2011) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) held a hearing Tuesday on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the nation's premier open government law. The nation is celebrating Sunshine Week, an observance of the importance of an open and transparent government. "The right to know is a cornerstone of our democracy," said Leahy. "Without it, citizens are kept in the dark about key policy decisions that directly affect their lives. Without public acce… Continue Reading


03.14.11

Fraternal Order Of Police Supports Leahy-Authored PATRIOT Reauthorization Bill

(Monday, March 14, 2011) - Legislation to extend expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act received the backing of one of the nation's largest law enforcement organizations Monday when the Fraternal Order of Police wrote to Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) endorsing S. 193, the USA PATRIOT Act Sunset Extension Act. "I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our support for S. 193," wrote … Continue Reading


03.14.11

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On “60 Minutes” Investigation Into The Counterfeit Drugs Market

"Last night's '60 Minutes' investigation on the counterfeit drug trade calls further attention to the harm caused to American consumers by counterfeit products. To an everyday consumer, these medicines, which are packaged in convincingly labeled bottles and imprinted with an authentic looking brand name, are easily mistaken for the real thing. For patients relying on medicines to treat serious conditions, counterfeit drugs are life threatening. "Often these counterfeit pharmaceuticals are ma… Continue Reading


03.11.11

Senator Patrick Leahy and IBM Laud Progress on Patent Reform Legislation

BURLINGTON, Vt. - (FRIDAY, 11 March 2011) -- U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and IBM Friday celebrated the overwhelming Senate approval of patent reform legislation as one of the country's first steps toward modernizing the U.S. patent system which is essential to protecting inventors, preserving American innovation leadership and generating economic growth. The bill passed this week, 95 to 5, with a tidal wave of bipartisan support. If passed by the House and signed into law by President O… Continue Reading


03.11.11

State Department Responds To Senator Leahy’s Inquiry About Possible Violations Of The Leahy Law By Military Units In Bahrain

In February 2011, Senator Leahy issued a formal inquiry to the Department of State about the possibility of violations of the Leahy Law in Bahrain. The Leahy Law stipulates that U.S. foreign aid cannot be provided to nations where the military actively violates established human rights. On March 10, the State Department responded to Senator Leahy's inquiry about possible violations of the Leahy Law by military units in Bahrain. Click here to view the State Department's response.… Continue Reading


03.11.11

Op-ED: The Never Ending Work Of Defending The Public’s Right To Know

This is the sixth anniversary of Sunshine Week, a time to take stock of the public's right to know and to celebrate victories in making ours a more open and transparent government. It was more than 40 years ago that Congress enacted the landmark Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This watershed law ushered in a new and unprecedented era of transparency in government. More than four decades later, the public and the press continue to draw on FOIA to better understand what the government is do… Continue Reading


03.11.11

The Never Ending Work Of Defending The Public’s Right To Know

This is the sixth anniversary of Sunshine Week, a time to take stock of the public's right to know and to celebrate victories in making ours a more open and transparent government. It was more than 40 years ago that Congress enacted the landmark Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This watershed law ushered in a new and unprecedented era of transparency in government. More than four decades later, the public and the press continue to draw on FOIA to better understand what the government is do… Continue Reading


03.10.11

Feinstein, Leahy Move to Restrict Use of Dangerous Cluster Munitions

(THURSDAY, March 10) - U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday introduced legislation to restrict the use and deployment of dangerous cluster munitions. Cluster bombs are designed to come apart in the air before making contact, dispersing between 200 and 400 small bomblets that can saturate a radius of 250 yards. The bombs are intended for military use when attacking large-scale enemy troop formations, but are often used in or near populated areas.… Continue Reading


03.10.11

Vermont Delegation Statement on Nuclear Regulatory Commission Announcement

, March 10 - Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) issued the following joint statement following the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's announcement today regarding Entergy's Vermont Yankee nuclear plant in Vernon, Vt. "It should surprise no one that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has voted to extend Vermont Yankee's license for another 20 years. The NRC has never denied a nuclear plant an extension, and in fact has granted 62 straight license ex… Continue Reading


03.10.11

Bipartisan Vote By SJC Sends USA PATRIOT Act Bill To Senate Floor

(Thursday, March 10, 2011) - A bipartisan majority of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday voted to send legislation to address expiring intelligence tools authorized by the USA PATRIOT Act to the full Senate for consideration. The USA PATRIOT Act Sunset Extension Act is authored by Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and will extend until 2013 three expiring intelligence-gathering tools now set to expire on May 27: Roving wiretaps, the "lone wolf" measure, and section 215 order… Continue Reading


03.09.11

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Senate Continuing Resoluton For Fiscal Year 2011

Later today we will vote on H.R. 1, the House Continuing Resolution, and then the Senate substitute. I want to speak briefly about how the Senate CR compares to H.R. 1, particularly funding for the Department of State and Foreign Operations. First, Senators should know what is in the House CR or, perhaps more importantly, what is not in it. It is notable that the House defines diplomacy and international development as non-security spending, in spite of, of course, the integral part they both … Continue Reading


03.09.11

Leahy Chairs DHS Oversight Hearing With Secretary Napolitano

(Wednesday, March 9, 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 availa… Continue Reading


03.08.11

Senate Passes Historic America Invents Act

(Tuesday, March 8, 2011) - The Senate Tuesday voted overwhelmingly to approve legislation to make the first reforms to the nation's patent system in nearly six decades. The America Invents Act is the product of nearly six years of debate in Congress. The bill is sponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and is cosponsored by a dozen other Senators. "The America Invents Act will promote American innovation, create American jobs and grow Ameri… Continue Reading


03.08.11

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Senate Passage Of S. 23, the America Invents Act

Today, the Senate voted 95-5 to pass S. 23, the America Invents Act. After six years of debate and discussion, the Senate has finally acted to make the first meaningful, comprehensive reforms to the nation's patent system in nearly 60 years. Passage of the America Invents Act demonstrates what we can accomplish when we cast aside partisan rhetoric, and focus on working together for the American people and for our future. The America Invents Act will promote American innovation, create Americ… Continue Reading

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