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


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Supreme Court Decision That Mandatory Life Sentences Without Parole For Juveniles Violate The Constitution

[The Supreme Court held in a 5-4 decision today that laws that require sentencing juvenile offenders for certain offenses to life in prison without the possibility of parole violate the Constitution. Justice Kagan, writing for the majority and joined by Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor, followed a long line of Eighth Amendment case law in finding that a sentencing scheme which requires life sentences without allowing any consideration of the special factors applying to juveniles… Continue Reading


Gov. Shumlin And Congressional Delegation: President Approves Disaster Declaration For May Storm

MONTPELIER, Vt. - Gov. Peter Shumlin and Vermont's Congressional delegation announced today that Vermont's request for a federal disaster declaration following damage caused by heavy rains, winds and flash flooding from May 29 has been approved by President Barack Obama. The declaration will provide financial assistance to communities as they repair damage caused by the storm. The declaration includes towns and cities in Addison, Lamoille, and Orleans counties that were damaged by high winds, … Continue Reading


Leahy And Shumlin: Revision Steps In To Save More Than 40 Jobs In Newport

Governor Peter Shumlin (D-Vt.) and U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Friday that Revision Military of Essex has finalized the purchase of MSA North America's (MSA) ballistic helmet business, saving more than 40 jobs at the MSA helmet manufacturing facility in Newport, Vt. Leahy said the Newport facility at the heart of the deal manufactures the Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH), the lightweight, life-saving helmet issued to nearly every U.S. soldier. Leahy said he learned earlier this … Continue Reading


Vermont Highlights Of The Agriculture, Reform, Food And Jobs Act

At a time when more and more Americans have come to believe that Washington is hopelessly mired in gridlock and delay, the U.S. Senate passage on June 21 of the Agriculture, Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012, commonly known as the 2012 Farm Bill, by a strong bipartisan majority vote of 64 to 35 is proof that the Senate can pull together to do what is right for America. The 2012 Farm Bill is a comprehensive agriculture reform bill that saves taxpayers more than $23 billion dollars, supports more… Continue Reading


Nearly 5,000 Vermonters To Benefit From $2.3 Million In Insurance Rebates

BURLINGTON, Vt. (Friday, June 22) - Vermont's congressional delegation - Sen. Patrick Leahy, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch - today announced that 4,636 Vermonters will benefit from $2,346,018 in rebates from insurance companies this summer under a provision in the Affordable Care Act. The health care law requires insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of consumers' premium dollars on medical care and quality improvement. Insurers can spend the remaining 20 percent on admini… Continue Reading


Senate Approves New Risk-Management Dairy Safety Net In Farm Bill

(THURSDAY, June 21) Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch Thursday hailed Senate passage of a 5-year Farm Bill that includes a new risk-management-based safety net to help dairy farmers pummeled by wild price swings in milk prices. The bill includes an entirely new approach, advocated by Leahy, Sanders and Welch, to help stabilize the dairy industry, which has been rocked by volatile and unmanageable price shifts in recent years. The exist… Continue Reading


Senate Panel Approves Leahy-Authored Reauthorization Of Landmark Justice For All Act

(Thursday, June 21, 2012) -- The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved legislation to reauthorize the historic Justice For All Act, a landmark law enacted in 2004 and championed by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who chairs the Committee. Leahy was a lead author of the original law. He introduced reauthorization legislation last year to build on the existing law and take important steps to ensure that the criminal justice system functions fairly. Leahy worked closely with Senator Chuck … Continue Reading


Senate Takes First Step In Commemoration Of Vermont’s Justin Morrill And The Launch Of The Nation’s Land-Grant Colleges

(THURSDAY, June 21) - The U.S. Senate Wednesday night approved a resolution authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that helps officially launch this year's 150th anniversary celebration of the signing of the landmark Morrill Act, which led to creation of the nation's land-grant colleges, including the University of Vermont. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is a cosponsor of the Leahy resolution. The law is named for its principal author, then-U.S. Rep. Justin Morrill, later also a U.S. Senat… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Supreme Court Decision To Apply Fair Sentencing Act

BACKGROUND: The Supreme Court held in a 5-4 decision today that the Fair Sentencing Act's new, lower mandatory minimum provisions for offenses involving crack cocaine apply to sentences imposed after passage of the legislation even for offenses that occurred before passage of the legislation. Justice Breyer, writing for the majority and joined by Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan, gave deference to the clear congressional intent to avoid further unfair disparities. Senator Leahy … Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The House Oversight And Government Reform Committee Contempt Vote

"This is a dispute between the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the Justice Department. I do believe it could and should have been resolved. The Department has made extraordinary efforts to balance the sensitivities associated with ongoing criminal investigations and the need to be responsive to congressional oversight. The Bush Justice Department was not nearly this forthcoming and never tried to reach a reasonable accommodation in response to our oversight efforts. "Beca… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Lee Amendment Concerning The Forest Legacy Program

Mr. President, I strongly oppose the Lee Amendment to repeal the Forest Legacy Program. This program, which I helped to establish in the 1990 Farm Bill, is a true success story that has delivered tremendous benefits to the American people and their communities across the Nation. It has led to the conservation of more than 2.2 million acres of working forest lands in 49 states, playing a key role in sustaining our rural economies and essential ecosystems. The benefits of the Forest Legacy Prog… Continue Reading


Addison County Health Center Funded As Part Of Major Expansion Of Community Health Centers

, June 20 - More than $128 million to operate 219 community health centers around the country - including $160,417 for the first facility in Addison County - was awarded today in a new round of grants under the Affordable Care Act. A provision by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the 2010 health care reform law authorized $11 billion to build, expand, and operate community health centers nationwide. The funding was designed to dramatically double to 40 million the number of patients served by heal… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards Rule

The Senate will vote today on whether to proceed to a Congressional Resolution of Disapproval that I strongly oppose. This resolution would repeal the Environmental Protection Agency's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards Rule and undo the great strides that the agency has taken to safeguard the public's health and welfare and our quality of life in this great land. The EPA's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards represent a true breakthrough in environmental policy. This rule offers clear benefits to… Continue Reading


Leahy Chairs Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing On Implementation Of Leahy-Smith America Invents Act

(Wednesday, June 20, 2012) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is chairing a hearing this morning on oversight of the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the implementation of the bipartisan Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, which was signed into law last year. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Director David Kappos is testifying before the panel. Testimony, member statements, and a webcast of the hearing are available online. The Leahy-Smith American In… Continue Reading


Put Victims Before Politics: Senator Leahy's Guest Column On The Violence Against Women Act

On Wednesday, June 20, Senator Leahy and Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) authored a guest column on the Violence Against Women Act, which passed the Senate in April and is still awaiting a vote in the House of Representatives. An excerpt from the piece, which was published in The Hill newspaper, is below, followed by a link to the full article. # # # # # Nearly six months ago, we joined together to introduce the Leahy-Crapo Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2011. For almost 18 years,… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On the Equal Employment Opportunity Restoration Act of 2012

Today, I am pleased to join Senator Franken to introduce the Equal Employment Opportunity Restoration Act of 2012. This important legislation will respond to the Supreme Court's decision in Wal-Mart v. Dukes, and restore women's ability to challenge discrimination in the workplace. Today marks the one year anniversary of that case-where just five Justices disqualified the claims of 1.5 million women who had spent nearly a decade seeking justice for sex discrimination by their employer, Wal-Mar… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch: Vermont Nets Nearly $8 Million To Complete Rail Upgrades From St. Albans To Canadian Border

(TUESDAY, June 19) - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Tuesday announced that Vermont will receive a $7.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to upgrade the New England Central Railroad in northern Vermont. The federal grant will be used to rehabilitate 19 miles of track between St. Albans and the Canadian border in Alburgh with new rail, ballast and ties, and to make structural and deck repairs on six bridges. By achievi… Continue Reading


Senators Seek Public Access To Historic Supreme Court Ruling

(Tuesday, June 19, 2012) - Senators Chuck Grassley and Patrick Leahy have asked Chief Justice John Roberts to consider live television coverage of proceedings when the Supreme Court delivers its ruling on the 2010 health care law, which is expected this month. Leahy and Grassley, who serve as Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, made their request in a letter sent Monday. Both senators are longtime advocates of allowing broadcast coverage of federal court proceedin… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Leahy On The Lewis Nomination And On Lewis Nomination And Obstruction In The Senate

(Monday, June 18, 2012) - The Senate will vote tonight at 5:30 p.m. on the nomination of Mary Geiger Lewis to be United States District Judge for the District of South Carolina. The nomination was reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee in March. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, and spoke on the Senate floor today about the nomination. Leahy's full statement can be read on his website.] # # # # # Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, … Continue Reading


Remarks Of Senator Patrick Leahy At The Opening Of The Burlington Community Health Center

Others have delved into the rich history of the health center, its origins as a true outgrowth of the community with a mission of those who needed its services, regardless of ability to pay. From my days as States Attorney, I remember the Center's first home on North Street. Since those days, I have been proud to see the Center receive its designation as a Federally Qualified Health Center, to have helped find funding to help the Center after it outgrew current spaces, secured the resources… Continue Reading

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