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Press Releases

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


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Supreme Court’s Decision Upholding The Affordable Care Act

"Today's decision by the Supreme Court to uphold the Affordable Care Act is a win not only for the millions of Vermonters and other Americans who have long been victimized by a deeply flawed health care system, but for all Americans who will benefit as we continue to implement this landmark law. "Over much of the last century, generation after generation has unsuccessfully grappled with how to answer complex and increasingly urgent questions about how to let every American have access to quali… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Conviction Wednesday In Ethiopia Of Journalist Eskinder Nega

"The Ethiopian Government's use of vague anti-terrorism laws to silence the press has been widely and rightly condemned. The conviction of Eskinder Nega and other journalists, who are accused of nothing more than the peaceful exercise of rights clearly recognized under international law, is the work of a regime that fears the democratic aspirations of its own people. Over the years, United States administrations have provided Prime Minister Meles a veneer of legitimacy due to our shared intere… Continue Reading


As FOIA Anniversary Approaches, Leahy Calls For Passage Of ‘Faster FOIA Act’

(Wednesday, June 27, 2012) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a congressional leader in open government issues, today marked the upcoming 46th anniversary of the enactment of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Under Leahy's leadership, the public's right to know has been bolstered in recent years through a number of legislative victories. Leahy is urging passage in the House of Representatives of the bipartisan Faster FOIA Act, which Leahy authored with Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas). The bil… Continue Reading


House Adopts Leahy-Authored Provision Extending Public Safety Officers Benefits To Nonprofit EMS Personnel

(WEDNESDAY, June 27) -- On Wednesday the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill to extend federal benefits to the surviving families of paramedics and emergency medical technicians killed or disabled in the line of duty who work or volunteer for nonprofit ambulance services. U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) championed this provision as part of a broad, bipartisan package of reforms to the Public Safety Officers' Benefit (PSOB) program designed to help ease the burden on … Continue Reading


Leahy-Authored Farm Bill Program For REAP Economic Zones Nets Northeast Kingdom More Than $500,000 In Agricultural Business Assistance

(TUESDAY, June 26) - Just days after U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) won Senate Farm Bill approval of a renewal of the charter for the Northeast Kingdom's successful decade-old Rural Economic Area Partnership (REAP) Zone, NEK's Zone status is bringing to Vermont more than $500,000 in new U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development business assistance grants. On Tuesday USDA Rural Development announced that six Vermont organizations will receive $615,578 in Rural Business Enterprise Grants … Continue Reading


Remarks Of Senator Patrick Leahy At The VAWA National Days of Action Rally

I am honored to stand with you here today at this rally for National VAWA Days of Action. For nearly two decades, the Violence Against Women Act has saved lives, and we must act now to see that this critical legislation is reauthorized. More than six months ago, Senator Crapo and I joined together to introduce S.1925, the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. I am proud to have worked across party lines to ensure that this important issue remains a priority for Congress and the co… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Rosenbaum Nomination And Calls To The GOP Leadership To End Obstruction

(Tuesday, June 26, 2012) - The Senate will vote today on the nomination of Robin Rosenbaum to be a United States District Judge for the Southern District of Florida. The nomination was reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee in March, and is one of 17 district and circuit nominations pending on the Senate calendar. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, and spoke on the Senate Floor Tuesday about the nomination and Republican obstruction of consensus nominees. L… Continue Reading


Leahy Chairs Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing On Deceptive Voter Practices And Intimidation Tactics In Federal Elections

(Tuesday, June 26, 2012) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is chairing a hearing this morning on the use of deceptive practices and voter intimidation in federal elections. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) is testifying before the panel among others. Testimony, member statements, and a webcast of the hearing are available online. Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Prohibiting the Use of Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimida… Continue Reading


Leahy: Two Vermont Counties Net Police Hiring Grants

MONDAY (June 25) - Two Vermont counties have been awarded grants through the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Monday. The Essex and Franklin County Sheriff's Departments have each received awards through the COPS program. Grants authorized by the COPS Hiring program allow law enforcement agencies to hire or re-hire career officers. The grants provide 75 percent funding for approved entry-level salaries and benefits for three y… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Supreme Court Decision to Strike Down Montana’s 100-Year-Old Campaign Finance Law

"Today, without a hearing, the Supreme Court summarily struck down a 100-year-old Montana state law barring corporate contributions to political campaigns. The five Justices who two and a half years ago opened the floodgates to unlimited and unaccountable corporate spending on federal political campaigns with their decision in Citizens United, now have taken another step to break down the last public safeguards preventing corporate megaphones from drowning out the voices of hardworking American… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Supreme Court Decision In Arizona v. United States

"The Supreme Court reaffirmed what the Constitution makes clear: Congress has the authority to make laws setting our national immigration policy. By striking down three of the four provisions at issue in the case, the Court sent anti-immigrant activists a strong message. A patchwork of conflicting immigration laws is not a sustainable result, and I am pleased that the Supreme Court recognized that in striking down a number of overreaching provisions in the Arizona law. "Although the Court … Continue Reading


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

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