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

04.14.11

Leahy Introduces Bill To Bring Equality To Lawful Partners In Immigration Law

(Thursday, April 14, 2011) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday renewed his effort to update U.S. immigration law to permit American citizens to sponsor same-sex "permanent partners" applying for legal residency in the United States. The Uniting American Families Act of 2011 mirrors legislation introduced by Leahy in the last Congress. Companion legislation will be introduced in the House of Representatives today by Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.). Current law permits American citizens … Continue Reading


04.13.11

Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy On President Obama’s Debt Reduction Proposal

President Obama called the nation to the vital task of charting a sustainable budget path to a better America. Congress must set aside the temptation to delusion and illusion. It is unfortunate for example that Congress already has spent inordinate time and effort this year in negotiating three rounds of deep cuts only in the discretionary part of this year's budget - a relatively small fraction of overall federal spending. Setting a realistic course also means taking honest appraisal of t… Continue Reading


04.13.11

Leahy Chairs Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing On Support For Victims Of Crime

(Wednesday, April 13, 2011) - To mark the 30th annual National Crime Victims' Rights Week, the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday morning held a hearing on "Fulfilling Our Commitment to Support Victims Of Crime." The panel's chairman, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), presided over the hearing. For years, Leahy has led bipartisan congressional efforts to protect the Crime Victims Fund, which was established through the 1984 Victims of Crime Act, to provide support for crime victims and their f… Continue Reading


04.12.11

Leahy Proposes Bill To Stop Tax Breaks For Corporate Misconduct

(Tuesday, April 12, 2011) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday introduced legislation to close a tax loophole that allows businesses to deduct the cost of punitive damage awards as an ordinary business expense. The Protecting American Taxpayers from Misconduct Act will eliminate this tax break for corporate misconduct. "Under current law, a corporation or individual business owner may deduct the cost of a punitive damage award paid to a victim as an 'ordinary' business expense," said Leahy.… Continue Reading


04.12.11

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Equal Pay Day

Mr. LEAHY. Today, the Nation commemorates Equal Pay Day, an annual occasion that celebrates the gains that women have made in the workplace over the last century, but which also reminds us all that pay discrimination still exists in the United States. In today's economy, a troubling constant remains: women continue to earn less than men. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, on average, women working full-time still make only 78 cents for every dollar working men receive.… Continue Reading


04.12.11

Senate Confirms Two Nominations To Fill Judicial Emergencies

(Tuesday, April 12, 2011) - The Senate Tuesday voted unanimously to confirm two pending nominations to fill judicial emergency vacancies in New York and California. The Senate has confirmed 17 judicial nominations this Congress; there are 15 judicial nominations pending on the Senate's Executive Calendar. For more information about pending judicial nominations, visit the Senate Judiciary Committee's website. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) released the following s… Continue Reading


04.12.11

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy At A Hearing On The FY 2012 Budget Request For The USAID

Good morning. Today we will hear testimony from Dr. Raj Shah, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, on the agency's Fiscal Year 2012 budget request. Mr. Shah, welcome and thank you for being here. A little over 15 months ago, Administrator Shah took charge of an agency that had struggled for many years with serious management and programmatic weaknesses. As I said last April when Dr. Shah first testified here, too often this Subcommittee and others had enc… Continue Reading


04.09.11

Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy On Averting A Government Shutdown

"Enough common sense and statesmanship finally prevailed in Congress over a 'my way or no way' agenda by some that was driven by ideology, not budget issues. In pushing the nation to the brink of a government shutdown, they were willing to run roughshod over the interests of the rest of their fellow Americans. "It would especially have been a travesty to allow the gutting of health services to women that literally have meant the difference between life or death for countless women." # # # # … Continue Reading


04.08.11

Senator Patrick Leahy Will Donate His Pay During A Government Shutdown To A Vermont Charity

"If those pushing for a government shutdown get their way, I will donate my Senate salary during a shutdown to a Vermont charity. I hope they will do the same. "Some in Congress are intent on using their leverage to prevent an agreement while they insist on ideologically driven legislative riders not related to the budget. A shutdown would be as reckless as it would be needless. It would be a wrong-way jolt to the economy that would threaten the economic recovery from the worst recession si… Continue Reading


04.07.11

SJC Unanimously Approves Leahy-Cornyn Faster FOIA Bill

(Thursday, April 7, 2011) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved bipartisan legislation authored by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) to further improve the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the nation's premier open government law. It is the third time since 2005 that the panel approved the legislation. The Faster FOIA Act will create an advisory panel to examine agency backlogs in processing FOIA requests and provide recommendations to Congress for legi… Continue Reading


04.07.11

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Reckless Cuts For American Citizen Services Abroad

MR. LEAHY. Mr. President, House Republicans, reacting to the ire of a minority of vocal, anti-government extremists who make no secret of their desire to shut down the government even while complaining that the government is not doing enough for them, are proposing reckless cuts in programs vital to job creation and to national security. Many in the other party are masters at blaming others for a budget deficit and debt they created during the Bush Administration, self-proclaimed fiscal conse… Continue Reading


04.07.11

Statement Of Senator Leahy On The Effects Of A Government Shutdown On U.S. Troops

Mr. President, I would like to take a moment to describe to the American people and members of both bodies of Congress what will happen to our troops and their families if a collapse of budget negotiations forces the government to shut down. While I am sure many understand that most government services will halt, it is also important to understand that some government operations will not shut down. In particular, our men and women on active duty and in the National Guard and Reserves will cont… Continue Reading


04.06.11

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Efforts To Undermine The Clean Air Act

I urge rejection of all of the amendments offered today that would gut the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to enforce our Clean Air Act. It has been proven time and time again that we can have both a clean environment and grow our economy. In fact without a clean environment, it is more difficult for us to grow the economy. Without the Clean Air Act we would be spending trillions of dollars more on health care costs and lost work days. Over its 40 years the Clean Air Act has been one … Continue Reading


04.06.11

Leahy Calls On Partisans To End 'Their Way Or No Way' Posture To Avert Government Shutdown

"People have enough to worry about, and the economic recovery is still fragile enough, without needlessly being pushed to the brink of a costly government shutdown. "There already have been several rounds of budget cuts by now. Despite the continued willingness of the President and many in Congress to find common ground, an ideological bloc in Congress continues to insist on their way or no way. Some even relish the idea of a government shutdown, despite the disruption and harm that would mea… Continue Reading


04.06.11

Leahy Chairs SJC Hearing On Digital Privacy Law

(Wednesday, April 6, 2011) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday held a hearing focused on the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), one of the nation's premier digital privacy laws. Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) was the lead Senate author of ECPA, which was enacted in 1986 to protect electronic communications from real-time monitoring or interception by the government. While portions of ECPA have been amended, Congress has not enacted comprehensive reforms to ECPA since the Act… Continue Reading


04.04.11

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Administration’s Decision To Try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed In A Military Commission

"I am disappointed with the decision not to prosecute Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a Federal court. I believe that our justice system, which is the envy of the world, is more than capable of trying high-profile terrorism and national security cases. Federal courts have convicted hundreds of terrorists. The record in military commissions pales in comparison, with only a handful of convictions, and the ground rules still in flux. "I have said before that we must continue to show that America acts… Continue Reading


04.04.11

Senate, House Judiciary Committee Leaders Focus On Fighting Online Infringement

(Monday, April 4, 2011) - Leading members of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees spoke to reporters Monday afternoon on Capitol Hill about the continuing harm online infringement and counterfeits pose to American jobs and the economy. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.), Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who chairs the House Judiciary Subcommitt… Continue Reading


04.03.11

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Return Home Of Vermonter Tik Root

"When I talked to him it was great to be able to welcome him home. It's good to have Tik safely in Vermont with the family, friends and campus who wished so mightily for his return. Vermonters stick by each other through tough times and I'm very glad our efforts were rewarded." # # # # #… Continue Reading


04.01.11

Leahy: On The Release Of Tik Root To American Custody

(FRIDAY, April 1) -- After two anxious weeks punctuated by deft diplomacy and patience, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Friday morning that Pathik "Tik" Root has been released from a Syrian jail and is at the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, and that he will soon be returning to the United States. Leahy broke the good news first to Tik Root's parents, Tom and Andrea. He paid tribute to "Tom and Andi's devotion to their son, in both words and deeds, which has deeply touched every Vermonter who… Continue Reading


03.31.11

The Leahy Letter -- March 31, 2011

Senate Passes Leahy's America Invents Act Earlier this month, the Senate overwhelmingly approved major legislation authored by Senator Leahy to significantly update the country's patent system for the first time in nearly 60 years. The bipartisan America Invents Act will streamline and transition the nation's patent system to the more modern 'first-inventor-to-file' system, used by the rest of the industrialized world, and encourage entrepreneurs to create businesses and jobs here at home in Am… Continue Reading

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