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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 Department Of Homeland Security Decision To Grant Temporary Protected Status For Syrians In The United States

[Today, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that Temporary Protected Status (TPS) would be designated for Syrians currently present in the United States. Due to the ongoing violence in Syria, returning to their home would pose a serious threat to their safety. This status ensures that Syrians living in the U.S. can remain here safely; however, those with criminal backgrounds or who pose a threat to national security are ineligible for TPS. Only those Syrians l… Continue Reading


Marking Two-Year Anniversary Of Health Care Reform, Leahy And Welch Tout Benefits To Vermonters

BURLINGTON, Vt., March 23 - On the two-year anniversary of landmark health care reform, Sen. Patrick Leahy and Rep. Peter Welch today touted the benefits of the law to Vermonters. "Two years after enacting historic, health care reforms, Vermonters are better off," Leahy and Welch said in a statement. "Parents of young adults have the peace of mind that comes with knowing their child has health care coverage. Prescription drug costs for seniors are lower. And thousands of Vermonters have access … Continue Reading


Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy To Secretary Clinton's Announcement That She Will Waive The Conditions On U.S. Military Aid To Egypt

"I have enormous respect for Secretary Clinton and the superb job she does for our country. On this issue, however, we disagree. Waiving the new conditions on democracy and human rights is regrettable, and handing over the entire $1.3 billion at once to the Egyptian military compounds the mistake by dissipating our future leverage. We have a long partnership with the Egyptian government, and these conditions are intended to broaden our partnership to fully include the Egyptian people and the… Continue Reading


Law Is Firmly Rooted in Congressional Practice, Constitutional Precedent

Two years ago, Congress passed the landmark Affordable Care Act to provide millions of Americans with access to health care and to bring spiraling costs under control. The ACA also is helping to protect some of our most vulnerable citizens by eliminating discriminatory practices by health insurers, ensuring that a patient's gender is no longer a pre-existing condition and reducing the cost of prescription drugs for seniors. These historic and long-overdue reforms also provide the necessary res… Continue Reading


Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy, Author Of The New Democracy And Human Rights Conditions On U.S. Military Aid For Egypt, To Secretary Clinton’s Decision To Waive The Conditions On National Security Grounds

"I am disappointed by this decision. I know Secretary Clinton wants the democratic transition in Egypt to succeed, but by waiving the conditions we send a contradictory message. The Egyptian military should be defending fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, not harassing and arresting those who are working for democracy. They should end trials of civilians in military courts and fully repeal the Emergency Law, and our policy should not equivocate on these key reforms. Now that Secretary … Continue Reading


Leahy Urges Senate To Consider Bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act

(Thursday, March 22, 2012) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) released a statement Thursday, urging the Senate to consider legislation to reauthorize the landmark Violence Against Women Act, a 1994 law that has become the bedrock of the nation's response to domestic and sexual violence. Leahy is the lead author of the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, which he introduced in November with Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). A total of 61 Senators have si… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy In Opposition To The IPO Bill (The “JOBS Act”), Passed By The Senate

"The top priority of Congress should be creating new jobs to help Vermonters get back to work, not reopening loopholes in federal law that led to catastrophic scandals like Enron, WorldCom and Bernie Madoff. "These scams, along with the recent financial crisis and economic collapse, revealed several flaws in our federal regulatory system. Agencies like the SEC and the Justice Department lacked the authority to provide the necessary oversight to stop these reckless actions and abuses. Congres… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Supreme Court’s Decisions On The Sixth Amendment’s Right To Counsel

[Today, the Supreme Court issued two opinions clarifying the Sixth Amendment's right to effective assistance of counsel. In Missouri v. Frye, the Court, by a vote of 5-4, held that the Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel extends to the consideration of plea offers that lapse or are rejected, and the Court reaffirmed that it applies to all critical stages of a criminal proceeding. In Lafler v. Cooper, also by a vote of 5-4, the Court put forth what a defendant must prove to… Continue Reading


Leahy Joins As A Leading Cosponsor Of New Bill To Shine Light On Anonymous Campaign Spending

(Wednesday, March 21, 2012) - Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy today joined as a cosponsor of new legislation designed to address the effects of the Supreme Court's 2010 decision in Citizens United. The DISCLOSE Act of 2012 will help put an end to secretive campaign spending by strengthening disclosure laws. Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is the lead sponsor of the bill. The bill is cosponsored by another 33 Senators, including Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Jeff Merkley … Continue Reading


Leahy Chairs Hearing On Post-Conviction DNA Testing, Justice For All Act

(Wednesday, March 21, 2012) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday chaired a hearing focused on components of the landmark Justice for All Act, including how best to ensure the integrity of the nation's justice system. Leahy has been a longtime proponent of legislative efforts to ensure that the guilty are punished and the innocent are exonerated. Leahy was a key sponsor of the original Justice for All Act, and has authored legislation this Congress to reauthoriz… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy: “Justice For All: Convicting The Guilty And Exonerating The Innocent”

Over the next two weeks, the Judiciary Committee will focus on a vital component of our jurisdiction: ensuring the integrity of convictions in our criminal justice system. As a former prosecutor, I have great faith in the men and women of law enforcement, and I know that the vast majority of the time, our criminal justice system works fairly and effectively. In those rare instances when the criminal justice system does not work the way it should, the consequences are grave, and our faith in th… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The STOCK Act

"It is becoming harder and harder to remember a time when the Senate and House followed the legislative process and came together to reconcile their differences and send meaningful legislation to the President. "I regret that Republicans in the House eliminated the bipartisan anti-corruption amendment in the STOCK Act, which was adopted overwhelmingly by the Senate, and I am disappointed that there are now objections to going to conference to restore this important anti-corruption provision." … Continue Reading


Remarks Of Senator Patrick Leahy At NeighborWorks Legislative Day

It is great to see so many familiar faces here from Vermont. Mert, Brenda, Connie and Elieen, thank you for being here to represent your organizations. NeighborWorks America creates opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated $20 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation… Continue Reading


VAWA Reauthorization Now Cosponsored By 60 Senators

(Tuesday, March 20, 2012) - Bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reached a critical point Tuesday, as Nevada Republican Dean Heller became the 60th Senator to cosponsor the legislation. The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act was introduced in November by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). "The Violence Against Women Act has always been, and continues to be, a bipartisan priority," said Leahy. "I am grateful … Continue Reading


The Leahy Letter -- Sunshine Week Special Edition

Another Illuminating "Sunshine Week" Another successful "Sunshine Week," an annual opportunity to take inventory of the public's right to know what their government is doing, has come and gone. Americans from coast to coast participated in ways large and small. Sunshine Week usually coincides with the March 16 birthday of James Madison, one of the authors of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and an early champion of openness in government. Senator Leahy is always working at the crossro… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On the Immigration Case of Takako Ueda and Frances Herbert of Vermont

I am moved today to talk about Frances Herbert and Takako Ueda of Dummerston, Vermont. This loving couple is legally married under the laws of Vermont. Yet, like many Americans, they are being hurt by the Defense of Marriage Act despite the protections provided them under the laws of the state in which they live. Ms. Ueda is a Japanese citizen. Recently, her petition to become a lawful permanent resident of the United States, as the lawful spouse of a United States citizen, was denied for th… Continue Reading


Leahy, Grassley Urge Leaders To Convene Conference Committee On STOCK Act

(Monday, March 19, 2012) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today urged the Senate leaders to convene a conference committee on the congressional insider trading bill to restore two key amendments. Leahy, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, wants the Senate to restore his amendment to give prosecutors new tools to identify, investigate, and prosecute criminal conduct by public officials. Grassley, Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee, wants a conference co… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Prospect Of Possible Waiver Of His New Conditions On Military Aid To Egypt

"Under current circumstances in Egypt, I believe a waiver would be a mistake. The new conditions are intended to put the United States squarely on the side of the Egyptian people who seek a civilian government that respects fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, and to clearly define the terms of our future relations with the Egyptian military. But it is important to underscore that a waiver itself would not trigger the release of the funds. Secretary Clinton could subsequently release any… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Supreme Court’s Decision To Release Audio Files And Transcripts Of Arguments In The Affordable Care Act

"I welcome today's announcement from the Supreme Court that they will make available the audio files and transcripts of this month's arguments regarding the Affordable Care Act. With heightened public interest in this landmark law, I am especially pleased that they will make the audio of the arguments available to the public within hours of the completion of each day's arguments. "This is a step forward, and one that I welcome during Sunshine Week. The Chief Justice and the Court are right t… Continue Reading


Leahy And Ag Panel Colleagues Draw A Line: No Bonuses For MF Global Execs

(THURSDAY, March 15) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and the entire membership of the Senate Agriculture Committee are asking the trustee overseeing the bankruptcy of MF Global Holdings to kill the idea of awarding bonuses to the firm's top executives, who the senators say should be held accountable for any roles they played in the firm's spectacular and costly failure. The letter by the Senate committee's members to former FBI Director and former federal judge Louis Freeh - the trustee overse… Continue Reading

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