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


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy The Assault On Freedom Of Expression In Ecuador

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, May 3rd was World Press Freedom Day. In this country, we recognize freedom of expression as our most cherished right. It forms the foundation for every other freedom, and an independent press is essential to its exercise. Yet in many countries expression is often censored and punished. Journalists are threatened, imprisoned, and killed for exposing official corruption and criticizing government repression. Not only is the media targeted and silenced, the entire po… Continue Reading


Leahy Introduces Bill To Reauthorize Lifesaving Bulletproof Vest Grant Program

(Monday, May 7, 2012) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday introduced legislation to reauthorize the lifesaving Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program, a federal grant program that helps state and local law enforcement agencies purchase bulletproof vests for officers working in the field. Leahy authored the law establishing the matching grant program. "Law enforcement officers in Vermont and across the country are putting their lives on the line each and every day to keep our communitie… Continue Reading


The Leahy Letter -- May 7, 2012

Senate Passes Bipartisan Leahy Bill To Renew And Strengthen The Violence Against Women Act The Senate on April 26 passed the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA), a major step forward in the continued fight against domestic and sexual abuse. Senator Leahy, joined by Republican Senator Mike Crapo of Idaho, introduced the bill last November. The Leahy-Crapo bill garnered a solid bipartisan vote of 68 to 31. A former prosecutor in Vermont and longtime champion of crime victims… Continue Reading


Remarks Of Senator Patrick Leahy At The Vermont Bar Association’s Law Day Event

I am pleased to be here with all of you today to participate in on Vermont's commemoration of Law Day. Preserving the rule of law, ensuring access to justice, and maintaining a fair and independent judiciary are issues that I am working on every day in Washington, because they matter to people here in Vermont. State and federal courts are charged with protecting Vermonters and all Americans from government overreach. We depend on our courts, and the lawyers like many of you here today who adv… Continue Reading


Leahy Rescues $3.9 M. For Vermont Law School And Vermont-Based Institute For Sustainable Communities To Continue Program That Is Helping To Foster Environmental Advocacy In China

(FRIDAY, April 27) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has rescued $3.9 million to continue the work of two pioneering Vermont organizations that are helping to nurture the emergence of environmental advocacy in China. Leahy, who chairs the Senate's committee on the budget for the State Department, foreign aid and other U.S. foreign operations, has secured about $15 million each year for several years to fund a competitive grant program for rule-of-law training in China, where the judiciary is of… Continue Reading


Leahy: Taylor Conviction Shows That The World Can Hunt Down War Criminals And Bring Them To Justice

(THURSDAY, April 26) -- A UN-backed tribunal Thursday convicted former Liberian president Charles Taylor of aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity - the first time a head of state has been convicted by an international court since the Nazi trials at Nuremberg. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) worked closely with successive prosecutors at the Special Court for Sierra Leone in making today's breakthrough possible. Leahy, as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee's Subcommi… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Senate Passage Of S.1925, The Leahy-Crapo Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, In A Bipartisan Vote Of 68 To 31

"The Senate's action to pass important legislation ensuring access to the life-saving resources provided by VAWA is a testament to what the Senate can do when we work together to meaningfully address needs identified by our constituents. Our consideration of this bill should serve as a model for how the Senate considers legislation, without needless procedural delays and unrelated amendments. "The Violence Against Women Act has always been and continues to be a bipartisan priority. Our efforts… Continue Reading


Leahy: Republican VAWA Proposal Fails To Meet Unmet Needs Of Victims

There are few tools more important in the fight to end domestic and sexual violence than the Violence Against Women Act. This landmark legislation has fundamentally changed the way society views these horrible crimes, and it has resulted in a more than 60 percent decrease in domestic violence offenses. We have been successful because we have learned from experience and adapted our efforts to better meet the needs of victims. Each reauthorization of VAWA has played a critical role in this process… Continue Reading


Senate Confirms Two To District Courts In Texas; Leahy Statement

(Thursday, April 26, 2012) - The U.S. Senate Thursday confirmed two long-pending nominations to fill vacancies on district court benches in Texas. Both nominations were reported to the full Senate by the Judiciary Committee in December, each with unanimous support. Last month, Senate leadership reached an agreement to consider a number of pending judicial nominations, including the nominations confirmed Thursday. Just three nominations covered by that agreement remain to be confirmed; however… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy, Committee On Agriculture, Nutrition, And Forestry At The Markup Of The 2012 Farm Bill

Madam Chairwoman and Ranking Member Roberts, you had an especially tough row to hoe in writing this 2012 Farm Bill. This Committee has widely varied interests, which are even more pronounced under the difficult fiscal constraints Congress faces. While I think most of us can agree that this bill is not perfect, you have done a good job working together and we commend your staffs for their dedication and responsiveness to each of the members of this Committee. I am glad we are working together … Continue Reading


Senate Begins Debate On Reauthorizing Landmark Violence Against Women Act

The U.S. Senate is proceeding to debate on legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) to reauthorize the landmark Violence Against Women Act. Leahy chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, which reported the legislation to the full Senate for consideration in February. The legislation is endorsed by more than 1,000 national, state and local organizations, from law enforcement to religious organizations, victim advocates to health professionals. The Vi… Continue Reading


Leahy Chairs DHS Oversight Hearing With Secretary Napolitano

(Wednesday, April 25, 2012) - 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, as well as the U.S. Secret Service. Member statements, witness tes… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Receipt Of Recommendations To Congress From The Office Of Government Information Services

"I welcome the release of the report from the Office of Government Information Services. In our democratic society, the American people have a right to know what their government is doing and whether executive agencies and offices are honoring the President's commitment to openness and accountability. I will study these recommendations and continue to work with the administration to improve transparency in our government." # # # # #… Continue Reading


Comments Of Senator Leahy On The Revised Department Of Defense Proposal For Air National Guard Force Structure

Senator Patrick Leahy is co-chair of the Senate National Guard Caucus and a senior member of the Defense Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee. "General Breedlove and I have discussed the Pentagon's proposed response to the concerns raised in Congress and by the Council of Governors. He promised a detailed paper explaining how the C-130s and associated Guard manpower would be placed around the country. Until I can evaluate those details I cannot offer firm, final conclusions ab… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Tragic Developments In Tibet

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I want to draw the Senate's attention to the ongoing, intensifying and intolerable oppression occurring in Tibet. Over the past year, at least 32 Tibetans, most of them young men and women, have set themselves on fire to protest Chinese policies that are infringing on Tibetan self-governance, cultural traditions and religious beliefs and practices. Of them, it is believed that at least 23 have died. Eleven have self-immolated in the past two months alone. These inc… Continue Reading


Editorial: On Women’s Behalf; The Violence Against Women Act Deserves Renewal, Not Partisan Wrangling

The Post today published an editorial urging the Senate to approve legislation to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. The Senate is set to consider VAWA reauthorization legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) later this week. "This year, 61 senators have co-sponsored a reauthorization that would further improve the law's effectiveness and meet the changing needs of victims…Let's hope that bipartisan support - a fixture in the l… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Nomination of Judge Brian Wimes of Missouri

Today, the Senate will finally vote on the nomination of Brian Wimes to fill a judicial vacancy in the U.S. District Court for the Western and Eastern Districts of Missouri. This nomination has had the support of both his home state Senators, Senator McCaskill and Senator Blunt. The Judiciary Committee voted to report the nomination favorably over four months ago. There is no justification for this unnecessary delay. The Senate is still so far this year only considering judicial nominations… Continue Reading


Leahy: VAWA Reauthorization Addresses Unmet Needs Of Victims

(Monday, April 23, 2012) - The Senate is set to consider legislation to reauthorize the landmark Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act later this week, and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is urging the Senate to pass the bipartisan legislation. Leahy has been pressing for consideration of the legislation since the Judiciary Committee approved the bill in February. The legislation is cosponsored by a total of 61 Senators. A comprehensive Committee Report was filed earlier this year. This … Continue Reading


Leahy Urges House Passage Of Food Safety Accountability Act

(Friday, April 20, 2012) - Following this week's announcement by the Food and Drug Administration that raw tuna from a California supplier has sickened more than 100 people in 20 states, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is again urging the House of Representatives to consider the Food Safety Accountability Act, a bill that will hold criminals accountable for those who knowingly violate food safety standards and place tainted food products on the market. The non-controversial Food Safety Accountabi… Continue Reading


In New Video, Senators Underscore Support For U.S. Efforts To Capture Joseph Kony

The day before the Kony 2012 movement's global day of action, U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) released a new video on the Senate's efforts to support the removal of Joseph Kony and his top lieutenants in the Lord's Resistance Army from the battlefield in central Africa. Former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), is also featured in the video, which is aimed at the mill… Continue Reading

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