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

11.23.10

Vermont Senators Seek Home Heating Assistance

BURLINGTON, Vt., Nov. 23 - U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today called for full funding of the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Thanks to legislation by Sanders, federal funding for the heating assistance program was nearly doubled in the last two years. Leahy cosponsored Sanders' 2008 legislation and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) sponsored companion legislation that year in the House. Because Congress has not yet approved spending bills for the coming… Continue Reading


11.23.10

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Rescission Of Rule On The Certification Process For State Capital Counsel Systems

On November 23, the Department of Justice announced that it is rescinding regulations implementing a provision giving the Attorney General, rather than the courts, decision-making authority over whether states can successfully "opt in" to a compressed habeas process in death penalties. The regulations, which were finalized in December 2008 under Attorney General Mukasey, gave the Attorney General almost unfettered discretion to allow states to opt in, whereas courts had previously demanded that… Continue Reading


11.22.10

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Taxpayer Dollars Recovered In False Claims Cases This Year

(Today, the Justice Department announced that it secured $3 billion in settlements in cases involving fraud against the government in this fiscal year, including $2.5 billion in health care fraud recoveries. More than $2.3 billion was recovered in lawsuits filed under the False Claims Act's qui tam provisions, which encourage whistleblowers to step forward report fraud - often at considerable personal risk.) "Attorney General Holder and the Justice Department have been vigorous in their efforts… Continue Reading


11.22.10

Comment Of Senator Leahy On Governor-Elect Shumlin’s Selection Of Leahy State Director Chuck Ross To Be Vermont Secretary Of Agriculture

I congratulate Governor-Elect Shumlin for a superb choice, and I congratulate Chuck Ross for accepting this new and challenging opportunity to serve our state. Agriculture is the keystone of Vermont's economy, and Chuck's considerable talents are an ideal match for this vital job. Chuck has been an official member of the Leahy team since 1993. He and the entire Ross family have been an integral part of Vermont history for far longer than that. When we convinced Chuck to temporarily suspend h… Continue Reading


11.19.10

Leahy-Authored Bill To Clarify Copyright Laws Set To Become Law

(Friday, Nov. 19, 2010) - Legislation authored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to clarify and improve federal copyright laws cleared the Senate Friday, and will be sent to the President to be signed into law. The bill is cosponsored by Committee Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). The Copyright Cleanup, Clarification and Corrections Act will implement several recommendations by the Copyright Office to make the office's operations more efficient, and will also cl… Continue Reading


11.19.10

The Leahy Letter -- November 19, 2010

Organic Trade Group Moves Headquarters To Vermont This fall Senator Leahy joined more than 30 community and business leaders to welcome the Organic Trade Association to Brattleboro, where the group is moving its headquarters. The OTA's move brings more than 20 jobs to Vermont and underscores Vermont's role as a national leader in organic agriculture and local food systems. The OTA is the business association for organic agriculture and other products and members include growers, shippers, proce… Continue Reading


11.19.10

Leahy: Courts Facing Vacancy Crisis While Senate Fails To Act On Nominations

(Friday, Nov. 19, 2010) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) released the following statement today, urging the Senate to act on more than 20 judicial nominations pending before the full Senate, including 16 nominations reported by the Judiciary Committee unanimously. "Regrettably, the Senate is not being allowed to consider the consensus, mainstream judicial nominees favorably reported from the Judiciary Committee," said Leahy. "There is no good reason to hold up consid… Continue Reading


11.19.10

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Pigford And Cobell Settlements And Earmark Reform

Mr. LEAHY. Mr President, I rise today to express my support for passage of the Pigford and Cobell Settlements. But before I address the need to pass this legislation, I would like to take a few minutes to congratulate the other side of the aisle for keeping their self imposed earmark ban for all of four days. Much like Captain Renault in Casablanca I am sure that my colleagues will be shocked, just shocked to know that there are earmarks embedded in the extraneous provisions that have been a… Continue Reading


11.19.10

As Asked Of Senator Patrick Leahy On VPR's Vermont Edition: "What is the meaning of 'lame duck'?"

While appearing on Vermont Public Radio's Vermont Edition with Bob Kinzel on Friday, November 19, Senator Leahy was asked for the history and meaning of the term 'lame duck' as it is used in reference to all sessions of the U.S. Congress taking place after an election but prior to the commencement of a new term. According to the Library of Congress, the historical significance and meaning of the term 'lame duck' is as follows: The expression "lame duck" was originally applied in 18th century B… Continue Reading


11.18.10

Leahy Pushes For Repeal Of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ In Lame Duck Session

(Thursday, Nov. 18) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and more than a dozen other senators are pressing fellow senators to repeal the controversial "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy as part of the annual Defense Authorization Bill. Opponents of repeal are blocking action on the entire defense bill over the issue. Following are Leahy's remarks from a news conference Thursday on Capitol Hill: Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Remarks At News Conference In Support Of Repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tel… Continue Reading


11.18.10

Senate Judiciary Committee Advances Bipartisan Bill To Combat Copyright Infringement And Counterfeits

(Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved legislation to combat copyright infringement and the sale of counterfeit goods online. The bipartisan Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act was introduced in September by Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and senior Republican member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). The Committee voted unanimously, 19-0, to send the legislation to the full Senate for consideration. The bill provides law enforcement with impo… Continue Reading


11.18.10

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On New Justice Department Guidance Promoting DNA Testing In Criminal Cases

(Today, the Justice Department released two reports issuing guidance related to the use of DNA Testing in criminal cases. The first announces that the Justice Department will no longer routinely ask defendants to waive their right to request DNA testing as part of a plea agreement. The second reaffirms the Justice Department's commitment to collecting DNA samples from all people arrested for federal felonies). "I commend the Attorney General for reversing the Bush administration policy of dema… Continue Reading


11.17.10

Leahy Welcomes New Republican Co-Chair Of 97-Member Senate National Guard Caucus

(Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who has been the Democratic co-chair of the Senate National Guard Caucus for more than a decade, has a new Republican partner. At a news conference Tuesday on Capitol Hill, Leahy announced that Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican senator from South Carolina, will replace Senator Kit Bond of Missouri (R), a founding member of the caucus, who is retiring from the Senate. It is a rare leadership change for the influential group. In a pa… Continue Reading


11.17.10

Colchester High School

On November 17, 2010 Senator Leahy conducted his first online chat for the 2010-2011 school year with students from Colchester High School. Students asked Senator Leahy a variety of questions about how Senator Leahy decided to enter into politics, his priorities in the Senate, and his thoughts on education reform and the importance of arts education. A sample of the questions asked during the chat follows. Why did you get into politics? What are you and Congress doing to help boost Vermont's … Continue Reading


11.16.10

Vermont Picked for Project to Improve Patient Care

, Nov. 16 - Vermont was one of eight states selected today by the federal government for a Medicare demonstration project to improve health care by basing payments to doctors and hospitals on the quality of patient care instead of the quantity of care, the state's congressional delegation announced. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said, "Vermont's selection ensures that our state will continue to lead in finding the best ways to reduce costs and keep patients healthier by doing a better job of coord… Continue Reading


11.11.10

Veterans Day Message Of Senator Patrick Leahy

Every year, Americans gather to remember and venerate the men and women who have given so much to our country, the veterans of our armed forces. This day marks a beautiful solidarity we have as Americans that transcends our petty squabbles to remind us of what brings us together rather than what divides us. Our veterans are of all ages, they are both men and women, and they include members of every race and ethnicity on earth and believers in every faith. What unites them, and us to them, is … Continue Reading


11.09.10

Vermont Harvests 6th Largest Share Of Rural Renewable Energy Grants And Loans

(TUESDAY, Nov. 9) -- Vermont's Congressional Delegation - Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Congressman Peter Welch (D) - reported Tuesday that 18 Vermont farms and rural businesses will share $3,750,930 in grants and loans to support energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy projects. The loans and grants are being made through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The Vermont projects include nearly $2 million in grant… Continue Reading


10.29.10

Senators Query Secretary Clinton On Pending Decision On TransCanada Tar Sands Pipeline

(FRIDAY, Oct. 29) - Led by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), 11 U.S. senators are raising questions about the pending approval of the TransCanada Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. In a letter sent Thursday to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the lawmakers sought answers to a series of concerns they have about the pipeline. Signing the letter, in addition to Leahy and Merkley, are Senators Roland Burris (D-Ill.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Kirsten Gillib… Continue Reading


10.27.10

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The President’s Remarks On Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) released the following comments today following remarks by President Obama and Vice President Biden recognizing Domestic Violence Awareness Month. "The President and Vice President have announced an unprecedented initiative to reduce domestic and sexual violence, and to assist the survivors of these terrible crimes. These are important issues that I have consistently worked to address in Congress, and I support the administration's efforts. "The Violence Aga… Continue Reading


10.25.10

Leahy Secures $65,000 For Guilford Country Store

GUILFORD, Vt. (MONDAY, Oct. 25) - U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy Monday told members of the Friends of Algiers Village and project partners working to reopen the Guilford Country Store that he has secured a $65,000 grant in partnership with the Preservation Trust of Vermont to help with their efforts. During a news conference at the store, leadership from the Friends of Algiers Village estimated the store would reopen next summer. "I have long believed that Vermont's village stores help define our st… Continue Reading

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