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


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


Leahy Praises Women Senators For Highlighting Importance Of VAWA

(Thursday, March 15, 2012) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday praised a number of women Senators who took to the Senate Floor Thursday to call on the chamber to pass legislation to reauthorize the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Leahy is the lead Senate author of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. The bipartisan legislation was reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee in February. "The impact of the Violence Against Women Act has been remarkable," said Leahy. … Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On the Republican Filibusters of Judicial Nominations

I am pleased that the Majority Leader and the Republican leader came to an understanding yesterday and a path forward so that we can finally consider the two judicial nominations the Senate will vote on today. With a judicial vacancies crisis that has lasted years, and nearly one in 10 judgeships across the Nation vacant, the Senate needs to continue to work to have a positive impact and reduce judicial vacancies significantly before the end of the year. In light of the agreement reached betw… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Release Of A Report Concerning The Ted Stevens Prosecution

"This morning, the D.C. District Court released the report of the independent counsel it appointed to investigate allegations of prosecutorial misconduct in the case against Senator Ted Stevens. I look forward to reviewing the 525-page report, I hope to hold a hearing with Independent Counsel Hank Schuelke, and if it is possible to arrange a time before the April recess. I know the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility is also conducting its own internal investigation, and … Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Agreement On Judicial Nominations

"I am pleased the Majority Leader and the Republican Leader have reached a compromise agreement to ensure votes on more than a dozen judicial nominations, some of which have been pending for over five months, and almost all of which were reported by the Judiciary Committee with strong bipartisan support last year. "This agreement will help clear the backlog of nominations pending before the Senate, and paves the way for continued progress moving forward. If the Senate will work together for t… Continue Reading


Gov. Peter Shumlin, Vermont’s Congressional Delegation And FEMA Announce Major Flood Recovery Investments

NORTHFIELD - Gov. Peter Shumlin, Vermont's Congressional delegation and FEMA officials today announced a $19.8 million investment to reduce the risk of property damage due to future flooding, and help homeowners and businesses whose properties are currently located in dangerous flood plains. The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program will enable communities to buy eligible properties damaged in 2011 and at serious risk of future flooding. The award list contains 72 projects, including the buy-out of 1… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy At A Hearing On The Fiscal Year 2013 USAID Budget Request

Welcome Dr. Shah and thank you for being here. This morning we will discuss the United States Agency for International Development's budget request for fiscal year 2013. It has been a little over two years since you became USAID Administrator and began to address the serious cultural, management, and programmatic problems you inherited that have plagued USAID for years. We appreciate your efforts. You are taking steps to improve efficiency and reduce costs, which are reflected in your budge… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders Join in Urging FDA to Require Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods

Leahy, Sanders Join in Urging FDA to Require Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods 55 Senate and House Lawmakers Call on Agency to Ensure Consumers Can Make Informed Choices About What They Eat Washington, D.C. - Senator Patrick Leahy and Senator Bernie Sanders joined with 53 other Senate and House lawmakers in sending a letter urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require the labeling of genetically engineered foods so that consumers can make informed choices about what they … Continue Reading


Bipartisan Legislation Will Protect Older Workers from Discrimination

Iowa Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) have today joined with Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to introduce legislation that revives vital civil rights protections for older workers that were limited following the Supreme Court's decision in Gross v. FBL Financial. Harkin is Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee while Senators Leahy and Grassley are the Chairman and ranking member respectively of the Senate Judiciary Committee. In Gross, the Supr… Continue Reading


Leahy Chairs Annual Sunshine Week Hearing In Senate Judiciary Committee

(Tuesday, March 13, 2012) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) chaired a hearing Tuesday on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the nation's premier open government law. The nation is celebrating Sunshine Week, an observance of the importance of an open and transparent government. "Sunshine Week is a timely reminder that, as the Congress considers how best to safeguard critical infrastructure information in cyberspace, we must also safeguard the American public's rig… Continue Reading


Leahy: Pattern Of Obstruction And Filibusters Hurts Our Federal Courts

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) spoke Tuesday on the Senate floor about the obstruction of judicial nominations pending before the full Senate. On Monday, Majority Leader Harry Reid filed cloture on 17 judicial nominations to fill vacancies on federal district courts across the country, some of which were reported by the Judiciary Committee with unanimous support in October. The Senate is expected to turn to the nominations on Wednesday.] Statement Of Senator Pat… Continue Reading


Leahy Applauds Move To Bring Long-Pending Judicial Nominations To A Vote

(Monday, March 12, 2012) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday applauded a move by leadership to force votes on 17 judicial nominations awaiting final approval by the Senate. At the opening of Monday's session of the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed procedural motions on district court nominations currently pending before the full Senate, some reported by the Judiciary Committee as long ago as October 2011. "Needless, unexplained delays have stalle… Continue Reading


Remarks Of Senator Patrick Leahy At An Event With Invisible Children At Champlain College

I am very pleased to be part of this effort to highlight the atrocities of the Lord's Resistance Army, and I congratulate the Champlain students who have taken the initiative to educate other students and the entire community. I also want to thank Mr. Quinto for being here. As Mr. Quinto described from his own experience, the LRA has terrorized the people of northern Uganda, the Congo, and elsewhere in Central Africa, for more than 20 years. Thousands of people have been uprooted from th… Continue Reading


Leahy Is Part Of New Effort To Help Communities Flip Vacant Homes And Commercial Buildings To Accelerate Rebound Of Real Estate Markets, Spurring Economic Recovery

(WEDNESDAY, March 7) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has joined in offering new legislation to breathe new life into homes and businesses made vacant by foreclosures. Leahy is an original cosponsor of the Project Rebuild Act, introduced in the Senate this week by Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.). Leahy said, "Vacant homes and businesses are a drag on entire neighborhoods and communities. Abandoned buildings are a foot on the brake pedal, depressing home and commercial property values and slowing the… Continue Reading


Senate Approves Leahy-Grassley Bill To Increase Penalties For Counterfeit Drugs

The Senate Tuesday night unanimously approved a bill authored by U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to increase penalties for trafficking counterfeit drugs. The legislation responds to recommendations made by the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator and the administration's Counterfeit Pharmaceutical Inter-agency Working Group. The Counterfeit Drug Penalty Enhancement Act will increase penalties for the trafficking of counterfeit drugs to reflect the … Continue Reading

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