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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 On The Department Of State And Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, this year the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee had to fund key national security programs that support - the Nation's counter-terrorism strategy in South Asia, the Horn of Africa, and the far East; respond to turbulent events in the Middle East and North Africa, and threats on the Mexican border; combat transnational crime, piracy of intellectual property, and the denial of fundamental freedoms; promote access for U.S. companies to foreign ma… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Meeting Vermont's Disaster Recovery Needs

Mr. President, I would like to take some time now to talk about the positive impact next year's Transportation-HUD Appropriations Bill will have on my home state of Vermont - particularly as we continue rebuilding from Hurricane Irene's destructive forces back in August. I commend Subcommittee Chair Patty Murray and Ranking Member Susan Collins for their hard work and dedication in ensuring that the final bill filed last night both provides appropriate funding for disaster relief accounts, and… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Judicial Nominations

Today the Senate will finally consider two of President Obama's highly qualified nominees to fill Federal district court vacancies in Alaska and the Northern District of California. Both Sharon Gleason and Yvonne Gonzales Rogers have the strong support of their home state Senators and both were reported by the Judiciary Committee unanimously over two months ago. I thank the Majority Leader for securing votes on their nominations. I am disappointed that the Senate Republican leadership would no… Continue Reading


Final Transportation Funding Bill Includes Leahy-Authored Emergency Funding And Cost Waivers Provision

(MONDAY, Nov. 14) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Monday that House and Senate negotiators have agreed to include in a final transportation budget bill for the coming year his provision to replenish the Federal Highway Administration's Emergency Relief Fund and provide important cost waivers that Governor Shumlin and others consider to be crucial to repairing and rebuilding roads and bridges damaged by Tropical Storm Irene. The bill also includes Leahy's truck weight provisions f… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Supreme Court's Grant Of Cert On Challenge To The Affordable Care Act

"I am glad the Supreme Court will hear arguments on the Affordable Care Act. Most appellate courts have upheld the constitutionality of this historic law, and when the Senate voted to pass the Affordable Care Act, it also voted specifically on its constitutionality. I hope the Supreme Court will defer to Congress in addressing this national problem." # # # # #… Continue Reading


Leahy Wins Extension Of Program To Reduce Heavy Truck Traffic In Vermont Downtowns

(THURSDAY, Nov. 11) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has won House and Senate negotiators' approval of a 20-year extension of a pilot program in Vermont to move heavy trucks off state secondary roads and onto the state's Interstate highways. Leahy's provisions for Vermont -- and similar provisions for Maine, advocated by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine -- have now been agreed to by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees' negotiators on the transportation budget bill. Leahy had include… Continue Reading


Veteran’s Day Message Of Senator Patrick Leahy

On this Veteran's Day, we Vermonters join together to remember, to appreciate, and to thank our veterans. They and their families have sacrificed so much to make sure that we can live in safety and in freedom from fear. Let our thanks not go unspoken. And let our remembrances be accompanied by deeds. We know that some are confronting hopelessness, especially in a difficult economy, and this knowledge demands not only our empathy but our action to ease their burdens. Marcelle and I and all … Continue Reading


In Rare Public Appearance, Joint Chiefs Rally To Try To Block Leahy’s Bill To Elevate The National Guard To Their Ranks

(THURSDAY, Nov. 10) - In a rare joint public appearance, the current members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff banded together Thursday to testify against adding the National Guard to their ranks, which would happen under legislation introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). At issue is the latest National Guard Empowerment Bill (S.1025), introduced by Leahy, longtime co-chair of the Senate's 84-member National Guard Caucus, and joined by Caucus co-chair Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). The Leah… Continue Reading


Leahy Hails Senate’s Vote To Reject A Bid To Kill The EPA Cross-Border Dirty Air Limits That Will Help Curb Pollution-Drift Into Vermont And Other Downwind States

(THURSDAY, Nov. 10) - The U.S. Senate Thursday voted to reject a resolution of disapproval offered by Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) that would have derailed EPA's new cross-border pollution rule, which would greatly benefit Vermont and other "downwind" states. The resolution was voted down in a procedural vote of 56-41. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who supports the EPA rule and who voted against the move to kill the new standards, cited the rule's many benefits to Vermonters and to all Americans… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Senate’s Approval Thursday Of Employment Assistance For Veterans

[The U.S. Senate Thursday approved legislation that includes veterans employment tax credits proposed by President Obama. The veterans tax credits were added to legislation to repeal a requirement that federal, state and local governments begin withholding 3 percent of payments to their contractors in 2013. The bill goes next to the House for action. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) voted for this and two other veterans workforce assistance measures approved by the Senate Thursday and is an origina… Continue Reading


Reaction Of Senator Leahy To The State Department's Announcement Of A Delay In The Keystone/XL Review Process

"While this is a sign that the State Department has been listening during the comment period, there are many problems with this pipeline, and the tar sands project behind it, that go far beyond the particular route it would take. This pollution-ridden project and its path through our country should not go forward at all. The environmental harm and risks that are inseparable from this project far outweigh any benefits, and I hope the Administration will pull the plug on an inherently bad idea."… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Respect For Marriage Act

Today we will vote to right an injustice that goes to the core of what we stand for in this great Nation: freedom and equality. The fundamental freedom to make a public and lifetime commitment to the one you love and the equality of all state-sanctioned marriages are at the heart of the Respect for Marriage Act. I am proud that my home state of Vermont has long taken an active role in America's journey to build a more just society. Vermont was the first state in the Union to outlaw slavery. … Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Landmark DOMA Repeal Bill

(Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011) - The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee today approved legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a critical step forward in restoring the rights of all lawfully married couples. The Respect for Marriage Act would repeal DOMA, which was enacted in 1996. Under the current law, legally married, same-sex couples cannot take advantage of federal protections available to every other married couple. Specifically, lawfully married same-sex couples cannot: Fi… Continue Reading


Vermont’s Village Revitalization Initiative, Led By Leahy, Bruhn, HUD, Receives National Historic Preservation Award

(THURSDAY, Nov. 10) - The Village Revitalization Initiative-a cooperative effort among Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the Preservation Trust of Vermont, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) - drew national recognition Thursday in garnering the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's (ACHP) Chairman's Award for Achievement in Historic Preservation. "This creative and important initiative demonstrates how effective partnerships can use relatively modest funding to accom… Continue Reading


In Congress, Vermont’s Job One After Irene Is Rebuilding Our Transportation Network

Of all the body blows we suffered when Irene raked our state from border to border, repairing the damage to our roads, bridges and rail lines is one of our most urgent priorities. It also is the costliest one. The huge expense of mending our transportation network is well beyond the ability of a small state like ours. As we tallied the destruction, it quickly became clear that Vermont will need far more federal help than is now in the pipeline. In the Senate Appropriations Committee, where… Continue Reading


Op-ED: In Congress, Vermont’s Job One After Irene Is Rebuilding Our Transportation Network

by Patrick Leahy Of all the body blows we suffered when Irene raked our state from border to border, repairing the damage to our roads, bridges and rail lines is one of our most urgent priorities. It also is the costliest one. The huge expense of mending our transportation network is well beyond the ability of a small state like ours. As we tallied the destruction, it quickly became clear that Vermont will need far more federal help than is now in the pipeline. In the Senate Appropriation… Continue Reading


Governor Shumlin: Vermont Receives Grant to Aid Veterans with Transit Needs

MONTPELIER - Gov. Peter Shumlin announced today that the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) received a $352,900 grant from the Federal Transit Administration to develop software and Internet services that will help U.S. veterans and their families access public transportation services that are specific to their needs. The money will be used for several purposes, including development of a website that provides veterans specific information about their eligibility for a host of transit se… Continue Reading


Senator Leahy Expresses Concerns About Refugees, Asylees Under Material Support For Terrorism Laws

On November 9, Senator Leahy sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, expressing concerns about the implementation of current law on material support for terrorism in the refugee and asylee context. November 09, 2011 The Honorable Janet Napolitano Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security U.S. Department of Homeland Security Washington, D.C. 20528 Dear Madam Secretary: I write on a topic I raised in the October 19, 2011, hearing of the Committee o… Continue Reading


Lake Region Union High School

On November 9, 2011 Senator Leahy held his first online chat of the 2011-2012 school year with 16 juniors and seniors from Lake Region Union High School. Using Skype to communicate with students, their advisors, and principal, Senator Leahy shed light on several pieces of legislation the students were interested in including The Respect for Marriage Act, PROTECT IP, The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, and others. Students also asked about his role in the movie The Dark Knigh… Continue Reading


Delegation Announces Assistance To Franklin, Washington and Windham To Help With Spring Flooding Damage

Nov. 8 - Vermont's congressional delegation - Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch - today announced a disaster declaration that will bring federal assistance to counties affected by this spring's flooding that were until now ineligible for such assistance. The declaration - issued today by President Obama - will make public assistance available for damages sustained as a result of the storm on May 20th in Franklin, Washington and Windham counties. Previously, the disaste… Continue Reading

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