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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 Removal Of Former Liberian Peace Council Leader For Human Rights Abuses

[The Anti-Atrocity Alien Deportation Act, enacted in 2004 as part of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (P.L. 108-458), was written by Senator Leahy (D-Vt.) to bar from admission to the United States non-citizens who have committed torture, extrajudicial killing, or severe violations of religious freedom. The law also allows the United States to deport such persons who are inside the United States. The Child Soldier Prevention Act was signed into law in 2008 as P.L. 110-340. … Continue Reading


Leahy Program Yields Army Corps-South Burlington Partnership For Bartlett Brook Stormwater Runoff Projects

(TUESDAY, Feb. 7) -- U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tuesday announced plans to move forward with $1.65 million in storm water management projects in South Burlington, Vt. The Corps and the City of South Burlington have signed an agreement to develop the projects, which are authorized under a Leahy program enacted in 2000 to forge and help finance local-federal partnerships to ease local drainage problems and help achieve compliance with Vermont water quality… Continue Reading


Senators Seek Responses To Reports Of Freddie Mac Taking Financial Interests Against Homeowners

Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Mark Begich (D-AK), and eight Senate colleagues wrote the Acting Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency today, requesting responses to recent reports that Freddie Mac had strayed from its mission to support home ownership, and had taken financial interests against American homeowners. Recent reports indicate that Freddie Mac has placed multibillion-dollar bets that pay off if homeowners stay trapped in expensive mortgages with interest rates well … Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Federal Communications Commission’s Ruling On Rural Call Completion

[On Monday, Feb. 6, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a ruling clarifying existing rules related to rural call completion. In its ruling, the FCC clarified that carriers cannot avoid liability, even if a call is completed through a third-party service. In January, Senator Leahy and other members of Congress wrote to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, asking that the FCC address a growing number of complaints from consumers experiencing failed call completion in rural areas. Fro… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Leahy On Judicial Nominations

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) spoke Tuesday morning on the Senate floor about the growing backlog of judicial nominations awaiting final action by the Senate. A total of 19 nominations - including 16 which received unanimous support from Republicans and Democrats on the Judiciary Committee - are pending on the Senate's Executive Calendar, including nominations reported as long ago as September. Contrary to Senate tradition, Republicans did not consent to confirming… Continue Reading


The Leahy Letter -- February 7, 2012

Key Panel Thursday Advances Leahy Bill To Renew And Strengthen Violence Against Women Act The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, the law at the heart of ongoing efforts to correct and remedy domestic and sexual violence. Senator Leahy, who chairs the panel, last year introduced the bill joined by Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). Senator Leahy's aim is to strengthen and improve existing programs authorized under the landmark law to assi… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy At A News Conference On The Postal Service And Rural America

Last month Senator Sanders and I attended a public meeting at White River Junction in Vermont, to discuss the pending closure of the postal distribution center there. Five-hundred people came to the meeting, in a town that registered 2,200 residents in the last census. Our entire congressional delegation participated, as well as the Governor and several state lawmakers. The reason this public hearing received so much interest is because the proposed closure of the distribution center will dec… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch: Vermont NeighborWorks Groups Garner $1.2 M. In Grants To Help Vermonters Find, Keep And Maintain Homes And To Cope With Irene’s Aftermath

(FRIDAY, Feb. 3) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D) Friday announced that Vermont nonprofit housing assistance organizations will receive $1.2 million to help inform Vermonters about homeownership, preserve and develop affordable rental housing, and counsel homeowners facing foreclosure or the aftermath of Irene. The federal NeighborWorks America program is awarding five competitive federal grants to Vermont's NeighborWorks affiliates: … Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch: Nine Grants To Vt. Firms Will Plow $857,542 Into Strengthening Value-Added Agricultural Innovation

(FRIDAY, Feb. 3) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Congressman Peter Welch (D) announced Friday that grants to nine Vermont agricultural producers, totaling $857,542, will support the agricultural innovation that is helping to shape Vermont's economic future. The grants were awarded under a competitive process through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development's Value-Added Producer Grant program. Leahy, the most senior member of the Senate Agricult… Continue Reading


Leahy Welcomes Komen Foundation’s Reversal Of Its Decision To Defund Planned Parenthood Breast Cancer Screenings

(FRIDAY, Feb. 3) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday welcomed the announcement by officials of Susan G. Komen for the Cure that they intend to reverse the group's controversial decision to stop supporting cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood clinics. Leahy, long a leader in the Senate in advancing breast cancer research and prevention, said, "A bad decision threatened to stand in the way of lifesaving cancer screenings for thousands of women. I am glad that the foundation heard and felt… Continue Reading


Leahy Ties Eyptian Government's NGO Raids To U.S. Aid

[Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., chairman, Senate Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on the State Department and Foreign Operations) is the architect of the new conditions on U.S. military aid to Egypt, which he included in the State Department's budget bill for Fiscal Year 2012. Egyptian military leaders are in Washington today (Friday) for consultations with U.S. defense officials and others.] STATEMENT OF SENATOR PATRICK LEAHY (Published Friday, Feb. 3, in the Congressional Record) … Continue Reading


Leahy And 25 Other U.S. Senators Call On Komen To Put Politics Aside And Reconsider Decision To Defund Planned Parenthood Breast Cancer Screenings

(THURSDAY, Feb. 2) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is among 26 U.S. senators who are asking the CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure to reconsider the organization's controversial decision to stop funding cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood clinics. Leahy has long been a leader in the Senate in advancing breast cancer research and prevention. Commenting on the Senate letter, Leahy said, "Though the decision to defund these cancer screenings is both stunning and deeply disappointing, it is … Continue Reading


Senate Adopts Leahy, Cornyn Anti-Corruption Amendment To STOCK Act

(Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012) - The U.S. Senate Thursday adopted an amendment authored by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) to give prosecutors new tools to identify, investigate, and prosecute criminal conduct by public officials. The amendment was cosponsored by Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.). The amendment, which mirrors legislation approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee last year, will strengthen existing federal criminal law for acts of public corru… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Bill To Reauthorize Landmark Violence Against Women Act

(Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012) - The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, approved legislation Thursday to extend the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the law at the heart of the federal government's efforts to stamp out domestic and sexual violence. Leahy introduced the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act in November with Idaho Republican Mike Crapo. The bill would further strengthen and improve programs authorized under the landma… Continue Reading


Leahy And Sanders Join Bill To Prevent July Interest Rate Hike On Stafford Student Loans

(WEDNESDAY, Feb. 1) - Vermont's two U.S. Senators, Patrick Leahy (D) and Bernie Sanders (I), Wednesday joined in introducing legislation to stop student loan interest rates from doubling this summer. In 2007 Congress passed the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, which reduced the fixed-interest rate on Stafford Loans from 6.8 percent to 3.4 percent, helping millions of American students better afford college education. That law is about to expire. Without new action, subsidized Stafford … Continue Reading


Leahy Joins New Effort To Apply ‘Buffett Rule’ Fairness To U.S. Tax Code

(WEDNESDAY, Feb. 1) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday joined in introducing legislation to apply the so-called "Buffett Rule" to the U.S. Tax Code. The Paying A Fair Share Act would apply a minimum 30 percent income tax rate for taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes above $1 million. The bill mirrors a proposal President Obama called on Congress to approve in his State of the Union message last week, to implement what the President termed the Buffett Rule, named for successful Nebrask… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On the Public Corruption Prosecution Improvements Act of 2011, An Amendment To The STOCK Act

[U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) have filed an amendment to the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act to give prosecutors new tools to identify, investigate, and prosecute criminal conduct by public officials. The amendment mirrors legislation approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee last year, and will strengthen existing federal criminal law for acts of public corruption and raise maximum statutory penalties. The amendment will also clarify th… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy At A Hearing On The Video Privacy Protection Act

[Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) spoke today at a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing focusing on the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA). Leahy was the lead author of the VPPA, which is considered one of the nation's model privacy laws. The VPPA was swiftly passed by Congress following concerns raised by the publication of then-Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork's video rental records during the confirmation process. The VPPA requires, among other things, that video rental companies o… Continue Reading


Vermont Delegation Hails Selection Of Middlebury College And Norwich University To Compete In Solar Decathlon 2013

(THURSDAY, Jan. 26) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Congressman Peter Welch (D) Thursday said the selection of Middlebury College and Norwich University to compete in Solar Decathalon 2013, accounting for ten percent of the entire field of 20 schools selected by the U.S. Department of Energy, burnishes Vermont's already prominent place on the renewable energy map. The 20 teams from colleges and universities across the United States and from around the world will now … Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Second Anniversary Of The Citizens United Decision

Two years ago, with the stroke of a pen, five Supreme Court justices acted in a case known as Citizens United to overturn a century of law designed to protect our elections from corporate spending. They ran roughshod over longstanding precedent to strike down key provisions of our bipartisan campaign finance laws, and ruled that corporations are no longer prohibited from direct spending in political campaigns. I was troubled at the time and remain troubled today that in that case, the Supreme … Continue Reading

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