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


In Burlington, Leahy, Sorrell, Others Offer Support For Critical Domestic Violence Assistance Program

BURLINGTON - Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy is urging Congress to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), landmark legislation that has been the centerpiece of the federal government's efforts to stamp out domestic and sexual violence for more than 18 years. Joined at the Burlington Police Department Monday morning by Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell, Burlington Police Chief Michael Schirling, and Karen Tronsgard-Scott, the executive director of the Vermont Network Against Domes… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The White House’s Modification Of Contraceptive Coverage Under Health Insurance Reform

The Obama Administration listened to these concerns, made further accommodations and has struck a reasonable balance. It is a solution that continues to recognize the obvious truth that women have a right to affordable and comprehensive health care, just as men do. One thing we all should agree on is that availability of birth control has improved women's health and reduced the number of teen pregnancies and the rates of abortion. This should be applauded. # # # # #… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch: Vermont Veterans Home Makes Short List For Likely VA Funding For E-Medical Records

(FRIDAY, Feb. 10) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D) Friday announced that the Vermont Veterans Home (VVH) in Bennington is on a high priority list to receive federal funding for an electronic medical records system from the Department of Veterans Affairs. If approved, more than $790,000 would be awarded for the project, through VA's State Home Construction Grant program. A grant, which would cover 65 percent of the project's cost, would… Continue Reading


Leahy, Casey Urge Senate Leaders To Push For Conference Committee On STOCK Act

(Friday, Feb. 10, 2012) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, joined by Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) Friday sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, urging the Senate leaders to proceed to a House-Senate conference committee on the STOCK Act to resolve differences between the two bills and restore the anti-corruption amendment Leahy and Republican Senator John Cornyn (Texas) included in the Senate bill. Casey and Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) cosponsored the ame… Continue Reading


Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Public Corruption Amendment And The STOCK Act

"Now that the House of Representatives has voted to approve its version of the STOCK Act, I hope the Senate and House will meet for a conference to resolve differences between these two bills. The Senate overwhelmingly approved its legislation last Thursday, and with it, adopted by a voice vote an amendment I offered with Senator Cornyn, Senator Kirk, and Senator Casey to give some real teeth to this bill. If we want to make clear to our constituents that we are not in the business of self-dea… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Judicial Nominations

Today, the Senate will finally vote on the nomination of Judge Cathy Bencivengo to fill a vacancy on the the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, where she has served as a Magistrate Judge since 2005. An experienced judge and lawyer, with 17 years in private practice before becoming a Magistrate Judge, Judge Bencivengo received the highest possible rating from the ABA's Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, unanimously "well qualified." Her nomination, which has t… Continue Reading


Leahy-Chaired Panel Approves Bill To Open Supreme Court To Cameras

(Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012) -- The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved legislation to provide for the televising of proceedings before the U.S. Supreme Court. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a longtime champion of government transparency, listed the bill for Committee consideration, and voiced his support for the legislation. "We have the power to use technology to allow greater access to public proceedings of the Government so that all Americans can witness the quality of just… Continue Reading


Senator Leahy And Senator Graham Launch Their Counterarguments To Air Force's Plans To Scale Back Air Guard/Reserve

[Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) are the co-chairs of the Senate National Guard Caucus, the Senate's largest caucus. Today they began pushback on the Air Force's budget plans, revealed last week in the AF's 'sneak peak' white paper, to make irreversible cuts in the Air Guard and Reserve components. Leahy and Graham argue that maintaining strength in the Guard and Reserve allows flexibility and operational readiness under the budget pressures that lie ahead this year… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The “Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act Of 2011”

Last Thursday, the Judiciary Committee approved the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. For almost 18 years, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has been the centerpiece of the Federal Government's commitment to combat domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. It has been extraordinarily effective, and the annual incidence of domestic violence has fallen by more than 50 percent since the landmark law was first passed. As a prosecutor in Vermont, I … Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Foreclosure Settlement Between The U.S. Department Of Justice And Mortgage Servicers

"I commend Attorney General Holder, Associate Attorney General Perrelli, Secretary Donovan, and other officials for their persistence in reaching this landmark settlement to hold the nation's biggest mortgage servicers accountable. I also commend the state attorneys general, including Vermont's Attorney General, Bill Sorrell, who played such an important role in investigating and exposing the abuse and misconduct that has harmed so many hardworking Americans. "This settlement is a welcome dev… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Public Corruption Amendment To The STOCK Act

"I am deeply disappointed that House leadership has chosen to remove the anti-corruption amendment Senator Cornyn and I offered to the STOCK Act. The amendment was adopted with overwhelming support in the Senate. These provisions are the culmination of years of work on these issues by Republicans and Democrats in the Senate and the House, and would strengthen and clarify key aspects of Federal criminal law to help investigators and prosecutors attack public corruption nationwide. It was draft… Continue Reading


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

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