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

12.22.10

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Recent Judicial Confirmations

At long last, the Senate is being allowed to consider long-pending, consensus judicial nominations. This action has been long overdue. President Obama has reached out and worked with Senators from both sides of the aisle in selecting well-qualified judicial nominees. As Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, I have bent over backwards to be fair to all sides. There has been consultation and a thorough and fair process for evaluating nominations. Scott M. Matheson is finally being confirmed to… Continue Reading


12.22.10

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Prohibition On The Transfer Of Terrorism Suspects In The National Defense Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 2011

I am deeply disappointed that H.R. 6523, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011, includes a section to prohibit the transfer of terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay to the United States to face prosecution. This section takes away one of the greatest tools we have to protect our national security -- our ability to prosecute terrorism defendants in Federal courts. The result is to make it more likely that terrorists will not be brought to justice. Current law allows for th… Continue Reading


12.21.10

Senate Confirms Two District Court Nominations

(Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010) - After months of delay, the Senate Tuesday confirmed two nominations to the federal district courts. The Senate confirmed the nomination of Benita Pearson to the District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, and the nomination of William J. Martinez to fill a judicial emergency for the District Court of Colorado. Pearson's nomination was reported by the Judiciary Committee in February, and Martinez's nomination was reported by the Committee in April. Senate Demo… Continue Reading


12.21.10

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Flooding In Colombia

MR. LEAHY. Mr. President, I want to take a minute to call attention to a humanitarian disaster that has received only passing mention in the international press and which many Senators may be unaware of. On December 7th, Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos declared a state of "economic, social and ecologic emergency" as a result of massive flooding which he called a "public calamity". Heavy rains over a period of months have caused landslides that have swept away homes and rivers to over… Continue Reading


12.21.10

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The F-35 Alternate Engine Program

MR. PRESIDENT, I strongly support the alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The evidence and the logic for an alternate engine easily overwhelm the flawed arguments that have been used to attack it. Investments in fighter engine competition will reduce costs over the life of the F-35 program. Not only will competition cost less than a single engine monopoly; competition also forces contractors to be more responsive and reliable. And the F-35 will comprise a vast percentage of the U… Continue Reading


12.21.10

$11 Million Slated For Vermont Home Heating Help

, Dec. 21 - The Senate today cleared the way for an additional $10.8 million for home heating assistance for about 27,000 Vermont households, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced. With low temperatures forecast to fall into the teens this week in Vermont, the funding was included in a bill to keep the federal government running until March 4. Senators this morning voted 82 to 14 to end a Republican filibuster of the bill. Final Senate passage was expected later today… Continue Reading


12.20.10

Senate Passes Leahy-Backed Bill To Allow For More Locally-Controlled Broadcast Stations

(Monday, Dec. 20, 2010) - In a rare weekend session, the Senate Saturday unanimously approved legislation to increase the number of frequencies available for Low Power FM (LPFM) radio stations, providing an outlet for hyper-local, independent noncommercial broadcasting. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has been a proponent of the legislation in each of the last three Congresses. "By using low power stations, community groups can access underutilized spectrum and provide content tailored to smalle… Continue Reading


12.19.10

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Fiscal Year 2011 Appropriations

Mr. President, earlier this week, Republican members who had pledged to support the fiscal year 2011 Omnibus Appropriations Bill changed their minds and chose instead to walk in lockstep with the House and Senate Republican leaders who believe that freezing spending at the fiscal year 2010 level is good politics. On the face of it that approach has an appeal to it - no new spending. What a nice sound bite. It makes everything seem so simple. But while one Senator of the Minority party glee… Continue Reading


12.18.10

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy After The Senate’s Historic Vote On Saturday To Repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

[In a vote of 65 to 31, the U.S. Senate on Saturday approved legislation to repeal the controversial 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law that legalizes discrimination against gays and lesbians serving, or wanting to serve, in the U.S. military. Passage of the bill came only hours after the Senate invoked cloture -- ended a filibuster - on the bill. The bill, which has already passed the House, now goes to the President's desk for signing. Following is the reaction of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to … Continue Reading


12.18.10

Senate Unanimously Confirms Long-Pending Circuit Court Nomination, Three District Nominees

(Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010) - During a rare Saturday session, the Senate unanimously confirmed two, long-pending federal judicial nominations. Among the nominations confirmed was that of Judge Albert Diaz to fill a vacancy on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously reported his nomination 11 months ago. Judiciary Committee Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has been pressing for months for the Senate to consider pending nominations. "Thirty federal circuit and distr… Continue Reading


12.18.10

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Effort To Repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell

While partisan rancor seems to have seized the Senate on so many issues this year, on at least one count, I am encouraged and hopeful. There may yet be sufficient bipartisan agreement to repeal the discriminatory Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy before this Congress ends. I commend those Senators who have pledged to support the repeal, and I renew my own commitment to this worthy effort. It is well past time to put an end to this discriminatory and harmful policy. Today, in the United States Sen… Continue Reading


12.17.10

Comment On Expiration of Vermont’s Interstate Truck Weight Pilot Program

[Thursday night, Senate Republican leaders blocked consideration of the omnibus budget bill that would have extended the Vermont and Maine truck weight pilot programs for another year, after they succeeded in pressuring all Republican senators to walk away from earlier support of the bill. The bill then was pulled from the Senate Floor, and Congress instead now will need to pass a two-month Continuing Resolution to fund government agencies until February. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sena… Continue Reading


12.17.10

Statement On H.R.6497, The Development, Relief, And Education For Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act)

The Senate will soon vote on whether we should debate the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, or the DREAM Act. I have been a cosponsor of this important legislation since it was first introduced in the Senate in 2001, and I commend Senator Durbin and Senator Lugar for their hard work in advancing the DREAM Act this year. At the very least, we should have a debate about this important legislation. Enacting the DREAM Act will serve important priorities for our country and f… Continue Reading


12.17.10

Leahy To Introduce Forensics Reform Legislation In New Congress

(Friday, Dec. 17, 2010) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday announced his intent to introduce legislation in January to strengthen the criminal justice system by reforming forensic science in laboratories across the country. Leahy chaired hearings in the 111th Congress to examine serious issues in forensic science and the reliability of such evidence in the criminal justice system. Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committ… Continue Reading


12.17.10

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Judicial Nominations

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Judicial Nominations December 17, 2010 Last night, as snow fell in Washington, D.C., the Senate freeze on confirming judges began to thaw a bit. I thank the leaders for clearing four of the 38 judicial nominations awaiting final action by the Senate. These nominations will fill a few of the historically high number of Federal judicial vacancies around the country, including in the Eastern District of Calif… Continue Reading


12.17.10

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Nominations To The Privacy And Civil Liberties Oversight Board

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Committee On The Judiciary, On Nominations To The Privacy And Civil Liberties Oversight Board December 16, 2010 "I welcome the President's announcement today that he intends to nominate two individuals to serve as Members of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. Congress created this Board at the recommendation of the 9-11 Commission, to ensure that privacy and civil liberties interests are appropriately considered when ou… Continue Reading


12.16.10

Senate Confirms Four Judicial Nominations; 34 Remain Pending

The Senate Thursday night confirmed four long-pending judicial nominations, each of which received unanimous support from the Senate Judiciary Committee. Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said, "These confirmations are long overdue. For months, these nominations have languished before the Senate, without explanation and for no reason. Today, we confirm them unanimously. These confirmations will help fill a few of the judicial vacancies around the country, which have reached historically high le… Continue Reading


12.16.10

Sanders and Leahy Fight Senate Republican Stalling Tactics Blocking $11 Million to Keep Vermonters Warm this Winter

Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today said Vermont would be in line for $10.8 million of a $5 billion appropriation for home heating assistance included in a spending bill that Senate Republicans are trying to block. One of the last must-do measures on the agenda before Congress adjourns for the year, the appropriations bill would prevent a 40 percent cut in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Vermont's $10.8 million share would help keep senior citize… Continue Reading


12.15.10

Leahy: “Time Is Running Out” To Consider Nominations

, Wednesday, Dec. 15 - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) released the following statement today about the status of pending judicial and executive nominations, including the nomination of Jim Cole to be the Deputy Attorney General. The New York Times today published an editorial, "Advise and Obstruct," about the delays in considering pending judicial nominations. The Washington Post today published an editorial, "An Unacceptable Delay," about continuing objections by Se… Continue Reading


12.15.10

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy In Remembrance Of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke

Remarks As Prepared For Delivery MR. LEAHY. Mr. President, it is with deep sadness that I speak today in memory of a dear friend, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, who died on Monday at the far too early age of 69. I first met Dick years ago, long before he held his most recent post of Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. We had many conversations over the years, as Dick's career progressed and particularly during the war in the former Yugoslavia. Dick's skillful diplomacy that ended t… Continue Reading

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