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


Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy To The Obstruction Of Bills To Extend Tax Relief To Middle Income Americans While Capping Tax Breaks For The Wealthiest Taxpayers

In votes Saturday morning, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) voted for cloture - against a filibuster - in support of a bill to extend the expiring tax cuts for middle-income Americans, while capping tax breaks on incomes over $250,000. When cloture failed on that plan, Leahy voted for a compromise that would cap tax breaks for incomes above $1 million. Cloture also failed on the compromise version. Below are his comments on the outcome of the votes. Cutting taxes is the easiest vote in the wor… Continue Reading


Vermont Delegation Wins Food Stamp Extension

, Dec. 3 - The Vermont congressional delegation today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will further postpone a pending reduction in food stamp benefits for 16,000 Vermonters. Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) also welcomed the USDA's assurance that, once the extended waiver expires on April 1, no family will see a benefit reduction of more than $20 per month. Sanders and Leahy authored a letter signed by 13 other senators aski… Continue Reading


Vermont Delegation Calls on Transportation Secretary To Direct Unused Rail Funding to Vermont’s Western Corridor Project

, Dec. 3 - Following announcements by two newly-elected governors that their states no longer intend to use federal high-speed rail funding, Vermont's congressional delegation today called on Transportation Sec. Raymond LaHood to reallocate a portion of the funding to Vermont's proposed Western Corridor project. While Vermont was successful in securing more than $50 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to improve the southeast-northwest Vermonter line, the proposed Ethan Al… Continue Reading


Congress Clears ‘Historic’ Revamp Of School Lunch Program To Counter Child Obesity And Promote Healthier Meals

(THURSDAY, Dec. 2) -- Congress late Thursday gave final approval to major changes in the school lunch program, including an expansion of an effort led by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to multiply links between local farms and school lunch counters. The bill, which President Obama supports and is expected to sign into law, is the largest single investment ever made in child nutrition programs. The bill will also authorize an organics pilot program, also advanced by Leahy, under which the U.S.… Continue Reading


Senate Republicans Object To Request To Debate And Vote Deputy Attorney General Nominee

(Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010) - Senate Republicans Thursday objected to a request to debate and vote on Deputy Attorney General nominee James Cole. Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) offered a consent request on the Senate Floor Thursday to bring the Cole nomination to a vote. In July, a majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to send the Cole nomination to the full Senate for consideration. Cole's nomination has been pending on the Senate floor for more than four months, … Continue Reading


Leahy: Army Unveils New Medical Pilot Program For Returning Vermont Guard Soldiers

(WEDNESDAY, Dec. 1) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Wednesday that the U.S. Army Medical Command has begun implementing a new first-in-the-nation medical pilot program for returning members of the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, which includes most of the line-of-duty injuries among the 1,300 Vermont National Guard members who are returning from deployments in Afghanistan. The reforms, requested of the Army by Leahy, are designed to ease the recovery of wounded soldiers by ret… Continue Reading


Leahy: Senate Must Act On Judicial Nominations

(Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) spoke on the Senate floor today, again urging the Senate to act on more than 30 judicial nominations pending before the full Senate. The Judiciary Committee Wednesday morning voted to advance another 11 judicial nominations - 10 of them unanimously - to the full Senate. There are now 34 judicial nominations awaiting final votes by the full Senate, including 26 nominations that received unanimous support from… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

The Pentagon report supporting the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" adds even more momentum to an ever-increasing call to end this flawed and discriminatory policy. In light of the report's findings, I want to directly address some of the points made by Senators in defense of this discriminatory law. Some Senators have said recently that the calls for an end to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" have come only from politicians, and not from those within the military itself. Such a claim is laughable, … Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Call For President Obama To Sign The Mine Ban Treaty

On Tuesday, November 30, 2010, 15 Nobel Laureates sent a letter to President Obama, calling on him to sign the treaty banning anti-personnel landmines. Over 155 nations have signed the treaty, which has been in effect since 1999. Aside from Cuba, the United States is the only nation in the Western Hemisphere that is not party to the treaty. The letter sent by the Nobel Laureates echoes the actions taken by members of Congress in May, when 68 Senators, led by Senator Leahy, wrote to Preside… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Leahy On DOJ/ICE Seizures Of Websites Selling Counterfeit Goods

"The Obama administration's commitment to aggressively protect American intellectual property is commendable. Today's announcement that the Department of Justice and Immigration and Customs Enforcement have seized the domain names associated with rogue websites, which were being used for criminal infringement and counterfeiting operations, demonstrates that commitment. The innovative use of the tools currently available to law enforcement to seize these domain names is similar to the remedy th… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Inspector General Glenn Fine's Impending Departure

"Glenn Fine is to be commended for his years of dedicated government service, particularly his excellent work over the last decade as the Inspector General at the Department of Justice. Inspectors General play a crucial role in ensuring that government agencies and their employees operate efficiently, effectively, within the scope of the law, and with integrity and commitment to American values. This function is particularly important at the Department of Justice, and Inspector General Fine ha… Continue Reading


Leahy: General Dynamics Of Burlington And Lyndonville Firm Win More Work On Bradley Fighting Vehicles

(TUESDAY/WEDNESDAY, Nov. 23/24) - Senator Patrick Leahy reports that General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, which maintains an engineering division in Burlington, has been awarded a $94.6 million order from the U.S. Army to continue production of reactive armor for 440 Bradley Fighting Vehicles. General Dynamics' reactive armor system uses special tiles that fasten to the exterior of the Bradley Fighting Vehicles, allowing them to better withstand direct hits from a variety of anti… Continue Reading


Vermont Senators Seek Home Heating Assistance

BURLINGTON, Vt., Nov. 23 - U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today called for full funding of the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Thanks to legislation by Sanders, federal funding for the heating assistance program was nearly doubled in the last two years. Leahy cosponsored Sanders' 2008 legislation and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) sponsored companion legislation that year in the House. Because Congress has not yet approved spending bills for the coming… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Rescission Of Rule On The Certification Process For State Capital Counsel Systems

On November 23, the Department of Justice announced that it is rescinding regulations implementing a provision giving the Attorney General, rather than the courts, decision-making authority over whether states can successfully "opt in" to a compressed habeas process in death penalties. The regulations, which were finalized in December 2008 under Attorney General Mukasey, gave the Attorney General almost unfettered discretion to allow states to opt in, whereas courts had previously demanded that… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Taxpayer Dollars Recovered In False Claims Cases This Year

(Today, the Justice Department announced that it secured $3 billion in settlements in cases involving fraud against the government in this fiscal year, including $2.5 billion in health care fraud recoveries. More than $2.3 billion was recovered in lawsuits filed under the False Claims Act's qui tam provisions, which encourage whistleblowers to step forward report fraud - often at considerable personal risk.) "Attorney General Holder and the Justice Department have been vigorous in their efforts… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Leahy On Governor-Elect Shumlin’s Selection Of Leahy State Director Chuck Ross To Be Vermont Secretary Of Agriculture

I congratulate Governor-Elect Shumlin for a superb choice, and I congratulate Chuck Ross for accepting this new and challenging opportunity to serve our state. Agriculture is the keystone of Vermont's economy, and Chuck's considerable talents are an ideal match for this vital job. Chuck has been an official member of the Leahy team since 1993. He and the entire Ross family have been an integral part of Vermont history for far longer than that. When we convinced Chuck to temporarily suspend h… Continue Reading


Leahy-Authored Bill To Clarify Copyright Laws Set To Become Law

(Friday, Nov. 19, 2010) - Legislation authored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to clarify and improve federal copyright laws cleared the Senate Friday, and will be sent to the President to be signed into law. The bill is cosponsored by Committee Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). The Copyright Cleanup, Clarification and Corrections Act will implement several recommendations by the Copyright Office to make the office's operations more efficient, and will also cl… Continue Reading


The Leahy Letter -- November 19, 2010

Organic Trade Group Moves Headquarters To Vermont This fall Senator Leahy joined more than 30 community and business leaders to welcome the Organic Trade Association to Brattleboro, where the group is moving its headquarters. The OTA's move brings more than 20 jobs to Vermont and underscores Vermont's role as a national leader in organic agriculture and local food systems. The OTA is the business association for organic agriculture and other products and members include growers, shippers, proce… Continue Reading


Leahy: Courts Facing Vacancy Crisis While Senate Fails To Act On Nominations

(Friday, Nov. 19, 2010) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) released the following statement today, urging the Senate to act on more than 20 judicial nominations pending before the full Senate, including 16 nominations reported by the Judiciary Committee unanimously. "Regrettably, the Senate is not being allowed to consider the consensus, mainstream judicial nominees favorably reported from the Judiciary Committee," said Leahy. "There is no good reason to hold up consid… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Pigford And Cobell Settlements And Earmark Reform

Mr. LEAHY. Mr President, I rise today to express my support for passage of the Pigford and Cobell Settlements. But before I address the need to pass this legislation, I would like to take a few minutes to congratulate the other side of the aisle for keeping their self imposed earmark ban for all of four days. Much like Captain Renault in Casablanca I am sure that my colleagues will be shocked, just shocked to know that there are earmarks embedded in the extraneous provisions that have been a… Continue Reading

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