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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 Nominations To The Privacy And Civil Liberties Oversight Board

"At a time when our nation faces growing threats to our national security at home, abroad, and in cyberspace, having a fully functioning Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight board to help ensure that privacy and civil liberties concerns are appropriately considered in our national security polices is more important than ever before. I welcome President Obama's recent nominations. "Since Congress first created the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board in 2004, I have worked with both Demo… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On False Claims Act Settlements In 2011

"Today's announcement by the Justice Department that in this year alone, investigators and prosecutors have recovered more than $3 billion in taxpayer dollars through False Claims Act cases is an important reminder of why we must support anti-fraud efforts. The False Claims Act is a critical tool in the fight against waste, fraud and abuse against the government, and our investment in prosecuting these cases is returned many times over. The Justice Department has recovered a record-breaking $… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Judicial Nominations

With the conclusion of the first session of the 112th Congress, the Senate Republican leadership has cost us the opportunity to take long overdue steps to address the serious vacancies crisis on Federal courts throughout the country. With one out of every ten Federal judgeships vacant we can and should be doing all that we can to consider and confirm judicial nominations without unnecessary delays. Regrettably, Senate Republicans have chosen instead to continue their tactics of unexplained del… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Senate Consideration Of The PROTECT IP Act

"I am pleased the Majority Leader has filed a motion to proceed to the PROTECT IP Act. The costs of online infringement are American jobs, harm to America's economy, and very real threats to consumers' safety. The answer cannot simply be to do nothing. The Internet is a vibrant and free marketplace; it cannot be lawless. "Few issues before Congress today are as well supported on both sides of the political aisle as the PROTECT IP Act, and boast the broad support that this legislation has rec… Continue Reading


Leahy Votes No On Bill Linking Keystone Tar Sands Project To Americans' Payroll Tax Rates

(The U.S. Senate Saturday approved a bill that includes fast-tracking the controversial KeystoneXL tar sands oil pipeline to an extension of the payroll tax cut. Leahy has long been a leading opponent of the Keystone project and has strongly supported the payroll tax cut extension but objects to holding Americans' tax rates hostage to the tar sands project and to House leaders' insistence on linking them in this bill. Leahy's statement today on the bill follows.) Statement Of Senator Patri… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Keystone XL Tar Sands Oil Pipeline

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, we are close to voting on a payroll tax extension bill that includes a House provision designed to force the President to approve the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline. Proponents of this tar sands project argue that it belongs on this bill for one reason: building the pipeline would create jobs. Any construction project creates jobs, and it is no surprise that this debate has come down to this. Unable to sell the pipeline as necessary to meet the country's energy… Continue Reading


Senators Urge Administration to Stand Firm on Clean Air Rules

With an important deadline looming, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today led 15 of his colleagues on a letter urging President Obama to move forward on implementing a new clean air rule. The Utility Air Toxics Rule, which is scheduled to be finalized today, would help cut toxic pollution like mercury, which causes particular harm to children and infants. The rule is projected to save up to 17,000 lives per year through reduced instances of asthma attacks, heart disease, and other healt… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Senate Showdown Over Offsetting Disaster Funding

Vermont and other the other states still reeling in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene have a huge stake in the misguided offset resolution sent to us by the House of Representatives. In fact, all Americans have a stake in this. On the heels of unprecedented flooding this spring, the State of Vermont bore the full brunt of Irene in August. Our small state is stretched to the limit right now. Our people need the helping hand of federal disaster recovery programs - just as Vermonters, decade aft… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On DOJ Decision Not To Challenge Worker Rights Consortium’s Designated Suppliers Program For Collegiate Apparel

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy helped to facilitate discussions between the Worker Rights Consortium, the labor coalition, and the Department of Justice concerning the designated suppliers program. "The Justice Department's decision today not to challenge the Workers Rights Consortium's designated suppliers program for collegiate apparel promotes the rights of workers without reducing competition in the collegiate apparel industry. Our antitrust laws should not make it harde… Continue Reading


Delegation Announces Vermont LIHEAP Funding Level Of $19.5 Million For Fiscal Year 2012

, December 16 - Vermont's congressional delegation - Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch - today announced that Vermont will receive $19.5 million in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding for FY2012. The funding level is less than the $26 million Vermont received in FY2011 but more than the $11 million proposed by President Obama. In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said, "This is disappointing news. Although the funding level is signi… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Fiscal Year 2012 Departmet Of State And Foreign Operations Conference Agreement

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. Chairman, as Chairman of the Department of State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee, I want to speak briefly about the agreement that I and the Ranking Member, Senator Lindsey Graham, have reached with the House and that is reflected in division I of this Omnibus bill. I want to thank Senator Graham, along with House Subcommittee Chair Kay Granger and Ranking Member Nita Lowey, and their staffs, for working in such a bipartisan way to resolve our many differences. It is a good… Continue Reading


Remarks Of Senator Leahy On The National Guard Empowerment Provisions Included In The National Defense Authorization Act

Mr. President, I rise this morning to call the attention of my colleagues to several provisions of the defense authorization bill that we will consider for final passage today. These provisions will have a major impact on our defense structure and performance in the years to come. These reforms were previously included in a bill I introduced with Senator Lindsey Graham in May, S. 1025, which Senator Graham and I nicknamed "Guard Empowerment II." As co-chair with Senator Graham of the Senate N… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Final Passage Of The National Defense Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 2012

The Senate today passed the National Defense Authorization Act for the coming fiscal year. This vote is historic as Congress has enacted a National Defense Authorization Act every year for the past half century. I commend the Senate for maintaining this steadfast support for our Armed Services, but this legislation will be remembered for reasons both bad and good. I regret the decision of the House and Senate conferees to include unnecessary and potentially harmful provisions related to the … Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Nomination Of Morgan Christen To The Ninth Circuit

Today, the Senate will finally consider the nomination of Justice Morgan Christen of Alaska to fill one of four vacancies on the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, all of which are judicial emergency vacancies. With today's long overdue vote, the Senate will take the first step towards addressing a serious vacancy crisis on the busiest Federal appeals court in the country. I thank the Majority Leader for scheduling today's vote. It should not have taken more than three months to obtain … Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Keystone XL Tar Sands Oil Pipeline

Mr. President, the House Republicans have sent us a payroll tax bill that is more of a political campaign commercial than a piece of serious legislation. Extending this tax break for ordinary Americans evidently has been a tough sell in the other body, unlike the eagerness found there for even more tax relief for the very wealthy. Among the many unrelated, controversial provisions they have attached as sweeteners is one that would force the President to approve the Keystone XL tar sands oil pi… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy At A Hearing On Oversight Of The Federal Bureau Of Investigation

Today the Judiciary Committee hears from Director Robert Mueller of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This is the Director's third appearance before this Committee this year. I thank Director Mueller once again for agreeing to put his life on hold when called upon by the President earlier this year to continue to serve as FBI Director. His commitment and dedication to service are exemplary. The Bureau plays an integral role in protecting our Nation's security through its counter… Continue Reading


Leahy And Graham: Final Defense Bill Elevates National Guard To Joint Chiefs Of Staff And Includes Other Elements Of The Leahy-Graham Guard Empowerment Bill

(TUESDAY, Dec. 13) - In a far-reaching and historic advance for the National Guard's role in the nation's defense and security structure, bipartisan conferees on the annual Defense Authorization Bill have agreed to give the National Guard its first seat on the nation's highest military council, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to the Senate's sponsors of the Guard reforms, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). The final version of the defense bill also includes … Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On A Proposed Balanced Budget Amendment To The Constitution Of The United States

All Senators swear an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States." That is our duty and responsibility. The pending amendments to the Constitution threaten the constitutional principles that have sustained our democracy for more than 200 years. In addressing the Nation's debt and deficit, what is lacking are not phrases in our Constitution. What is lacking is the seriousness within today's Congress to act, and the willingness in Congress to cooperate in forgoing solut… Continue Reading


Delegation Announces $2 Million To Bolster St. Albans Streetscape Project

, December 13 - Vermont's congressional delegation - Sens. Patrick Leahy, Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch - today announced that St. Albans has been awarded a $2,088,496 federal grant for its ongoing streetscape project. The grant, awarded by the Department of Transportation, will fund continued downtown improvements. The multi-phased project includes the comprehensive redesign of Main Street and its sidewalks; replacement of street lights, traffic signal arms, and traffic lights; replaceme… Continue Reading


Moretown Elementary

On December 8, 2011 Senator Leahy held an online chat with over 40 3rd and 6th grade students from Moretown Elementary. Using Skype to communicate with students and their teacher, Senator Leahy spoke about the great work the teachers and students have done at Moretown to continue classes after Hurricane Irene. The students also asked Senator Leahy about his thoughts on the Occupy Wall Street movement, what the government is doing to help farmers, and questions about the war in Afghanistan. Thi… Continue Reading

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