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


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


Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Leahy Bill To Increase Penalties For Counterfeit Drugs

(Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved bipartisan legislation to increase penalties for trafficking counterfeit drugs. "The sale of counterfeit medication is a multi-billion dollar criminal industry that threatens the health and safety of American consumers," said Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). "Law enforcement is finding counterfeit versions of drugs that patients rely on to treat blood clots, cholesterol, prostate cancer, influenza, Alzheimer's… Continue Reading


Renewing Our Commitment To Combating Domestic And Sexual Violence

Last week, we joined together to introduce the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2011. 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. We should reauthorize and strengthen these programs. Since it was first enacted in 1994, the programs authorized by VAWA have provided the resources and training needed in our communities… Continue Reading


Jay Peak’s Bill Stenger Testifies Before Leahy-Chaired Panel In Washington

(Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) chaired a hearing Wednesday morning on a key foreign investor program that has successfully drawn millions of dollars in economic investment to Vermont's economy. The hearing was held before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, which Leahy chairs, and focused on the reauthorization of the EB-5 Regional Center Program, and its impact on economic development and job creation in communities in Vermont and across the country. Leahy inv… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Vote On The Motion To Invoke Cloture On The Nomination Of Caitlin Halligan To The D.C. Circuit Court Of Appeals

"Caitlin Halligan is, by all accounts, a qualified, mainstream, and respected nominee. Senate Republicans' shifting standards on judicial nominations have resulted in cloture motions filed on the most consensus of nominations, and even a district court nomination earlier this year. The new standard applied by Senate Republicans to nominations to the D.C. Circuit will make it nearly impossible for nominees of any President to be confirmed to this important court. "Ms. Halligan is the kind of n… Continue Reading


Leahy: End Filibuster Of Halligan Nomination And Vote On This Well-Qualified Nominee

[The Senate will vote at noon today on the motion to invoke cloture on the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.] Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Cloture On The Nomination Of Caitlin Halligan to the D.C. Circuit December 6, 2011 The Senate stands at a crossroads today. Voting to end the partisan filibuster of this judicial nomination is as important as it was when the Senate did so in con… Continue Reading


Leahy: Halligan A Superbly Qualified Nominee Worthy Of Bipartisan Senate Support

[The Senate will vote Tuesday at 12:00 p.m. on the motion to invoke cloture on the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Read Senator Leahy's full statement on the nomination online.] Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Cloture On The Nomination Of Caitlin Halligan to the D.C. Circuit December 5, 2011 Tomorrow the Senate should be holding an up-or-down vote on the long-dela… Continue Reading


POLITICO's 2011 Policy Report Card

Welcome to POLITICO's 2011 Policy Report Card. And if you're reading this at the Mandarin Oriental, welcome to the first ever POLITICO-POLITICO Pro Policy and Politics Conference and Awards Dinner. It's a chance to take stock of a tumultuous year in policy - and of the policymakers who made it happen. We asked readers to nominate Policymakers of the Year in health care, energy and technology, and leaders at POLITICO and POLITICO Pro worked through hundreds of nominees to choose the Policymak… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Trademark Protection

In response to press stories about Vermont artist Bo Muller-Moore's trademark challenge, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) released the following comment today. In 2010, Senator Leahy, authored legislation to help assist trademark owners in maintaining the protection of their brands. Included in that law was a requirement for the Department of Commerce to study whether large corporations are misusing the trademark laws to harass small businesses by exaggerating the scope of their trademark protect… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On General Electric Aviation’s Announcement On The Alternate Engine Program

"While I am deeply disappointed by the decision by GE Aviation and Rolls Royce to terminate their self-funding of the F136 alternate engine program for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, I understand why they made that choice. The F-35 program has performed miserably with delays and cost overruns becoming the rule rather than the exception. In fact if the Pentagon had diversified its fighter portfolio instead of putting all of our eggs in just one basket, the F-35 program probably would have been … Continue Reading


Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy On the Postal Service’s Decision To Begin A Consolidation Process Of The White River Junction Mail Handling Facility

"Putting people out of work and making the postal system slower will not save the Postal Service from its financial woes. I do not support the closing or consolidation of Postal Service mail handling facilities if it means a significant reduction in service for Vermonters. I am concerned that this consolidation will mean a change for Vermonters from overnight service for the cost of a stamp to significantly longer mail delivery times. Senator Sanders and I have introduced legislation to make… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Cloture Motion On The Nomination Of Caitlin Halligan To Serve On The U.S. Court Of Appeals For The District Of Columbia

Majority Leader Reid Thursday night filed cloture on the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The Senate will vote at approximately noon on Tuesday on the motion to invoke cloture. "Caitlin Halligan is a widely respected attorney with an impressive background and long record of public service. Her nomination to fill one of three vacant seats on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has received support from across … Continue Reading


Senate Adopts Leahy Amendment To Promote Transparency In Defense Auth. Bill

(Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011) - The U.S. Senate Thursday adopted an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to limit an overbroad legislative exemption to the Freedom of Information Act. The amendment was adopted unanimously. The Senate will vote on final passage of the NDAA later this evening. Leahy's amendment adds a public interest balancing test requiring the Secretary of Defense to consider whether the disclosure of critical infrast… Continue Reading


Leahy Hails Naming Of Vermont’s Jean Richardson To National Organic Standards Board

(THURSDAY, Dec. 1) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Thursday that a Vermont maple producer and rural development and environmental policy expert has been named to the advisory board that helps set standards for organic agriculture and products. Leahy said University of Vermont emeritus professor Jean Richardson will assume the consumer/public interest slot on the 15-member National Organic Standards Board, which has a key role in the national organic standards and labeling program, es… Continue Reading


Leahy: Senate Should Not Limit Law Enforcement, Intelligence Gathering Tools

(Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011) - U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) spoke Thursday on the Senate floor in support of an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to ensure that the requirement of military detention of terrorism suspects does not apply domestically. Leahy is a cosponsor of the amendment, which is sponsored by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The Secretary of Defense, the Directo… Continue Reading


Vermont Syrup Produces To Receive Grants To Make Production More Energy Efficient

, Dec. 1 - Vermont's congressional delegation - Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch - Thursday welcomed nearly $54,000 in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grants to five Vermont maple syrup producers to make their operations more energy efficient. The news came as USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager is visiting Vermont. The funding is provided through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and will allow producers to install reverse osmos… Continue Reading


Leahy, Crapo Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Reauthorize Landmark Violence Against Women Act

(Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011) - Nearly 20 years after the Violence Against Women Act was first signed into law, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced bipartisan legislation Wednesday to further strengthen and improve the programs authorized under the landmark law to assist victims and survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The legislation is cosponsored by Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was first enacted in 1994 … Continue Reading


Senate Okays Leahy-Graham Amendment To Give The National Guard A Seat On The Joint Chiefs Of Staff, Elevating The Guard’s Role In Pentagon Decision Making

(TUESDAY, Nov. 29) -- The U.S. Senate has approved legislation by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to give the National Guard its first seat on the nation's highest military council, the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The bill, which has 71 Senate cosponsors, was added by voice vote Monday night as an amendment to the annual Defense Authorization Bill. Leahy and Graham are the co-chairs of the Senate's 84-member National Guard Caucus. Their National Guard Empowerment … Continue Reading

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