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Press Releases

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

06.10.10

Leahy: Derivatives Reform Should Remain An Ingredient Of Wall Street Reform

[Following are the opening remarks of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a Senate conferee on the House-Senate conference on the Wall Street reform bill. The first meeting of conferees was held today (Thursday).] C-SPAN: Leahy Joins Wall Street Reform Bill Conferees for First Meeting I want to congratulate Agriculture Chairwoman Blanche Lincoln and Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd for shepherding this significant piece of legislation through the United States Senate. G… Continue Reading


06.10.10

Statement On The Murkowski Resolution of Disapproval

Leahy Opposes Murkowski Resolution on Greenhouse Gases Mr. President, I rise today to speak in opposition to the proposed resolution from the Senator from Alaska. This resolution of disapproval reminds me of a skills competition for young people, promoted by the National Football League, called "Punt, Pass, and Kick." In fact, this resolution is an engraved invitation for the Senate to make a big league handoff of a basketful of illness, economic stalemate and environmental pollution, to o… Continue Reading


06.09.10

FTC Chairman To Leahy: Antitrust Laws Shouldn’t Prohibit Oil Companies From Assisting In Gulf Spill

The Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission has told Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that federal antitrust laws should not prohibit oil companies from discussing ways to address the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In a letter sent June 8, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Jon Leibowitz said, "Although we must always be watchful when competitors collaborate, industry efforts to work with Federal officials and provide expertise to combat this ecological disaster are unlikely to ra… Continue Reading


06.09.10

Leahy Introduces Bill To Strengthen Penalties For Environmental Crimes

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday introduced legislation to hold accountable oil and other companies responsible for environmental crimes. The Environmental Crimes Enforcement Act will also protect victims of environmental crime by mandating restitution for criminal violations of the Clean Water Act. The legislation is aimed at deterring environmental crime and protecting and compensating victims of environmental crime. The Environmental Crimes Enforcement Act (ECEA) will deter schemes … Continue Reading


06.09.10

Plymouth Elementary School

On June 9, 2010 Senator Leahy conducted an online chat with the 13 students of Plymouth Elementary School. Plymouth Elementary School closed at the end of the school year on June 17, 2101. As part of the school's closing activities Senator Leahy used Skype to speak with the students ranging in grades kindergarten through six grade about their hometown of Plymouth, Senator Leahy's life as a U.S. Senator and his childhood. A sample of the questions asked during the chat follows. What schools and … Continue Reading


06.08.10

Leahy and Sanders Back New Push To Restore Medicaid Relief To Jobs Bill That Senate Will Debate This Week

- U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced Tuesday that a $24 billion fund to assist states with their Medicaid populations will be included in a jobs bill package now pending action by the full Senate. The provision backed by Sanders and Leahy would extend for six additional months an enhanced federal funding match to states that was enacted as part of last year's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Vermont estimates that extending this Medicaid relief … Continue Reading


06.08.10

Leahy Introduces Survivors Equality Act To Allow Families Of Oil Rig Victims To Seek Justice In Court

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday introduced legislation to permit families of victims killed on the high seas to seek non-economic damages in the wake of tragedies like that of the explosion on British Petroleum's Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The Death on the High Seas Act is one of few exclusive federal remedies for families of those killed in international waters, yet the law does not permit families to recover for losses such as the loss of care or companionship. Ho… Continue Reading


06.08.10

Judiciary Committee Hears Testimony About Risky Business Of Big Oil

(Tuesday, June 8, 2010) - The Senate Judiciary Committee this morning is holding a hearing on "The Risky Business of Big Oil: Have Recent Court Decisions and Liability Caps Encouraged Irresponsible Corporate Behavior" Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) delivered the following opening statement. Witness testimony and a live webcast are available online. Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee,Hearing On "The Risky Business Of Big Oil: Have Rec… Continue Reading


06.07.10

Senate Confirms Three District Court Judges

The Senate Monday night confirmed three nominations to fill vacancies on federal district courts across the country. The votes marked the first Senate action on pending judicial nominations in nearly a month. The last confirmation vote was held on May 11. The Senate unanimously confirmed district court nominees Audrey Fleissig to the federal district court for eastern district of Missouri; Lucy Koh to the federal district court for the northern district of California; and Jane Magnus-Stinson … Continue Reading


06.07.10

Leahy On Kagan Nomination: Senators Should Reject The Ideological Litmus Test

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) delivered brief remarks on the Senate Floor today regarding the nomination of Elena Kagan to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. The full text of his statement follows. Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.),Chairman, Senate Judiciary CommitteeOn The Nomination Of Elena Kagan To The Supreme CourtJune 7, 2010 Leahy Urges Senators To "Reject The Ideological Litmus Test" On Kagan Nomina… Continue Reading


06.07.10

Health Care Law Improves Prescription Drug Coverage

BURLINGTON, Vt., - U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced today that almost 9,000 Vermont seniors will receive a one-time $250 rebate check beginning this week as the new federal health care law begins to close a gap in Medicare coverage for prescription medicine. The first checks will be mailed June 10 for people whose out-of-pocket expenses already total more than $940 for the year, the senators said during a joint press conference at the Champlain Senior Center… Continue Reading


06.06.10

Leahy On The Borderline In Immigration Debate

On a map, the nation's borders are innocuous lines of ink. But for U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., they're an increasingly precarious tightrope. As chairman of his chamber's Judiciary Committee, he faces angry Arizonans who want the federal government to back their headline-grabbing efforts to bar illegal immigrants. But as the senior member of Vermont's congressional delegation, he's hearing from dairy farmers desperate to retain an estimated 1,500 hired hands from Mexico, and from truck… Continue Reading


06.04.10

Comment On Production Of Documents By The National Archives Related To Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s Nomination To The Supreme Court Of The United States

"With this initial delivery of documents, the Judiciary Committee has received more information from the administration than was made available at this point in the confirmation process for either the Roberts or Alito nominations. I commend the staff at the Clinton Presidential Library and the National Archives for their prompt work in responding so thoroughly to the Committee's request. "The Obama administration and the Archives are continuing to work to make available an unprecedented volum… Continue Reading


06.03.10

Leahy: DHS Agrees To Close Morses Line Border Crossing

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy announced Thursday that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has agreed with his request to close the border crossing at Morses Line. The closure process will involve a public comment period, extensive consultations with stakeholders, and further assessments on safety and traffic patterns -- steps that Secretary Napolitano estimates will likely take a year to complete. In a letter to Napolitano after a DHS public meeting on May 23 requested by Leahy, the Verm… Continue Reading


06.02.10

Leahy Presses Senate Leaders To Schedule Votes On Pending Judicial Nominations

The Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), urging them to schedule votes on pending judicial nominations. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has pressed for prompt Senate consideration of the more than two dozen judicial nominations that have been reported by the Judiciary Committee but not yet scheduled for a final vote. Despite efforts from Senate Democrats to secure time… Continue Reading


06.02.10

Leahy: $54.7 M. Army Contract For Continuation Of Work On Goodrich-Vergennes’ Helicopter Diagnostics Unit Will Save Lives and Tax Dollars

VERGENNES, Vt. - Senator Patrick Leahy says a new $54,745,988 U.S. Army contract with Goodrich for additional units of the company's groundbreaking helicopter maintenance diagnostic system, produced by the firm's facility here, shows the advanced system has quickly taken its place as a key maintenance feature of U.S. military helicopter programs. Leahy just two months ago joined Goodrich employees here to mark shipment of the 2000th system, at that point achieving more than $100 million in hel… Continue Reading


06.01.10

Comment On The Supreme Court’s Opinion In Samantar v. Yousuf

[The Supreme Court today ruled that the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act does not provide immunity to foreigners accused of torture. Solicitor General Elena Kagan filed a "friend of the Court" brief urging the Court to affirm the decision of the Fourth Circuit. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously to affirm the Fourth Circuit's decision that the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act does not grant individual immunity. Senator Patrick Leahy was the lead Democratic sponsor of the Torture Victim Protection… Continue Reading


05.28.10

The Leahy Letter - May 28, 2010

Leahy Says Oil Spill Is Both 'Maddening and Disheartening' Senator Leahy continues to express his outrage over BP oil rig explosion and oil continues to stream into the Gulf at a rate some experts believe to be as high as 200,000 gallons a day. Senator Leahy has called this catastophe, "both maddening and disheartening. I am appalled by the dangerous relationships that appear to have developed between powerful oil interests and the agencies that were supposed to protect the public's stake." … Continue Reading


05.28.10

Comment On Proposed Rescission Of Final Rule On The Certification Process For State Capital Counsel Systems

On May 25, the Department of Justice announced that it has proposed 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… Continue Reading


05.28.10

President Signs Leahy-Authored Reauthorization Of Satellite TV Licenses

President Obama has signed into law legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy to reauthorize satellite television licenses and to modernize satellite television services. The legislation will particularly benefit Vermonters in Bennington and Windham counties, who now may be able to receive Burlington networks through DISH, in addition DirecTV. The President signed the bill into law on Thursday. "Vermonters are connected by the programming the state's networks provide to television viewers… Continue Reading

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