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Press Releases

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

07.20.10

Senate Republican Leader Objects – Again – To Debating Long-Pending Circuit Court Nomination

(Tuesday, July 20, 2010) - The Senate Republican Leader today objected to a request from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to schedule debate and a vote on a long-pending judicial nomination to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The nomination of Jane Stranch to the federal appeals court for the Sixth Circuit was reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee more than eight months ago with bipartisan support, but has languished on the Senate's executive calendar. Today, L… Continue Reading


07.20.10

Comment of Senator Leahy On The Senate's Vote To End The Filibuster To Extend Unemployment Insurance Benefits

In a vote of 60 to 40, the U.S. Senate Tuesday afternoon voted to end the filibuster of a bill to extend unemployment insurance benefits for jobless Americans still struggling to find work in the gradual economic recovery. The vote paves the way for an up-or-down Senate vote on the bill later this week. Senator Patrick Leahy (D), a supporter of the bill, voted to end the filibuster, as did Senator Bernie Sanders (I). Following is the reaction of Senator Leahy: Recovering from the worst econo… Continue Reading


07.20.10

Judiciary Committee Approves Deputy Attorney General Nomination

(Tuesday, July 20, 2010) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday voted to send the nomination of James Cole to be the Deputy Attorney General to the full Senate for consideration. The Deputy Attorney General is the second highest-ranking official in the Justice Department. The position has been vacant since February, when David Ogden stepped down. Cole was nominated by the President in May, and Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) chaired a hearing on the nomination in June. "… Continue Reading


07.20.10

Judiciary Committee Approves Kagan Nomination

(Tuesday, July 20, 2010) - The nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court won approval by a bipartisan majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee during a business meeting Tuesday. The Committee, chaired by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), held a confirmation hearing for Kagan's nomination the week of June 28. The Committee vote was 13-6. Kagan testified before the Judiciary Committee for more than 17 hours over three days, responding to more … Continue Reading


07.19.10

Senate Unanimously Passes Leahy-Sessions Bill To Prevent Enforcement Of Foreign Defamation Judgments

(Monday, July 19, 2010) - The Senate Monday unanimously approved bipartisan legislation authored by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) to protect American authors, journalists and publishers from foreign libel lawsuits that undermine the First Amendment. The Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage (SPEECH) Act will now be sent to the House of Representatives. "The freedoms of speech and the press are cornerstones of our democracy,"… Continue Reading


07.15.10

Reaction of Senator Leahy As Senate Passes Final Wall Street Reform Bill

(THURSDAY, July 15) - In a vote of 60 to 39, the U.S. Senate Thursday afternoon passed and sent to the President's desk an historic reform bill aimed at correcting Wall Street excesses that nearly set off a world economic meltdown. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a Senate conferee during the negotiations on the final bill, voted for the reform package. "These historic reforms will set clear standards and real enforcement - including jail time for executives - to finally curb the fraud, manipula… Continue Reading


07.15.10

Statement On Wall Street Reform Conference Report

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy Wall Street Reform Conference Report July 15, 2010 Mr. President, I strongly support the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. Real Reform, Despite Enormous Special Interest Pressures The American people often are cynical, with good reason, about the success that powerful corporate interests have in trumping the interests and rights of everyday Americans, on Wall Street, in Congress and even on our Supreme Court. Backed by mu… Continue Reading


07.13.10

Judiciary Committee Approves Leahy-Sponsored, Bipartisan Bill To Prevent Enforcement Of Foreign Defamation Judgments

The Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday unanimously approved bipartisan legislation to protect American authors, journalists and publishers from foreign libel lawsuits that undermine the First Amendment. The Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage (SPEECH) Act was introduced last month by Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). The SPEECH Act provides protections from foreign libel suits for authors, journalists… Continue Reading


07.13.10

Leahy Announces Support For Kagan Nomination

Senate Judiciary Committee Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Tuesday that he will support the nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Judiciary Committee was scheduled to vote on Kagan's nomination, but Committee Republicans invoked a Committee rule to delay the vote for one week. "Solicitor General Kagan demonstrated an impressive knowledge of the law and fidelity to it," Leahy said of Kagan's testimony before the Jud… Continue Reading


07.12.10

Dairy Bill Would Save Family Farms with Stable Prices

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt., July 12 - With the Ethan Allen Farm as a backdrop, U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy today unveiled legislation to stabilize dairy prices and preserve the family farms that have been a fixture of Vermont culture for centuries. Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced The Dairy Market Stabilization Act. The bill was cosponsored by Leahy (D-Vt.), the senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who serves in Senate leadership, also is an origi… Continue Reading


07.07.10

Leahy And Food Venture Center Partners Break Ground On $3 M. Facility In Hardwick

HARDWICK, Vt. - Senator Patrick Leahy joined representatives of the Northeastern Vermont Development Association (NVDA), the Center for an Agricultural Economy (CAE), and local business and community leaders Wednesday afternoon in Hardwick to break ground on the Vermont Food Venture Center 2 - a non-profit kitchen incubator Leahy said would be a cornerstone in the State of Vermont's efforts to promote agricultural innovation and the food-based economy. The new $3.1 million facility is being d… Continue Reading


07.02.10

Leahy Announces $1.6 Million For Cyber Security Research At Norwich University

(FRIDAY, July 2) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) says a new infusion of $1.6 million in federal funding that he has secured for Norwich University's Center for Counterterrorism and Cyber Crime will continue the Center's work in countering threats to the nation's cyber networks. This funding is awarded under Homeland Security National Training Program (HSNTP). Leahy has sponsored funding for ongoing research and training work at the Center since he won designation of Norwich's program as a nati… Continue Reading


07.02.10

Leahy, Sanders, Welch, Douglas: Vermont Nets $47 M. To Build Broadband Infrastructure

(Friday, July 2) - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I), Rep. Peter Welch (D) and Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas (R) Friday announced the largest public investment in broadband infrastructure ever made in Vermont. Federal agencies have awarded two Vermont telecommunication organizations a total of $47.1 million in federal economic recovery grants to build fiber optic networks that will help form the core of Vermont's broadband network. The new funds will be used to wire "anchor institutio… Continue Reading


06.30.10

Vermont Congressional Delegation Announces Payments To Local Vermont Governments For Tax-Exempt Federal Lands

Vermont Senators Patrick Leahy (D) and Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D) reported Wednesday that Vermont local governments are set to receive $896,432 for Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) - the federal payments to local governments that help compensate communities for nontaxable federal lands within their boundaries. Fifty-six towns and counties in Vermont will receive payments, ranging from $214 to $70,513. PILT payments nationally declined this year, but Vermont will see… Continue Reading


06.30.10

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Public Hearing In Newport Tuesday Night On The Proposed Donation To/Federal Acquisition Of The Dunn Estate On Lake Memphremagog

[Senator Patrick Leahy, a senior member of the Subcommittee on the Interior of the Senate Appropriations Committee (which oversees the Senate's work in writing the annual budget bill for the Department of the Interior and related agencies), raised Michael Dunn's offer, and the upcoming deadline, with Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, in a Senate hearing on March 9. Leahy before and after that has worked to facilitate the process of helping the State of Vermont and the Department of Interio… Continue Reading


06.29.10

Protecting Afghan Civilians

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, as we take stock of the changes made last week by President Obama to the military command in Afghanistan, there is a related issue that has been discussed in the press that is of particular concern to me. I believe the President's decision to replace General McChrystal was the right decision. The published comments of the general and his aides were unquestionably insubordinate. They portrayed extraordinarily poor judgment and disrespect, and a deterioration of… Continue Reading


06.28.10

Statement On Confirmation Of Gary Scott Feinerman to Federal Court

Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, today the Senate is proceeding on only one of the 23 judicial nominees stalled by Republican obstruction from action by the Senate. The nominee the Senate will confirm tonight has been stalled for more than 10 weeks, even though his nomination was reported without a single objection from the Judiciary Committee on April 15. There are eight other judicial nominees who have been stalled for at least as long, or longer, and nominees who were favorably reported las… Continue Reading


06.28.10

Remarks on the Passing of Senator Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia

Tribute to Senator Robert C. Byrd Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, I appreciate the words of the Senator from North Dakota. I recall sitting here on the floor, I tell my friend from North Dakota, who may well have been here at that time when Senator Byrd spoke of the pygmies strutting like a colossus. We both know who he meant and we both know the effect it had, and I thank him for reminding us of that. I believe all of us who served with him and knew Senator Byrd were saddened by the news… Continue Reading


06.28.10

Comment On The Supreme Court’s Decision In Bilski v. Kappos

The Supreme Court today issued a decision in Bilski v. Kappos, affirming a Federal Circuit decision and holding a process for hedging on energy commodities unpatentable as an abstract idea. "In Bilski v. Kappos, the Court unanimously affirmed the judgment of the Federal Circuit that the application for a patent on a business method should be rejected. The Court's opinion, joined by only five of the Justices, however, needlessly left the door open for business method patents to issue in the fu… Continue Reading


06.28.10

Comment On The Supreme Court Decision In Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board

[The Supreme Court today issued a ruling in Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. In a 5 to 4 decision, the Court found unconstitutional a provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the anti-fraud law Congress enacted in the aftermath of the Enron and WorldCom accounting scandals. Overturning decisions by the D.C. District Court and the D.C. Circuit Court, the Supreme Court held that the composition of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board violated Separation of Po… Continue Reading

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