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


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

(Monday, Nov. 28, 2011) - Bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) will be introduced later this week by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Leahy announced in remarks delivered on the Senate floor Monday evening. The law is at the center of the federal government's efforts to combat domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. "The resources and training provided by VAWA have changed attitudes toward these… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Guard Empowerment Amendment

Mr. President, I rise to discuss the Leahy-Graham National Guard Empowerment Amendment, Senate amendment number 1072. Over the past decade, the National Guard has undergone a profound and historic change. Once a hollow force considered only a "strategic reserve" for nightmare contingencies, the National Guard has become an "operational reserve" that deploys in regular rotation with the active duty force. As a matter of policy and reality, Army and Air National Guard troops from states around … Continue Reading


$15 Million Emergency Aid for Vermont

BURLINGTON, Vt., Nov. 22 - The U.S. Department of Transportation will release $15 million in emergency funds to help Vermont rebuild and repair roads and bridges destroyed or damaged by floods, Vermont's congressional delegation announced today. The Federal Highway Administration emergency grant includes $14 million for repairing damage caused last August by Tropical Storm Irene, according to Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.). Another $1 million wi… Continue Reading


The Leahy Letter -- November 2011

Vermont's 'Job One' After Irene - Help To Repair And Rebuild Damaged Roads, Bridges And Rail Lines -- Crosses The Finish Line As the second-most-senior member of the Appropriations Committee and a senior member of its Transportation subcommittee, Senator Leahy led in securing funding and key cost-waivers that are Vermont's top priority in Congress in recovering from Tropical Storm Irene. President Obama signed the bill that includes this emergency help on Nov. 18. These cost-waivers will mean… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Failure Of The Super Committee To Reach Agreement On A Debt And Deficit Reduction Package

The fact that a fair compromise is beyond the super committee's reach is disappointing. The fact that fairness could not be agreed upon as a common denominator is maddening. Why are some so dead-set against a fair solution to these debt questions? Yet there is an insistence not only on extending the Bush tax cuts for millionaires, but on expanding them. We are still seeing the paralyzing and corrosive effects of a my-way-or-nothing mentality, coupled with a willingness to inflict real damage… Continue Reading


Leahy Hails President’s Signing Of Veterans Workforce Measures

[President Obama Monday signed into law legislation, cosponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy, that includes veterans employment tax credits, which President Obama earlier had proposed to Congress. The package also includes the 'Hiring Heroes Act,' also cosponsored by Leahy, and the VOW Act, to renew Montgomery GI Bill benefits over a two-year period for unemployed veterans between the ages of 35 and 60. Following are Leahy's comments after the President signed the package.] "These are targeted a… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch Announce Grants Totaling More Than $1 M. For Economic Development Planning In East-Central And Northwestern Vermont

(MONDAY, Nov. 21) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Congressman Peter Welch (D) announced Monday that the Northwest Regional Planning Commission and the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission will receive economic development planning grants totaling more than a million dollars from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The two grants are among only a few dozen regional planning projects approved by HUD nationwide. The Northwest Regional Pla… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders And Welch Ask CBP To Keep Morses Line Open

(FRIDAY, Nov. 18) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and U.S. Rep. Peter Welch have called on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to keep the Morses Line Port of Entry open, in their letter to the agency submitted as part of an ongoing public comment period on the future of the Franklin County Port of Entry. The public comment period allows individuals, including Vermonters and Canadians, to respond to a formal CBP proposal to close the Port of Entry, published in th… Continue Reading


Congress Thursday Night Clears Transportation Funding Bill With Crucial Post-Irene Emergency Road/Bridge Repair Aid Needed By Vermont

(THURSDAY, NOV. 17, 7:15 P.M.) - In a decisive vote of 70 to 30, the U.S. Senate Thursday night gave final approval to a transportation budget bill that includes provisions added by Senator Patrick Leahy (D) to replenish the federal government's depleted transportation emergency fund, along with the crucial cost waivers he authored that will mean tens of millions of additional dollars for road and bridge repair aid that will speed Vermont's recovery from Tropical Storm Irene. The Senate's vote … Continue Reading


Leahy, Grassley, Bennet, Blumenthal, Meehan, Sánchez Propose Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill To Increase Penalties For Counterfeit Drugs

(Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011) - U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Michael Bennet (D-Co.), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and U.S. Representatives Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.) and Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.) introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation Thursday to increase penalties for trafficking counterfeit drugs. The legislation responds to recommendations made by the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator and the administration's Counterfeit Pharmaceutica… Continue Reading


Leahy: Supreme Court Should Make Proceedings More Publicly Available

(Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011) - At a meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday morning, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) expressed again his support for bringing more transparency to the nation's highest court. Members of Congress, government transparency advocates and public service organizations like C-SPAN have called on the Supreme Court to televise arguments in the challenge to the Affordable Care Act, the landmark health care reform law enacted last year. The Court is expected to hear… Continue Reading


Leahy Files Cybercrime Amendment To Defense Authorization Bill

(Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today filed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to bolster penalties for cybercrime and other violations to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The amendment reflects many of the proposals included in Leahy's Personal Data Privacy and Security Act, which was approved by the Judiciary Committee in September. "Cybercrime is a growing threat to consumers and businesses, and it is one we can no longer ignore," said Lea… Continue Reading


Middlebury Union High School

On November 16, 2011, Senator Leahy held an online chat with 22 juniors and seniors from Middlebury Union High School including a former Senate Page, William Conlon. Using Skype to communicate with students and their teacher, Senator Leahy spoke about pieces of legislation the students were interested in including President Obama's Jobs Bill, The Respect for Marriage Act, and the PATRIOT Act as well as some local topics such as Vermont Yankee and legislation to help small farms. Students also a… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Proposed CAFE Standards For Light-Duty Vehicles

Finally, after three decades of putting off much-needed increases in fuel economy standards, we are taking sensible steps to reduce our dependence on oil, to save Americans money at the pump, and to cut air pollution that endangers health and contributes to climate change. The proposal Wednesday by the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration makes good on the President's announcement in July and will improve the fuel economy of the cars that ordinary Americans drive every da… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders And Welch Announce $4.8 M. Housing Grant For Cathedral Square Thayer Commons In Burlington’s New North End

(WEDNESDAY, Nov. 16) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Congressman Peter Welch (D) Wednesday announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded Burlington's Cathedral Square Corporation a $4,885,200 grant to add 28 rent subsidized apartments for seniors to the 33 senior apartments now under construction. According to Cathedral Square Executive Director Nancy Eldridge, the grant will be used to meet the huge demand for affordable se… Continue Reading


Leahy, Members Of Congress Request Update On Resettlement Plan For Iraqis Assisting U.S. Forces

On November 16, Senator Leahy and other members of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to Department of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta requesting that the Department of Defense provide an update to Congress on the status of a plan to expedite resettlement of U.S.-affiliated Iraqis at risk as the United States withdraws from Iraq. The letter is available here.… Continue Reading


Joint Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy And Senator Dianne Feinstein On Detention Provisions In The National Defense Authorization Act

"We have long supported providing the administration with the flexibility to address terrorism cases, including the ability to prosecute terrorists in federal criminal courts. Regrettably, the so-called 'agreement' reached today in the Senate Armed Services Committee will only harm the efforts of intelligence and law enforcement officials to bring to justice those who would harm Americans here and abroad. "The bill reported by the Armed Services Committee today does little to resolve our state… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Department Of State And Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, this year the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee had to fund key national security programs that support - the Nation's counter-terrorism strategy in South Asia, the Horn of Africa, and the far East; respond to turbulent events in the Middle East and North Africa, and threats on the Mexican border; combat transnational crime, piracy of intellectual property, and the denial of fundamental freedoms; promote access for U.S. companies to foreign ma… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Meeting Vermont's Disaster Recovery Needs

Mr. President, I would like to take some time now to talk about the positive impact next year's Transportation-HUD Appropriations Bill will have on my home state of Vermont - particularly as we continue rebuilding from Hurricane Irene's destructive forces back in August. I commend Subcommittee Chair Patty Murray and Ranking Member Susan Collins for their hard work and dedication in ensuring that the final bill filed last night both provides appropriate funding for disaster relief accounts, and… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Judicial Nominations

Today the Senate will finally consider two of President Obama's highly qualified nominees to fill Federal district court vacancies in Alaska and the Northern District of California. Both Sharon Gleason and Yvonne Gonzales Rogers have the strong support of their home state Senators and both were reported by the Judiciary Committee unanimously over two months ago. I thank the Majority Leader for securing votes on their nominations. I am disappointed that the Senate Republican leadership would no… Continue Reading

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