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


Leahy Wins Initial Approval To Permanently Reduce Heavy Truck Traffic In Vermont Downtowns

(TUESDAY, Sept. 20) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has won initial approval of legislation that would permanently move heavy trucks off state secondary roads and onto the state's Interstate highways. Leahy's provision will help Vermont businesses and communities struggling due to the large number of state and local roads heavily damaged during the recent flooding disaster. Leahy included his provision in the annual transportation funding bill that the Senate Transportation Appropriation… Continue Reading


Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Repeal Of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

[Today, September 20, 2011, marks the full and final repeal of the controversial "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) law, which prevented gays and lesbians from openly serving in the U.S. military. Congress last year approved legislation to repeal the discriminatory policy. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) was a leading cosponsor of the legislation to repeal DADT.] Last week, we celebrated the 224th anniversary of the United States Constitution, the document that enshrines the ideals we cherish in th… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Judicial Nominations

President Obama came to Congress two weeks ago and made a compelling case for passing the American Jobs Act. The bill he asked us to pass includes bipartisan proposals that have received broad approval in the past from members of both parties, including extensions of tax relief for businesses to encourage hiring. They are consensus proposals we can enact today. We should answer the President's call and act right away to help get Americans back to work and grow the economy. With the unemploym… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The FBI’s Release Of 2010 Crime Statistics

"I was glad to see that crime rates, and particularly violent crime rates, declined significantly once again in 2010. The men and women working in federal, state, and local law enforcement everyday are on the front lines protecting our communities and keeping us all safe. Continuing the trend of reducing crime rates at a time of recession and budget crisis is a significant achievement. I am glad that the efforts of Congress and the Obama administration to ensure federal funding to state and l… Continue Reading


Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy On President Obama’s Plan For Economic Growth And Deficit Reduction

"I applaud President Obama's call for requiring the wealthiest people and biggest corporations to pay their fair share to reduce the deficit and spur job growth. It's too early to know whether Congress will act on these proposals, but Congress should act on these proposals. This is a balanced plan, these ideas have enjoyed bipartisan support, and the American people agree that budget solutions need to be fair. "The President is right to demand that people making more than $1 million a year sh… Continue Reading


Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Latest USPS Cost-Cutting Initiatives

I am concerned about the rash nature of the Postal Service's latest cost-cutting initiative. In Vermont, USPS is considering closing or consolidating 14 post offices, as well as Vermont's only two mail processing facilities - in Essex Junction and White River Junction - which together employ nearly 300 Vermonters. Closing or consolidating our two mail facilities would put these jobs at risk at a time when sustaining and creating jobs is more important than ever. Shuttering these facilities … Continue Reading


Leahy and Sanders Redouble Push for Senate-Passed Irene Relief

, Sept. 16 - Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today hoped for quick House approval next week of a Senate-passed bill to provide $6.9 billion in additional federal disaster relief funds for Vermont and other states. The measure includes $5.1 billion in funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's disaster relief fund. Of that, $500 million would be available immediately. The rest would go to other departments and agencies that have seen their coffers dwindle in a y… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch Announce Opening Of Apartments To Storm-Displaced Vermonters

(FRIDAY, Sept. 16) -- Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Friday announced that about 90 vacant federally assisted apartments will be available to Vermonters displaced by Tropical Storm Irene, thanks to a federal waiver from the U.S. Treasury Department granted at the request of Governor Peter Shumlin and through the Vermont congressional delegation's advocacy. In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene, the Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) identif… Continue Reading


Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On President Obama’s Signing Of The Historic Leahy-Smith America Invents Act

[Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy witnessed the signing of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act at an event in Alexandria, Va., today. President Barack Obama signed the bill into law, capping a six year bipartisan effort led by Leahy to enact the first comprehensive reforms to the nation's patent system in nearly six decades.] "Vermonters have a long legacy of innovation and creativity. With the improvements included in the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, that legacy is sure to continue. "Fe… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders: Senate’s Thursday Night Vote Adds Momentum To Disaster Aid Funding Bill

(THURSDAY, Sept. 15) - The U.S. Senate late Thursday approved a bill to allocate additional federal disaster relief funds that are crucial for recovery in Vermont and other states in the aftermath of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene. The Senate approved the measure by a vote of 62 to 37. Vermont's two senators - Senator Patrick Leahy (D) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I) -- had fought for the bill and said its passage adds momentum to their urgent congressional push to top-up the depleted coffers of… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Makes Progress On Leahy-Authored Data Privacy And Cybersecurity Bill

(Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011) - The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday adopted a trio of amendments to a bill authored by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that will enhance data privacy and cybersecurity protections for Americans' personal information. The Committee is expected to resume consideration of the legislation when it next meets. "I am pleased the Committee adopted my substitute amendment, as well as other amendments to further improve the Personal Data Privacy and Security Act," sa… Continue Reading


Senators Lautenberg And Leahy Lead New Push For Comprehensive Disaster Relief

(WEDNESDAY, Sept. 14) -- U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), along with 10 colleagues from states impacted by Hurricane Irene, Wednesday called on Senate leaders to provide comprehensive disaster aid through a variety of federal agencies. The aid would help to ensure that families, businesses, local governments, farmers and damaged federal roads receive the resources needed to rebuild and recover from the devastating storm and flooding. Leahy and Lautenberg are… Continue Reading


Leahy Chairs Hearing On Renewing Trafficking Victims Protection Act

(Wednesday, September 14, 2011) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday chaired a hearing on proposals to renew the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. The law was first enacted in 2000, and enhanced the government's efforts to combat human trafficking in the United States and abroad. Earlier this year, Leahy joined with Senator Scott Brown (R-Mass) and others to introduce legislation to reauthorize the historic law. The bipartisan Trafficking Victims Protection … Continue Reading


Leahy Welcomes Senate’s Breaking Of Filibuster On Disaster Relief Funding Bill

[An emergency aid bill for victims of Irene and other natural disasters advanced to the next legislative step in the Senate late Tuesday as an initial filibuster on the bill was broken in a vote of 61 to 38. The bill will replenish the depleted coffers of the Emergency Relief Fund of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). In a Senate Floor speech illustrated with stark photos of the devastation wrought upon Vermont's highways and transportation infrastructure, Leahy urged the Senate t… Continue Reading


Leahy Marks Constitution Day

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Anniversary Of The Constitutional Convention This Saturday, the Nation marks the 224th anniversary of the day when the founders signed the fundamental charter for our democracy - the Constitution of the United States. During the Constitutional Convention, the delegates debated hundreds of issues and proposals before crafting the final charter. Thankfully, the founders had the foresight to know that thei… Continue Reading


Vt. Boys & Girls Clubs To Receive $150,000 In Disaster Relief

(Friday, Sept. 9, 2011) - Vermont Boys & Girls Clubs will receive $150,000 in assistance from the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs of America to help with relief efforts in the wake of devastating flooding in Vermont, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Friday. Boys & Girls Clubs in Vermont sustained heavy flood damage resulting from Hurricane Irene. The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation has pledged $50,000, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America has pledged $100… Continue Reading


Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The President’s Jobs Address Before A Joint Meeting Of Congress Thursday Evening

Week in and week out for a decade, our country has sent and spent billions of borrowed dollars to pay for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Taxpayers in fact will be on the hook for trillions of dollars by the time those wars are finally paid for. Many of those in Congress who now want to block meaningful action on jobs and economic growth here in our country were only too happy to spend those dollars abroad. It should not be too much to ask that we invest right here, right now, to help Americans… Continue Reading


BREAKING: Senate Passes Historic, Leahy-Authored Patent Reform Legislation

(Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011) - The U.S. Senate Thursday passed historic legislation making the first comprehensive reforms to the nation's patent system in nearly 60 years. The bill is named for Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas). Patent reform was first introduced in Congress in 2005. Leahy steered the patent reform bill to Senate passage in March, where the bill won 95 votes. Thursday's action by the Senat… Continue Reading


Leahy: America Invents Act Is Important For Economy, Job Creation

The U.S. Senate is now voting on a series of amendments to the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, followed by a vote on final passage of the bill. In a few moments, the Senate is going to have the opportunity to make significant reforms to our Nation's patent system for the first time in more than half a century. The America Invents Act is the product of extensive consideration. For four Congresses, we have worked on this. We have had dozens of hearings, weeks of Committee debate. I have l… Continue Reading


Leahy Speaks About Vermont’s Long History Of Innovation And Invention

(Thursday, September 8, 2011) - The U.S. Senate is debating the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act. Senator Patrick Leahy is the lead Senate author of the legislation, which will make the first comprehensive updates to the nation's patent system in nearly 60 years. The Senate is scheduled to vote on the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act later today. Vermont receives more patents per capita than any other state in the nation. The first U.S. patent issued was awarded to Vermonter Samuel Hopkin… Continue Reading

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