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


Vermont Disaster Declaration

BURLINGTON, Vt., Sept. 1 - Vermont's congressional delegation - Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) - issued the following statement today after President Barack Obama declared Vermont a disaster area and cleared the way for federal assistance in the recovery from Tropical Storm Irene: "We appreciate the president's quick and decisive action to help Vermonters deal with one of the worst natural disasters in the state's history. Federal and state a… Continue Reading


Delegation Urges President’s Prompt Approval Of A Disaster Declaration For Vermont

(THURSDAY, Sept. 1) -- Vermont's delegation in Congress - Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D) - Thursday asked President Obama to act "with all due speed" on Vermont's request for a disaster declaration, which would open the doors to a variety of federal programs to help Vermonters cope with recovery efforts in the aftermath of major flooding in the wake of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene. They sent their letter on the heels of Governor Peter … Continue Reading


The Leahy Letter -- Special Edition -- Recovering From Irene

Dear Fellow Vermonter, As we learn more and see more and reconnect with each other, Vermonters are still coming to terms with the swift and fierce destruction that Irene left in her wake. I'm a lifelong Vermonter and I've never seen anything quite like this before in our state. For so many Vermonters this already was anything but an easy year, with earlier flooding that already set historic records. I can't tell you how stirring it has been to see neighbors helping not only neighbors but als… Continue Reading


$5 Million Emergency Aid Approved for Storm-Damaged Vermont Roads and Bridges

BURLINGTON, Vt., Aug. 31 - The U.S. Department of Transportation released $5 million in emergency funds to rebuild and repair roads and bridges destroyed or damaged in Vermont by Tropical Storm Irene, Vermont's congressional delegation announced today. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Tuesday evening notified U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a member of the Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee. Sanders had been in discussion with LaHood to explain the magnitude of … Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Vermont Flooding Due To Hurricane Irene

Middlesex -Senator Patrick Leahy issued the following statement on the historic and catastrophic flooding in Vermont due Hurricane Irene. Leahy will tour hard hit areas of Vermont by helicopter today with Governor Shumlin. "Marcelle and I are keeping all Vermonters who are suffering due to Hurricane Irene in our thoughts and prayers. We are resilient and strong, but are faced with devastating flooding in many of our communities, worse than most Vermonters can remember. "My staff and I have… Continue Reading


Leahy: Justice Sonia Sotomayor To Headline Vermont’s 15th Annual Women’s Economic Opportunity Conference

(FRIDAY, Aug. 26) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) says this year's 15th Annual Vermont Women's Economic Opportunity Conference, set for Saturday, Oct. 8, in Randolph, will feature a special guest: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Leahy said Justice Sotomayor will begin this year's sessions with a question-and-answer forum with conference-goers. "Marcelle and I are delighted that she is coming to Vermont," said Leahy. "She personifies the American Dream, and her life and achiev… Continue Reading


Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy To State Department Announcement On The Keystone Pipeline

"I have raised concerns about this project since last year. The State Department's conclusions are disappointing and represent a missed opportunity for this Administration to draw the line at a type of oil that, in ways which should be unacceptable today, destroys the landscape when it is mined and poisons the air when it is burned. The Earth's climate is changing, and this is no time for business as usual by making commitments that will dramatically increase greenhouse gas emissions and do noth… Continue Reading


Leahy: Vermont To Receive More Than $9.2 M. In Homeland Security Grants

(TUESDAY, August 23) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Tuesday that Vermont has secured more than $9.2 million in federal grants from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to help with prevention and preparedness. "Preserving our national security starts with prevention and preparedness," said Leahy. "First responders in Vermont are on the front lines each and every day, protecting our communities, securing our borders and ports of entry, and keeping our citizens safe. … Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Leahy, Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, And Cosponsor Of The DREAM Act, On DHS Relief Policy For Certain Noncitizens

"I commend Secretary Napolitano for exercising the discretion available to her by law to offer relief for certain noncitizens whose deportation would not serve United States' interests. We can do better for the American economy, the military, our communities, and hardworking immigrants by enacting the DREAM Act and the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2011, which I joined with Senator Menendez to introduce in June. I will continue to fight for those bills, and the important provisions i… Continue Reading


Delegation announces $1 million grant to Montpelier-based Institute for Sustainable Communities

Vermont's congressional delegation - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) and Rep. Peter Welch (D) - today announced a one million dollar grant to the Montpelier-based Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC). Through the grant, ISC will work with the joint HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities (PSC), which coordinates federal housing, transportation, water, and other infrastructure investments to make neighborhoods more prosperous, allow people to live closer to job… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch: 10 Vt. Farms And Businesses Net Energy-Saving Grants

(WEDNESDAY, Aug. 17) -- Vermont's Congressional Delegation - Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Congressman Peter Welch (D) - said Wednesday that ten Vermont farms and rural businesses will share almost $100,000 in grants through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) to launch energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy projects. Vermont farms and businesses are receiving $96,754 in grants, divided across ten projects. Foxch… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Administration’s Further Extension Of Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) Provisions For Liberian Nationals In The United States

"I commend the President for extending deferred enforced departure for Liberians, and for doing so well ahead of the September 30 expiration of their current status. I joined Senator Jack Reed in asking President Obama to take this step and appreciate the President's timely action. "Liberia continues to make great strides under the leadership of the freely elected President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, with whom I was pleased to meet again recently in Washington. Liberia faces continuing challenge… Continue Reading


Comment From The Office Of Senator Patrick Leahy On August 16th Haaretz Article On U.S. Aid To Particular IDF Units

"Senator Leahy does not discuss private conversations he has had for decades with Israeli leaders. "However, the Haaretz article contains significant inaccuracies. He has not proposed legislation to withhold U.S. aid to units of the Israel Defense Forces. "By way of general background about the Leahy Amendment, the law applies to U.S. aid to foreign security forces around the globe and is intended to be applied consistently across the spectrum of U.S. military aid abroad. Under the law … Continue Reading


Leahy And U.S. Interior Secretary Salazar Tour Vermont’s Natural Places, Examine Economic Impact Of Interior Programs

(MONDAY, August 15) -- U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar joined Senator Patrick Leahy in Vermont Monday to announce several new Interior Department initiatives in Vermont aimed at boosting recreation-related economic development and advancing the President's American's Great Outdoors initiative. During the visit, Salazar and Leahy were also briefed on key land and wildlife conservation projects. At Bibens Ace Lakeshore Hardware in Colchester Salazar announced an expanded role for the … Continue Reading


Senators Push Administration for Action to Protect Air Quality

(THURSDAY, Aug. 11) - Nine U.S. senators Thursday urged the Obama Administration to take action to protect air quality and public health. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) was joined by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.Y.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in sending a letter to President Barack Obama expressing concern for the Administration's co… Continue Reading


Leahy Urges Debt Committee To Adopt Transparency, Accountability Measures

(THURSDAY, Aug. 11, 2011) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to the Co-Chairs of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction congratulating them on their appointments and asking that the panel conduct its proceedings with transparency and accountability to the American people. In his letter, Leahy - a longtime champion of the Freedom of Information Act and the public's right to know - urges the Select Committee's members to adopt rules… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Presidential Proclamation And Study Directive On Suspension Of Entry As Immigrants And Nonimmigrants Of Human Rights And Humanitarian Law Violators

"I commend President Obama for recognizing the moral responsibility of the United States to prevent mass atrocities. The United States must be a leader in protecting human rights and taking action to protect those who are threatened. The United States failed to act to stop the Rwandan genocide, and acted far too slowly during the Balkan wars of the 1990s. But the action taken by the President today is welcome, even if overdue. The authority granted to the Secretary of State will be equally i… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Enhancements To The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

"When U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services first proposed positive steps to improve the EB-5 Regional Center Program in May, I commended Director Mayorkas and the Obama administration for recognizing the positive impact of the EB-5 Regional Center Program as an important economic engine for communities across the country. Now, after reviewing feedback and comments from across the spectrum, USCIS is developing a plan to implement these enhancements in the coming weeks. "The EB-5 Regional C… Continue Reading


FDA Announces Long-Awaited Standards for Labeling of Gluten-Free Food

(Wednesday, Aug. 3) - After more than four years of inaction, the Food and Drug Administration has announced that a final rule setting standards for the labeling of gluten-free food will move forward. U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) two weeks ago had written to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, asking that the agency end more than four years of silence and fulfill FDA's statutory requirement to establish standards for the growing gluten-free food industry. "I am del… Continue Reading


Leahy, Blumenthal Press Leading National Mortgage Servicing Companies About Foreclosures In Bankruptcy Courts

(Wednesday, August 3, 2011) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Committee Member Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) last week sent letters to several of the nation's leading mortgage servicers, requesting information about policies and practices related to foreclosures in the bankruptcy courts. Leahy and Blumenthal, in letters to 11 leading mortgage services, inquired about steps the companies are taking to ensure that homeowners are treated fairly, consistently and honest… Continue Reading

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