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


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Republican Filibuster Of The District Court Nomination Of Jack McConnell

NOTE: The Senate is expected to vote after 12:15 on the motion to invoke cloture on the McConnell nomination. I hope that all Senators have had a chance to consider the remarks of the Senators from Rhode Island on this nomination. I do not think that anyone could listen to the remarks of the distinguished senior Senator from Rhode Island yesterday and today and come away doing anything other than voting for cloture. Likewise, Senator Whitehouse, who spoke this morning and has shepherded this … Continue Reading


Senate Confirms Long Pending District Court Nomination

(Wednesday, May 4, 2011) - The U.S. Senate Wednesday overcame a filibuster driven by Senate Republicans and confirmed a long-pending federal district court nomination. A majority of the Senate voted to confirm district court nominee John McConnell to the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island. "There was no need for cloture to be filed on this nomination," said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). "There were no 'extraordinary circumstances' that held up … Continue Reading


Leahy Chairs SJC Oversight Hearing With Attorney General Holder

(Wednesday, May 4, 2011) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy Wednesday morning chaired an oversight hearing of the U.S. Department of Justice. Attorney General Eric Holder testified before the panel. Testimony, member statements, and a webcast of the hearing are available online. Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, Hearing On Oversight Of The Department Of Justice May 4, 2011 The Committee holds this oversight hearing today… Continue Reading


Senate Adopts Resolution Designating May 2011 National Inventors Month

News Brief WASHINGTON (Tuesday, May 3, 2011) - The U.S. Senate Tuesday night adopted a resolution sponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) designating May 2011 as National Inventors Month. Every May, a new class of inventors is inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. The 2011 induction ceremony is scheduled to take place Wednesday, May 4. Congress has moved forward this year with legislative efforts to help inventors and innovators by updating… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Republican Filibuster Of The District Court Nomination Of Jack McConnell

Last night, Majority Leader Reid was forced to file another cloture petition on a Federal judicial nominee, the fifth required to be filed during President Obama's term. Among the highly-qualified nominees being stalled is Jack McConnell, who is nominated to a vacancy on the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island. I am concerned that we have to file cloture on nominations that should simply have an up-or-down vote. I hope we are not returning to the situation we had durin… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Cloture Motion On The Nomination Of John McConnell To Be A District Court Judge

"Senate consideration of John McConnell's nomination is long overdue. This nomination - reported three times by the Senate Judiciary Committee with bipartisan support - is strongly supported by the Senators from Rhode Island. Mr. McConnell's nomination has drawn bipartisan support from leading figures in Rhode Island. These facts have traditionally propelled district court nominations to up-or-down votes in the Senate. Shifting standards by Senate Republicans have changed the rules. Even th… Continue Reading


Leahy: Bin Laden “Suffered The Consequences Of His Atrocities”

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, delivered the following remarks on the floor of the U.S. Senate today. Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Death Of Osama Bin Laden Senate Floor May 2, 2011 Today is a memorable day in our Nation's history. Osama bin Laden, a man responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians, including so many Americans lost on September 11, 2001, has been killed.… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The President's Announcement Of The Death Of Osama Bin Laden

When Secretary Clinton called me at home to alert me that the President would be announcing that Bin Laden was dead, many thoughts and emotions came quickly to the surface. I thought of the countless lives ended and disrupted by this malevolent figure. Thousands of Americans and thousands more of other nationalities were innocent victims of his self-righteous venom, and so many brave men and women have died in the struggle to bring him to justice. Our thoughts and prayers again are with the 9… Continue Reading


Leahy Urges That U.S. Take Appropriate Steps, Including Review Of Visa Access For Haitian Officials Who May Have Been Involved In Election Fraud, On Behalf Of Fair And Untainted Certifications Of The Recent Parliamentary Elections

Friday, April 29, 2011 [Following is the text of a letter sent Friday to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on State Department and Foreign Operations that handles U.S. foreign assistance. Leahy, who visited Haiti last month, urges appropriate steps to signal to Haitian authorities U.S. concern that results of Haiti's recent legislative elections be fairly resolved and certified.] April 29, 201… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Decision By Google And Apple To Testify At May 10 Hearing

Google, Inc., and Apple, Inc., have informed the Senate Judiciary Committee that each company will testify at the May 10 hearing before the Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law on "Protecting Mobile Privacy: Your Smartphones, Tablets, Cell Phones and Your Privacy." Yesterday, Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy sent letters to the CEOs of Apple and Google, encouraging them to consider the Committee's invitation to appear. "I am pleased that both Google and Apple have accepted the Commi… Continue Reading


With Green Light For Southwest-AirTran Merger, Leahy, Sanders And Welch Urge Southwest To Resume AirTran’s Service To Vermont

(THURSDAY, April 28) - Two days after the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it will not challenge the proposed merger of two major low-fare air carriers, Vermont's congressional delegation - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) and Rep. Peter Welch (D) - are asking the soon-to-be-expanded Southwest Airlines to consider re-starting service to Vermont that AirTran suspended in the fall of 2009. AirTran has maintained its gate and desk space at Burlington International Airport i… Continue Reading


Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Pentagon Announcement Thursday That Troops With Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries Will Now Be Eligible For The Purple Heart Medal

"The Pentagon now has announced a new rule change to clarify which troops suffering from mild Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) would be eligible for the Purple Heart medal. This decision is a major step forward for the further recognition of TBI in our military and veterans communities. I have long taken an interest in supporting psychological and brain health programs for currently serving troops and veterans. I inquired about rulings on the Purple Heart for blast sufferers, so I am especially g… Continue Reading


Delegation Preserves a Role, Secures Funds for VSAC

, April 28- The Vermont Student Assistance Corp. (VSAC) will receive up to $1.3 million in additional funds to continue helping students find grants, loans and scholarships, the Vermont congressional delegation announced today. The delegation also helped nonprofit lenders like the Winooski, Vt.-based VSAC secure a higher rate from the U.S. Department of Education for servicing student loans. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who serves as a member of the Senate education committee, led the effort… Continue Reading


Senator Leahy Writes To U.S. Customs And Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin On Next Steps For Morses Line Decisions

Click here to view a letter, dated April 28, 2011, from Senator Patrick Leahy to U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin regarding the future of the Morses Line port of entry. # # # # #… Continue Reading


Leahy: New Clean Water Act Guidance That Underscores Pollution Rules For Streams And Wetlands Offers ‘Sturdier Framework’ For Protecting Lake Champlain

WEDNESDAY (April 14) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday said new guidance on Clean Water Act protections for streams and wetlands will dispel confusion sown by two Supreme Court decisions, giving Vermont and Vermonters a "sturdier framework" for cleaning up Lake Champlain and other critical waterways. Leahy commended a multi-agency task force -- the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Department of Agri… Continue Reading


Leahy: VPR Nets 5 Digital Conversion Grants That Will Boost Coverage And Quality Throughout Vermont

(WEDNESDAY, April 27) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) says five new digital conversion grants totaling $402,863 will allow Vermont Public Radio to strengthen signal coverage and quality across Vermont, enhancing what already is one of the nation's premier statewide public radio networks. The grants are part of $6 million awarded nationwide to local public radio and TV stations by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). In ratifying the work of the Senate and House Appropriations Committ… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Supreme Court Decision In AT&T v. Concepcion

In AT&T v. Concepcion, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 opinion, held that class action bans, if part of an arbitration clause, are enforceable and any state law that says otherwise is preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act. "The opinion of five Supreme Court Justices in AT&T v. Concepcion will further weaken protections for consumers. The divided court decided that state laws which would protect consumers' rights to band together are preempted by Federal law. This is the latest in a ser… Continue Reading


Leahy Urges Google, Apple To Testify At SJC Subcommittee Mobile Privacy Hearing

(Wednesday, April 27, 2011) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is urging two leading providers of smartphone and tablet technology to accept invitations to testify before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law at a May 10 hearing focused on "Protecting Mobile Privacy: Your Smartphones, Tablets, Cell Phones and Your Privacy." In letters to Google CEO Larry Page and Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Leahy urged the companies to testify about how each is … Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Southwest-AirTran Merger

"Now that the Department of Justice has concluded its review of the Southwest-AirTran merger, I hope that Southwest Airlines will strongly consider resuming service to Burlington International Airport. Like many states across the country, Vermont depends on affordable and accessible air travel to help drive our state and local economy. Returning the service once provided by AirTran to Burlington will benefit both Vermonters and visitors to our state." # # # # #… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Administration’s National Strategy To Address Prescription Drug Abuse

"With the release of this national strategy, Director Kerlikowske and officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration, and the Drug Enforcement Administration are continuing important efforts to stop prescription drug abuse. At a Judiciary Committee field hearing in Barre last year, Director Kerlikowske and I heard directly from people on the front lines in Vermont about the state's efforts to combat drug-related crime and particularly the growing p… Continue Reading

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