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


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Unanimous U.S. Sentencing Commission Vote To Apply Fair Sentencing Act Guidelines Retroactively

"I applaud the United States Sentencing Commission's unanimous decision to give retroactive effect to federal sentencing guidelines changes implementing the Fair Sentencing Act, which Congress passed last year. That historic legislation took important steps to reduce the disparity between sentences for crack cocaine offenses and those for powder cocaine offenses - a disparity that has disproportionately impacted African Americans. Today's courageous decision, which will help people sentenced u… Continue Reading


Delegation And Governor Announce $1.2 Million Emergency Grant To Create Flooding Clean-Up Jobs

BURLINGTON, VT, June 30 - Vermont's congressional delegation - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) and Rep. Peter Welch (D) - and Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) on Thursday announced a $1.2 million National Emergency Grant (NEG) from the US Dept of Labor to create jobs for displaced workers and long-term unemployed Vermonters to help with flooding clean-up. The grant of $1,201,250 being awarded to the Vermont Department of Labor will create about 75 temporary jobs for eligible dislocated wo… Continue Reading


Leahy, Brown, Kerry Introduce Bill To Fight Human Trafficking

(Wednesday, June 29, 2011) - Legislation introduced Wednesday by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) will reauthorize the historic Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which enhanced the government's efforts to combat human trafficking in the United States and abroad. The law is set to expire this year. The bipartisan Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) will extend the authorization of the current law until 2015, and improve coop… Continue Reading


As FOIA Anniversary Approaches, Leahy Urges House To Pass Faster FOIA Act

(Wednesday, June 29, 2011) - As the nation prepares to mark the 45th anniversary of the enactment of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is urging the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the bipartisan Faster FOIA Act, which won unanimous approval in the Senate in May. "On July 4th, the Nation will celebrate the 45th anniversary of the enactment of the Freedom of Information Act," said Leahy. "Today, the United States government is more committed than in a… Continue Reading


Leahy, Judiciary Committee Look At Impact Of SCOTUS Decisions On Access To Justice, Corporate Accountability

(Wednesday, June 29, 2011) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday chaired a hearing to examine how recent Supreme Court decisions will impact Americans' access to justice and affect corporate behavior. The hearing focused on the Court's recent decisions in Wal-Mart v. Dukes, Janus Capital group, Inc. v. First Derivative Traders, and AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion. The hearing is the latest in a series that Leahy has chaired in the Judiciary Committee to examine … Continue Reading


Senate Confirms Three Nominations To Critical National Security Posts At DOJ

(Tuesday, June 28, 2011) - The Senate Tuesday confirmed three nominees to fill important national security posts at the Department of Justice, including the long-stalled nomination of Jim Cole to be the Deputy Attorney General. Cole was first nominated in May 2010, and was first reported by the Judiciary Committee in July 2010. The nomination was filibustered in May by Senate Republicans. "The unprecedented filibuster of the nomination of the Deputy Attorney General has been especially egregi… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Holds First-Ever Hearing On DREAM Act

(Tuesday, June 28, 2011) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday morning held the first-ever hearing on the DREAM Act, legislation that would allow a select group of immigrant students to start on a path to citizenship. The DREAM Act would give students who came to the U.S. as children under the age of 15, are long-term U.S. residents, have good moral character, graduate from high school or obtain a GED, and complete two years of college or military service in good standing a chance to earn le… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Supreme Court Decision In Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett, Secretary Of State Of Arizona

"In yet another closely divided opinion, five justices overturned a state law designed to fight corruption in elections. The Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Act sought to increase public discourse in that state's elections, and was approved by Arizona voters in response to several political scandals. But today, five justices overturned that law, holding that the public matching funds available to candidates somehow restricts free speech. "I disagree with the Court, and agree with the dissen… Continue Reading


Leahy: General Dynamics of Williston Nets Nearly $300 M. Army Contract For More Hydra Rockets

(JUNE 24) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has announced a $285,970,132.30 extension of a U.S. Army contract with General Dynamics Armaments and Technical Products. Of the contract total, 71 percent will pay for work, managed in Williston, on Hydra 2.75-inch rockets. The contract will sustain 40 jobs at the General Dynamics Williston facility, which employs 400 workers. The U.S. Army Contracting Command in Redstone Arsenal, Ala., awarded the contract, exercising an option on an existing cont… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee To Examine Impact Of Supreme Court Decisions On Access To Justice, Corporate Accountability

(Friday, June 24, 2011) - The Senate Judiciary Committee, under the chairmanship of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), will hold a hearing June 29 to examine how recent Supreme Court decisions will impact Americans' access to justice and affect corporate behavior. Recent Court opinions that will be discussed include Wal-Mart v. Dukes, Janus Capital Group, Inc. v. First Derivative Traders, and AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion. The final decisions of the Supreme Court's term are expected to be announ… Continue Reading


Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy On Passage Of H.R. 1249, the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act

"Long-awaited patent reform moves one step closer to becoming law today with the House's action on the America Invents Act. This bill will unleash American Innovation and create good, well-paying jobs for American workers. It is commonsense legislation that goes to the heart of our shared agenda: reinvigorating the American economy and promoting job growth. "I commend Chairman Smith, Mr. Hoyer, and others for their work to create and pass true patent reform. I particularly thank my friend fr… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Reports Leahy-Authored Civilian Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act

(Thursday, June 23, 2011) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved legislation authored by Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to provide accountability for American contractors and government employees working abroad. The Civilian Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (CEJA) would close a gap in current law to ensure that government employees and contractors working overseas are not immune from prosecution for criminal acts. "Now, more than ever, Congress must make sure that our c… Continue Reading


Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy On Supreme Court Decision In Sorrell v. IMS Health Inc.

"Today the Supreme Court has overturned a sensible Vermont law that sought to protect the privacy of the doctor-patient relationship. This divided ruling is a win for data miners and large corporations and a loss for those of us who care about privacy not only in my home state of Vermont but across the nation. States like Vermont must be able to protect the privacy of sensitive information exchanged between a doctor and patient. This decision undermines that ability, and risks unduly influenc… Continue Reading


Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy On The President's Address To The Nation On Withdrawal Of Some Troops From Afghanistan

"The good news is that the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan has finally begun, and for that I commend the President. But I had hoped to see significantly more troops coming home immediately and a sharper reduction over the coming months, and I will work with others to encourage the President and our military commanders to expedite this process. We can neither justify nor afford the human and fiscal costs of this war." # # # # #… Continue Reading


Leahy Joins Democratic Leaders, Others To Reintroduce Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill

(Wednesday, June 22, 2011) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), joined with Senators Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) to reintroduce a comprehensive immigration reform bill aimed at addressing the broken immigration system with tough, smart, and fair measures. The bill includes measures to strengthen border security, enhance worksite enforcement of immigration laws, and requirements that … Continue Reading


House Nears Vote On Counterpart Bill To Senator Leahy’s America Invents Act

At-a-glance facts on the Senate and House patent reform bills available here.… Continue Reading


Senator Leahy: Time to Narrow and Sharpen Our Goals in Afghanistan

What if we had never gone to war in Iraq? I wonder where our country might be today if we had never made that tragic mistake. Thousands of American families would never have stood before flag-draped coffins, grieving over young lives cut short. A trillion dollars in debt would not be burdening our economy, to be paid back by our children and grandchildren. Our troops did all we asked of them and more. In the toll they paid, and in the burden laid upon the nation, the war in Iraq cost u… Continue Reading


Leahy Chairs Hearing on IP Oversight Efforts

(Wednesday, June 22, 2011) - The Senate Judiciary Committee led by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) held an oversight hearing today on the administration's efforts to protect American intellectual property. Promoting American innovation and protecting American intellectual property has been a key focus of legislative efforts in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Senate earlier this year approved the Committee-passed America Invents Act by a vote of 95-5. The House of Representatives is consid… Continue Reading


Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy on Fee Diversion and House Consideration of H.R. 1249, the America Invents Act

"I again commend Chairman Smith, Mr. Watt and others for the work they have done on the America Invents Act. While I am disappointed that the bill will not go to the House floor with the specific language contained in the Senate-passed bill to end fee diversion, the America Invents Act remains legislation that will be a tremendous boon for American inventors, American manufacturers, and American jobs. I believe that the fee diversion language in the manager's amendment, coupled with a commitme… Continue Reading


Leahy, Portman Introduce Bill To Help States Keep Ex-Offenders From Returning To Crime

(Monday, June 20, 2011) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) Monday introduced legislation to help improve public safety and reduce prison costs for federal, state and local governments. The Second Chance Reauthorization Act improves existing assistance programs to help state and local authorities more successfully reintegrate prisoners into their communities and reduce the rate of repeat offenses. The Second Chance Act was first enacted in 2007, and provided resour… Continue Reading

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