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


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


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy on World Refugee Day

This year, we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. I am pleased that today, June 20, the international community is celebrating World Refugee Day, an important opportunity to recognize the continuing plight of the millions of refugees around the world who deserve our protection. It is also a moment to celebrate the accomplishments of refugees who have been resettled and are building new lives in the countries that welcomed them. The theme o… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Supreme Court Decision In Wal-Mart V. Dukes

The Supreme Court today issued an opinion in Wal-Mart v. Dukes, a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of 1.5 million female Wal-Mart employees. At issue was whether the corporation discriminated against its female employees in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. "The aspect of the Supreme Court's decision today in Wal-Mart v. Dukes that involved a deep division is most troublesome, and undercuts the ability of this class of female employees to even get through the courth… Continue Reading


Leahy, Grassley Request Briefings On Revised FBI Operations Guide

(Friday, June 17, 2011) - The Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee Friday sent a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller, urging the FBI to provide an updated briefing to the Committee on proposed changes to the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG), before the new guidelines are implemented. The Committee was last briefed on the revised edition of the DIOG last year. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) also r… Continue Reading


Leahy Hails Senate’s ‘Watershed’ Vote To End Ethanol Tax Subsidies

[In a strong and unprecedented roll call on Thursday afternoon, the U.S. Senate voted 73 to 27 to end a major tax break for producers of ethanol. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) voted for the Feinstein Amendment to kill the ethanol tax break, as did Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Leahy hopes the breakthrough vote will give new impetus to an effort he also supports to end tax breaks long enjoyed by the largest oil companies. Following are Leahy's comments after the vote:] "This vote was a watersh… Continue Reading


The Importance Of Patent Reform


Digital Privacy in the Digital Age: The Future is Now

Remarks Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Committee On The Judiciary, 21st Annual "Computers, Freedom & Privacy Conference 2011 - The Future Is Now" Georgetown University Law Center Washington, DC June 16, 2011 As Prepared For Delivery Thank you, Marc [Rotenberg]. I commend Marc for the all of the great work he is doing as the President of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC). He is also a former member of my staff and a part of the extended Leahy … Continue Reading


Judiciary Committee Approves Bill To Extend FBI Director Mueller’s Term

(Thursday, June 16, 2011) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved legislation to provide a one-time, two-year extension of FBI Director Robert Mueller's term. In May, President Obama requested that Congress enact legislation providing for the extension. The bill approved by the Judiciary Committee addressed concerns about the scope and intent of the legislative proposal. The legislation is consistent with previous actions by Congress which have never posed constitutional difficulti… Continue Reading


Politico: The Importance Of Patent Reform

We have seen tremendous technological advancements in the past 60 years, as computers shrank from the size of a closet to wireless technology that fits in the palm of your hand. Yet all this time, patent laws protecting U.S. technology remained largely unchanged. We cannot protect the technology of today with the tools of the past. This year, for the first time, China is expected to become the world's leading patent issuer, surpassing the U.S. and Japan in the number of patents granted. To keep… Continue Reading


Vermont Counties Granted Disaster Declaration

MONTPELIER - Gov. Peter Shumlin and Vermont's Congressional delegation announced tonight that federal aid would become available to Vermont homeowners and renters in seven counties hardest hit by this spring's flooding. In addition, public assistance to help pay for road, bridge and infrastructure repair will also be forthcoming in those counties. The Governor and Vermont's Congressional delegation received notice of federal approval from the White House and the Federal Emergency Management Age… Continue Reading


In Advance Of World Refugee Day, Leahy Introduces Refugee Protection Act

(Wednesday, June 15, 2011) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is continuing his efforts to enact legislation to ensure U.S. protection for refugees and asylum seekers fleeing persecution in their home countries. Today, Leahy introduced the Refugee Protection Act of 2011, a bill he first introduced in 1999 with bipartisan support. The Refugee Protection Act will help address shortfalls in current law, and help the United States fulfill its obligations under the 1951 Refugee Convention. Congr… Continue Reading


Sens. Leahy, Lautenberg Lead Effort To Boost Funding To Address Crisis Of White Nose Syndrome In Bats

(WEDNESDAY, June 14) -- U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.) have been joined by 11 Senate colleagues in calling for adequate funding to address the deadly white-nose syndrome (WNS) that is decimating bat populations in Vermont, New Jersey and across the United States. The senators sent a letter last week to the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, which has jurisdiction over federal funding for the U.S. Fish and Wil… Continue Reading


Leahy Urges House To Consider Food Safety Accountability Act

(Wednesday, June 15, 2011) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is urging the House of Representatives to consider the Food Safety Accountability Act, a bill that will hold criminals accountable for those who knowingly violate food safety standards and place tainted food products on the market. "The American people should be confident that the food they buy for their families is safe," said Leahy. "The uncertainty and fear caused by the current E. coli outbreak in Europe only reinforces the need to… Continue Reading


Leahy Applauds U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Endorsement Of America Invents Act, Urges House Action On Bill

(Tuesday, June 14, 2011) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday applauded the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's endorsement of the America Invents Act, which is currently pending before the House of Representatives. The U.S. Senate in March voted overwhelmingly to pass companion legislation, which was authored by Leahy and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). "I was pleased that the United States Chamber of Commerce today wrote to Members of the House of Representatives in support of the America Invents A… Continue Reading


Senate Confirms Two Judicial Nominees

(Tuesday, June 14, 2011) - The Senate Tuesday unanimously confirmed two pending nominations to fill vacancies on the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. Judge Claire Cecchi's nomination was reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 31, and Judge Esther Salas' nomination was reported by the Committee on April 7. Both nominations received unanimous support from the members of the Committee. Seventeen judicial nominations remain pending on the Senate's Executive Cale… Continue Reading


Leahy Renews Effort To Bring U.S. Into Compliance With International Consular Notification Treaty

(Tuesday, June 14, 2011) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced legislation Tuesday to address a long-standing international concern regarding U.S. compliance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR), a key treaty providing access for citizens detained abroad to their consulates. The Leahy-authored Consular Notification Compliance Act will give jurisdiction to federal courts to review the cases of foreign nationals currently on death row in the United States who did not recei… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Leahy At The Groundbreaking Ceremony Of Thayer Commons In Burlington

Thank you Nancy, for that kind introduction. There's a long list of others who deserve our thanks today - Nancy Owens, Amy Wright, Gus Seelig, Polly Nichols, Brenda Torpy … and the list goes on. I want to especially thank Mayor Kiss and his administration for supporting this project. And of course Representative Mark Larson. An affordable housing accomplishment like this doesn't happen by accident, and I'm so proud to have been part of the superb team that is making it a reality. … Continue Reading

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