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Press Releases

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

01.29.10

Vermont Senators to Welcome Agriculture Secretary to Vermont

Vermont Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders today announced that U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will visit Vermont on Saturday, February 13, 2010. The senators will host the secretary at a series of events in Burlington and St. Albans. Sanders invited the secretary to Vermont and will chair a dairy town meeting at the Burlington Hilton. Leahy will join Sanders and Vilsack on the town meeting panel. Sanders will also host Vilsack as the keynote speaker at … Continue Reading


01.29.10

Senate Passes Leahy-Authored Bill To Ease Burdens On Trademark Owners

The Senate Thursday night unanimously passed legislation introduced this week by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to assist trademark owners in maintaining the protection of their brands. The Trademark Law Technical and Conforming Amendments Act makes necessary adjustments to the nation's trademark laws, improving efficiency in the trademark system. Many small Vermont businesses that hold trademarks will benefit from improving the efficiency of the system. "This bill will harmoni… Continue Reading


01.29.10

The Leahy Letter - January 29, 2010

Leahy: Supreme Court Opens The FloodgatesTo Corporate Contributions As Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, Senator Leahy spoke on the Senate Floor Thursday, January 28, about the Supreme Court's decision last week in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision last week that reversed long standing precedent and barred restrictions on corporate independent expenditures in elections as being in violation of the First Amendment. You can watch Se… Continue Reading


01.28.10

Statement On The Nomination Of Benjamin Bernanke As Chairman Of The Federal Reserve Board

Mr. President, I will vote for President Obama's nomination of Benjamin Bernanke for a second term as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. Chairman Bernanke's nomination should be examined through the prism of how he performed during the recent financial crisis, and with full consideration of the best interests of the American people and their stake in the Nation's economic recovery. It is clear that prompt and decisive action by Federal officials like Dr. Bernanke saved the co… Continue Reading


01.28.10

Senate Judiciary Committee Reports Bill To Fund Boys & Girls Clubs

The Senate Judiciary Committee reported legislation Thursday to reauthorize a Department of Justice grant program for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. The legislation was originally introduced in December by Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and former Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who have worked together in the past to secure funding for the organization. The bill is also cosponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Judicia… Continue Reading


01.28.10

Leahy Introduces Refugee Opportunity Act

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday introduced legislation to provide an exception to the continued physical presence requirement for refugees who assist the U.S. government abroad during their first year in the United States. The legislation is cosponsored by Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.). The Refugee Opportunity Act addresses a requirement that refugees must be physically present in the United States for a full year before being able to adjust their status to that of a lawful perm… Continue Reading


01.28.10

Citizens United Decision “Creates New Rights For Wall Street At The Expense Of Main Street”

(Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday spoke on the Senate Floor about the Supreme Court's decision last week in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision last week that reversed long-standing precedent and declared government restrictions on corporate independent expenditures on elections to be unconstitutional in violation of the First Amendment. Leah… Continue Reading


01.28.10

Vermont Wins $50.5 Million For Passenger Rail

U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) today hailed a major announcement that Vermont will receive $50 million for major rail improvements along Amtrak's Vermonter line. The funding will help pay for construction of track, roadbed and bridge improvements along 190 miles of railroad used by Amtrak Vermonter service between St. Albans, Vt., and Springfield, Mass., according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The upgrade will reduce tr… Continue Reading


01.27.10

Comments On President Obama’s State Of The Union Message To A Joint Meeting Of Congress

Senator Leahy's Reaction To President Obama's State of the Union Address I welcome the President's plans to accelerate the recovery by creating jobs to help working families rejoin the mainstream economy. Few presidents have faced so many challenges so soon in their terms - and all at once. President Obama has had to find ways to finish two wars that he inherited, and he has had to avert an economic catastrophe. Decisive action by the President and others saved the economy from tu… Continue Reading


01.27.10

Leahy Schedules Hearing On Oversight Of Immigration & Customs Enforcement

- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has scheduled an oversight hearing of U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) for Wednesday, Feb. 3. The hearing is expected to address the need to reform the immigration detention system. Early in her tenure, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced a major internal review of the immigration detention system. The Department of Homeland released a report calling for reforms related to medical care, ac… Continue Reading


01.27.10

Leahy Pushes For Data Privacy Legislation In Wake Of Commerce, NARA Data Breach

(Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is urging the Senate to consider comprehensive data privacy legislation in the wake of reports of two serious privacy breaches at the Commerce Department and the National Archives and Records Administration. Leahy is the author of the Personal Data Privacy and Security Act, which will improve cybersecurity and better protect Americans' privacy and personal information. The Judiciary Committee reporte… Continue Reading


01.27.10

Leahy, Sessions File Bill To Ease Burdens On Trademark Owners

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) have filed legislation to help assist trademark owners in maintaining the protection of their brands. The legislation makes technical and conforming amendments to the nation's trademark laws, and is supported by the Obama administration. "This legislation is focused on the process for maintaining trademark protection," said Leahy. "It is a targeted bill that will improve the efficiency… Continue Reading


01.26.10

Statement On Proposed Cuts to the State Department Budget

Mr. LEAHY . Mr. President, first, I thank my friend from Alabama for yielding time. AMENDMENT NO. 3303 Among the $120 billion in funding cuts that would be required by the Coburn amendment is a $1.3 billion rescission from the State Department. Section 13 of the amendment specifically directs the Secretary of State to eliminate two programs--the East-West Center and the Asia Foundation--saying this would produce savings. Even if it made sense to eliminate these programs which have a long hist… Continue Reading


01.26.10

Vermont Delegation Meets With Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman

Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) met this afternoon with Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory B. Jaczko regarding recent alarming reports about the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. The delegation's letter on January 22, 2010, requested a meeting and a full investigation into the radioactive leak detected at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. A copy of the letter is available at the link above. Chairman Jaczko stated th… Continue Reading


01.26.10

Albert D. Lawton Intermediate School

Mr. Peter Gustafson's 6th grade Social Studies Class As part of their recent study of the rainforest student's of Mr. Peter Gustafson's 6th grade social studies class wrote letters to Senator Leahy's office in December of 2009 sharing with the Senator their thoughts on the topic. After responding to the student letters, Senator Leahy spoke directly with students during an online chat to further explore global efforts for rainforest preservation. This was the first online chat for the Albert D. … Continue Reading


01.26.10

Leahy To Introduce Bill To Ease Burdens On Trademark Owners

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) will introduce legislation later today to help assist trademark owners in maintaining the protection of their brands. The legislation makes technical and confirming amendments to the nation's trademark laws, and is supported by the Obama administration. Members in the House of Representatives are expected to introduce similar legislation today. Many small Vermont businesses that hold trademarks will benefit from improving the efficiency of the syst… Continue Reading


01.25.10

Senate Confirms District Court Nominee

The Senate Monday night unanimously confirmed Rosanna M. Peterson to fill a district court vacancy in the Eastern District of Washington by a vote of 89-0. Peterson, whose nomination was reported by the Judiciary Committee on December 10, is just the fourteenth judicial nomination confirmed this Congress. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday released a statement addressing Republican claims about delays in confirming judicial nominations. Senate Republicans h… Continue Reading


01.22.10

Vermont Delegation Calls On The Nuclear Regulatory Commission To Investigate Vermont Yankee

Vermont's congressional delegation today wrote Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory B. Jaczko to ask him to move forward on a thorough investigation of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant regarding recent alarming reports about the plant. Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) wrote the following letter: January 22, 2010 The Honorable Gregory B. Jaczko Chairman U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Washington, D.C. 20555-0001 Dea… Continue Reading


01.22.10

Statement On The Earthquake in Haiti

Highlights of Senator Leahy's Comments On The Earthquake In Haiti MR. LEAHY. Mr. President, the widespread devastation and loss of life in Haiti caused by last Tuesday's earthquake is a tragedy on a scale that words alone cannot adequately describe. The hemisphere's poorest country, with a history of repeated calamities - some caused by natural disasters, some by corrupt, abusive governments - is facing an humanitarian emergency and reconstruction needs of daunting proportions. T… Continue Reading


01.22.10

Comment On The Department Of Justice’s Lawsuit Against Dean Foods

"I am pleased that the Department of Justice has moved forward to block a portion of Dean Foods' acquisition of Foremost Farms. I have had concerns about the impact of this and similar acquisitions on the already hurting dairy industry. The Department is following through with its pledge to examine market consolidation in the dairy industry, where farmers have been hit by sinking prices while milk processors and distributors are posting increased profits. It is appropriate for the Depa… Continue Reading

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