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Press Releases

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

02.25.10

Comment On Patent Reform Legislation

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) spoke at an Executive Business meeting Thursday morning about patent reform. Watch the webcast here: http://judiciary.senate.gov/resources/webcasts/index.cfm?p=all. I want to thank Senator Sessions for working with me on what has been a top priority of this Committee - patent reform legislation. Today we can report that we have reached a tentative agreement in principle that preserves the core of the compromise struck in Committee la… Continue Reading


02.24.10

Comment On One Year Extension Of Expiring Provisions Of The USA PATRIOT Act

The Senate tonight passed a one-year extension of expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act. The provisions will now expire on February 28, 2011. "I would have preferred to add oversight and judicial review improvements to any extension of expiring provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act. A bipartisan majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced compromise legislation to the full Senate for consideration more than four months ago. Since then, I have worked with Senator Kyl, Senator Feinste… Continue Reading


02.24.10

Comment On Bipartisan House Passage Of A Repeal Of The Health Insurance Industry’s Federal Antitrust Exemption

"I commend the House's vote today to eliminate the health insurance industry's exemption from federal antitrust laws. Ending this exemption will help ensure that health insurers compete rather than collude. Members in both chambers recognize that this repeal is needed. We cannot introduce competition to the health insurance market while allowing the insurance industry to hide behind a special-interest, anachronistic, statutory antitrust immunity. A study released by the American Medical Asso… Continue Reading


02.24.10

Leahy Introduces Bill To Help Community Coalitions Fight Local Drug Issues

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday introduced legislation to authorize a federal grant program to help communities address local emerging drug issues. The Drug Free Communities (DFC) Enhancement Act will authorize additional grants to assist community coalitions that help to lower substance abuse, and will sharpen the focus of the grant program on emerging and local drug issues. Fourteen coalitions in Vermont receive assistance from Drug Free Communities grants. The Drug Free Communities… Continue Reading


02.24.10

Leahy Lauds Senate's Bipartisan Approval Of New Jobs Bill

[The U.S. Senate Wednesday approved a new fully paid for jobs bill -- the Hiring Incentives To Restore Employment Act -- in a bipartisan vote of 70 to 28. Following are the comments of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who voted for the bill.] "This is a straightforward boost to the economy that will create jobs and help put Vermonters back to work. The strong bipartisan showing for the bill shows there is widespread support in America for a bold agenda to encourage job creation and growth." # #… Continue Reading


02.23.10

Leahy-Chaired Panel Holds Hearing On Libel Tourism And The Growing Threat To American Journalists

The Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday held a hearing to examine libel tourism, a growing threat to American journalists' First Amendment rights. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) presided at the hearing. Permissive libel laws in other countries have resulted in foreign law suits against American journalists, publishers and authors. A widely-publicized case in Britain in which an American author, Rachel Ehrenfeld, was sued in British courts by a Saudi businessman led the United Nations… Continue Reading


02.22.10

Comment On Najibullah Zazi’s Guilty Plea In Federal Court

Another example of the strength of our justice system unfolded today in a Federal district court in New York, where Najibullah Zazi, whose actions have been described by the Attorney General as one of the most serious terrorist threats since September 11, pleaded guilty to terrorism charges. I ask the critics whether, in this case, they would have forgone justice and the intelligence that was gained, by insisting, instead, that Zazi be designated as an enemy combatant and whisked away to Guanta… Continue Reading


02.22.10

Comment On President Obama’s Proposals For Health Care Reform

I am pleased the President remains committed to passing a comprehensive health insurance reform bill that will give millions more Americans access to health insurance, while improving quality and keeping costs down for everyone. Not only do tens of millions of Americans lack health insurance, but under the current system, insurance companies can actively discriminate against sick people, and American families are driven into bankruptcy every day by medical expenses. These escalating health cos… Continue Reading


02.19.10

Leahy Announces Hearing On OPR Report

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing to examine the Office of Professional Responsibility Report on the Office of Legal Counsel, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced today. The report was released to Congress today. The hearing will be held Friday, February 26, at 10:00 a.m. Witnesses will be announced in the coming days, and the hearing will be webcast live online. Below is Chairman Leahy's comment on the report. Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Sen… Continue Reading


02.19.10

Comment From Leahy Spokesman On FBI Report On 2001 Anthrax Attacks

David Carle, spokesman for Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.): "Senator Leahy had a long discussion with Director Mueller about the investigation. He will read the report and has no plans to comment."… Continue Reading


02.17.10

New Shelter Is Almost Home

White River Junction --The Upper Valley Haven plans to open its new 20-bed shelter for homeless adults in May but needs to raise roughly $150,000 to add staff and programming for the Hartford Avenue building. "We aren't finished yet. … We still have a ways to go to be able to have the funds to operate this program," Haven Executive Director Sara Kobylenski said yesterday during a ceremony intended to highlight a $200,000 federal earmark U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., included i… Continue Reading


02.17.10

Burlington Secures $3.15 Million For More Waterfront Transportation Improvements

U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and U.S. Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) hailed the White House announcement Wednesday that the City of Burlington will receive $3.15 million to enhance year-round public access to the northern section of Burlington's historic waterfront by making several roadway, parking, and pedestrian improvements to the area. Through $2.7 million in previous federal funding secured by Leahy, Burlington has developed detailed design p… Continue Reading


02.17.10

Leahy And Putney Historical Society Announce General Store Construction To Begin This Spring

PUTNEY, Vt. - Sen. Patrick Leahy and members of the Putney Historical Society, Preservation Trust of Vermont and Vermont Housing and Conservation Board met at the site of the Putney General Store Wednesday morning to announce that a new $60,000 federal grant will ensure that construction on the new General Store can begin this year. "None of us here could have imagined that instead of touring a new and improved Putney General Store today we would be standing in front of a vacant lot," sai… Continue Reading


02.16.10

Leahy Announces $1.075M. In Economic Development For Southern Windham County

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. - Sen. Patrick Leahy joined leadership and staff from Omega Optical, the Brattleboro Food Coop, Windham Housing Trust and representatives of the Town of Guilford Tuesday to announce $1,075,000 in economic development and community development appropriations. The funding will continue Omega Optical's solar research, help the Brattleboro Food Coop and Windham Housing Trust reach construction on a new downtown Brattleboro facility and encourage smart growth in Algiers. "Com… Continue Reading


02.16.10

New Upper Valley Haven Adult Shelter Critical To Serving Area Homeless And Homeless Veterans

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, Vt. - During a construction tour of the Upper Valley Haven's new shelter for homeless adults in White River Junction Tuesday, Sen. Patrick Leahy told representatives of the Haven, capital campaign donors and White River Junction Veterans Administration (VA) Director Robert Walton that a $200,000 appropriation he secured for the facility was going to help serve the Upper Valley's homeless and homeless veterans in need of medical care at the nearby VA hospital. As a se… Continue Reading


02.16.10

Leahy Plans Hearing To Examine Libel Tourism

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Tuesday that the Committee will hold a hearing on Feb. 23, to examine libel tourism, a growing threat to American journalists' First Amendment rights. The hearing is entitled "Are Foreign Libel Lawsuits Chilling Americans' First Amendment Rights?" Permissive libel laws in other countries have resulted in foreign law suits against American journalists, publishers and authors. A widely-publicized case in Britain in which an Ame… Continue Reading


02.13.10

Leahy, Sanders, Welch Hail Vilsack’s OK Of USDA Loan For Northeast Kingdom Biomass Venture

BURLINGTON, Vt. - The members of Vermont's Congressional Delegation - U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D), U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I), and U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D) - Saturday said the approval of a $10 million federal loan -- $9 million of it guaranteed by USDA - for a significant new biomass production facility in Island Pond, Vt., is on target to create new jobs in a strategic emerging sector of Vermont's economy. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, during a town meeting on Vermont agricult… Continue Reading


02.12.10

New Organic Program Rule On Livestock Access To Pasture Is True To Producers And Consumers And Faithful To The Leahy Organics Law

On the eve of U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack's Saturday meeting with organic producers in Vermont, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) says USDA's new organic program rule on organic livestock access to pasture "ensures that the organic label lives up to consumers' expectations and the expectations of our organic producers who have invested so heavily in the organic label and what it stands for." The long-awaited rule, five years in the making and released today (Friday)… Continue Reading


02.12.10

Leahy And Small Businesses Herald Vermont Community Loan Fund

MONTPELIER, Vt. - Representatives of the Vermont Community Loan Fund (VCLF), small businesses from across the state, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Senator Patrick Leahy said Friday that two key loan provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act - the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund and the Small Business Administration's Micro-Loan Program - are helping Vermont businesses find access to much-needed capital. Leahy said the Recovery Act… Continue Reading


02.12.10

Comment On Cell Phone Tracking And Electronic Privacy

A hearing today before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit will examine the legal standard that should apply when the government requests Americans' cell phone locational information. "In the Information Age, cell phones, BlackBerries and other innovative technologies make it easier for Americans to quickly share information, with countless benefits. But, these technologies also create privacy challenges that were unforeseen when Congress enacted federal electronic privacy l… Continue Reading

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