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


Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Florida Federal District Court Ruling On Health Care Law

"Challenges to the Affordable Care Act have been making their way through the federal courts since the enactment of the historic health care reform law. Today's decision by Judge Vinson of the Northern District of Florida is another in a string of lower court decisions on this issue. Other courts have upheld Congress's authority to enact the Affordable Care Act. These cases are already before appellate courts, and there is little doubt the Supreme Court will be the final arbiter of this const… Continue Reading


Citing an Increase in Suicides, Leahy and Graham Seek More Support for Guard Soldiers

(FRIDAY, Jan. 28) - U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the co-chairs of the Senate National Guard Caucus, are urging the U.S. Army to do more to help National Guard troops cope with the stresses of combat. The call comes with the release of new Army figures showing a large increase in suicides among Guard soldiers over the past year. The Army's year-end statistics, released last week, show that confirmed or suspected suicides among National Guard soldiers rose to … Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Protests In Egypt And Global Internet Freedom

"I join President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton in voicing strong support for the fundamental right of freedom of expression and assembly for the Egyptian people, and in urging the Egyptian Government not to block access to internet communications, including online social media. As the situation in Egypt continues to unfold, I urge all parties to refrain from using violence. "The internet - a product of American innovation - is a vital tool for communicating and sharing information and… Continue Reading


USDA’s Decision Thursday On Genetically Engineered Alfalfa – Leahy And DeFazio Warn About USDA Decision Lifting All Protections For Organic And Conventional Farmers

[(THURSDAY, Jan. 27) -- Following are the comments of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) on USDA's announcement Thursday that the agency will completely remove current regulations that limit use of genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa, a key commodity in dairy farming, including organic dairy farming, making alfalfa the first perennial GE crop approved for widespread planting. Leahy and DeFazio have led congressional efforts to limit the threat to organic farmer… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On 112th Congress Committee Membership

(Jan. 27, 2011) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) released the following comment about the Committee's membership for the 112th Congress. A total of 18 Senators will serve on the Judiciary Committee, 10 Democrats and eight Republicans. Joining the Committee will be Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah). Members who are leaving the Judiciary Committee in the 112th Congress include Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) and Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), a… Continue Reading


Leahy Continues Fight For Food Safety Enforcement

(Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today reintroduced legislation to strengthen criminal penalties against those who knowingly violate food safety standards. Leahy first proposed the Food Safety Accountability Act last summer to hold the most egregious food safety violators accountable for knowingly selling tainted products. The legislation will impose stricter prison sentences and fines for individuals or corporations that contaminate the nation's food supply by knowing… Continue Reading


Leahy: Judiciary Committee Will Consider Patent Reform Feb. 3

(Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011) - The Senate Judiciary Committee will consider long-pending legislation to update the nation's patent system at a business meeting next Thursday, Feb. 3. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) had scheduled the legislation for consideration today, but accommodated a request to hold the legislation over for one week, which is permitted under the Committee's existing rules. The bipartisan Patent Reform Act was introduced by Leahy, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and inc… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy Commemorating Data Privacy Day

MR. PRESIDENT, I join privacy advocates, industry leaders and Government officials from across our Nation in celebrating 'Data Privacy Day 2011' -- a day to raise awareness about data privacy practices and rights. Today, Americans from all walks of life reap the countless benefits of the Internet and the latest technological advances. But, with these many rewards, comes growing uncertainty and unease about how sensitive personal information is collected, shared and stored. In the Digital Ag… Continue Reading


Leahy Renews Effort To Extend Expiring PATRIOT Act Authorities, Increase Oversight

(Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday introduced legislation to extend expiring provisions authorized by the USA PATRIOT Act. The provisions are set to expire on February 28. The USA PATRIOT Act Sunset Extension Act of 2011 mirrors a bipartisan agreement reached in the last Congress to address the expiring authorities and increase oversight. Leahy led Senate efforts in the 111th Congress to provide an extension through 2013 of the exp… Continue Reading


Leahy Lauds Government’s Fraud Recovery Efforts To Protect Taxpayer Dollars

(Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) praised law enforcement's efforts to recover billions of taxpayer dollars lost to fraud during a hearing Wednesday morning on Capitol Hill. Leahy focused the first Committee hearing of the 112th Congress on fraud enforcement and recovery efforts, which have collected billions of dollars from penalties and fines in the last fiscal year alone. "Major fraud cases take time to investigate and prosecute," said Le… Continue Reading


Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy To The President's State Of The Union Message

The President set forth wise priorities with a proper sense of urgency. He also helped heal the nation with his deeply moving call for civility and respectful debate. Mindless political point-scoring, demonizing and 'my way or no way' obstructionism are 'luxuries' the American people can no longer afford, let alone stomach. What we saw in him tonight was a little less of the professor and a little more of the statesman. The American people largely agree with his diagnosis of our greatest cha… Continue Reading


Op-ED: Bipartisanship Needed To Resolve Vacancy Crisis

The nation's federal courts are in crisis. Judicial vacancies have again topped 100, and more than two dozen circuit and district courts across the country are facing judicial emergencies. The time for partisan tit-for-tat in the confirmation of federal judges is over. In his "Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary," Chief Justice Roberts rightly called attention to the problem facing many overburdened district and circuit courts across the country. The rise in judicial vacancies -- which… Continue Reading


Leahy Proposes Landmark Forensics Reform Legislation

(Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced legislation Tuesday to strengthen and improve the quality of forensic evidence routinely used in the criminal justice system. The legislation is aimed at ensuring that forensic evidence used in criminal cases is of the highest scientific integrity. Before the 111th Congress adjourned, Leahy announced his intention to introduce forensics reform legislation early this year. The Criminal Justice and Forensic Science Reform Act wi… Continue Reading


Vermont Delegation Files Health Care Legislation

, Jan. 25 - The Vermont congressional delegation today introduced legislation to let the state implement a single-payer health care system that could become a model for the nation. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced a Senate bill and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) filed legislation in the House that would let Vermont and other states provide better health care at less cost beginning in 2014. All three members of the delegation joined Gov. Peter Shumlin at a Statehouse … Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Introduction Of The Patent Reform Act of 2011

The United States of America has long been the world leader in invention and innovation. That leadership has propelled our economic growth, but we cannot remain complacent while expecting to stay on top. A Newsweek study last year found that only 41 percent of Americans believe that the United States is staying ahead of China on innovation. A Thompson Reuters analysis has already predicted that China will outpace the United States in patent filings this year. China, in fact, has a specific … Continue Reading


Rutland High School

On January 25, 2011, Senator Leahy held an online chat with seniors at Rutland High School. Using Skype to communicate with the students and their teachers Senator Leahy spoke about his plans to attend President Obama's State of the Union Address later that evening. Students also asked questions about a variety of topics including education, energy and the environment and health care reform. Listed below is a sample of some of the questions asked during the chat. Twyla - How do you feel about… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces Effort To Move Heavy Truck Traffic From State Roads To Interstates

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (MONDAY, Jan. 24) - During a visit to Champlain Oil Company in South Burlington Monday, U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy announced that he and U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) this week will introduce a bill making permanent a now-expired federal pilot program allowing heavy trucks to use the Interstate system in Maine and Vermont. Leahy was joined by Vermont legislative leaders, trucking advocates, state officials and business leaders in pointing to the economic, environmental an… Continue Reading


New Drug Free Communities Support Program Funding Available Now

As a Vermont prosecutor and in the United States Senate, Senator Leahy has long supported and advanced the types of community-based prevention and involvement that this program encourages. He proudly cosponsored the original legislation in 1997 and has championed the program's work during his time on the Judiciary and Appropriations Committees. While Vermont is one of the safest states in the country, it has still had to confront drug abuse and drug-related crime. Over the past three years Se… Continue Reading


Leahy Taps John Tracy As His State Director

(THURSDAY, Jan. 20) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D) has named John Tracy as his State Director, overseeing his activities and staff in Vermont. Tracy replaces Chuck Ross, Vermont's new Secretary of Agriculture in the administration of Governor Peter Shumlin. Tracy, a graduate of UVM, is in his fifth year as Field Representative for Leahy, traveling the state and helping Vermonters and their communities in their dealings with federal programs and agencies. Leahy said Tracy brings timely exp… Continue Reading


Leahy, Hatch, Grassley: Patent Reform Will Protect American Jobs, Promote Economic Development

(Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011) - A bipartisan group of Senators will introduce patent reform legislation when the Senate returns to session next week, Senate Judiciary Committee Members Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) announced Thursday. The Judiciary Committee has worked to advance patent reform legislation since 2006. Leahy is the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and has included the Patent Reform Act of 2011 on the Committee's first executive bu… Continue Reading

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