Press Room

Press Releases

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

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


02.12.10

Vermont Wins $12 Million for High-Tech Medical Records System

BURLINGTON - Almost $12 million was awarded today to help Vermont doctors and hospitals move from paper records to state-of-the-art computerized medical records. Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) said the funds will help state agencies, hospitals and doctors' offices develop a standardized system that will improve patient care and maintain the confidentiality and security of patient records. Gov. Jim Douglas said Vermont has led the nation… Continue Reading


02.11.10

Leahy To Introduce Bill To Fix Labor Department’s Exemption Of Dairy Farms From Visa Program For Seasonal Workers

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Thursday said he will introduce legislation to address the U.S. Department of Labor's new rules that exclude the dairy industry from eligibility for certification in the seasonal agricultural worker program, called H-2A visas. "I am deeply disappointed with the Department of Labor's final rule on H-2A agricultural workers," said Leahy. "This rule falls short, leaving dairy farms in the lurch. With the dairy industry reeling in Vermont and across the nati… Continue Reading


02.11.10

Leahy, Feinstein In Letter To President Endorse Use of Federal Courts To Prosecute Terrorists

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Thursday sent a letter to President Barack Obama endorsing the longstanding use of federal criminal courts to prosecute terrorists. Leahy and Feinstein chair the Senate Judiciary Committee and Select Committee on Intelligence, respectively. Leahy and Feinstein have supported the administration's plans to try terrorists in federal court, which have a proven track record over many years of successfully trying terror… Continue Reading


02.10.10

Statement At Nominations Hearing

Today the Senate Committee on the Judiciary will hear from six more of President Obama's judicial nominees. I thank Senator Sessions for working with me to schedule this hearing and to work to include these nominees. We meet today while the Federal Government and most of the city remains shut down in the wake of a blizzard and record snow falls for this area. I commend Senator Klobuchar for chairing and Senator Sessions for serving as the ranking Republican at this hearing. The nominees b… Continue Reading


02.09.10

Senate Confirms Third Circuit Nominee

The Senate Tuesday night unanimously confirmed Judge Joseph Greenaway to a seat on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. The nomination, pending before the Senate for more than four months, is just the fifth circuit court nomination confirmed this Congress. The final vote was 84-0. Greenaway first appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee at a hearing on September 9. The Judiciary Committee unanimously reported the nomination to the full Senate on October 1. Senate Judiciary Commi… Continue Reading


02.09.10

Leahy: Citizens United Decision Has Invited Foreign Influence Over Our Political Process

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


02.09.10

Vilsack Names 5 Vermonters, Nominated By Leahy, To USDA's Farm Service Agency State Committee

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has announced the five Obama Administration appointees to USDA's Farm Service Agency State Committee in Vermont - the advisory body that will guide the work of USDA's Farm Service Agency in Vermont in implementing agriculture conservation, loan, disaster relief, and financial programs, resolving appeals from Vermont's farm community, and informing producers about Farm Service Agency programs. The five Vermonters were recommended to Vilsack by U.S… Continue Reading


02.05.10

Comment On The President’s Appointment Of A Council Of Governors (Including Governor Douglas as Co-Chair) To Implement Leahy’s National Guard Empowerment Act

[Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chairs the Senate National Guard Caucus (Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., is the Republican co-chair). Leahy is the author and chief sponsor of the Guard Empowerment Act, signed into law in 2007. The Leahy legislation, among other steps, directs the President to appoint a bipartisan Council of Governors to advise on Guard issues. Governor Douglas of Vermont has been appointed co-chair of the Council.] "I commend President Obama for this step in implementing the Guard … Continue Reading


02.05.10

Passport Center Could Be Huge Boost To City

The City of St. Albans will be home to the only non-metropolitan passport agency in America. There is a single reason why: Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. The passport center will be located on South Main Street, where the Post Office used to be. The 6,500 square foot center is being remodeled to the tune of between $1 million and $3 million. It's expected to employ just shy of 20 people and to be open no later than October of this year. Hopefully, much sooner. The next closest passport agency is in… Continue Reading


02.05.10

Senatorial Quiz, Via Webcam

BARRE - Who says you can't be in two places at once? Sen. Patrick Leahy was on Thursday and so were nearly 40 sixth-graders at Barre City Elementary and Middle School. Thanks to the marvels of modern technology, Vermont's senior senator had the opportunity to play are you smarter than a 6th-grader during a noontime break in the nation's capital. He passed with flying colors. Of course it wasn't a particularly tough test for Leahy, whose familiar face was beamed into Susan Connolly's classroom… Continue Reading


02.04.10

Statement At Hearing On The Comcast/NBC Universal Merger: What Does The Future Hold For Competition And Consumers?

Today, the Antitrust Subcommittee examines the competitive impact of Comcast's proposed acquisition of NBC Universal. This acquisition would combine the Nation's largest cable company with one of the leading television and film content owners, and has significant implications for the media industry. I thank Senator Kohl and Senator Hatch for holding this important hearing. Over the years, the media industry has consistently found innovative ways to provide viewers with an enhanced televis… Continue Reading


02.04.10

Barre City Elementary & Middle School

On February 4, 2010 Senator Leahy conducted his first online chat with 6th grade social studies students of Barre City Elementary and Middle School. Students asked a variety of questions about a variety of topics including Senator Leahy's childhood, what inspired him to become a United States Senator and his favorite part of his job. They also discussed Senator Leahy's role in the movie The Dark Knight and his personal favorite sports teams and foods.… Continue Reading


02.04.10

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Vermont Nurses Volunteering in Haiti

MR. LEAHY. Mr. President, on January 22nd, I spoke in this chamber about the earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12th, and the unprecedented devastation it caused. We now know that an estimated three million people have been affected, including some 700,000 people displaced from Port-au-Prince and living under plastic or other makeshift shelter, and as many as 200,000 may have died. Tens of thousands have suffered injuries, including many whose limbs were amputated. Hundreds of t… Continue Reading


02.04.10

Judiciary Committee Advances Four Nominations

The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday advanced four nominations to the full Senate for consideration. The Committee recessed after nearly two hours of debate. Six nominations, including four judicial nominations, were not considered by the Committee, and will be debated at the panel's next meeting. Two judicial nominations and two executive nominations were reported by the Committee: Edward M. Chen to be a district judge for the Northern District of California; Louis B. Butler, Jr., … Continue Reading


02.03.10

Delegation Receives Response Letter From NRC Chairman

(WEDNESDAY, February 3, 2010) - The Vermont congressional delegation received a letter on Tuesday from Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory B. Jaczko in response to delegation letters on January 15 and 22, 2010. The letter can be viewed at the right (PDF) and the full text is below: February 2, 2010 On behalf of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), I am responding to your letters of January 15 and 22, 2010, regarding the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station in Brattle… Continue Reading


02.03.10

Leahy Responds To Request For Justice Department Oversight Hearing

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) responded quickly Wednesday to a letter from Committee Republicans requesting a hearing with Attorney General Eric Holder. Leahy began working with the Attorney General earlier this year to schedule a hearing date. "I have continued in this Congress to conduct the oversight efforts I have always conducted during my chairmanship, whether the administration is Republican or Democratic. I have…been working with the Departmen… Continue Reading


02.02.10

Comment On ABA Report On Immigration Court Reform

"I have long been concerned with the quality of adjudication of cases in immigration courts. In recent years, we also discovered an alarming level of politicization in the hiring of immigration judges and the so-called 'streamlining' of administrative appeals. Federal circuit court judges have issued opinion after opinion admonishing the lower, administrative courts for poorly reasoned decisions, and in some cases, for the failure to issue an opinion at all. With caseloads that are eve… Continue Reading


02.02.10

Leahy Introduces Bill To Hold American Contractors Overseas Accountable Under U.S. Law

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Tuesday introduced legislation to ensure accountability under U.S. law for American contractors and employees working abroad. The Civilian Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (CEJA) will close a gap in current law to make certain that American government employees and contractors are not immune from prosecution for crimes committed overseas. The legislation follows Leahy's efforts in previous Congresses to provide for prosecution of violations of U.S. law … Continue Reading


02.02.10

Comment On Trying Detainees In Federal Courts And Military Commissions

"Federal courts have proven time and again that they are capable of handling terrorism cases. They have successfully tried hundreds of terrorism cases, and nearly 350 terrorists are being held securely in our federal prisons today. In stark contrast to that record, very few of the detainees held at Guantanamo Bay have been brought to justice through military commissions. I believe strongly in letting the Justice Department make prosecutorial decisions, and I support this administration'… Continue Reading

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