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Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Nominations To The Privacy And Civil Liberties Oversight Board

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Committee On The Judiciary, On Nominations To The Privacy And Civil Liberties Oversight Board December 16, 2010 "I welcome the President's announcement today that he intends to nominate two individuals to serve as Members of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. Congress created this Board at the recommendation of the 9-11 Commission, to ensure that privacy and civil liberties interests are appropriately considered when ou… Continue Reading


Senate Confirms Four Judicial Nominations; 34 Remain Pending

The Senate Thursday night confirmed four long-pending judicial nominations, each of which received unanimous support from the Senate Judiciary Committee. Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said, "These confirmations are long overdue. For months, these nominations have languished before the Senate, without explanation and for no reason. Today, we confirm them unanimously. These confirmations will help fill a few of the judicial vacancies around the country, which have reached historically high le… Continue Reading


Sanders and Leahy Fight Senate Republican Stalling Tactics Blocking $11 Million to Keep Vermonters Warm this Winter

Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today said Vermont would be in line for $10.8 million of a $5 billion appropriation for home heating assistance included in a spending bill that Senate Republicans are trying to block. One of the last must-do measures on the agenda before Congress adjourns for the year, the appropriations bill would prevent a 40 percent cut in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Vermont's $10.8 million share would help keep senior citize… Continue Reading


Leahy: “Time Is Running Out” To Consider Nominations

, Wednesday, Dec. 15 - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) released the following statement today about the status of pending judicial and executive nominations, including the nomination of Jim Cole to be the Deputy Attorney General. The New York Times today published an editorial, "Advise and Obstruct," about the delays in considering pending judicial nominations. The Washington Post today published an editorial, "An Unacceptable Delay," about continuing objections by Se… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy In Remembrance Of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke

Remarks As Prepared For Delivery MR. LEAHY. Mr. President, it is with deep sadness that I speak today in memory of a dear friend, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, who died on Monday at the far too early age of 69. I first met Dick years ago, long before he held his most recent post of Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. We had many conversations over the years, as Dick's career progressed and particularly during the war in the former Yugoslavia. Dick's skillful diplomacy that ended t… Continue Reading


Senator Leahy Votes No As Senate OKs Tax Package

[Following is the final statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) during Senate debate on the tax cut extension package, which the Senate approved Wednesday afternoon in a vote of 81 to 19.] Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy In Opposition To Wholesale Extension Of The Bush Tax Cuts I strongly oppose the tax deal now before the Senate. While I support tax relief for working and middle-income Americans, I am not willing to add $858 billion to the national debt in order to give enormous tax … Continue Reading


Leahy-Authored Bill To Assist Veterans Groups Set To Become Law

(Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010) - The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to make veterans groups eligible to receive surplus property donations from the federal government. The bill, which is cosponsored by Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), will be sent to the President to be signed into law. The Senate unanimously passed the legislation in September. The Formerly Owned Resources for Veterans to Express Thank… Continue Reading


Senate Proposal To Wrap Up Budget For The Year Includes Leahy Truck Weight Extension For Vermont

(TUESDAY, Dec. 14) - U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday announced that a budget package soon to be introduced in the Senate includes a year-long extension of the pilot programs in Vermont and Maine that are moving heavy trucks off state secondary roads and onto the Interstate highway system. The provisions are sponsored by Leahy and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who also authored the pilot programs currently in effect in Vermont and Maine, which expire this month. Leahy is the second mos… Continue Reading


Comment On The Senate’s Vote On Proposed Tax Cuts

I support tax relief for working and middle-income Vermonters, but I am not willing to add another $858 billion to our national debt in order to give enormous tax breaks to multi-millionaires. I am first and foremost a Vermonter, and the citizens of Vermont elected me to express my Vermont values. In this case, I believe the deal on tax cuts is wrong for most Vermonters, and certainly wrong for our country. Given the overwhelming number of calls, letters, and emails I have received this pas… Continue Reading


Comment On Federal Court Ruling On Health Care Law

"While several judges have dismissed challenges to the Affordable Care Act, today, Judge Hudson of the Eastern District of Virginia declared that one provision of the law is unconstitutional. Judge Hudson did not issue an injunction requiring the federal government to suspend implementation of the Affordable Care Act, as the relevant section does not go into effect for several years. Other decisions handed down by courts across the country have upheld Congress's authority to enact this legisla… Continue Reading


Vermont Nets $3.3 M. More In Home Heating Funds, As Vermont’s Congressional Delegation Keeps The Heat On Congress For Further LIHEAP Funding

Vermont's Congressional Delegation - Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Congressman Peter Welch (D) - Friday reported that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is releasing $3.3 million more in home heating assistance to Vermont. The Vermont lawmakers have been pushing for this funding and more, which they say Vermonters will need before the winter's through. The grant is part of a nationwide release of $2.68 billion in Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Prog… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Reports Of A Settlement Between Dean Foods And Northeast Dairy Farmers

"This case has been a constructive development for the future of our dairy industry. Vermont dairy farmers, like dairy farmers across the country, are struggling, and we cannot allow collusion among larger dairy conglomerates to continue at the expense of our locally owned and operated dairy farms. These companies should be put on notice that there is a price to pay for anti-competitive practices. Reports of this settlement are welcome news but also a reminder that the Justice Department must… Continue Reading


Senator urges U.S. to end funds to Haiti government

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) - An influential U.S. senator on Friday urged President Barack Obama's administration to suspend direct aid to Haiti's government and visas for its top officials until it ensures a fair and democratic outcome to disputed national elections. Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy made the call as international pressure mounted on outgoing Haitian President Rene Preval's government and Haitian electoral authorities to review the contested results of November 28 elections that h… Continue Reading


Leahy Calls For Freeze Of Funds To Haiti’s Central Government And Of Travel Visas For The Government’s Leaders Who Are ‘Trying To Subvert The Will Of The People’

[(FRIDAY, Dec. 10) -- U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday said he has urged the Obama Administration to withhold funding to the central government of Haiti, and to suspend visas for travel to the United States by senior Haitian Government officials and their immediate family members, until necessary steps are taken to ensure a fair and democratic outcome to the elections held on November 28, 2010. Leahy chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on The State Department and F… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Judicial Nominations

I have been urging Republicans and Democrats in the Senate to come together and take action to begin to end the vacancy crisis that is threatening the administration of justice by our Federal courts. I asked only that Senators follow the Golden Rule. Regrettably that has not happened. Now 38 judicial nominees whose qualifications are well established are being delayed. They should be confirmed before we adjourn. Adherence to the Golden Rule, a simple step, would help us return to our Senate … Continue Reading


DOJ To Implement Provisions Of Leahy-Authored Patriot Act Reauthorization Proposal

(Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010) - In a letter sent Thursday to Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the U.S. Department of Justice has indicated that it is implementing several key oversight and civil liberties provisions incorporated in legislation authored by Leahy to reauthorize expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act. In March, Leahy wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder urging the Justice Department to implement oversight provisions and reporting requirements included in the USA… Continue Reading


Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Senate’s Failure Again To End The Filibuster On Legislation To Repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

[On Thursday afternoon the U.S. Senate again failed to secure a supermajority vote needed to break a filibuster preventing a debate and vote on the Defense Authorization Bill, which includes provisions to repeal the controversial "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy on the service of gays in the military. The cloture vote garnered 57 votes, with 60 needed for cloture. Below are the comments of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a leading advocate for repealing the current policy.] The stage is e… Continue Reading


Republicans Object To Passing Bill To Help Families Of Oil Rig Explosion

(Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010) - A consent request offered by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to consider legislation to allow families of the victims of the April explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig to seek justice in court met with objection from Republican Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) Thursday afternoon. Leahy (D-Vt.) is the author of legislation, called the Survivors Equality Act (SEA), that would permit families of victims killed on the high seas to be treated fairly and receive compensation… Continue Reading


Vermont Delegation Announces Additional Rail Funding

, Dec. 3 - Vermont's congressional delegation announced Thursday that the state will receive $2.7 million in additional Recovery Act funding for the "Vermonter" rail line, which runs from St. Albans to Vernon. The announcement comes after the delegation last week urged Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to reallocate unused High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) funds to Vermont's Western Corridor project, which runs from Rutland to Burlington. The additional funding became available afte… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Motion To Invoke Cloture On The Emergency Senior Citizens Relief Act of 2010

[Wednesday night the U.S. Senate failed to invoke cloture - to end a filibuster -- on a bill sponsored by Senator Bernie Sanders and cosponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy that would have supplemented Social Security payments with $250 per Social Security recipient to help make up for the fact that seniors, for the second year in a row, will not have a cost-of-living adjustment to their Social Security benefits. Following is Leahy's statement Wednesday urging a vote on the Sanders bill.] Sta… Continue Reading

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