Press Room

Press Releases

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

12.15.09

Comment On The Government's Purchase Of A Prison Facility In Illinois To House Detainees

"I have opposed measures to prohibit the transfer of detainees to federal prisons in the past because our facilities in the United States are clearly capable of securely holding detainees. Maximum security facilities are both safe and secure. President Obama is taking prudent steps to ensure we are able to finally close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. Doing so will make us safer and is critical to restoring our reputation as a nation of laws. I am committed to working with him to accom… Continue Reading


12.15.09

Judiciary Committee Examines Use Of DNA Evidence To Solve Rape Cases

(Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2009) - The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing Tuesday to examine the problems facing crime labs across the country in processing backlogs of untested rape kits. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) presided. Leahy has been a champion of the Debbie Smith Rape Kit Backlog Reduction Act, which was enacted as part of the 2004 Justice For All Act. The Debbie Smith grant program has been successful in helping many jurisdictions across the country reduce or eliminate b… Continue Reading


12.15.09

Leahy Praises Resolution In Alvarado Asylum Case, Pushes Administration To Issue Regulations

(Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2009) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday praised the conclusion of a 14-year legal struggle that has resulted in the United States granting asylum to a domestic abuse survivor from Guatemala. Last week, an immigration judge granted asylum to Ms. Rody Alvarado, who fled to the United States in the 1990s seeking protection under the nation's asylum laws. "The details of Ms. Alvarado's case are shocking," said Leahy. "She suffered from horrific domestic violence in her hom… Continue Reading


12.15.09

Leahy Renews Call To Confirm Pending Nominations Before Recess

(Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday renewed his call for the Senate to consider more than 25 Judiciary Committee-reported nominations pending on the Senate's executive calendar. The Senate is poised to confirm fewer nominations to fill circuit and district court vacancies in this first year of the Obama administration than were confirmed in the first years of the last four presidencies. Only 10 lower court judicial nominations have been … Continue Reading


12.15.09

Comment On The Government’s Purchase Of A Prison Facility In Illinois To House Detainees

"I have opposed measures to prohibit the transfer of detainees to federal prisons in the past because our facilities in the United States are clearly capable of securely holding detainees. Maximum security facilities are both safe and secure. President Obama is taking prudent steps to ensure we are able to finally close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. Doing so will make us safer and is critical to restoring our reputation as a nation of laws. I am committed to working with him to a… Continue Reading


12.15.09

On Prescription Drug Importation, Amendment #2793, To H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Making medicine affordable is part of what health reform should be. Today we have the opportunity to include a measure long-championed by Senator Dorgan, which makes affordable prescription drugs more widely available to Americans. Americans pay some of the highest prices for prescription drugs of any country in the world - despite the fact that many of these drugs are made right here, and they are often made with the benefit of taxpayer supported research. Prescription drugs are a lifeline, … Continue Reading


12.14.09

Comment On Announced Settlement Over “Lost” Bush Administration Emails

"The Senate Judiciary Committee never accepted the Bush administration's conclusion that millions of its emails were "lost." In fact, President Bush's spokesperson was dismissive of congressional requests that the administration recover the emails. This was another example of the Bush administration's reflexive resistance to congressional oversight and the public's right to know." # # # # #… Continue Reading


12.14.09

Leahy Secures More Than $26 M. For Vermont Economic Development, Crime Prevention And Lake Cleanup Priorities

(MONDAY, Dec. 14) - Vermont's priorities fared well Sunday, during a rare weekend session, as Congress gave final approval to a package of six annual appropriations bills. The budget package will fund much of the federal government through the remainder of the fiscal year. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, secured more than $25 million for Vermont projects that will create jobs, prevent crime, and continue efforts to improve the condition of … Continue Reading


12.13.09

Time for health insurers to compete

As the Senate considers historic reforms to health care and the health insurance industry, it should repeal the health and medical malpractice insurance industries' exemption from federal antitrust laws. The exemption, enacted nearly 65 years ago, has served the financial interests of the insurance industry at the expense of consumers for far too long. Meaningful reforms to our health-care system must protect consumers and promote competition. Just as we believe that a strong public option will… Continue Reading


12.11.09

Statement On El Salvador

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I want to briefly discuss a subject that should interest all Senators concerning the country of El Salvador, which recently elected a new President and last month suffered extensive loss of life and devastating property damage as a result of torrential rains caused by Hurricane Ida. First, I congratulate the people of El Salvador on the election, which was historic in that President Funes is the country's first President since the end of the civil war who is a member o… Continue Reading


12.10.09

After Seven Months, Judiciary Committee Reports Media Shield Legislation

(Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved legislation to establish a qualified privilege for journalists to protect their confidential sources and the public's right to know. The bipartisan Free Flow of Information Act was first listed for Committee consideration in April, and Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has worked with the bill's chief sponsors to move the legislation forward. The media shield legislation was introduced by Senators Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) a… Continue Reading


12.09.09

Community Health Center Of Burlington Wins $11 Million For New Building

, December 9 - The Community Health Center of Burlington was awarded $10.9 million in federal stimulus funds for construction of a new building that will double the center's and allow it to serve more patients throughout Chittenden County, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) announced. "We are making significant progress in improving access to affordable primary health care in Vermont. In the last few years we have gone from two Federally Qualifie… Continue Reading


12.09.09

Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Department of Homeland Security Oversight Hearing

(Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009) - Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testified Wednesday morning at a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing chaired by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). Napolitano first appeared before the Committee, which has jurisdiction over immigration, citizenship and related issues, in May. Member statements, witness testimony, and a live webcast are available online.] Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.),Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee,Oversight Of Th… Continue Reading


12.09.09

Leahy Wins Key Step For Measure Aimed at Reducing Heavy Truck Traffic In Vermont Downtowns

(WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has won initial approval of his legislation to create a pilot program in Vermont to move heavy trucks off state secondary roads and onto the state's Interstate highways for one year, using the practical experience to evaluate impacts on highway safety, bridge and road durability, commerce, truck volumes and energy use in Vermont. Leahy included his provision in the annual transportation funding bill that a House-Senate conference committe… Continue Reading


12.09.09

Leahy Urges Congress To Pass REAL ID Fix

(Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009) - At a hearing on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) urged the Senate to quickly approve legislation designed to fix problems in the national driver's license program commonly referred to as REAL ID. Leahy is a leading sponsor of the bipartisan PASS ID Act, legislation that would implement the 9/11 Commission's recommendations to enhance the security of drivers licenses, while fixing many of the most troubling aspects of the REAL ID Act of 2005. "Se… Continue Reading


12.09.09

Nominees Should Be Confirmed Before Winter Recess

(Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday urged the Senate to consider and confirm the nearly two dozen Judiciary Committee-reported nominations pending on the Senate Executive Calendar, several of which have been pending for months. Nine nominations for federal courts across the country, as well as several nominations for critical leadership positions in the Department of Justice, await Senate confirmation. The Judiciary Committee is schedu… Continue Reading


12.08.09

Comment On On The Obama Administration’s Transparency Directive

"I commend President Obama for issuing an historic directive on government transparency, participation and collaboration that will make our government more accessible and accountable to the American people. I am particularly pleased that, for the first time, the public will have immediate access to government data that for too long had been shielded from view by excessive secrecy and outdated technologies. "From the start of his transition to the White House, I urged President Obama to mak… Continue Reading


12.08.09

Vermont Receives $10.45 Million In New First-Responder Grants

(TUESDAY, Dec. 8) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday announced $10.45 million in new first-responder grants to Vermont. The grants will be used to address the planning, equipment, training and exercise needs of first responders across the state. The new funding includes $6.6 million through the State Homeland Security Grant Program that Leahy authored in 2001. Leahy's all-state minimum funding formula, modified in recent years, ensures that smaller states like Vermont are able to partici… Continue Reading


12.08.09

Comments On The President’s Tuesday Message Outlining The Creation Of New Jobs To Accelerate The Economic Recovery

"The President laid out some broad steps that he believes should be at the heart of our efforts to generate additional momentum to create new jobs. I am pleased that he included bridge and road infrastructure among his priorities - which could help Vermont and New York accelerate construction of a new Champlain Bridge. It is time for Congress to act on these and other ideas so that we can pick up the pace in getting our economy moving again. I agree with President Obama's plan to use TARP fun… Continue Reading


12.08.09

Thomas Fleming School

Mrs. Auch's and Mrs. Coviello's 5th grade classes On December 8, 2009, 46 fifth grade students of the Thomas Fleming School in Essex, VT used a video-conferencing system to speak with Senator Leahy in Washington, DC. After studying the Constitution, the students were eager to ask the Senator about various aspects of his job, his life, and the political processes of the government and Congress. A sample of the questions asked during their 30 minute chat, are listed below. This is the second chat… Continue Reading

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