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


The Leahy Letter -- March 31, 2011

Senate Passes Leahy's America Invents Act Earlier this month, the Senate overwhelmingly approved major legislation authored by Senator Leahy to significantly update the country's patent system for the first time in nearly 60 years. The bipartisan America Invents Act will streamline and transition the nation's patent system to the more modern 'first-inventor-to-file' system, used by the rest of the industrialized world, and encourage entrepreneurs to create businesses and jobs here at home in Am… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Tik Root

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I want to take a moment to say a few words about a situation in Syria that is of particular concern to me and people of my state. Going on two weeks ago, a young Middlebury College student, Pathik "Tik" Root, disappeared in Damascus, Syria, where he was studying Arabic. As anyone who is following recent events in Syria knows, there have been large public demonstrations, some of which have resulted in arrests and casualties. Thanks to the efforts of U.S. Embassy Da… Continue Reading


Judiciary Committee Approves Leahy-Authored Food Safety Accountability Act

WASHIGTON (Thursday, March 31, 2011) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved legislation to strengthen criminal penalties for companies that knowingly violate food safety standards and place tainted food products on the market. The Committee is chaired by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who authored the Food Safety Accountability Act and first introduced the bill last summer. The Food Safety Accountability Act will increase criminal penalties for any individual or corporation that k… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On House Introduction Of The America Invents Act

"I am pleased that Chairman Smith and House leaders are committed to reforming the nation's patent system, and I welcome the introduction of the America Invents Act in the House of Representatives today. Congressman Smith, Congressman Berman and others have been true partners on the path toward enacting meaningful patent reform legislation. The America Invents Act introduced in the House tracks closely with its bipartisan counterpart that recently passed the Senate. The similarity in the bill… Continue Reading


Leahy Chairs Senate Judiciary Committee Oversight Hearing With FBI Director Mueller

(Wednesday, March 30, 2011) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy Wednesday morning chaired an oversight hearing of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Director Robert Mueller testified before the panel. Testimony, member statements, and a webcast of the hearing are available online. Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing On Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation March 30, 2011 Today the Judiciary Committee … Continue Reading


Senators Leahy And Collins Urge House And Senate Leaders To Include Truck Weights Fix In Federal Funding Bill

(TUESDAY, March 29) -- U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) have written to House and Senate leaders urging them to include language in the upcoming Continuing Resolution that would permanently allow trucks weighing up to 100,000 pounds to travel on federal interstate highways in Maine and Vermont. The federal government currently is operating under the latest in a series of stop-gap budget bills, which expires April 8. In 2009, Collins and Leahy successfully include… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Protecting The Rights Of American Muslims

Director Robert Mueller of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has testified before this Committee and others that, in the past few years, there has been a dramatic increase in the activities of domestic hate groups. Some of these activities have resulted in attacks targeting the American Muslim community. To make matters worse, some leaders have sought to sow fear and divisiveness against American Muslims. Fanning the flames of hate against those with different faith traditions runs co… Continue Reading


Leahy: GE Aviation Rutland Gains $9.8M. Contract From The Navy For Fighter Engines

RUTLAND, Vt. (MONDAY, March 28) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday announced a new $9.8 million U.S. Navy contract with General Electric Aviation for work in Rutland on additional engine components used in the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft. The full contract, for work performed in Rutland and at several other GE plants, totals $246,520,390. Leahy is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and of its Defense Subcommittee, which handles the Senate's work in writing the annual… Continue Reading


Delegation Applauds Nearly $1.8 Million To Provide Fresh Fruits And Vegetables To Vermont School Children

(WEDNESDAY, March 23) -- Vermont's congressional delegation - Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) - on Wednesday applauded the announcement by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to expand assistance to Vermont for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP). Vermont is slated to receive nearly $1.8 million to help provide free fresh fruits and vegetables to children throughout the school day. The USDA FFVP makes fruit and vegetable snacks av… Continue Reading


Peace Corps marks 50

PUTNEY -- Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., were in the Dominican Republic, Monday, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps. Over the last five decades, the Peace Corps has sent more than 200,000 volunteers to 139 countries around the world and the group's roots extend all the way back to Windham County. Sargent Shriver founded the Peace Corps, and Shriver's experience in 1935 traveling in Europe as a member of the Experiment in International Living is beli… Continue Reading


Delegation Fights To Continue Vermont Guard Outreach Program

, March 22 - The Vermont congressional delegation has called on the Army and National Guard to continue funding an essential outreach program for Vermont veterans returning from deployments in Afghanistan and elsewhere. The Vermont Guard's first-of-its-kind outreach program was funded since 2006 by federal grants secured by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee. With a 2010 grant of $2.4 million about to run out, a congressional budget logjam threatens… Continue Reading


Obama Administration, Governor Shumlin Announce Funds To Spur At Least $132 Million In New Lending to Vermont Small Businesses, Help Create Jobs

Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin announced the approval of Vermont's State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) application. Vermont's planned use of the SSBCI funds will help create new jobs and spur more than $132 million in additional small business lending in that state. The SSBCI program, which supports state-level small business lending programs, is an important component of the Small Business Jobs Act that President Obama signed into law la… Continue Reading


Delegation Statement on NRC and Vermont Yankee

BURLINGTON, Vt., March 21 - The Vermont congressional delegation issued the following statement in response to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission decision to formally issue a 20-year license extension for the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant: "It is hard to understand how the NRC could move forward with a license extension for Vermont Yankee at exactly the same time as a nuclear reactor of similar design is in partial meltdown in Japan. We believe that Entergy should respect and abide by Vermont's… Continue Reading


Congressional Delegation To Visit Dominican Republic And Haiti During Congressional Recess

(FRIDAY, March 18) -- Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Department of State and Foreign Operations, is heading a three-day congressional delegation that will visit the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The delegation leaves Monday and will return Wednesday while Congress is in recess. Members of the delegation are Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.); Senator Kent Conrad (D-N.D.); Senator Kay Hagan (D-N.C.); Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.), and Cong… Continue Reading


Leahy Renews Effort To Permanently Charter Successful Job-Creating Foreign Investment Program

BURLINGTON, Vt. (FRIDAY, March 18) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Friday that he is renewing his effort to make permanent the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center pilot program. Vermont's Regional Center program, established in 1997, has been a highly successful private-public partnership between the State of Vermont and several Vermont businesses. "Vermont's regional center program is an economic engine for the state," said Leahy at a news conference in Burlington. "In a small … Continue Reading


Leahy: Small Businesses Will Benefit From America Invents Act

(Wednesday, March 16, 2011) - The U.S. Senate this week is debating legislation to reauthorize the Small Business Innovation Research Program and Small Business Technology Transfer Program. The bill will improve small businesses' ability to take part in federally-funded research. Last week, the Senate overwhelmingly voted to approve the America Invents Act, legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that will also benefit small businesses by making important updates to the nation's … Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The FY 2012 Budget Request For The EPA

Administrator Jackson, welcome. Since the passage of the Lake Champlain Designation Act 20 years ago, the EPA has been a strong partner in the cleanup of Lake Champlain. Vermont and New York have valued that partnership. We have worked with Republican and Democratic administrations alike to identify and address threats to the quality of Lake Champlain. Everyone in the Champlain Basin wants to preserve and protect the Lake that is not only a natural wonder but also an integral part of our eco… Continue Reading


Leahy, Cornyn Renew “Faster FOIA” Effort During Sunshine Week

(Wednesday, March 16, 2011) - As Sunshine Week commemorations continue, Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas.) Wednesday renewed their legislative efforts to improve the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the nation's premier open government law. Leahy and Cornyn are longtime leaders in Congress on FOIA issues. The Faster FOIA Act will establish an advisory panel to examine agency backlogs in processing FOIA requests. The panel, named the Commission on Freedom of Informati… Continue Reading


Richmond Elementary School

On March 16, 2011 Senator Leahy spent a half hour speaking with students from Richmond Elementary School. The 4th grade students who had just finished studying Vermont civics and government asked a variety of questions about life as a United States Senator, Lake Champlain, Farm to School Program, and technology in schools. This was Senator Leahy's first online chat with Richmond Elementary School. The questions asked during the chat are listed below. Raina: Why did you want to run for Senate … Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy on The Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act

MR. LEAHY. Mr. President, on March 10th, my friend from California, Senator Feinstein, and I introduced S. 558, the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act of 2011. It is identical to the bill that she and I introduced last year, and similar to those in prior years. Cluster munitions, like any weapon, have some military utility. But anyone who has seen the indiscriminate devastation cluster munitions cause over a wide area understands the unacceptable threat they pose to civilians. These … Continue Reading

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