Press Room

Press Releases

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

12.21.09

Statement On The Managers' Amendment to H.R. 3590, The The “Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act”

After months of arduous work, the Senate will finally take the first significant step toward bringing needed reforms to health care in this Nation. Opponents of reform have wasted much of the public's time by provoking arguments over their distortions about what health reform means. Opponents have tried to demonize the plan, and have claimed it will never work. We have overcome weeks of delay tactics employed by the Minority - inexplicably, the most recent delay due to a filibuster against a … Continue Reading


12.19.09

Leahy Engineers $250 M. More For Vermont’s Medicaid Program In Senate’s Health Reform Package

(SATURDAY, Dec. 19) - In a major victory for Vermonters, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has convinced Senate negotiators to increase Medicaid payments to Vermont by $250 million over six years in the Senate's health reform plan. Leahy's provision, strongly supported by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), is included in an amendment of negotiated provisions that Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) offered to the bill Saturday, beginning the countdown to the final Senate vote on the bill next … Continue Reading


12.19.09

Comment on On Repealing The Health Insurance Industry’s Exemption From Federal Antitrust Laws

"I am disappointed the Health Insurance Industry Antitrust Enforcement Act will not be part of the Senate's debate on health reform legislation. As we work to increase competition and consumer choice in health insurance, repealing the health insurance industry's exemption from federal antitrust laws - laws designed to protect consumers - makes good business sense. "Support in the Senate for this repeal continues to grow. The Majority Leader is a leading advocate for this repeal, and the House… Continue Reading


12.19.09

Leahy-Backed Amendment To Combat Health Care Fraud Included In Package

An amendment to combat health care fraud through improved enforcement, introduced earlier this month by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ted Kaufman (D-Del.), has been included in a final package of amendments introduced to the health reform legislation pending before the Senate. The amendment was cosponsored by Senators Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). The amendment - which includes key provisions from the Hea… Continue Reading


12.19.09

Leahy Amendment To Help Free Health Clinics Included In Health Package

(Saturday, Dec. 19, 2009) - An amendment authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to help ease the crunch on free medical clinics across the country is part of a legislative package sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that will be offered as an amendment to the health reform legislation pending before the Senate. The amendment expands the scope of the Federal Tort Claims Act, and clarifies its application to free medical clinics. The Leahy-authored amendment will make clea… Continue Reading


12.19.09

Vermont’s Congressional Delegation Hails Poverty Index Freeze

(Saturday, Dec. 19) - Congress on Saturday wrapped up its work on the federal budget by sending a defense appropriations bill to the President that will also protect federal safety net help for low-income Vermonters. As the House and Senate worked to wrap up work on the must-pass budget bill, Vermont's congressional delegation pushed for the inclusion of a poverty level index freeze, along with an extension of COBRA health care benefits and other temporary remedies added to the defense bill. … Continue Reading


12.19.09

Vermont Firms' R&D Projects Clear Congress In Defense Budget Bill

(Saturday, Dec. 19) - Congress finalized the last portion of the federal budget on Saturday morning, passing and sending to the President's desk a defense appropriations bill that will secure jobs in a dozen Vermont research and development projects, under provisions included in the bill by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). Throughout the last year, Leahy -- a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee -- worked to identify opportunities for Vermont companies to develop products needed b… Continue Reading


12.19.09

Congress Passes Leahy-Backed Package Renewing Violence Against Women Act, Key Law Enforcement Initiatives . . .

Congress over the weekend overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan bill negotiated by Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and others renewing the landmark Violence Against Women Act as well as reauthorizing funding for key law enforcement initiatives within the Department of Justice. The sweeping anti-crime package renews and strengthens key programs to help federal, state and local law enforcement agencies fight crime and to combat violence against women. The bill also … Continue Reading


12.19.09

Leahy Releases His Stimulus Package Priorities As Drafting Process Begins To Take Shape

"I applaud President-elect Obama's selection of Congressman Ray LaHood to be the next Transportation Secretary. This is a choice that not only will play very well in Peoria but also on Capitol Hill and across the country. "Over the years I have enjoyed working with Ray LaHood on a variety of important agriculture and law enforcement issues. He was a key ally in our efforts to pass the Innocence Protection Act, which improves access to DNA testing that can help exonerate or convict those ac… Continue Reading


12.18.09

Comment On Extension Of Compliance Deadline For The REAL ID Act

"I want to acknowledge and commend the very difficult decision that Secretary Napolitano has made to extend the December 31 compliance deadline for the REAL ID law. A majority of states will not be in material compliance with the law by December 31. As I said to Secretary Napolitano in a recent oversight hearing, enforcement of the REAL ID on December 31 could result in extreme travel problems this holiday season for every American who does not currently possess a compliant driver's license. … Continue Reading


12.18.09

Statement On The Copenhagen Conference On Climate Change Congressional Record

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I want to speak briefly as the Copenhagen conference on climate change approaches its final hours. Earlier this week, Secretary of State Clinton announced on behalf of the United States the intention to work with other governments to raise $100 billion in long-term financing by 2020 to help developing countries address global climate change. This is an important commitment and an essential part of any comprehensive approach to global warming. If the United States is … Continue Reading


12.18.09

Leahy: Vermont Dairy Farmers On The Brink Of Big Win On MILC Extension

Sen. Patrick Leahy says Vermont dairy farmers Sunday night were on the brink of a major victory - renewal of the MILC safety net program - as Congress raced this weekend to wrap up the year's legislative session. Leahy, a conferee on the budget reconciliation package where the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) Program extension has been at issue, said broad agreement now has been reached to lock in the two-year extension of the program, until the next fa… Continue Reading


12.17.09

Senate Panel Reports Juvenile Justice Reauthorization Legislation

(Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday reported bipartisan legislation to reauthorize expiring programs implemented to protect America's youth. The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act was introduced in March by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and senior Committee members Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), and Arlen Specter (D-Pa.). The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act (JJD… Continue Reading


12.17.09

Leahy Files Report On Data Privacy And Cybersecurity Legislation

(Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday filed a committee report to accompany data privacy legislation that was advanced to the Senate in November. The legislation is the first cybersecurity bill to be reported in the Senate this year. The Judiciary Committee approved the legislation at a business meeting held on November 5. The comprehensive Personal Data Privacy and Security Act will improve cybersecurity and better protect American's … Continue Reading


12.17.09

Statement on Justice in Nepal

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I want to speak briefly about a matter that is of concern to the Congress and the Department of State, involving a heinous crime that occurred in Nepal and the need for justice. Many people are familiar with the brutal murder of Maina Sunuwar in February 2004. At the young age of 15, she was arrested by Nepali soldiers and severely tortured to death at, of all places, the Birendra Peace Operations Training Center. After her murder, the army made it look as though she h… Continue Reading


12.17.09

Statement On The Release Of Parole Guidelines For Asylum Seekers

I have long questioned the policy of detaining asylum seekers who present genuine claims for protection under our laws. Asylum seekers who express a fear of return to their country, and who can establish their identity and show that they are neither a flight risk nor a threat to the community, should be allowed to pursue a claim for relief in the United States free from custody. Yesterday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced new guidelines for release of asylum seekers tha… Continue Reading


12.17.09

Emergency Dairy Payments Approved

, December 17 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture today detailed plans to distribute $290 million to struggling dairy farmers. The assistance is part of a $350 million dairy assistance measure Congress approved at the request of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a senior member of the Senate appropriations committee, and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), cochairman of the Congressional Dairy Farmers Caucus, helped guide the measure through the congressional appropriations process… Continue Reading


12.16.09

Comment On Two-Month Extension Of Expiring Provisions Of The USA PATRIOT Act

Senate and House leaders have included a two-month extension of expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act in the Department of Defense appropriations bill. "I am disappointed that House and Senate leaders were not able to reach an agreement to enact the USA PATRIOT Act Sunset Extension Act before December 31. More than two months ago, the Senate Judiciary Committee reported legislation to extend these expiring provisions for four years, and to strengthen congressional oversight of these intel… Continue Reading


12.16.09

Comment On Two-Month Extension Of The Distant Signal Satellite License

Senate and House leaders have included a two-month extension of the distant signal satellite license in the Department of Defense appropriations bill. The extension will allow Windham and Bennington counties in Vermont to continue to receive Burlington stations through DirecTV. "While Senate and House leaders were not able to reach an agreement to pass a long-term extension of the law governing the retransmission of broadcast signals, I am pleased that Congress will provide for a two-month ex… Continue Reading


12.16.09

Comment On U.S. Immigration And Customs Enforcement Parole Procedures For Asylum Seekers

"I have long questioned the policy of detaining asylum seekers who present genuine claims for protection under our laws. Asylum seekers who express a fear of return to their country, and who can establish their identity and show that they are neither a flight risk nor a threat to the community, should be allowed to pursue a claim for relief in the United States free from custody. Today's announcement of new guidelines for release of asylum seekers overrides an unduly harsh policy implemented i… Continue Reading

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