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


Leahy: First-To-File System Will Add Simplicity And Objectivity To U.S. Patent System

(Wednesday, March 2, 2011) - The U.S. Senate today continues debate on S. 23, the America Invents Act. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) opened today's debate on the long-pending patent reform legislation, speaking about the importance of transition to a first-inventor-to-file system. "The transition to a first-inventor-to-file system will benefit the patent community in several ways," said Leahy. "It will simplify the patent application system and provide increased c… Continue Reading


The Leahy Letter -- March 2, 2011

Senator Leahy: Cut Tax Breaks For Oil Giants...Not Heating Aid For Struggling Households Senator Leahy, joined by Senator Sanders and Congressman Welch, speaks out against the proposed cuts to heating aid for low-income households. On February 14, Senator Leahy joined Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch at the Champlain Senior Center in Burlington to discuss the significance of proposed funding cuts to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The Congress… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Supreme Court’s Decision In Federal Communications Commission v. AT&T Inc.

"The American people have good reason to cheer today's unanimous decision by the Supreme Court in Federal Communications Commission v. AT&T Inc., concluding that corporations do not have a right of personal privacy under the Freedom of Information Act. Openness, transparency and accountability are American values, and this decision underscores their importance to our system of government. I am also pleased that, in reaching this decision, our highest court honored congressional intent abou… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On S. 23, The America Invents Act

As Prepared for Delivery Yesterday the Senate began debate on The America Invents Act. We adopted the Committee amendments and proceeded to have five additional amendments offered to the bill. This morning I will be offering a managers' amendment along with Senator Grassley that incorporates additional improvements being made at the suggestion of Senator Coburn, Senator Coons, Senator Bennet and our House counterparts, Chairman Smith and Mr. Conyers of the House Judiciary Committee. When we … Continue Reading


Senate Unanimously Confirms Two Judicial Nominees

(Monday, Feb. 28, 2011) - The Senate Monday night unanimously confirmed two long-pending nominations to fill judicial emergencies in the Northern District of Georgia. Amy Totenberg and Steve Jones were first nominated in 2010 to fill seats on the federal district court in the Northern District of Georgia, and both nominations were reported to the full Senate unanimously in December 2010 by the Judiciary Committee, but the Senate failed to take action before for the 111th Congress concluded. P… Continue Reading


Leahy Opens U.S. Senate Debate On Patent Reform Legislation

(Monday, Feb. 28, 2011) - The Senate Monday afternoon began debate on long-pending legislation to make the first comprehensive reforms to the nation's patent system in nearly six decades. The legislation is authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). Leahy first introduced bipartisan patent reform legislation in 2006, and as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he has pressed the Senate to take up the legislation. "The Patent Reform Act is a key part of any jobs agenda," said Leahy. "W… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Senate Debate Of The Patent Reform Act, S.23

The Senate is today turning its attention to a measure that will help create jobs, energize the economy and promote innovation. The Patent Reform Act, which has also come to be called the America Invents Act, is a key part of any jobs agenda. We can help unleash innovation and promote American invention, all without adding a penny to the deficit. This is commonsense, bipartisan legislation. During the next few days, the Senate can come together to pass this needed legislation, and do so in a… Continue Reading


Delegation to NRC: Don’t Delay Vermont Yankee Cleanup

, Feb. 28 - The Vermont congressional delegation today urged the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to ensure a swift cleanup at Vermont Yankee after the license to run the nuclear power plant runs out. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) signed a letter that was drafted by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Sanders sits on the Senate panel that oversees the NRC, which regulates commercial nuclear plants in the United States. The lawmakers called it "unacceptable" that Entergy, w… Continue Reading


Vermont Delegation And Governor Shumlin Hail Obama Endorsement Of State Health Reform Waiver Legislation

, Feb. 28 - The Vermont congressional delegation and Gov. Peter Shumlin today hailed President Obama's endorsement of legislation allowing states to provide better health care at a lower cost starting in 2014. At a meeting of the National Governors Association Monday morning, Obama announced his support for amending the Affordable Care Act to allow states like Vermont to seek a federal waiver to the new law three years earlier than currently allowed. States would be required to design plans tha… Continue Reading


Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Drive To Quash The Rights Of Working Men And Women

The world looks to the United States as a champion of freedom, and one of the rights that we hold dear is the ability of Americans in the workforce to freely organize to defend their common interests. Right now, the world is closely watching the shameful efforts in Wisconsin and other states to strip the collective bargaining rights of many workers. We rightly cheer when the people of Poland, China or the Mideast stand up for the rights of their workers. The way that tens of thousands of Wisc… Continue Reading


Leahy To Bring Senate Panel To Vermont For Hearing Focusing On Protecting The Vermont Brand

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced today that he will bring the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to Vermont for a hearing on Monday, March 7, to look at ways to protect and promote Vermont's unique brand. Leahy is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and he has set the hearing, titled "Strategies to Protect and Promote Vermont Brands," for 10:00 a.m. on Monday, March 7, in the Ross Gymnasium at St. Michael's College in Colchester, Vt. "Vermont's name has come to define the high… Continue Reading


Leahy Asks DOJ For Update On Peanut Corp. Of America Investigation

(Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011) -- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) sent a letter Tuesday to Attorney General Eric Holder, requesting information on the Department's investigation into the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA). In 2009, more than 2,000 products containing peanuts processed at PCA were recalled for possible salmonella contamination. A Food and Drug Administration report stated that PCA knowingly sold peanut products containing salmonella. Tainted products proc… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Attacks On Protesters And Journalists In The Mideast

"To a watching world, the vicious and orchestrated attacks on civilian protesters and journalists in Bahrain, Libya, Iran and elsewhere in the region are repugnant. They deserve condemnation by other governments and official actions that are appropriate to these deplorable offenses against commonly held principles. "U.S. law prohibits aid to foreign security forces that violate human rights, and there is evidence to apply the law today in Bahrain. I have asked the State Department to consider… Continue Reading


Grassley, Schumer, Leahy Introduce Sunshine In The Courtroom Act

(Friday, Feb. 18, 2011) - Senators Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Charles Schumer of New York, have introduced legislation to allow federal trial and appellate judges to permit cameras in the courtroom. The senators are also joined by the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont. The bill has broad bipartisan support and has passed the Judiciary Committee several times. The other cosponsors of the legislation are Judiciary Committee members John Cornyn of Texas, Linds… Continue Reading


Leahy Comments On Floor Schedule For Patent Reform Act

(Friday, Feb. 18, 2011) - The Senate has entered into an agreement to proceed to the Patent Reform Act of 2011 on February 28. Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is the lead author of the bipartisan Patent Reform Act, which was unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 3. Leahy has been pressing for floor consideration of the legislation. "In his State of the Union address, President Obama challenged the nation to out-innovate, out-build and out-educ… Continue Reading


Senate Adopts Leahy-Authored Provision Extending Public Safety Officers Benefits To Nonprofit EMS Personnel

(Feb. 18, 2011) - The Senate Thursday night approved legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to extend the federal Public Safety Officers Benefits (PSOB) program to paramedics and emergency medical technicians who work or volunteer for nonprofit ambulance services, and their families, when they are disabled or killed in the line of duty. The legislation was adopted as an amendment to the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act. "I'm glad that all the work… Continue Reading


Leahy, Cornyn Bring Back Proposal To Root Out Public Corruption

(Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced legislation Thursday to give prosecutors new tools to identify, investigate, and prosecute criminal conduct by public officials. It is the third Congress in which Leahy and Cornyn have introduced the proposal. The Public Corruption Prosecution Improvements Act (PCPIA) will strengthen existing federal criminal law for acts of public corruption, and raise maximum statutory penalties. The bill … Continue Reading


Leahy Introduces Bill To Extend Public Safety Officers Benefits To Nonprofit EMS Personnel

(Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday introduced legislation to extend the federal Public Safety Officers Benefits (PSOB) program to paramedics and emergency medical technicians who work or volunteer for nonprofit ambulance services, and their families, when they are disabled or killed in the line of duty. The Dale Long Emergency Medical Service Providers Protection Act is named in honor of the Bennington emergency medical technician who was tragically killed in an… Continue Reading


Leahy: Committee Should Vote On PATRIOT Act Legislation March 3

(Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011) - Consideration of legislation to extend expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act was further delayed Thursday, after Judiciary Committee Republicans raised last minute objections to considering the previously-reported legislation. Committee debate on the bill will now be delayed another two weeks. "The USA PATRIOT Act Sunset Extension Act is virtually identical in substance to legislation approved by a bipartisan majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee last Cong… Continue Reading


Leahy Backs Ending Term Limits On Guaranteed Farm Loans

(THURSDAY, Feb. 17) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) joined as a cosponsor in introducing legislation Wednesday to eliminate term limits on guaranteed loans from the Farm Service Agency to many borrowers across the nation. If enacted, the bill (S.368) - whose chief sponsor is Senator Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.) -- will help more farmers and ranchers receive the help they need to maintain their farms and continue to support and expand their operations. The Farm Service Agency provides much-needed financ… Continue Reading

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