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

11.21.09

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Passage Of S.1472, The Human Rights Enforcement Act

I am always looking for ways in which we can improve the investigation and prosecution of international human rights abusers, including those who seek safe haven in the United States. That is what led me to develop and fight for several years to enact the Anti-Atrocity Alien Deportation Act, which became law in 2004. That is what I did in supporting and implementing legislation for the Convention Against Torture. That is what I have done in my work on the State and Foreign Operations Appropria… Continue Reading


11.21.09

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Motion To Proceed To H.R. 3590, The “Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act”

Leahy Debates Senate Health Insurance Reform Plan Decision time is near on health insurance reform, and I will vote today to end the filibuster so the Senate can begin this important and historic debate to improve and reform our Nation's health insurance system. Let's not duck the debate. Let the debate begin. Let's not hide from votes. Let's have the courage to vote and stand up and vote on the amendments. Let the American people know where we stand and not say, well,… Continue Reading


11.20.09

Leahy To Chair Department Of Homeland Security Oversight Hearing

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday announced that the Committee will hold an oversight hearing with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Wednesday, December 9. It will be Napolitano's second appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over immigration, citizenship and related issues. Secretary Napolitano first testified in May. The Senate Judiciary Committee has held periodic oversig… Continue Reading


11.19.09

Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Nomination Of Vermont Judge Christina Reiss For Vermont’s U.S. District Court Vacancy

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved the nomination of Vermont State Judge Christina Reiss of Essex Junction, to a judgeship on Vermont's U.S. District Court. Reiss's nomination, approved without dissent in a voice vote, was steered through the committee by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the panel's chairman. Leahy had recommended Reiss to President Obama, who nominated her last month. If confirmed by the full Senate, Reiss will be the first woman to serve on Vermont's federa… Continue Reading


11.19.09

Leicester Central School

Ms. Horn's and Ms. Elizabeth Root's 5th and 6th grade classes For students in grades 5 and 6 at the Leicester Central School, a study of the Constitution was followed by a direct online chat with Senator Leahy. The Senator discussed not only the Constitution with the students, but also the issues of global warming, health care, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and his career as a Senator. This was Senator Leahy's first online chat with Leicester Central School. Several questions asked by the s… Continue Reading


11.19.09

Comments of Senator Patriick Leahy On Committee Progress On The Free Flow Of Information Act

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) made the following comments about the Free Flow of Information Act at an executive business meeting on Thursday. Under Leahy's chairmanship in the last Congress, the Judiciary Committee for the first time reported legislation to establish a federal shield for reporters. He first listed the Free Flow of Information Act for Committee consideration in April, and the bill has been stalled before the Committee.] "I remain … Continue Reading


11.19.09

Senate Confirms Hamilton To Seventh Circuit

The Senate Thursday confirmed Judge David Hamilton to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The confirmation broke a five month delay by Senate Republicans in considering the nomination. The final vote on Hamilton's confirmation was 59-39. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who, as chairman, worked to confirm more judicial nominations during the Bush administration than did a Republican majority, praised the confirmation, and urged the Senate to … Continue Reading


11.19.09

Leahy: I Will Vote To End Filibuster So Senate Can Begin Debate On Health Insurance Reform

"Decision time is nearing on health insurance reform, and I will vote to end the filibuster on Saturday so the Senate can begin this important and historic debate. We cannot afford to let the health industry's sentries of the status quo kick the can down the road as they have done so often before. The country suffers when there is a failure to act on serious challenges that ordinary Americans face in their daily lives. "This is a defining moment for the Senate and for the country, ranking alo… Continue Reading


11.18.09

Leahy Introduces Legislation To Further Assist First Responders

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today introduced legislation to modify a federal grant process to allow first responders across the country to use federal grant funding to maintain crucial emergency equipment. The legislation is cosponsored by Senator George Voinovich (R-Ohio). The Strengthening and Updating Resources and Equipment (SURE) Act would modify the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to allow grants issued to first responders to be used for costs associated with the maintenance of cr… Continue Reading


11.18.09

Statement At Hearing On “Department Of Justice Oversight”

Leahy Questions Attorney General Holder at Oversight Hearing As Prepared I commend the Attorney General for moving forward last week with plans to proceed on several cases against those who seek to terrorize the United States. He is using the full range of authorities and capabilities available to us. Just as President Obama is using our military, diplomatic, legal, law enforcement, and moral force to make America safer and more secure, the Attorney General is exercising his responsibili… Continue Reading


11.18.09

Barton Receives $2.8 Million for Water Project

Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) today announced that the Village of Barton will receive $2.8 million for water system improvements funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The $2.08 million grant along with a $723,000 loan awarded to Barton was among 31 water projects announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture using economic stimulus funds to help rebuild the nation's infrastructure and create or retain jobs. "Recovery Act p… Continue Reading


11.18.09

Green Jobs for Vermont

Vermont and seven other states will share nearly $4 million in economic stimulus funding announced today under a green jobs program that was authored by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). "If we get our act together as a nation and start addressing the major environmental problems of our time - global warming and our dependence on fossil fuels - we can create millions of good paying jobs," said Sanders, chairman of the Senate's Green Jobs and the New Economy Subcommittee. "In other words," he added, … Continue Reading


11.17.09

Leahy, Hatch, Delahunt, Gohmert Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation On Retirement Benefits For Assistant U.S. Attorneys

Leaders in the Senate and House of Representatives today introduced legislation to strengthen retirement benefits for Assistant U.S. Attorneys. The legislation was introduced in the Senate by Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), a former chairman of the Committee, and in the House of Representatives by Congressman William Delahunt (D-Mass.) and Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-Texas). The Enhanced Restitution Enforcement and Equitable Treatment Act w… Continue Reading


11.17.09

Time To End Filibuster Of Moderate Judicial Nominee

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday urged the Senate to vote to end the filibuster of the nomination of Judge David Hamilton to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Hamilton's nomination has been pending on the Senate's executive calendar since June 4. President Obama nominated Judge Hamilton on March 17. He appeared before the Judiciary Committee twice, on April 1 and April 29. His nomination is supported by Indiana Senators Richard Lugar (R) and Evan Bayh (D).… Continue Reading


11.17.09

Comment On President Obama’s Intention To Nominate Julie Brill To Be A Commissioner Of The Federal Trade Commission

[President Obama this week announced his intention to nominate Vermonter Julie Brill for one of two vacancies on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Brill served for more than 20 years as Assistant Attorney General for Consumer Protection and Antitrust for the State of Vermont, from 1988 to 2009. Since February 2009 she has been the Senior Deputy Attorney General and Chief of Consumer Protection and Antitrust for the North Carolina Department of Justice. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) chairs the … Continue Reading


11.17.09

Comment On Executive Order Establishing A Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force

"President Obama's creation of a Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to investigate and prosecute financial crime builds on the commitment made earlier this year with the enactment of the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act. Financial and mortgage fraud were major contributors to a financial crisis that has harmed millions of Americans and undermined confidence in our markets and our financial system. Large sums in private investments and taxpayers' dollars are lost to f… Continue Reading


11.17.09

Statement On Committee Progress On The Free Flow Of Information Act

[President Obama this week announced his intention to nominate Vermonter Julie Brill for one of two vacancies on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Brill served for more than 20 years as Assistant Attorney General for Consumer Protection and Antitrust for the State of Vermont, from 1988 to 2009. Since February 2009 she has been the Senior Deputy Attorney General and Chief of Consumer Protection and Antitrust for the North Carolina Department of Justice. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) chairs the … Continue Reading


11.17.09

Senate Defeats Amendment To Obstruct Government’s Ability To Securely Hold Detainees

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy Tuesday joined 56 other Senators to defeat an amendment to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act that would have prohibited the use of funds to construct or modify prison facilities to hold individuals currently being detained at the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Leahy has opposed similar measures designed to curb the tools and resources available to the Federal Government to bring charges against detai… Continue Reading


11.17.09

Ten State Attorneys General Back Leahy-Authored Antitrust Exemption Repeal Legislation

- Ten state Attorneys General are backing legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to repeal the health insurance and medical malpractice insurance industries' exemption from federal antitrust laws. In a letter dated November 13, Attorneys General from Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Oregon, Arizona, Iowa, Montana, Florida and Wyoming urge Congress to end the decades-old exemption from federal antitrust laws, which are designed to encourage competition and protect consu… Continue Reading


11.16.09

Williston Firms Keep Growing: Leahy Support Of Triosyn And MicroStrain Helps Them Revolutionize Safety Of Troops

WILLISTON, VT -- Senator Patrick Leahy visited two Williston firms, MicroStrain and Triosyn, Monday to announce a series of cutting-edge, job-creating defense contracts he secured for the firms that may lead to revolutionary advances in aircraft safety and medical practices for U.S. troops. During a tour of MicroStrain's new virtual helicopter -- a high-tech lab featuring key components of the Navy's Seahawk HH-60 helicopter - Leahy, a senior member of the Senate Appropriation… Continue Reading

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