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


Leahy Sets Vermont-Wide Small Business Lending Conference For Monday, April 26, In Barre

With tight credit still a problem for some Vermont businesses, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has organized a free conference for small businesses in Vermont to learn about current lending and financing options available through local banks, credit unions, nonprofits, state entities and the federal government. The conference will be held at the Barre Auditorium on Monday, April 26, 2010, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. More details about the conference and registration information are available … Continue Reading


Vermont Delegation Calls on Nuclear Regulatory Commission to Reconsider Closed-Door Meeting

Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) today called on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to reconsider its decision to hold a closed-door meeting with local, state and federal officials in Keene, N.H., on April 14. The Vermont delegation's letter is copied below: March 30, 2010 The Honorable Gregory B. JaczkoChairmanU.S. Nuclear Regulatory CommissionWashington, D.C. 20555-0001 Dear Chairman Jaczko: We write to follow up on the Nuclear Regulatory … Continue Reading


Comments On Reforms To The Electronic Communications Privacy Act

"I applaud the announcement today by Digital Due Process and the Center for Democracy & Technology that a coalition of privacy advocates, legal scholars, and major Internet and communication service providers have joined together to release a consensus set of proposals to modernize the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. I look forward to reviewing these ideas. While the question of how best to balance privacy and security in the 21st century has no simple answer, what is clear is that … Continue Reading


Letter from Leahy, Kerry, and Frank to World Bank President Zoellick

Congress of the United States Washington, DC 20510 The Honorable Robert ZoellickPresidentThe World Bank1818 H StreetWashington, DC 20433 Dear President Zoellick: We are writing to express our concern with the World Bank's proposed loan to fund the construction of a large coal power plant for the South African utility, Eskom, that is due to come before the Bank's board in early April. As the World Bank prepares to request a general capital increase, engages in consultations on a new energy str… Continue Reading


Records in Real Time

The Freedom of Information Act has done a lot to make government more transparent. But in Washington - where need-to-know is the favorite status symbol - most agencies still ignore the legal deadlines and take months, even years, to respond to requests. Senators Patrick Leahy, a Democrat of Vermont, and John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, have introduced a bill that would push the bureaucracy to release information more quickly. It is an important and needed fix. The Freedom of Information Act, w… Continue Reading


The Leahy Letter - March 26, 2010

March 26, 2010 - Health Care Reform Edition Comprehensive Health Care Reform Signed Into Law On March 23, 2010, Senator Leahy was on hand at the White House ceremony as President Obama signed into law the historic Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This new law is the most comprehensive health care reform since the creation of the Medicare program in 1965 and will provide health insurance for more than 32 million uninsured Americans and improve the health insurance system fo… Continue Reading


Comment On The Senate's Passage of The Health and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010

"Today, the Senate completed the next step in reforming our nation's health insurance system by passing a series of improvements to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. We should all support these improvements. They include closing the Medicare "donut hole," making coverage more affordable, and creating a more equitable distribution of Medicaid reimbursements to states like Vermont that have acted early on reform. I worked with Senate and House Leadership to ensure Vermont and othe… Continue Reading


Vermont Delegation Heralds Grant For Vermont Council on Rural Development

U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch announced Thursday that the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) has been awarded a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The grant, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), will complete the funding needed to launch VCRD's "e-Vermont: The Vermont Community Broadband Project", which will stimulate broadband use in 24 Vermont towns by identifying best practices for increasing … Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Advances Leahy-Sponsored Bills To Assist Refugees

The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday advanced two pieces of legislation sponsored by Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.). The Refugee Opportunity Act and the Return Of Talent Act will help continue long-held U.S. policy of rewarding refugees who help the country, and refugees who help those in need beyond the country's borders. The Refugee Opportunity Act will create an exception to the physical presence requirement for refugees who, during their firs… Continue Reading


Statement On The Constitutionality Of The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act

Earlier this week, we saw what I have called the dawn of a new day of hope for tens of millions of Americans who have fallen through the cracks - or who worry with good reason that they may fall through the cracks - of our broken health insurance system. The signing into law of comprehensive health insurance reform by President Barack Obama ranks with the creation of Social Security and Medicare as a defining moment and legislative achievement. Congress and Presidents from both parties tried t… Continue Reading


Republicans Object To The Hearing On The Nominations Of Liu And Mueller

POSTPONEMENT NOTICE FOR A COMMITTEE HEARING The hearing on "Nominations" scheduled before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary for Wednesday, March 24, 2010, at 2:30 pm has been postponed due to Republican objection and will be rescheduled at the earliest possible time. By order of the Chairman. Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.),Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee,On Republican Objection To The Hearing On The Nominations Of Goodwin Liu To The United States Court Of App… Continue Reading


US Senate committee takes testimony on drug crime

Strapped by shrinking budgets, state and local officials told members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday they need Uncle Sam's help now more than ever in combatting drug crime. The panel _ represented by U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont and U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island _ took testimony from national drug czar Gil Kerlikowske, the director of the Vermont State Police, Barre Mayor Thomas Lauzon and three other people with varying perspectives on the problem.… Continue Reading


Republican Objections Now Stall Even Committee Progress

(Wednesday, March 24, 2010) - A Senate Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled to consider pending nominations, including a critical circuit court nomination, has been suspended because Senate Republicans have not yet consented to allowing the hearing to proceed Employing a little used rule requiring the Senate's unanimous consent to permit committees to hold hearings and meetings, Republicans have not yet consented to permit several Committees to meet Wednesday afternoon, including an important… Continue Reading


Statement On Justice for Jamie Leigh Jones

Yesterday, I was pleased to learn that a brave young woman, Ms. Jamie Leigh Jones, will finally have her day in court. Ms. Jones testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee last year about how the Supreme Court's interpretation of the Federal Arbitration Act has hampered American employees from having their civil rights protected. Ms. Jones was a compelling witness; her case deserves the attention of every Senator. When she was just 20-years-old and was working overseas for the military c… Continue Reading


Statement On Comprehensive Health Insurance Reform

This is the dawn of a new day of hope for tens of millions of Americans who have fallen through the cracks - or who worry with good reason that they may fall through the cracks -- of our broken health insurance system. The signing into law of comprehensive health insurance reform by President Barack Obama is a defining moment in our history, ranking with the creation of Social Security and Medicare. Reforming the health insurance system has been talked about for decades. This has been an ard… Continue Reading


Comment On The Signing Of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

After a long night of worry and ruin for uncounted millions of American families who have fallen through the cracks of a broken health insurance system, this is the dawn of an historic new day of hope in a country that has always risen to meet its challenges and to renew its promises. America has some of the best health care in the world, if you can afford it. Millions of families in Vermont and across the nation worry that they are just one paycheck away from medical and financial disaster. … Continue Reading


Patent Reform: Good For American Innovation, Good For American Jobs

Ingenuity and innovation have been mainstays of the American economy from the time Thomas Jefferson issued the first patent, to today. The discoveries made by American inventors and research institutions, commercialized by our companies, and protected and promoted by our patent laws, have made our system the envy of the world. Despite the importance of our patent system to the American economy and job creation, Congress has not enacted major reforms to the system in more than 55 years. In th… Continue Reading


Leahy Chairs U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing In Barre, Vermont

BARRE, Vt. - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today held a field hearing of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in Barre, Vt., to explore "Effective Community Efforts to Counter Drug-Related Crime in Rural America." It is the third in a series of field hearings on drug-related crime that Leahy has chaired in Vermont. Testifying at the hearing Monday was the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, R. Gil Kerlikowske - the nation's "drug czar." Kerlikowske is the former police chie… Continue Reading


USDA’s Acceptance Of Audit Findings Helps Clean The Slate For 20-Year-Old Organic Standards And Labeling Program To Advance To Next Level

[Following are the comments of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on the USDA Inspector General's audit of the national organic standards and labeling program, released Thursday. Leahy is the "father" of the national program and author of the 1990 Organic Foods Production Act. Leahy also led on the Senate Appropriations Committee in securing funds for the audit. The report is now available on the Inspector General's website in the "What's New" section (] Commen… Continue Reading


Vermont Medicaid Solution In Health Reform Plan Will Mean Millions More For Vermont’s Medicaid Program

Comments on Vermont's Breakthrough on Medicaid In Health Reform Plan Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Thursday that the final health reform package that is now headed for House and Senate votes will recognize the early investment Vermont has made in its Medicaid program, meaning more than $100 million in added funding for Vermont's Medicaid programs over the next ten years. The Medicaid solution for Vermont - one of the last issues to be resolved in final work on the plan -- was chi… Continue Reading

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