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

09.30.09

Open Government Groups Applaud Leahy’s Leadership On FOIA, Transparency

On Wednesday, open government advocates from more than 40 organizations, including the Vermont Press Association and the Vermont Coalition for Open Government, presented Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy with a certificate of appreciation for his work to advance open and transparent government. The certificate, which was presented before the start of an oversight hearing on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), recognized Leahy "for his work on behalf of open and transparent government through his … Continue Reading


09.29.09

Leahy Announces Downtown Redevelopment Projects To Increase Public Access To 5 Vermont Historic Buildings

MONTPELIER, Vt. - U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy and the Preservation Trust of Vermont announced that five historic downtown buildings will receive federal funds to help spur village redevelopment. Historic buildings in Putney, Readsboro, Poultney, Richmond and Shoreham will get restoration work using a $425,000 federal grant Leahy secured for the Preservation Trust of Vermont's Village Revitalization Initiative. "These historic buildings are at the very heart of the identity and economy of our commun… Continue Reading


09.29.09

Senate Judiciary Committee To Examine Impact Of SCOTUS Decisions In Age Discrimination, Arbitration Cases

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday announced that the Committee will hold a hearing to examine two Supreme Court decisions that have made it more difficult for workers to take employers to court for civil rights violations and, once there, more difficult for victims to prove workplace discrimination. The hearing will focus on Circuit City v. Adams, which extended the scope of the Federal Arbitration Act to cover employment contracts, and Gross v. FBL Financial Ser… Continue Reading


09.25.09

The Leahy Letter - September 25,2009

Leahy Answers Your Questions On Health Care Reform Last month, Senator Leahy posted an expanded webpage on health care reform in order to offer Vermonters up-to-date information on the reform plans currently before Congress and to hear concerns, questions, and personal experiences from Vermonters. Since this webpage was first launched, Senator Leahy has heard from hundreds of Vermonters. You can find updated information about the latest news from the Senate Finance Committee, as well as specifi… Continue Reading


09.25.09

Comment On President Obama’s Intent To Nominate Victoria Espinel To Be Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is the author of the Prioritizing Resources and Organization of Intellectual Property (PRO-IP) Act, which was signed into law in October 2008. The law provided increased resources for Department of Justice programs to combat intellectual property theft, and provided for coordination and strategic planning of federal efforts against counterfeiting and piracy, including the establishment of an Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, nominated by the President … Continue Reading


09.25.09

On The Situation In Honduras

Mr. Leahy: On Monday, September 21st, President Manuel Zelaya returned to Tegucigalpa, Honduras for the first time since he was deposed and exiled in a June 28th coup d'etat, taking refuge in the Brazilian Embassy. His return has led to the installation of a curfew, violence between Zelaya's supporters and Honduran security forces, and troubling reports of the detention and physical abuse of his supporters. I am encouraged by reports that representatives of Roberto Micheletti, who currently o… Continue Reading


09.24.09

Comment On Free Flow Of Information Act

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) made the following remarks at an executive business meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 24. "This morning we have the opportunity to make progress on a number of items on our agenda. I have been terribly disappointed over the past several weeks that we have not made more progress on the Free Flow of Information Act. I placed that matter on the agenda some time ago and have worked with Senator Schumer and Senator Spec… Continue Reading


09.24.09

Senate Panel Reports Leahy-Authored Bill To Modernize Satellite TV Services

The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved legislation to reauthorize the expiring statutory licenses that permit satellite providers to retransmit broadcast stations to consumers. The bipartisan Satellite Television Modernization Act was introduced last week by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). Leahy is the chairman of the Committee. The Satellite Television Modernization Act will modernize and simplify portions of the statutory licenses used by satellite television providers, while makin… Continue Reading


09.23.09

On The Administration’s Policy On The Use Of The State Secrets Privilege

I am pleased that the Attorney General is moving in the right direction to better control assertions of the state secrets privilege. The administration policies announced today bring a higher degree of transparency and accountability to a process previously shrouded in darkness. The Attorney General's announcement includes several concepts drawn from the States Secrets Protection Act (S.417). The new policy adopts the standard that the government can only assert the state secret privilege in … Continue Reading


09.23.09

Judiciary Committee Considers Expiring Patriot Act Provisions

The Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday held a hearing to consider provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act which are slated to expire on December 31. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy on Tuesday introduced legislation to extend the sunset on the expiring provisions, and to add checks and balances to the Patriot Act by increasing judicial review and reporting requirements. The USA PATRIOT Act was enacted in 2001, and was extended in 2006. Member statements, witness testimony and a live webcast are … Continue Reading


09.22.09

Vermont Receives $19.4 Million In Energy Efficiency, Weatherization And Renewable Energy Funding

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and U.S. Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) on Tuesday announced over $19 million in recovery funding for energy efficiency, weatherization and renewable energy programs in Vermont. The Department of Energy this week released the second half of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for two Vermont programs geared toward reducing the state's energy use and creating jobs. Vermont's State Energy Program received the r… Continue Reading


09.22.09

Leahy, Cardin, Kaufman Introduce Benchmark Legislation To Reauthorize Expiring PATRIOT Act Provisions

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday introduced legislation to address expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act, which are slated to sunset on December 31. The Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the expiring provisions of the Patriot Act on Wednesday, September 23. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), the chair of the Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security, and Senator Ted Kaufman (D-Del.), also a member of the Judiciary Committee, are cosponso… Continue Reading


09.17.09

Leahy Introduces Bill To Repeal Antitrust Exemption For Health, Medical Malpractice Insurance Companies

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday introduced legislation to eliminate a federal antitrust exemption for health insurance and medical malpractice insurance companies. As the Senate prepares to consider comprehensive health care reform legislation, Leahy introduced the Health Insurance Industry Antitrust Enforcement Act to repeal the antitrust exemption that was established in the 1945 McCarran-Ferguson Act. "A few industries have used their influence to obtain a… Continue Reading


09.17.09

Comment On FOIA Provisions In The Senate-Passed Intelligence Authorization Act

The Senate on September 16 unanimously passed S. 1494, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010. "I am very pleased that the Intelligence Authorization Act contains several improvements that I recommended to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). I am particularly pleased that we were able to reach an agreement to delete a broad and unnecessary exemption to FOIA's disclosure requirements for terrorist identity information. "No one would quibble with the notion that o… Continue Reading


09.17.09

Senate Judiciary Committee Will Continue To Move Toward Vote On Reporter Shield Bill

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) expressed disappointment Thursday that the Committee was unable to report legislation that would establish a qualified privilege for journalists. The bipartisan Free Flow of Information Act has been on the Committee's executive agenda for five months, and despite weeks of debate and months of negotiations, Committee Republicans stonewalled consideration of amendments to the important legislation. "I am disappointed that the Committee wa… Continue Reading


09.17.09

Senate Confirms First Appellate Court Nominee

The Senate Thursday confirmed the first appellate court nomination of the 111th Congress, ending months of delay in the consideration of President Obama's lower court nominations. Judge Gerard Lynch was confirmed to serve on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The final vote was 94-3. Lynch first appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 12. The Senate confirmed his nomination more than three months after it was favorably reported to the Senate, on June 11. Senate Judiciary Com… Continue Reading


09.17.09

Comment On The ACORN Amendment

These videotapes that are the excuse for this amendment understandably have offended most who have heard about them, including me. I detest the stupidity and crassness that they depict. If people have acted improperly, they should be fired, and if they have acted illegally, they should be prosecuted, period. The Obama Administration has been equally critical. ACORN is not the reason for my vote. There is not even an ACORN office in my entire state. Nor, for that matter, is there any reason … Continue Reading


09.16.09

Senate Judiciary Committee Holds FBI Oversight Hearing

The Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday morning held 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 InvestigationSeptember 16, 2009 Today we hold our second hearing this Congress on oversight of the Federal Bureau of Inves… Continue Reading


09.15.09

Leahy Commemorates 15th Anniversary Of Violence Against Women Act

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday released the following statement in recognition of the 15th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, which was signed into law in September 1994. Leahy worked to reauthorize the law in 2000 and 2005. Earlier this year, Leahy introduced legislation to help address the needs of domestic violence victims by strengthening the Violence Against Women Act. The legislation, the Improving Assistance to Domestic and Sexual Violence… Continue Reading


09.15.09

Leahy Introduces Bill To Modernize Satellite Television Services

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday introduced legislation to reauthorize, modernize and simplify portions of the statutory license used by satellite television providers. The authorization for the license is set to expire on December 31. The bipartisan Satellite Television Modernization Act will reauthorize the expiring statutory licenses that permit satellite providers to retransmit broadcast stations to consumers. The bill will also modernize and simplify the licenses, while making adjus… Continue Reading

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