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


Leahy Chairs SJC Hearing To Explore Reforms To Digital Privacy Laws

(Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday held a hearing focused on proposed updates to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), one of the nation's premier digital privacy laws. Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) was the lead Senate author of ECPA, which was enacted in 1986 to protect electronic communications from real-time monitoring or interception by the government. While portions of ECPA have been amended, Congress has not enacted comprehensive reforms … Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Senate Passage Of Bill To Repeal SEC FOIA Exemptions

[The Senate Tuesday night unanimously adopted S. 3717, legislation to repeal exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that were enacted in the Wall Street reform bill. The legislation is authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and cosponsored by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Ted Kaufman (D-Del.). The legislation was unanimously approved on Sept. 16 by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which Leahy chairs… Continue Reading


Reaction Of Senator Leahy As 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Backers Block Debate On Defense Bill

[On Tuesday afternoon (Sept. 21), in a vote of 56 to 43, the U.S. Senate by four votes failed to muster the supermajority of 60 votes needed to end the Republican filibuster of the motion to proceed to the annual Defense Department Authorization Bill. Much of the opposition to the bill is related to a provision that would repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the current codification of discrimination against gay and lesbian personnel who serve, or who want to serve, in the U.S. military. Following … Continue Reading


Vermont Delegation Announces $1.1 Million In Funding For Public Health Services

(TUESDAY, Sept. 21) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I), and Congressman Peter Welch (D) on Tuesday announced that the Vermont Department of Health will receive $1.1 million in federal support for public health programs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funding will support a new five-year program to link Vermont's Blueprint for Health with existing public health data, support local public health programs and combat chronic disease. The Vermont grant is part of… Continue Reading


Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Combat Online Infringement

(Monday, Sept. 20, 2010) - A bipartisan group of Senators will introduce legislation Monday to address the growing problem of online piracy and counterfeiting. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and senior Republican member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) will introduce the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act when the Senate returns to session later today. The legislation is cosponsored by Committee members Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), Chuck Schumer (D-… Continue Reading


$5.7 M. Navy Contract To Goodrich-Vergennes Will Extend Plant’s Work On Helicopter Diagnostics Unit

VERGENNES, Vt. (FRIDAY, Sept. 17) - Senator Patrick Leahy says a new $5,765,474 U.S. Navy contract with Goodrich for additional units of the company's groundbreaking helicopter maintenance diagnostic system, produced by the firm's facility in Vergennes, shows the advanced system has quickly taken its place as a key maintenance feature of U.S. military helicopter programs. Goodrich's Health and Usage Management Systems (HUMS) give mechanics feedback on a helicopter's engine performance, structu… Continue Reading


New Bipartisan, Bicameral Bills Seek To Spotlight And Curb Inhumane Conditions In Foreign Prisons

(THURSDAY, Sept. 16) - Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) Thursday introduced, with the support of a broad spectrum of faith-based, human rights, and justice reform organizations, a bill intended as a catalyst to curb inhumane conditions in foreign prisons. Identical bipartisan legislation to their Foreign Prison Conditions Improvement Act of 2010 was also introduced Thursday in the House by Representatives Bill Delahunt (D-Mass.) and Joe Pitts (R-Pa.). The bills call… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Legacy Of Agent Orange

Madam President, during the Vietnam War more than 20 million gallons of herbicide known as Agent Orange, much of it containing the highly toxic chemical dioxin, were stored, mixed, handled, and sprayed by U.S. airplanes over millions of acres of forest and farmland in Vietnam. Since then, dioxin has been linked by the U.S. Institutes of Medicine to various cancers and other debilitating diseases, as well as birth defects. The International Agency for Research on Cancer and the National Institute… Continue Reading


Senate Passes Long-Stalled Small Business Jobs Bill

(THURSDAY, Sept. 16) - In a vote of 61 to 38, the U.S. Senate Thursday approved a small business jobs bill that will boost commercial lending and provide tax relief to small businesses in Vermont and nationwide. Senate supporters of the bill, including Senator Patrick Leahy (D) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I) have had to overcome a months-long obstacle course and a Republican filibuster to get the bill to Thursday's decisive up-or-down Senate vote. The House is expected soon to pass the Senat… Continue Reading


Leahy, Collins Introduce Bill To Aid Veteran Groups

(Thursday, Sept. 16, 2010) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced legislation Thursday to include veterans organizations among the groups eligible to receive surplus property donations from the federal government. The General Services Administration (GSA) currently oversees the distribution of surplus property to eligible organizations, such as medical institutions, providers of assistance to the homeless, universities, and childcare facilities. This pr… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Bill To Repeal SEC FOIA Exemptions

(Thursday, Sept. 16, 2010) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday unanimously approved bipartisan legislation to repeal exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that were enacted as part of the Wall Street reform bill, which was signed into law in July. The legislation is sponsored by Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Committee members Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Ted Kaufman (D-Del.). The legisla… Continue Reading


Leahy Applauds DISH Network Announcment Of Local TV Service In Bennington, Windham

THURSDAY, Sept. 16 - Prompted by legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), DISH Network announced Thursday that it has launched its service to provide customers in Bennington and Windham counties with access to Vermont broadcast stations by satellite. "I am pleased that DISH Network has announced that it will begin providing Vermont broadcast stations to its customers in southern Vermont," said Leahy. "I worked hard to ensure that DISH Network was granted this authority when Congr… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch Announce Report Detailing Recovery Act Energy Investments In Vermont

(THURSDAY, Sept. 16) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I), and Congressman Peter Welch (D) on Thursday announced a new report detailing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's impact on Vermont's clean energy economy. The report, compiled by the Department of Energy, outlines the nearly $140 million worth of ARRA projects the state has benefited from, including local energy efficiency grants, statewide implementation of smart grid technologies and investments in energy-r… Continue Reading


Bipartisan Group Of Senators Urge Action On Patent Reform Legislation

(Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2010) - A bipartisan group of 25 Senators Wednesday sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) urging him to schedule a vote on the bipartisan Patent Reform Act. The legislation will make the first reforms to the nation's patent laws in more than 55 years, and will update the patent system to improve patent quality and increase certainty among parties in litigation. Leading signatories to the letter include Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leah… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On New SEC Guidance Interpreting The FOIA Exemptions In Wall Street Reform Bill

"While I commend the Commission for taking steps this week to clarify how it will interpret these new FOIA exemptions, I remain troubled by the Commission's attempts in recent weeks to retroactively apply these exemptions to pending FOIA matters, and by the Commission's past statements that these exemptions would shield all examination information from public scrutiny. Given the great need to restore transparency and public confidence in our financial system, I believe that corrective legislatio… Continue Reading


Vermont Farmer Testifies Before Senate Panel, On Organics - Live Webcast Information

Today's Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on Organics will be webcast starting at 10 a.m. To access the live webcast, go to the Senate Agriculture Committee's main site at and then click the "Live Webcast" link at the bottom of the home page. Or, go directly to . The webcast will stream in real time (a short delay may be expected depending on internet connection speed) and can easily be viewed on any computer with … Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch Commend Administration's Prompt Handling Of $19 Million In Emergency Education Aid To Vermont

(TUESDAY, Sept. 14) - U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan Tuesday night announced that Vermont is set to receive $19 million in emergency education funds that were passed by Congress in August. The new law is intended to save tens of thousands of teaching jobs in America's classrooms and to boost Medicaid payments to states. The measure, supported by Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I), and Congressman Peter Welch (D), also set aside about $37 million for state-run Medicaid h… Continue Reading


Vermont Receives $1.47 Million In Federal Grants To Help Crime Victims

(Tuesday, Sept. 14) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Tuesday that Vermont has been awarded more than $1.47 million in federal grants to help victims of crime. The grants come from the Crime Victims Fund, the primary source of federal financial aid for crime victims, and are administered through the U.S. Department of Justice. "The need for victim assistance and compensation has grown over the years, and the Crime Victims Fund has been a mainstay for crime victims in states like Vermon… Continue Reading


Senate Breaks Months-Long Filibuster On Small Business Jobs Bill

(Sept. 14) - The U.S. Senate Tuesday narrowly broke a months-long Republican filibuster by voting 61-37 to advance a small business jobs bill that will boost commercial lending and provide tax relief to small businesses in Vermont and nationwide. U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who voted in favor of the bill, expects the Senate to give final approval to the bill on Thursday. The Small Business Job Creation Act modernizes the application process for U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)… Continue Reading


Leahy Again Calls For Votes On Long-Pending Judicial Nominations

(Monday, September 13, 2010) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday afternoon spoke on the Senate floor, urging prompt action on more judicial nominations that have been reported by the Judiciary Committee. The Senate confirmed the nomination of Jane Stranch of Tennessee to fill a vacancy on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in a bipartisan vote of 71-21. Her nomination languished on the Senate's calendar since being reported by a bipartisan majority of the Judici… Continue Reading

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