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Press Releases

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

09.15.09

Leahy Announces Hearing To Review Expiring PATRIOT Act Provisions

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced today that the Committee will hold an oversight hearing to review expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act, which was first passed by Congress in 2001. The Act was reauthorized in 2006. Three provisions in the Act are slated to expire on December 31, 2009, including the authorizations for roving wiretaps, the "lone wolf" measure, and the business records provision, commonly referred to as the "library" provision. In March, … Continue Reading


09.15.09

Comment On The ACORN Amendment

"Congress should not compound the wrongful and stupid actions depicted on these videos by deciding to set political standards for federal grants. Federal agencies use a nonpartisan review process to award grants to the most competitive applicants. Just as I would be against banning other specific organizations on the right or on the left from applying for competitive grants, I believe it is harmful, even though popular, to approve an amendment like this." # # # # #… Continue Reading


09.15.09

Leahy Sets Judiciary Committee Hearing In St. Albans To Gauge Competition In The Northeast Dairy Market, In The Context Of The Ongoing Dairy Crisis

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is bringing a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to Vermont this weekend to examine the state of competition in the Northeast in the context of the dairy crisis that continues to squeeze dairy farms in Vermont and across the nation. Leahy, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has set the hearing for 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, at the St. Albans City Hall, 100 Main Street, in St. Albans, Vt. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will join Leahy for the hearing, which is ti… Continue Reading


09.11.09

Leahy Announces $12 M. In Federal Funds To Spur Job Growth And New Development Projects At Burlington International Airport

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. -- U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) joined Burlington Mayor Bob Kiss and officials from Burlington International Airport Friday afternoon at the airport to announce $12.75 million in Federal Aviation Administration airport improvement grants. Leahy, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, directly secured more than $1.5 million for the projects, with the rest provided through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act ("stimulus package") grants and competiti… Continue Reading


09.10.09

Leahy Praises Committee Progress On Media Shield Legislation

The Senate Judiciary Committee took a critical step forward in considering legislation to establish a federal media shield during a business meeting Thursday. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) made the first attempts to consider the Free Flow of Information Act in April. Over the last four months, Leahy, and the bill's lead sponsors, Senator s Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), have continued to work with media organizations and coalitions and the Obama administration to … Continue Reading


09.10.09

Comments Honoring Senator Edward Kennedy

Senator Leahy Honors Senator Edward Kennedy Mr LEAHY: Madam President, I think when I hear the Senator from Mississippi, before him, the Senator from Illinois, the Senator from California, the Senator from Massachusetts and others who have spoken, it brings back so many memories. The memory I have was on August 26th, when, early in the morning we heard the news about Senator Kennedy. Now, Marcelle and I knew the day was coming and that we would lose a close friend of over 35 years, but ou… Continue Reading


09.10.09

Senate Judiciary Committee Reports Judicial Nominations, U.S. Attorneys

At its first business meeting since the confirmation of Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday reported six nominations, including two judicial nominations, to the full Senate for consideration. The nominations of Beverly Baldwin Martin to the Eleventh Circuit and Jeffrey Viken to the District of South Dakota were first considered at a hearing on July 29. Their nominations were reported by the Committee along with four U.S. Attorney nominees, i… Continue Reading


09.09.09

Leahy Chairs Hearing On Strengthening Forensic Science

Senator Patrick Leahy Wednesday chaired a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee to examine the issues facing forensic science in laboratories across the country. Dr. Eric Buel, the director of the Vermont Forensic Laboratory, testified before the panel about the successes and challenges in forensic analysis in Vermont and in laboratories across the country. It was the second hearing on forensic science held by the Senate panel this year. The National Academy of Sciences earlier this year … Continue Reading


09.09.09

Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing On Five Nominations

The Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday held a hearing to consider five pending nominations, including four nominations to lifetime appointments to the federal judiciary. The Committee heard testimony from Third Circuit nominee Joseph A. Greenaway, and district court nominees Roberto A. Lange (South Dakota), Irene Cornelia Berger (southern district of West Virginia) and Charlene Edwards Honeywell (middle district of Florida). Ignacia S. Moreno, the nominee to be the Assistant Attorney General… Continue Reading


09.09.09

Comment On President Obama’s Address On Health Reform Before A Joint Session Of Congress

The President delivered a clear call to the common purpose of achieving real heath reform. After months of spirited debate and arduous work, Congress needed to hear that. The President laid out the compelling reasons why health reform can wait no longer. Tens of millions today lack health insurance, workers are losing insurance for their families when they change or lose jobs, and insurance companies can and do discriminate against sick people. We know this is a system that is unsustainable a… Continue Reading


09.08.09

On The Passing Of Harold Howrigan

"Harold and Anne are among our oldest and dearest friends. I told the family I will sorely miss him. "In all the years we've known each other he never asked me for anything for himself but always told me of others who had needs. His clear and constant voice for Vermont farmers helped so many in our state. I'll always treasure a trip Marcelle and I took to Ireland with him -- he was so proud of his family's Irish heritage that he never stopped smiling throughout the visit. "Marcelle and I alw… Continue Reading


09.08.09

eahy Invites Vermont Forensics Lab Director To Testify Wednesday Before Senate Judiciary Committee

(Tuesday, Sept. 8) - The director of the Vermont Forensic Laboratory, Dr. Eric Buel, will testify before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, who chairs the Senate panel, invited Buel to testify about the state laboratory's successes and challenges in forensic analysis and addressing backlogs in processing forensic evidence. The hearing will be the second chaired by Leahy this year to examine a report released in March by the National Academy of Scie… Continue Reading


09.08.09

Leahy Introduces Bill To Authorize Federal Judgeships

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Tuesday introduced legislation to help reduce backlogs in the nation's district and circuit courts by authorizing additional permanent and temporary judgeships. Not since 1990 has Congress passed comprehensive legislation to address mounting caseloads in federal district and circuit courts across the country. The Leahy-authored legislation includes recommendations made in May by the Judicial Conference of the United States, the polic… Continue Reading


09.03.09

$2.3 Million for Public Housing in Rutland

Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) today announced $2,346,500 in economic stimulus funds for public housing in Rutland. The Rutland Housing Authority has been awarded this grant for work on the Forest Park development. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded $96 million in grants to 15 public housing authorities across the country to make substantial improvements to thousands of public housing units nationwide. The Pub… Continue Reading


08.28.09

Another $1.32 M. In Federal Grants Awarded To Vermont Law Enforcers

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Friday that eight Vermont communities, as well as the Vermont Department of Public Safety (VDPS), will receive more than $1.32 million in federal grants to help combat crime. The grants will provide police departments across the state with funding for equipment, training other and resources. More than $1 million in grants were awarded through the Department of Justice's Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (JAG). The Byrne program awar… Continue Reading


08.28.09

Leahy Highlights Food Hub In Hardwick, Secures $350,000 For New Food Venture Center

HARDWICK, Vt. - During a Friday morning visit to Vermont Soy, a business that graduated from the Vermont Food Venture Center, Sen. Patrick Leahy announced he had secured a $350,000 federal grant to help construct, equip and operate a new Vermont Food Venture Center in Hardwick's industrial park. Leahy said the new kitchen incubator was needed to expand the food-based and agricultural-based economy of rural Vermont. The Vermont Food Venture Center, founded in Fairfax, Vt. in 1996 by the Economic… Continue Reading


08.27.09

On Governor Douglas’ Decision To Leave Office At The End Of His Current Term

I spoke to Governor Douglas this afternoon and wished him well on his decision to leave office at the end of his term. Governor Douglas has had a long career in public service in several high offices. All of us as Vermonters owe him a debt of gratitude and a word of thanks for his service to the state and its people. Marcelle and I wish Jim, Dorothy and their family well as they prepare to begin a new chapter. We have no doubt that Jim and Dorothy will enjoy their new grandson as much as we… Continue Reading


08.26.09

Comments On The Passing Of Senator Edward Kennedy

MIDDLESEX, Vt. -- While Marcelle and I and the country knew this day was coming, our home in Vermont is filled with grief today and our hearts go out to Vicki and to all of Senator Kennedy's family. It is the sad passing of an era. For 35 years in the Senate Ted Kennedy was a close friend as he led on issues from education to health care. We often talked of the bond of the New England Irish and spoke again of this when we travelled to Pope John Paul II's funeral together. His sense of history… Continue Reading


08.26.09

Vermont Delegation Announces $1.4 Million In Recovery Funds For Affordable Housing In Franklin County

- U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and U.S. Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) on Wednesday announced $1.4 million in funding to the Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) to spur development of affordable housing in Vermont. The VHFA plans to use the grant, made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), to provide sufficient equity funding to develop Blake Commons, a 16-unit, multi-family, affordable housing project in Swanton. Blake C… Continue Reading


08.25.09

On The Death In Iraq Of Army 2nd Lt. Joseph Fortin Of St. Johnsbury, Vermont

"Marcelle and I were deeply saddened to learn of the death of 2nd Lt. Joseph Fortin of St. Johnsbury, who gave his life while serving his fellow Americans and his country. I have spoken with Lt. Fortin's wife and parents, and in this time of unspeakable grief, we hope that the fellowship of family and friends and the prayers of all Vermonters will bring them comfort. It is clear to me that Lt. Fortin was a wonderful husband, son and soldier, and this is a loss not only for those who knew him… Continue Reading

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