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


DOJ To Implement Provisions Of Leahy-Authored Patriot Act Reauthorization Proposal

(Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010) - In a letter sent Thursday to Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the U.S. Department of Justice has indicated that it is implementing several key oversight and civil liberties provisions incorporated in legislation authored by Leahy to reauthorize expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act. In March, Leahy wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder urging the Justice Department to implement oversight provisions and reporting requirements included in the USA… Continue Reading


Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Senate’s Failure Again To End The Filibuster On Legislation To Repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

[On Thursday afternoon the U.S. Senate again failed to secure a supermajority vote needed to break a filibuster preventing a debate and vote on the Defense Authorization Bill, which includes provisions to repeal the controversial "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy on the service of gays in the military. The cloture vote garnered 57 votes, with 60 needed for cloture. Below are the comments of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a leading advocate for repealing the current policy.] The stage is e… Continue Reading


Republicans Object To Passing Bill To Help Families Of Oil Rig Explosion

(Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010) - A consent request offered by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to consider legislation to allow families of the victims of the April explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig to seek justice in court met with objection from Republican Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) Thursday afternoon. Leahy (D-Vt.) is the author of legislation, called the Survivors Equality Act (SEA), that would permit families of victims killed on the high seas to be treated fairly and receive compensation… Continue Reading


Vermont Delegation Announces Additional Rail Funding

, Dec. 3 - Vermont's congressional delegation announced Thursday that the state will receive $2.7 million in additional Recovery Act funding for the "Vermonter" rail line, which runs from St. Albans to Vernon. The announcement comes after the delegation last week urged Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to reallocate unused High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) funds to Vermont's Western Corridor project, which runs from Rutland to Burlington. The additional funding became available afte… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Motion To Invoke Cloture On The Emergency Senior Citizens Relief Act of 2010

[Wednesday night the U.S. Senate failed to invoke cloture - to end a filibuster -- on a bill sponsored by Senator Bernie Sanders and cosponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy that would have supplemented Social Security payments with $250 per Social Security recipient to help make up for the fact that seniors, for the second year in a row, will not have a cost-of-living adjustment to their Social Security benefits. Following is Leahy's statement Wednesday urging a vote on the Sanders bill.] Sta… Continue Reading


Leahy Urges Support For DREAM Act

(Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010) - As the U.S. Senate prepares to vote on the DREAM Act, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the lead cosponsor of the legislation, urged Senators to support the legislation, which will offer a path to lawful immigration status to undocumented individuals who were brought to the United States at a young age by their parents. Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On S.3992, The Development, Relief, And Education For Alien Mino… Continue Reading


Remarks Of Senator Patrick Leahy At The Organization Of American States Commemoration Of A Mine-Free Central America

Twenty- two years ago, my wife Marcelle and I walked into a small field hospital in Honduras a short distance from the Nicaraguan border. It was during the Contra war - a war I did not support - and we had traveled there to meet some of the people who had been wounded. We met a young campesino boy who had lost one of his legs from a landmine, and who appeared to be living at the hospital. I asked him who had put the mine on one of the trails near his home in the jungle. He had no idea… Continue Reading


Senator Leahy Speaks Out: Putting A Stop To Online Criminals

American consumers might be surprised to know that every day, criminals are trolling the Internet, selling and trafficking counterfeit goods to unsuspecting buyers. These products range from pharmaceuticals to electronics, clothing to handbags. If these criminals sold their counterfeit products on Main Street, the operation would be shut down and owners arrested. We must ensure our laws protect Americans from similar criminal activity on the Internet. That is why I joined with Sen. Orrin H… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The White House-GOP Deal On Tax Cuts

I strongly favor tax cuts for working and middle income Americans but I am not willing to add at least $700 billion to the deficit to give tax breaks to multi-millionaires. One of the biggest mistakes in the last administration was to wage two wars without paying for them while cutting taxes for the most wealthy. I will support President Obama when he is right and oppose the President when he is wrong. I feel the President is wrong to make this deal. I am first and foremost a Vermonter and… Continue Reading


Remarks Of Senator Patrick Leahy At The World Bank International Corruption Hunters Alliance

It is an honor to be with you. Bob Zoellick is an old friend, and as he mentioned, I chair the Judiciary Committee as well as the Appropriations subcommittee that provides the United States' annual contribution to this institution. What he didn't say is that having Bob as President of the World Bank gives me and others in Congress a great deal of confidence. I have supported the World Bank's mission throughout the 36 years I have been a United States Senator. There have been times when I d… Continue Reading


Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy To The Obstruction Of Bills To Extend Tax Relief To Middle Income Americans While Capping Tax Breaks For The Wealthiest Taxpayers

In votes Saturday morning, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) voted for cloture - against a filibuster - in support of a bill to extend the expiring tax cuts for middle-income Americans, while capping tax breaks on incomes over $250,000. When cloture failed on that plan, Leahy voted for a compromise that would cap tax breaks for incomes above $1 million. Cloture also failed on the compromise version. Below are his comments on the outcome of the votes. Cutting taxes is the easiest vote in the wor… Continue Reading


Vermont Delegation Wins Food Stamp Extension

, Dec. 3 - The Vermont congressional delegation today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will further postpone a pending reduction in food stamp benefits for 16,000 Vermonters. Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) also welcomed the USDA's assurance that, once the extended waiver expires on April 1, no family will see a benefit reduction of more than $20 per month. Sanders and Leahy authored a letter signed by 13 other senators aski… Continue Reading


Vermont Delegation Calls on Transportation Secretary To Direct Unused Rail Funding to Vermont’s Western Corridor Project

, Dec. 3 - Following announcements by two newly-elected governors that their states no longer intend to use federal high-speed rail funding, Vermont's congressional delegation today called on Transportation Sec. Raymond LaHood to reallocate a portion of the funding to Vermont's proposed Western Corridor project. While Vermont was successful in securing more than $50 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to improve the southeast-northwest Vermonter line, the proposed Ethan Al… Continue Reading


Congress Clears ‘Historic’ Revamp Of School Lunch Program To Counter Child Obesity And Promote Healthier Meals

(THURSDAY, Dec. 2) -- Congress late Thursday gave final approval to major changes in the school lunch program, including an expansion of an effort led by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to multiply links between local farms and school lunch counters. The bill, which President Obama supports and is expected to sign into law, is the largest single investment ever made in child nutrition programs. The bill will also authorize an organics pilot program, also advanced by Leahy, under which the U.S.… Continue Reading


Senate Republicans Object To Request To Debate And Vote Deputy Attorney General Nominee

(Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010) - Senate Republicans Thursday objected to a request to debate and vote on Deputy Attorney General nominee James Cole. Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) offered a consent request on the Senate Floor Thursday to bring the Cole nomination to a vote. In July, a majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to send the Cole nomination to the full Senate for consideration. Cole's nomination has been pending on the Senate floor for more than four months, … Continue Reading


Leahy: Army Unveils New Medical Pilot Program For Returning Vermont Guard Soldiers

(WEDNESDAY, Dec. 1) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Wednesday that the U.S. Army Medical Command has begun implementing a new first-in-the-nation medical pilot program for returning members of the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, which includes most of the line-of-duty injuries among the 1,300 Vermont National Guard members who are returning from deployments in Afghanistan. The reforms, requested of the Army by Leahy, are designed to ease the recovery of wounded soldiers by ret… Continue Reading


Leahy: Senate Must Act On Judicial Nominations

(Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) spoke on the Senate floor today, again urging the Senate to act on more than 30 judicial nominations pending before the full Senate. The Judiciary Committee Wednesday morning voted to advance another 11 judicial nominations - 10 of them unanimously - to the full Senate. There are now 34 judicial nominations awaiting final votes by the full Senate, including 26 nominations that received unanimous support from… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

The Pentagon report supporting the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" adds even more momentum to an ever-increasing call to end this flawed and discriminatory policy. In light of the report's findings, I want to directly address some of the points made by Senators in defense of this discriminatory law. Some Senators have said recently that the calls for an end to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" have come only from politicians, and not from those within the military itself. Such a claim is laughable, … Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Call For President Obama To Sign The Mine Ban Treaty

On Tuesday, November 30, 2010, 15 Nobel Laureates sent a letter to President Obama, calling on him to sign the treaty banning anti-personnel landmines. Over 155 nations have signed the treaty, which has been in effect since 1999. Aside from Cuba, the United States is the only nation in the Western Hemisphere that is not party to the treaty. The letter sent by the Nobel Laureates echoes the actions taken by members of Congress in May, when 68 Senators, led by Senator Leahy, wrote to Preside… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Leahy On DOJ/ICE Seizures Of Websites Selling Counterfeit Goods

"The Obama administration's commitment to aggressively protect American intellectual property is commendable. Today's announcement that the Department of Justice and Immigration and Customs Enforcement have seized the domain names associated with rogue websites, which were being used for criminal infringement and counterfeiting operations, demonstrates that commitment. The innovative use of the tools currently available to law enforcement to seize these domain names is similar to the remedy th… Continue Reading

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