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


Leahy Renews Effort To Extend Expiring PATRIOT Act Authorities, Increase Oversight

(Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday introduced legislation to extend expiring provisions authorized by the USA PATRIOT Act. The provisions are set to expire on February 28. The USA PATRIOT Act Sunset Extension Act of 2011 mirrors a bipartisan agreement reached in the last Congress to address the expiring authorities and increase oversight. Leahy led Senate efforts in the 111th Congress to provide an extension through 2013 of the exp… Continue Reading


Leahy Lauds Government’s Fraud Recovery Efforts To Protect Taxpayer Dollars

(Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) praised law enforcement's efforts to recover billions of taxpayer dollars lost to fraud during a hearing Wednesday morning on Capitol Hill. Leahy focused the first Committee hearing of the 112th Congress on fraud enforcement and recovery efforts, which have collected billions of dollars from penalties and fines in the last fiscal year alone. "Major fraud cases take time to investigate and prosecute," said Le… Continue Reading


Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy To The President's State Of The Union Message

The President set forth wise priorities with a proper sense of urgency. He also helped heal the nation with his deeply moving call for civility and respectful debate. Mindless political point-scoring, demonizing and 'my way or no way' obstructionism are 'luxuries' the American people can no longer afford, let alone stomach. What we saw in him tonight was a little less of the professor and a little more of the statesman. The American people largely agree with his diagnosis of our greatest cha… Continue Reading


Op-ED: Bipartisanship Needed To Resolve Vacancy Crisis

The nation's federal courts are in crisis. Judicial vacancies have again topped 100, and more than two dozen circuit and district courts across the country are facing judicial emergencies. The time for partisan tit-for-tat in the confirmation of federal judges is over. In his "Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary," Chief Justice Roberts rightly called attention to the problem facing many overburdened district and circuit courts across the country. The rise in judicial vacancies -- which… Continue Reading


Leahy Proposes Landmark Forensics Reform Legislation

(Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced legislation Tuesday to strengthen and improve the quality of forensic evidence routinely used in the criminal justice system. The legislation is aimed at ensuring that forensic evidence used in criminal cases is of the highest scientific integrity. Before the 111th Congress adjourned, Leahy announced his intention to introduce forensics reform legislation early this year. The Criminal Justice and Forensic Science Reform Act wi… Continue Reading


Vermont Delegation Files Health Care Legislation

, Jan. 25 - The Vermont congressional delegation today introduced legislation to let the state implement a single-payer health care system that could become a model for the nation. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced a Senate bill and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) filed legislation in the House that would let Vermont and other states provide better health care at less cost beginning in 2014. All three members of the delegation joined Gov. Peter Shumlin at a Statehouse … Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Introduction Of The Patent Reform Act of 2011

The United States of America has long been the world leader in invention and innovation. That leadership has propelled our economic growth, but we cannot remain complacent while expecting to stay on top. A Newsweek study last year found that only 41 percent of Americans believe that the United States is staying ahead of China on innovation. A Thompson Reuters analysis has already predicted that China will outpace the United States in patent filings this year. China, in fact, has a specific … Continue Reading


Rutland High School

On January 25, 2011, Senator Leahy held an online chat with seniors at Rutland High School. Using Skype to communicate with the students and their teachers Senator Leahy spoke about his plans to attend President Obama's State of the Union Address later that evening. Students also asked questions about a variety of topics including education, energy and the environment and health care reform. Listed below is a sample of some of the questions asked during the chat. Twyla - How do you feel about… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces Effort To Move Heavy Truck Traffic From State Roads To Interstates

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (MONDAY, Jan. 24) - During a visit to Champlain Oil Company in South Burlington Monday, U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy announced that he and U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) this week will introduce a bill making permanent a now-expired federal pilot program allowing heavy trucks to use the Interstate system in Maine and Vermont. Leahy was joined by Vermont legislative leaders, trucking advocates, state officials and business leaders in pointing to the economic, environmental an… Continue Reading


New Drug Free Communities Support Program Funding Available Now

As a Vermont prosecutor and in the United States Senate, Senator Leahy has long supported and advanced the types of community-based prevention and involvement that this program encourages. He proudly cosponsored the original legislation in 1997 and has championed the program's work during his time on the Judiciary and Appropriations Committees. While Vermont is one of the safest states in the country, it has still had to confront drug abuse and drug-related crime. Over the past three years Se… Continue Reading


Leahy Taps John Tracy As His State Director

(THURSDAY, Jan. 20) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D) has named John Tracy as his State Director, overseeing his activities and staff in Vermont. Tracy replaces Chuck Ross, Vermont's new Secretary of Agriculture in the administration of Governor Peter Shumlin. Tracy, a graduate of UVM, is in his fifth year as Field Representative for Leahy, traveling the state and helping Vermonters and their communities in their dealings with federal programs and agencies. Leahy said Tracy brings timely exp… Continue Reading


Leahy, Hatch, Grassley: Patent Reform Will Protect American Jobs, Promote Economic Development

(Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011) - A bipartisan group of Senators will introduce patent reform legislation when the Senate returns to session next week, Senate Judiciary Committee Members Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) announced Thursday. The Judiciary Committee has worked to advance patent reform legislation since 2006. Leahy is the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and has included the Patent Reform Act of 2011 on the Committee's first executive bu… Continue Reading


Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The House's Expected Vote To Repeal The Affordable Care Act

The new leadership in the House say they want to repeal the Affordable Care Act. This is a carefully staged show vote, with a simplistic debate that was short on substance. The American people have the right to know that if a vote to repeal were to stand it would take away the rights of millions of patients and insurance coverage from millions more, from the aging and the elderly, to men and women with preexisting conditions, to the most vulnerable children. When you boil away the rhetoric… Continue Reading


The Leahy Letter -- January 26, 2011

Senator Leahy Responds To The State Of The Union (Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais) Senator Leahy walks with Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama following the State of the Union Yesterday, President Obama delivered his second State of the Union address outlining a plan to 'win the future' through investments in innovation, education, infrastructure, and responsible government. Senator Leahy was a member of the President's bipartisan escort committee and sat amongst his colleagues f… Continue Reading


Fraud Enforcement To Be Focus Of First SJC Hearing Of 112th Congress

TUESDAY, Jan. 18, 2011 - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday released a notice for the first Committee hearing of the 112th Congress. Leahy announced last week his intent to hold a hearing focused on fraud enforcement on Jan. 26. Two senior Department of Justice officials will testify at the hearing: Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer of the Criminal Division and Assistant Attorney General Tony West of the Civil Division. In the last fiscal year alone, the J… Continue Reading


Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Retirement Decision Of Senator Kent Conrad

"Kent Conrad is one of the best senators I have served with in 37 years. He and Lucy are among Marcelle and my best friends in Washington. "Kent is one person who actually has worked to lower the deficit and not just talked about it. When he leaves it will be the Senate's loss, North Dakota's loss and the nation's loss. "Senator Conrad still has much to contribute, and I hope his deep knowledge, his clear-eyed vision and his passion about controlling the debt and the deficit will help shape … Continue Reading


Vermont Leaders Move Forward On Health Care

MONTPELIER, Vt., Jan. 18 - Flanking Gov. Peter Shumlin at a Statehouse press conference, the Vermont congressional delegation today announced federal legislation to let states in 2014 provide better health care at less cost. A provision by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the new federal health care law allows states to propose pilot programs in 2017. Now Vermont's congressional delegates - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D), Sanders, and Rep. Peter Welch (D) - have drafted a bill to authorize federal w… Continue Reading


Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Death Of Sargent Shriver

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) released the following statement from his home in Vermont: "Sarge was a hero of mine long before I entered public life. He and his family believed in the good things government can do, and thousands upon thousands of people have better lives because of his Peace Corps work." # # # # #… Continue Reading


The National Debate On Civility And The Vermont Way

A national discussion has begun about civility in politics and American life. That can be healthy and constructive, if we want it to be. President Obama wisely cautions against letting the tragedy of Tucson become fodder for just another tit-for-tat verbal firefight. No one except perhaps the shooter knows what lit the fuse to the Tucson tragedy, or whether the superheated rhetoric of the recent campaign in Arizona was a contributing factor. But the problem of the erosion of civility is abou… Continue Reading


Op-ED: The National Debate On Civility And The Vermont Way

A national discussion has begun about civility in politics and American life. That can be healthy and constructive, if we want it to be. President Obama wisely cautions against letting the tragedy of Tucson become fodder for just another tit-for-tat verbal firefight. No one except perhaps the shooter knows what lit the fuse to the Tucson tragedy, or whether the superheated rhetoric of the recent campaign in Arizona was a contributing factor. But the problem of the erosion of civility i… Continue Reading

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