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Press Releases

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

10.09.09

Accepting Leahy’s Recommendation, President To Nominate Vermont Judge Christina Reiss For Vermont’s U.S. District Court Vacancy

The White House announced Friday afternoon that President Obama has accepted the recommendation of Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and intends to nominate Vermont State Judge Christina Reiss of Essex Junction, Vt., to be the next judge on Vermont's U.S. District Court. If confirmed by the Senate, Reiss would be the first woman to serve on Vermont's federal district court. She would fill the vacancy created when Judge J. Garvan Murtha announced his intention to take senior status on Vermont's U.S. D… Continue Reading


10.09.09

Comment On The Nobel Peace Prize Awarded To President Obama

"It's a stunning announcement and it reflects well on America's ideals and the world's yearning for American leadership. "Little is possible without leadership. No one can force other nations to follow, but President Obama is reintroducing America to the rest of the world, and people of goodwill everywhere do have hope about working together for progress on some of the world's most daunting and dangerous problems." # # # # #… Continue Reading


10.08.09

30 Senators Sign Letter Urging Inclusion Of Public Option In Final Health Reform Legislation

30 U.S. Senators signed a letter today urging the inclusion of a public option in any health reform legislation that will be considered on the Senate floor. An additional 14 Senators at least have expressed support for the public option through a resolution, letter, or by voting for a strong public option during committee markups. The letter, which was circulated by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), was signed by Brown; John D. Rockefeller (D-WV); Russell D. Feingold (D-WI); Patrick J. Leahy (D-V… Continue Reading


10.08.09

Emergency Dairy Aid Approved by Congress

By a vote of 76 to 22, the Senate today passed and sent to President Obama legislation to provide $350 million in emergency assistance for hard-pressed dairy farmers. The House last night approved the same $121 billion agriculture spending bill for the 2010 budget year. The bill includes $290 million for direct support to dairy farmers using guidelines to be determined by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack under an expedited process. Another $60 million would be used to purchase cheese and other… Continue Reading


10.08.09

Judiciary Committee Approves USA PATRIOT Act Legislation

(Thursday, October 8, 2009) - At a meeting Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation to reauthorize expiring provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act and improve oversight of several tools used to gather intelligence. The Committee's bipartisan 11-8 vote advances the legislation to the full Senate for consideration. The USA PATRIOT Act Sunset Extension Act was introduced by Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and original cosponsors Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Ted Kaufman (D-Del.… Continue Reading


10.07.09

Leahy, Judiciary Committee Look At SCOTUS Rulings In Age Discrimination, Arbitration Cases

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday chaired a hearing in which the Committee examined 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 focused on Circuit City v. Adams, which extended the scope of the Federal Arbitration Act to cover employment contracts, and Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc., … Continue Reading


10.07.09

Leahy, Sanders And Welch Huddle With Energy Secretary To Underscore Support For Vermont’s Smart Grid Application

- The Vermont Congressional Delegation - Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D) - Wednesday met with Energy Secretary Steven Chu to underscore their support for Vermont's application for "Smart Grid" investments under this year's economic recovery act. Meeting in Leahy's office in the U.S. Capitol, they discussed Vermont's work on several energy and "green economy" initiatives, in which Vermont is emerging as a model for the nation - policy areas… Continue Reading


10.07.09

Statement On The Bond-Leahy Amendment On Tactical Aircraft Retirement

Mr. President, I rise in support of the amendment offered by Senator Bond to temporarily suspend the retirement of tactical aircraft by the US Air Force. For months, Senator Bond and I as co-chairs of the Senate National Guard Caucus have repeatedly questioned Air Force and Department of Defense leadership what it was doing to address a looming shortfall in available aircraft for Air National Guard Units. The Air Force acknowledges this issue and I know has spent a great deal of time studying … Continue Reading


10.06.09

Comment On The Immigration And Customs Enforcement Report On Immigration Detention Overview And Recommendations

"I hope the Department of Homeland Security will work to implement the recommendations included in Dr. Schriro's report released today. In August, I urged the Obama administration to expand the use of secure, humane, cost-effective community-based programs for immigration detention. This report makes several constructive recommendations, including establishing nationwide legal orientation programs, new detention standards, pilot programs for community-based alternatives to detention, and stric… Continue Reading


10.06.09

Douglas, Leahy, Sanders And Welch Applaud First Broadband Funding To Reach Vermont Under Economic Recovery Act

U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Congressman Peter Welch and Governor Jim Douglas Tuesday welcomed the announcement by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, that Vermont has been awarded Vermont a $1.2 million broadband mapping grant. Vermont's grant is one of the first four American Recovery and Reinvestment Act broadband grants to reach the states for broadband mapping, aggregation and infrastruct… Continue Reading


10.06.09

Bicameral Legislation Will Protect Older Workers From Discrimination, Restore Civil Rights

Today, three Chairmen - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Congressman George Miller (D-CA), Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee - introduced landmark legislation that restores vital civil rights protections for older workers in the face of the Supreme Court's decision in Gross v. FBL Financial. In Gross, the Supreme Court rewrote civil ri… Continue Reading


10.06.09

Senate Confirms Perez To Key Justice Department Post

The Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly voted to confirm Thomas E. Perez to be Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice. The nomination has languished on the Senate calendar for more than four months. The final vote was 72-22. Perez was nominated by President Obama in March, and he appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 29. The Committee favorably reported the nomination to the full Senate on June 4 by a vote of 17-2. Senate Ju… Continue Reading


10.05.09

Comment On The Administration’s Views On S. 515, The Patent Reform Act

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is the lead sponsor of the Patent Reform Act of 2009, which was reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee in April. Leahy has worked to pass patent reform legislation for several Congresses. The bipartisan legislation is pending before the full Senate. "The administration's letter of support for the needed provisions in the Patent Reform Act reinforces the urgent need to enact this legislation. It has been more than 50 years since Congress passed meaningful ref… Continue Reading


10.04.09

A new view of food scraps’ potential; There’s power on your plate

Instead of thinking "yuck" when faced with shriveled brown apple cores, slimly spinach leaves and stinky chicken bones, Dan Hecht of Montpelier thinks "energy." "There is value to be derived from stuff we throw away," he said. In an age when finding alternative sources of energy is both a state and national priority, Hecht points to the potential in a squandered resource: food scraps. For one thing, it's plentiful, Hecht said: "Every city and town in America already possesses a major s… Continue Reading


10.04.09

Burlington Free Press: A new view of food scraps’ potential; There’s power on your plate

By Nancy Remsen, Free Press Staff Writer Instead of thinking "yuck" when faced with shriveled brown apple cores, slimly spinach leaves and stinky chicken bones, Dan Hecht of Montpelier thinks "energy." "There is value to be derived from stuff we throw away," he said. In an age when finding alternative sources of energy is both a state and national priority, Hecht points to the potential in a squandered resource: food scraps. For one thing, it's plentiful, Hecht said: "Every city and town in … Continue Reading


10.02.09

Leahy Schedules Hearing On Health, Medical Malpractice Insurance Antitrust Exemption

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday announced that the Committee will hold a hearing on October 14 on legislation to repeal a federal antitrust exemption for health insurance and medical malpractice insurance companies. Leahy introduced the Health Insurance Antitrust Enforcement Act on September 17. The legislation will repeal the federal antitrust exemption for health insurance and medical malpractice insurance companies who engage in flagrant antitrust violations… Continue Reading


10.01.09

Leahy Applauds Progress On Patriot Act Reauthorization

(Thursday, October 1, 2009) - Legislation to reauthorize expiring intelligence gathering provisions received a boost Thursday when Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) unveiled legislative language supported by several key senators, including Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Committee members Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Ted Kaufman (D-Del.). The Judiciary Committee… Continue Reading


10.01.09

Senate Judiciary Committee Reports Judicial Nominations, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Marshal

(Thursday, October 1, 2009) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved six nominations, including four judicial nominations. The nominations will next be considered by the full Senate. The nominations of Joseph Greenaway to the Third Circuit, Robert Lange to the District of South Dakota, Irene Cornelia Berger to the Southern District of West Virginia, and Charlene Edwards Honeywell to the Middle District of Florida were first considered at a hearing on September 9. The Committee also … Continue Reading


10.01.09

Leahy Applauds Progress On Patriot Act Reauthorization

(Thursday, October 1, 2009) - Legislation to reauthorize expiring intelligence gathering provisions received a boost Thursday when Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) unveiled legislative language supported by several key senators, including Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Committee members Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Ted Kaufman (D-Del.). The Judiciary Committee… Continue Reading


09.30.09

Senate Unanimously Confirms First District Court Judge

The Senate Tuesday night unanimously confirmed the first district court judge of the 111th Congress. Jeffrey Viken was confirmed to an appointment on the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) praised the nomination, saying, "President Obama nominated Mr. Viken with the bipartisan support of both Senators from South Dakota. Mr. Viken's wide range of experience makes him particularly well qualified to serve on the Federal… Continue Reading

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