Press Room

Press Releases

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

11.09.09

Comment On Justice Department Views Letter On S. 1692, The USA PATRIOT Act Sunset Extension Act

"The administration's statement of strong support on the USA PATRIOT Act Sunset Extension Act should help the Senate to swiftly consider this important legislation. I drafted this legislation to strengthen our national security and protect civil liberties. I appreciate the continued commitment of Senator Feinstein, Senator Kyl, and others, to enacting legislation that addresses the needs of intelligence and law enforcement agencies, but that also implements safeguards and ove… Continue Reading


11.06.09

New Agricultural Innovation Center Will Take ‘Vermont Branding’ To Next Level

RUTLAND, Vt. -- A grant secured by Senator Patrick Leahy will be used to launch a new Vermont Agricultural Innovation Demonstration Center, to help develop new Vermont products and chart new avenues for Vermont's farmers and businesses to connect with untapped customers and markets. Leahy aide Tom Berry made the announcement Friday in remarks in Rutland before the Vermont Farm Bureau. Leahy secured $469,000 in U.S. Department of Agriculture funding for the new Center, which w… Continue Reading


11.05.09

Proctor High School

Mr. Laramie's United States History and Civics Classes On November 5, 2009, Senator Leahy conducted his first online chat with United States History and Civics' High School students of Proctor High School in Proctor, VT. The students asked the Senator questions concerning health care reform, the economy and the war in Afghanistan. They asked to understand the Senator's reasoning for voting to reauthorize the Patriot Act as well as his decision on voting to support a public option for all Americ… Continue Reading


11.05.09

Federal Courts Capable Of Hearing Terrorism Trials

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) spoke on the Senate floor Thursday in opposition to an amendment to the Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill that would prohibit the use of funds to prosecute in federal courts the detainees held in connection to the terrorist attacks of September 11. Leahy has long opposed restricting the Justice Department's ability to prosecute terrorists and detainees in federal courts.] Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy … Continue Reading


11.05.09

Leahy, Insurance Competition Expert Discuss Importance Of Increasing Competition As An Integral Element Of Health Care Reform

- Senator Patrick Leahy joined David Balto, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and former policy director for the Bureau of Competition at the Federal Trade Commission, on a conference call this afternoon to discuss the need for increasing competition in the health care industry through the elimination of the antitrust exemption for health insurers. For over sixty years, insurance companies have enjoyed an exemption from federal anti-trust laws, giving them a significant competi… Continue Reading


11.05.09

Judiciary Committee Advances Leahy’s Cybersecurity Bill

- The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved bipartisan legislation authored by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and cosponsored by former Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) that will improve cybersecurity and better protect Americans' privacy and personal information. Among other provisions, the comprehensive Personal Data Privacy and Security Act will require data brokers and companies to establish and implement data privacy and security programs. The Judiciary Committee … Continue Reading


11.05.09

Leahy Hits U.S. Refusal To Join Landmine Treaty

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is sharply critical of the Obama Administration's decision, announced Tuesday by the State Department, to decline to join the international treaty to ban anti-personnel landmines, a weapon that kills or maims thousands of civilians each year."This is a default of U.S. leadership and a detour from the clear path of history," Leahy said in a statement. "The United States is the most powerful nation on earth. We don't need these weapons and most of our allies have long ag… Continue Reading


11.04.09

Statement At Hearing On Executive And Judicial Nominations

Senator Leahy Holds Hearing On Reiss Nomination To Be U.S. District Judge For Vermont Today, we will hear from five of President Obama's well-qualified nominees, four for lifetime appointments on the Federal bench, and one for an important position in the executive branch. I am especially pleased to welcome to the Judiciary Committee today Judge Christina Reiss from Essex Junction, Vermont. Judge Reiss was nominated by President Obama to a seat on the District Court in Vermont and, when co… Continue Reading


11.04.09

Comment After Senate Passage Wednesday Night Of The Bill To Extend Unemployment Insurance And To Continue The Homebuyer Tax Credit

[After ending a Republican filibuster on the bill earlier in the day, in a vote of 98 to 0, the U.S. Senate Wednesday night approved legislation to: 1) extend unemployment insurance by up to 14 additional weeks for jobless workers across the nation; 2) continue the $8,000 first-time homebuyer credit through April 30, 2010, but with 60 days to close after that date; 3) provide a $6,500 credit to new purchasers who have lived in their current residences for five or more years; and 4) extend and e… Continue Reading


11.04.09

Statement On Vermont’s Contribution to Health Insurance Reform Legislation

Senator Leahy Speaks On Vermont's Contribution To Health Insurance Reform Today, we as Members of Congress have the opportunity to complete an effort that began decades ago. The status quo has a powerful lobby, and the sentries of the status quo have killed health insurance reform before. They are pouring all their energy not into offering constructive solutions but into erecting new pillars of obstruction at every turn. Each of the various reform plans that have been brought forward by … Continue Reading


10.31.09

Leahy Provision Will Double Funds For Efforts Targeting Epidemic In Northeast’s Bats

. . . Vermont is latest epicenter of 'white nose syndrome' scourge WASHINGTON (Thursday, Oct. 29) - The U.S. Senate Thursday night passed a bill that includes emergency help authored by U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to address a disease that is decimating bat populations in Vermont and the Northeast. Leahy secured $1.9 million to buttress the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's response to the puzzling outbreak of "white nose syndrome" in Northeast bat populations. Leahy's provision, in the an… Continue Reading


10.30.09

The Leahy Letter - October 30, 2009

Leahy Sharpens Focus On Health Insurance Competition and Efficiency As health insurance reform continues to dominate Congress' attention, Senator Leahy is continuing to sharpen the focus on two reform pillars: competition and contracting runaway costs in the current system. This week, Senator Leahy held a hearing in the Judiciary Committee about how best to combat health care fraud. Following the hearing, Senator Leahy and others introduced a bill to provide additional resources for the Departm… Continue Reading


10.29.09

Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy On Repeal Of Health Insurance Industry Antitrust Exemption

"I commend the leaders in the House of Representatives for including in their health care reform proposal a repeal of the federal antitrust exemption enjoyed by the health insurance industry. This is not a new proposal, nor should it be a partisan one. As I have said, I intend to offer such a repeal as an amendment to the health care reform legislation that the Senate will debate in the coming weeks, and I look forward to working with Senator Reid and others, as well as le… Continue Reading


10.29.09

VT Air National Guard One Of 10 Finalists To Base F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

- Senator Patrick Leahy and the Vermont Congressional Delegation - Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D) -- announced Thursday that the Secretary of the Air Force has selected the Vermont National Guard in Burlington as one of 10 final candidates to base the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The Air Force conducted a system-wide review of more than 200 locations before selecting Burlington and nine other bases as finalists for either the training or primary operation… Continue Reading


10.29.09

Comment On Repeal Of Health Insurance Industry Antitrust Exemption In The House-Proposed Health Care Reform Bill

"I commend the leaders in the House of Representatives for including in their health care reform proposal a repeal of the federal antitrust exemption enjoyed by the health insurance industry. This is not a new proposal, nor should it be a partisan one. As I have said, I intend to offer such a repeal as an amendment to the health care reform legislation that the Senate will debate in the coming weeks, and I look forward to working with Senator Reid and others, as well as leaders in the House, t… Continue Reading


10.28.09

Dothan Brook School

Mrs. Vielleux's and Mrs. Thorburn's 5th grade classes Using a video conferencing system, Senator Leahy spoke with 60 5th grade students in White River Junction, VT from his office in Washington, DC. This was Senator Leahy's first online chat with the Dothan Brook School. The students asked him questions concerning his career as a Senator as well as his life in Vermont. The students also brought up the topics of health care reform, energy conservation, and the war in Iraq. The Senator spoke with… Continue Reading


10.28.09

Comment On The Signing Of The Matthew Shepard And James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act

"I join with the Shepards, the Byrds, Mrs. Kennedy and countless others in celebrating President Obama's signing of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. More than a decade after Senator Kennedy began the effort to enact this legislation, we have finally acted to ensure that violence against members of any group because of who they are will not be tolerated. It is one more step forward in protecting the civil rights of all Americans. I am honored to have w… Continue Reading


10.28.09

Leahy, Judiciary Committee Members Introduce Health Care Fraud Enforcement Bill

- Following a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday on "Effective Strategies for Preventing Health Care Fraud," Senator Patrick Leahy joined with Senator Ted Kaufman (D-Del.) to introduce the Health Care Fraud Enforcement Act. The legislation is also cosponsored by Committee members Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y), and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). Leahy chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. Building on the fraud prevention efforts included in the Finance a… Continue Reading


10.28.09

Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing On Health Care Fraud

Leahy Chairs Hearing On Health Care Fraud WASHINGTON - The Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday held a hearing to examine federal efforts to combat health care fraud. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) scheduled the hearing as the Senate prepares to consider health care reform legislation. Testifying at the hearing Wednesday was Deputy Health and Human Services Secretary Bill Corr and Assistant Attorney General Tony West, who leads the Civil Division at the Department of Justice. L… Continue Reading


10.27.09

Leahy, Sanders And Welch Announce Nearly $69 Million To Launch Smart Grid Technology In Vermont

- The Vermont Congressional Delegation - Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D) - announced Tuesday morning that Vermont Transco, LLC, will receive $68,928,650 in federal support to launch Vermont's Smart Grid technology. The funds are part of $3.4 billion in Smart Grid grants across the nation that President Obama announced today - the largest awards made in a single day from this year's American Reinvestment and Recovery A… Continue Reading

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