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Press Releases

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

08.06.09

Senate Confirms Sotomayor To Nation’s High Court

The Senate has confirmed Sonia Sotomayor to become the 111th Justice of the United States Supreme Court by a bipartisan vote of 68-31. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) applauded the confirmation of the historic nomination. Sotomayor will be the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice. "It has been my privilege to have participated in the confirmation of a dozen Justices to the Supreme Court. I have considered each of those nominations with an understanding of that solemn… Continue Reading


08.05.09

On The Nomination Of Judge Sonia Sotomayor To Be An Associate Justice Of The U.S. Supreme Court

Yesterday, as we began the debate on the historic nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, Senator Reid, Senator Feinstein, Senator Menendez, Senator Whitehouse and Senator Brown gave powerful statements in support of Judge Sotomayor's long record - a record that makes her a highly qualified nominee. I thank those Senators for their moving statements. In the course of my opening statement yesterday, I spoke about the value of real world judging. Among the cases I discussed wer… Continue Reading


08.05.09

Comments On State Department And Foreign Operations On The Provisions In Law That He Authored Concerning The Merida Initiative

"All Americans are sympathetic to the challenges faced by the Mexican Government and all of us want them to be successful. "The law withholds 15 percent of the Merida funds until the Secretary of State reports to Congress that the Mexican Government is meeting four requirements, including prosecuting military and police officers who violate human rights. The Congress provides 85 percent of the aid without conditions, but there needs to be evidence that the military is accountable to the rule of… Continue Reading


08.05.09

Statement On The Employment Non-Discrimination Act

Our Nation has a proud history of diversity and a commitment to justice and equal rights for all Americans. The promise of equal rights is a foundational freedom of our democracy. Today we re-introduce important legislation to protect Americans from discrimination in the workplace. I am proud to again cosponsor the bipartisan Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and I thank Senators Kennedy, Collins and Merkley for their leadership and commitment to an issue that has practical significance in t… Continue Reading


08.05.09

Leahy Introduces Legislation To Help Ease Crunch On Free Health Clinics

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday introduced legislation to help ease the pressure on free medical clinics across the country that are struggling to pay medical malpractice insurance premiums. The legislation would expand the scope of the Federal Tort Claims Act, and clarify its application to free medical clinics. Leahy introduced the legislation after hearing from representatives of Vermont's seven free health care clinics. "Free clinics in Vermont and around the country are struggling… Continue Reading


08.05.09

Leahy Announces More Armored Vehicles For Bennington Firm

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced that the Pentagon has increased the order for troop vehicles built in part by Bennington-based Plasan North America, creating additional jobs in the area. He said the Defense Department has approved a second contract for Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Corporation and Plasan North America to build an additional 1,700 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain-Vehicles (M-ATV) for $1.06 billion. At the beginning of July, Leahy announced a $1.05 bi… Continue Reading


08.04.09

On The Nomination Of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, To Be An Associate Justice Of The U.S. Supreme Court

When the Judiciary Committee began the confirmation hearing on the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, I recounted an insight from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which is often quoted by President Obama: "Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." Each generation of Americans has sought that arc toward justice. Indeed, that national purpose is inherent in our Constitution. In the Constitution's preamble, the Founders set forth to "… Continue Reading


08.04.09

St. Johnsbury To Receive $15 Million In USDA Rural Development Economic Recovery Funds For Water And Wastewater Improvements

Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch Monday announced that the Town of St. Johnsbury will receive a $15 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development grant and loan package to make much-needed water delivery and wastewater improvements. Vermont's Congressional Delegation had written to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack in support of the town's application. The grant and loan package consists o… Continue Reading


07.31.09

Statement At Press Conference On USDA Price Support Announcement

USDA Boost In Dairy Pricing Caps Leahy-Led Push To Help Farmers We are here today to applaud this morning's announcement by Secretary Vilsack of an increase in the Dairy Price Support Program. Senator Kohl and I led a group of more than 20 Senators in advocating for this quick increase in the federal floor for dairy prices. Secretary Vilsack became our partner in getting this done, and we are grateful that dairy farmers have a true ally at USDA. Two days ago we organized a meeting with… Continue Reading


07.31.09

The Leahy Letter - July 31, 2009

USDA Boost In Dairy Pricing Caps Leahy-Led Push To Help Farmers Two days after a coalition of two dozen senators strongly urged Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to raise the floor price for dairy products, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Friday that it will do that for three months, beginning immediately. Today's announcement follows a strategy meeting between the coalition, led by Senator Leahy and including Senator Sanders, and Secretary Vilsack, where the senators urged h… Continue Reading


07.31.09

Obama Nominates Former Police Chief David Demag To Be Vermont U.S. Marshal

President Obama on Friday nominated former Essex Jct. and St. Albans Police Chief David E. Demag to be the next U.S. Marshal for the state of Vermont. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) recommended Demag, a decorated law enforcement veteran, to the President earlier this year. "Vermont has benefited from David Demag's service for nearly 40 years," said Leahy. "He is a decorated law enforcement veteran who has worked at every level. He has a track record of bringing people together to address importa… Continue Reading


07.31.09

Leahy, Sanders, Welch Welcome Price Breakthrough For Dairy Farmers

U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Friday welcomed a U.S. Department of Agriculture decision to lift the floor price for dairy products. The decision was announced two days after the Vermont senators and a coalition of more than two dozen senators from other dairy states met with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The meeting and the multi-region coalition of senators were organized by Leahy, the senior-most member of the Agricultu… Continue Reading


07.30.09

Leahy-Led Coalition Steps Up Drive For A Short-Term Boost In U.S. Dairy Price Supports

Fresh on the heels of Wednesday's strategy meeting with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a multi-region coalition of senators organized by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has sent a letter to White House Budget Director Peter Orszag, asking his cooperation in implementing a short-term boost in USDA's floor price for purchasing dairy products. In the letter to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Orszag, 23 senators ask the Administration to use discretionary authority granted earlier by … Continue Reading


07.30.09

Federal Support For Older Vermont Workers

Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) today announced $1 million in federal funding for vocational training and education for Vermont seniors. The federal grant will establish four "mature worker resource centers" with the aim of helping 200 workers 55 years old or older keep their jobs or find new ones. Vermont's population is the second-oldest in New England. The program will develop new strategies to focus on the needs of employers and the oppor… Continue Reading


07.29.09

Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing On Pending Nominations

The Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday held its first hearing since April to consider lower court nominations, and its first hearing to consider executive nominations since June. Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) presided over a hearing to consider the nomination of David Kappos to be the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and the nominations of Beverly Martin to be a Circuit Court Judge for the Eleventh Circuit, and Jeffrey… Continue Reading


07.29.09

Leahy, Reid Stand With Civil Rights Leaders To Discuss Sotomayor

Leahy, Reid Hold Press Conference On Sotomayor Nomination WASHINGTON (Wednesday, July 29, 2009) -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy were joined by Wade Henderson of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, Marcia Greenberger of the National Women's Law Center, and Lillian Rodriguez-Lopez of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda today to discuss the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court. Earlier this week, th… Continue Reading


07.29.09

Leahy-Led Coalition Presses Agriculture Secretary On Short-Term Boost In U.S. Dairy Price Supports

Leahy, Sanders Meet With Agriculture Secretary On Dairy Price Supports WASHINGTON -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), joined by 12 other senators including Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), sat down Wednesday with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to discuss how to accomplish a prompt boost in USDA's floor price for purchasing dairy products, as a catalyst to help stabilize plummeting milk prices. Leahy two weeks ago organized a multi-regional Senate coalition to support a significant s… Continue Reading


07.29.09

Leahy Urges Senate To Debate Media Shield Bill

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today urged Senators to proceed to debate pending legislation that would establish a federal qualified reporters' shield law. The Senate Judiciary Committee, which Leahy chairs, reported the Free Flow of Information Act last October, and Leahy has pressed for Senate consideration of the bill. The House of Representatives has passed legislation similar to the bill reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee in October. "I support the Free Flow of Information Act," … Continue Reading


07.28.09

25 Vermont Communities Net Total Of $5 Million For New Police Hires Under Economic Recovery Plan

(TUESDAY, July 28) - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Tuesday morning that Vermont will receive $5,045,045 in economic recovery grants to fund the hiring and rehiring of law enforcement officers. The grants to 25 law enforcement agencies across Vermont are administered by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) through the federal agency's COPS Hiring Recovery Program. The grants provide 100 percent of the approved salary and benefits for newly h… Continue Reading


07.28.09

Judiciary Committee Reports Sotomayor Nomination To Senate

Senate Judiciary Committee Vote on Sotomayor Nomination WASHINGTON - The Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday completed its consideration of the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, reporting the nomination favorably to the Senate floor by a bipartisan 13-6 vote. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) presided over the confirmation hearing for Sotomayor's nomination during the week of July 13. "During my time in the Senate, I have often spok… Continue Reading

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