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Press Releases

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

08.26.09

Comments On The Passing Of Senator Edward Kennedy

MIDDLESEX, Vt. -- While Marcelle and I and the country knew this day was coming, our home in Vermont is filled with grief today and our hearts go out to Vicki and to all of Senator Kennedy's family. It is the sad passing of an era. For 35 years in the Senate Ted Kennedy was a close friend as he led on issues from education to health care. We often talked of the bond of the New England Irish and spoke again of this when we travelled to Pope John Paul II's funeral together. His sense of history… Continue Reading


08.26.09

Vermont Delegation Announces $1.4 Million In Recovery Funds For Affordable Housing In Franklin County

- U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and U.S. Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) on Wednesday announced $1.4 million in funding to the Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) to spur development of affordable housing in Vermont. The VHFA plans to use the grant, made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), to provide sufficient equity funding to develop Blake Commons, a 16-unit, multi-family, affordable housing project in Swanton. Blake C… Continue Reading


08.25.09

On The Death In Iraq Of Army 2nd Lt. Joseph Fortin Of St. Johnsbury, Vermont

"Marcelle and I were deeply saddened to learn of the death of 2nd Lt. Joseph Fortin of St. Johnsbury, who gave his life while serving his fellow Americans and his country. I have spoken with Lt. Fortin's wife and parents, and in this time of unspeakable grief, we hope that the fellowship of family and friends and the prayers of all Vermonters will bring them comfort. It is clear to me that Lt. Fortin was a wonderful husband, son and soldier, and this is a loss not only for those who knew him… Continue Reading


08.24.09

Vermont Awarded More Than $1 Million In Rural Law Enforcement Grants From Stimulus Package

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday announced that the Vermont Department of Public Safety (DPS) will receive more than $1 million in federal economic recovery grants. The grants were made available under Leahy-led provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), enacted earlier this year. The grants are administered by the Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). The grant program is designed to help rural states prevent and combat crime -- particu… Continue Reading


08.24.09

Comment On Attorney General Holder’s Decision To Expand Investigation Into CIA Interrogations

"I recognize how difficult this decision has been for Attorney General Holder, and I am grateful that the Justice Department is finally being led by an independent Attorney General who is willing to begin investigating this dark chapter in our country's history. I had no doubt that he would put the interests of the law ahead of politics, and he has demonstrated that. While I still believe that a nonpartisan, independent review is the best way to get the full picture of how our laws were applie… Continue Reading


08.24.09

Comment On The Release Of The CIA IG Report On Detainee Interrogations

The claims of former Vice President Cheney and other Bush administration officials that the authorization of harsh interrogation techniques was legal and effective has been repeatedly disputed and disproven by experts in interrogation, law, the military and diplomacy. Now the CIA's own Inspector General during the Bush administration has rejected the claim. The CIA Inspector General's 2004 report released today provides clear evidence that interrogators overstepped the already loose legal boun… Continue Reading


08.21.09

Vermont Center For Crime Victim Services Gains $782,510 Grant From U.S. Department Of Justice

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Friday that the Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services, based in Waterbury, will receive a $782,510 grant from the Office on Violence Against Women at the U.S. Department of Justice. The funds come from the STOP (Services-Training-Officers-Prosecutors) Violence Against Women Formula Grants Program, originally established in 1994 under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). On the Senate Judiciary Committee Leahy co-authored and helped steer through Con… Continue Reading


08.20.09

Leahy, Sanders Announce Over $1.2 M. In Federal Grants For Vermont Community Partnerships To Counter Drug And Substance Abuse

Vermont Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced Thursday that Vermont partnerships across the state have been awarded more than $1.2 million in Drug Free Communities (DFC) Support Program Continuation Grants. The DFC grants are awarded by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to local organizations in communities that are working to reduce youth alcohol, tobacco and illegal drug use. Fourteen Vermont coalitions are among 565 communities nationwide to re… Continue Reading


08.20.09

Comment On State And Foreign Operations On The State Department's August 13th Report On Human Rights In Mexico

"The United States and Mexico have joined together in a multi-year campaign against heavily armed drug cartels that are committing horrific crimes against civilians and government forces alike. "Since June 2008, I have supported over $1 billion in aid for Mexico, and I expect to support more in the future. The challenges Mexico faces are complex and will take many years to solve. They also require a far more effective effort on our part to reduce the demand for drugs in the U.S. and the flow of… Continue Reading


08.13.09

Burlington International Airport Awarded $2.4 Million In Recovery Funds, Vermont Delegation Announces

The U.S. Department of Transportation today awarded $2,424,030 in recovery funding to Burlington International Airport for taxiway rehabilitation and extension, Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) announced. The funding will be used to rehabilitate and repave the intersection of two taxiways and to extend a third taxiway. The projects are part of the airport's multi-phase South End Development program, which will enhance cargo, aircraft maintenanc… Continue Reading


08.12.09

Leahy Unveils Online Health Care Feature For Vermonters To Share Stories, Views On Health Issues And Reform Plans

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) this week posted an expanded webpage on health care reform on his Senate website. The new feature offers Vermonters up-to-date information on health care reform plans currently before Congress and invites Vermonters to submit questions and comments to Leahy on each of the proposals. Vermonters can access this webpage via http://leahy.senate.gov/. Leahy periodically will respond to comments, individuals' own health care system experiences and questions submitted by Ve… Continue Reading


08.07.09

Senate Confirms Two For Key Federal Law Enforcement Posts In Vermont

The U.S. Senate Friday confirmed two nominees for the top federal law enforcement offices in Vermont, steered through the Senate by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). Tristram Coffin and David Demag became the first U.S. Attorney and U.S. Marshal nominees of President Obama to be confirmed by the Senate. In March, Leahy recommended Coffin to fill Vermont's U.S. Attorney position, and Demag, a longtime law enforcement officer in Vermont, to be the state's U.S. Marshal. Coffin was the President's f… Continue Reading


08.07.09

Comment On The Confirmation Of David Kappos

On Friday, the Senate confirmed the nomination of David Kappos to be the Under Secretary for Intellectual Property at the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. "I am pleased the Senate moved quickly to confirm the nomination of David Kappos to head the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The USPTO will benefit under his leadership, and I look forward to working closely with him to enact meaningful reforms to our nation's patent system this year." … Continue Reading


08.07.09

Senate Confirms Ten Judiciary Committee-Reported Nominees

After nearly three months of inaction on Judiciary Committee reported nominations, the Senate Friday confirmed 10 nominations reported by the Committee, many which have been pending on the Senate's executive calendar for more than a month. The nominations, confirmed just one day after the Senate's final vote on the historic nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, were the first non-judicial nominations reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee to be confirmed since May 12. Among th… Continue Reading


08.07.09

Help Approved For Laid Off Ethan Allen Workers

The U.S. Labor Department today approved trade adjustment assistance for Ethan Allen employees in Beecher Falls, Vt., Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) announced. The Vermont congressional delegation supported an application submitted by the Vermont Department of Labor on behalf of the employees for assistance after Ethan Allen announced up to 260 employees would lose their jobs at the company's Beecher Falls location. Members of New Hampshire's… Continue Reading


08.06.09

Comment On The Immigration And Customs Enforcement Reforms To Detention System

"The Obama administration is taking a step forward to improve what have been shameful - and all too often fatal - conditions of custody in immigration detention. Today's announcement shows a recognition of the scope of the problem and the need for systemic reform. That said, I would like to see ICE commit not just to stronger internal oversight, but also to independent monitoring of its detention facilities. The new facilities that ICE proposes to build must be located in areas where detainee… Continue Reading


08.06.09

Statement On Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Program “Cash For Clunkers”

Mr. President, I would like to make some observations about the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Program, more commonly known as cash for clunkers. When Congress first passed this program in June, I evaluated the merits and the arguments and chose to support it, because I believed it would provide a prompt shot in the arm to our ailing economy. I continue to believe that the program's goals of reducing the environmental impact of automobiles on the road and producing economic stimulus a… Continue Reading


08.06.09

On The Nomination Of Judge Sonia Sotomayor

I thank the many Senators who took part yesterday in the historic debate on the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. I hope today that we will conclude this debate and vote on her confirmation. Senator Klobuchar, the senior Senator from Minnesota and an active member of the Judiciary Committee, led a group of five women Senators in a powerful opening hour of debate yesterday that included Senators Shaheen, Stabenow, Gillibrand and Murray. Several Judiciary Committee Senat… Continue Reading


08.06.09

Closing Statement On The Nomination Of Sonia Sotomayor To Be A Justice Of The United States Supreme Court Senate Debate

As we conclude Senate consideration of this nomination, I thank those Senators who have evaluated this nomination fairly and, in particular, those Republican Senators who have shown the independence to join in the bipartisan confirmation of this historic nomination. Critics have attacked President Obama's nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor by contending that he picked her for the Supreme Court to substitute empathy for the rule of law. These critics are wrong about the President and wrong abou… Continue Reading


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

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