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


Governor Douglas and Congressional Delegation Announce Northern Border Regional Commission Awards

Montpelier, Vt. - Two Vermont projects will receive a total of $375,000 in federal funds to support jobs and economic development in the Northeast Kingdom through the Northern Border Regional Commission (NRBC). Governor Jim Douglas joined Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Peter Welch in announcing $234,000 has been awarded for the Northern Vermont Fiber Optic Connection project and $141,150 has been awarded to the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. Vermont's federal d… Continue Reading


Leahy Proposes Bill To Allow Retired Justices To Sit On Court By Designation

(Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2010) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday introduced legislation to permit retired Supreme Court justices to sit on the Court by designation in cases where an active justice has recused. Such legislation was first suggested to Leahy by Justice John Paul Stevens, in a meeting earlier this year with Leahy, before Stevens announced his retirement plans. Under the proposed bill, the active justices of the Supreme Court would be permitted to v… Continue Reading


Delegation Welcomes Release of Funds for ‘Vermonter’ High-Speed Rail Project

, Sept. 29 - Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) today welcomed the release of $50 million in federal stimulus funds for the "Vermonter" rail line from St. Albans to Vernon, Vt. The high-speed rail project will be the second in the nation to break ground using funds that Congress approved in last year's economic recovery act. (Maine's "Downeaster" line was first.) The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Railroad A… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy on Assistance for Afghanistan

MR. LEAHY. Mr. President, at a time when many Americans are increasingly concerned with the situation in Afghanistan, I was interested in an investigative report on U.S. aid for Afghanistan in the August 2, 2010, issue of the Christian Science Monitor weekly magazine. The report describes several aspects of the U.S. Agency for International Development's approach to development in that country, and I want to take a minute to clarify what may be a misconception about the Congress' expectations.… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy on the Persecution of the Baha'is in Iran

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I want to take a moment to call the Senate's attention to members of the Baha'i faith who have and continue to suffer severe persecution by the Iranian Government. Senators should be aware that seven prominent Iranian Baha'i leaders are currently in prison, facing sentences of up to 10 years, charged with espionage, establishing an illegal administration, and promoting propaganda against the Islamic order. These spurious charges are only the latest example of the m… Continue Reading


Leahy Introduces Bill To Address Supreme Court’s Skilling Decision

(Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced legislation Tuesday to close the gap created by the Supreme Court's decision earlier this year in Skilling v. United States. The legislation, called the Honest Services Restoration Act, will restore critical tools used by investigators and prosecutors to combat public corruption and corporate fraud, which the Court eliminated in the Skilling decision. The Honest Services Restoration Act expands the… Continue Reading


Leahy, Gillibrand Offer Bill To Give Dairy Workers Access To Visa Program

(TUESDAY, Sept. 28) - Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) Tuesday introduced the H-2A Improvement Act, legislation to ensure that dairy farmers in Vermont, New York and other dairy states can use a visa program long used by other sectors of the agriculture industry to hire foreign workers. Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is also a cosponsor of the bill. The U.S. Department of Labor struck a blow to the dairy industry earlier this year when it issued rules that conti… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing Looks At Scope Of Skilling Decision

(Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010) - The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing today led by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) examining the scope of this year's Supreme Court decision in Skilling v. United States. The decision left gaps in a key anti-fraud and anti-corruption law. The hearing is the latest in a series Leahy has organized in recent years to explore the impact of important Supreme Court decisions. The Court's decision in June vacated the conviction of former Enron executive Jeffrey Ski… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Bringing Jobs Back To America

Mr. President, I strongly support the Creating American Jobs and Ending Offshoring Act. These clearly justified reforms will close wasteful tax loopholes for firms that move jobs overseas and provide real incentives for firms to bring jobs back to the United States. I am proud to join Senators Dick Durbin, Harry Reid, Byron Dorgan, Barbara Boxer, Chuck Schumer, Sherrod Brown, and Sheldon Whitehouse in cosponsoring this bill. For the past two decades our country has witnessed a disturbing tre… Continue Reading


President Signs Long-Stalled Small Business Jobs Bill

President Obama Monday signed into law a small business jobs bill that will boost commercial lending and provide tax relief to small businesses in Vermont and nationwide. The Small Business Job Creation Act modernizes the application process for U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) lending programs; targets tax relief to America's 27 million small businesses; and creates a $30 billion lending fund for healthy Main Street banks to boost capital access to small firms needing an injection of … Continue Reading


Leahy To Introduce Reauthorization Of Landmark Justice For All Act

(Monday, Sept. 27, 2010) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) will introduce legislation today to reauthorize the historic Justice for All Act, which was first enacted in 2004. Leahy was the leading Democratic Senate sponsor of the law, which resulted from more than four years of bipartisan negotiations. The Justice for All Act made modest but rare reforms in the way the death penalty is used in the criminal justice system. It also improved support services for crime victims, and provided importa… Continue Reading


Vermont Delegation Announces Recovery Act Funding For Rehabilitation Work At Rutland Free Library

Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Congressman Peter Welch (D) ) report that U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack Friday made it official that the Rutland Free Library will receive $663,000 in federal support for repair of the library's roof. The funding -- a $200,000 grant and $463,000 loan -- comes through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Community Facilities Program as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, enacted last year to promote economic re… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On House Passage Of The “Freedom of Information Act Amendments To The Securities And Exchange Act, Investment Company Act And Investment Advisers Act Of 2010”

"I commend the House of Representatives for promptly following the Senate's action, and passing legislation to repeal exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that were enacted in the Wall Street reform bill. This new law will ensure that the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) remains an effective tool to provide public access to information about the stability of our financial markets. "The Freedom of Information Act has long recogni… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy Commemorating The Six-Month Milestone Of The Affordable Health Care Act

For each of us, our health is among the things we care the most about. Certainly one of the most common requests any of us regularly make in prayer is for good health. And of course it is not only our own health we worry about; we also want good health and proper medical insurance for our children, our parents, our siblings - for all those who are important to us. Medical knowledge and technology have advanced tremendously during the past two and a half centuries of American life, and the pac… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Reports 7 Judicial Nominees; 23 Nominees Now Await Senate Votes

(Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved seven pending judicial nominations, sending the nominations to the full Senate for consideration. The Committee also approved eight U.S. Attorney and U.S. Marshal nominations. Following the Committee votes Thursday, 23 judicial nominations will now be pending on the Senate's executive calendar, including six circuit court nominees. Nominations reported to the full Senate as long ago as January have been stalled on t… Continue Reading


Leahy-Authored Food Safety Accountability Act Wins Committee Approval

(Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday unanimously voted to send legislation to strengthen penalties for companies and individuals that knowingly violate food safety standards and endanger American lives by placing tainted food products on the market. The Food Safety Accountability Act is authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who chairs the Committee. The Food Safety Accountability Act increases criminal penalties for any individual or corporation that knowin… Continue Reading


Reaction of Senator Patrick Leahy To The President’s UN General Assembly Address On The Administration’s New U.S. Global Development Policy

[In an address before the UN General Assembly, President Obama Wednesday outlined the Administration's new global development policy. Following are the comments of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Department of State and Foreign Operations, which handles the Senate's work in crafting the annual State Department and foreign assistance appropriations bill:] "The United States has vital national security, economic, and humanitarian interests around… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Democracy Is Strengthened By Casting Light On Spending In Elections Act (DISCLOSE Act)

As Prepared For Delivery This week, the Senate will again try to take action to help stem the tide of corporate influence unleashed when, earlier this year, five Supreme Court Justices overturned one hundred years of precedent in the Citizens United decision. When we last sought to consider the DISCLOSE Act prior to the August recess, Republicans filibustered the bill, never allowing the Senate to even debate the legislation. Since that time, the very real concerns of many Americans after the… Continue Reading


Leahy Chairs SJC Hearing To Explore Reforms To Digital Privacy Laws

(Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday held a hearing focused on proposed updates to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), one of the nation's premier digital privacy laws. Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) was the lead Senate author of ECPA, which was enacted in 1986 to protect electronic communications from real-time monitoring or interception by the government. While portions of ECPA have been amended, Congress has not enacted comprehensive reforms … Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Senate Passage Of Bill To Repeal SEC FOIA Exemptions

[The Senate Tuesday night unanimously adopted S. 3717, legislation to repeal exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that were enacted in the Wall Street reform bill. The legislation is authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and cosponsored by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Ted Kaufman (D-Del.). The legislation was unanimously approved on Sept. 16 by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which Leahy chairs… Continue Reading

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