Press Room

Press Releases

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


Statement On The Earthquake in Haiti

Highlights of Senator Leahy's Comments On The Earthquake In Haiti MR. LEAHY. Mr. President, the widespread devastation and loss of life in Haiti caused by last Tuesday's earthquake is a tragedy on a scale that words alone cannot adequately describe. The hemisphere's poorest country, with a history of repeated calamities - some caused by natural disasters, some by corrupt, abusive governments - is facing an humanitarian emergency and reconstruction needs of daunting proportions. T… Continue Reading


Comment On The Department Of Justice’s Lawsuit Against Dean Foods

"I am pleased that the Department of Justice has moved forward to block a portion of Dean Foods' acquisition of Foremost Farms. I have had concerns about the impact of this and similar acquisitions on the already hurting dairy industry. The Department is following through with its pledge to examine market consolidation in the dairy industry, where farmers have been hit by sinking prices while milk processors and distributors are posting increased profits. It is appropriate for the Depa… Continue Reading


Montpelier Wins $8 Million Federal Energy Grant

The city of Montpelier will receive an $8 million grant for a wood-chip-fueled renewable energy project for the Statehouse and 175 other buildings in Vermont's capital city, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) announced today. The project will install a combined heat and power district energy system fueled with wood chips harvested locally. The city estimates that 35 total net new jobs will directly and indirectly be created within the proj… Continue Reading


Comment On Secretary Of State Clinton's Address On Global Internet Freedom

[Leahy, D-Vt., chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on the State Department and Foreign Operations.] "I commend Secretary of State Clinton for reaffirming our nation's deep commitment to openness and freedom of expression on the Internet. The Internet has become a vital tool to protect and ensure the rights and basic freedoms of Americans and the human rights of people everywhere. The Internet got its start here, and the world st… Continue Reading


Comment On The Supreme Court’s Decision In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission

[The Supreme Court Thursday issued its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. In a 5-4 decision, the Court reversed long-standing precedent and declared government restrictions on corporate independent expenditures on elections to be unconstitutional in violation of the First Amendment. The majority did find disclaimer and disclosure requirements provided by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 constitutional, as applied to these independent corporate expenditur… Continue Reading


Vermont Delegation Seeks More Home Heating Help

The White House today released about $1.8 million in emergency home heating assistance for Vermont. The emergency funds are in addition to $25.6 million already distributed to the state. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) were pleased that President Obama responded so quickly to their request to release the emergency home heating assistance, but they expressed disappointment with Vermont's share of the $490 million distributed nationwide to… Continue Reading


Senate Unanimously Confirms Circuit Court Nominee

The Senate convened for the second session of the 111th Congress and quickly confirmed the nomination of Beverly Martin to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday. The nomination, which has been pending before the full Senate for more than four months, was confirmed by a unanimous vote of 97-0. In a statement on the Senate floor prior to the vote, Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) expressed his regret for the delays in considering judicial nominations. "The de… Continue Reading


Leahy Chairs Hearing On Improving Anti-Terrorism Tools And Inter-Agency Communication

(Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday morning is holding a hearing on "Securing America's Safety: Improving the Effectiveness of Anti-Terrorism Tools and Inter-Agency Communication." Witness testimony from Robert Mueller, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Patrick F. Kennedy, Under Secretary, Department of State; and David F. Heyman, Assistant Secretary for Policy, Department of Homeland Security, is available online. The hearing is also … Continue Reading


Comment On The Inspector General’s Report On FBI Abuses Of Exigent Letters

"The Inspector General's report released today details the misuse of so-called 'exigent letters' by the FBI to obtain information about U.S. persons. The report describes how the FBI used these exigent letters without proper authorization to collect thousands of phone records, including in instances where no exigent conditions existed. The report also details how the FBI then compounded the misconduct by trying to issue National Security Letters after the fact. This was not a matter of … Continue Reading


Comment On White House Release Of Summary Of The Inventory Files Related To Fort Hood Shooting

"The preliminary findings on the Fort Hood shooting that were released by the White House today once again reflect the critical need for effective information sharing and analysis by government agencies. The administration has already identified similar concerns in connection with the failed Christmas Day incident in Detroit. As I have said in recent weeks, I am concerned that, more than eight years after 9/11, we are not yet adequately analyzing critical information related to threats … Continue Reading


Vermont Congressional Delegation Requests NRC Investigation Into Radioactive Leak Risks At Vermont Yankee

Vermont's Congressional Delegation - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I), and Rep. Peter Welch (D) - Friday asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to conduct a thorough investigation into whether there was any attempt by Vermont Yankee officials to mislead state officials regarding the plant's safety and underground piping. Press reports have suggested that officials from Entergy, which owns the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, may have provided inaccurate information to i… Continue Reading


Comments On Temporary Protected Status for Haitian Nationals in the United States

"I commend Secretary Napolitano for granting temporary protected status to Haitian nationals in the United States. The overwhelming devastation of Tuesday's earthquake calls for a humanitarian response at every level, including through immediate search and rescue, medical assistance, food and shelter, and long-term rebuilding. The Secretary's action today bolsters the Administration's swift humanitarian response and I applaud the Secretary for making this decision without undue delay. … Continue Reading


President To Nominate Veteran Economic Development Specialist Molly Lambert As USDA Rural Development State Director For Vermont And New Hampshire

- The White House announced Friday that President Obama has accepted the recommendation of Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and will nominate veteran economic development specialist Molly Lambert to be the U.S. Department of Agriculture's State Director for Rural Development for Vermont and New Hampshire. Leahy said, "For more than two decades, Molly Lambert has invested her time and skills in advancing economic development in Vermont. She has already cemented long-lasting partnerships around… Continue Reading


Leahy Leads a Repeal Effort

Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and 18 other senators sent a letter to President Obama and Democratic Congressional leaders on Wednesday urging them to repeal the limited exemption for insurers from federal antitrust laws in the final version of major health care legislation. Mr. Leahy had put forward a proposal to repeal the antitrust exemption, which was approved by Congress in 1945. But the proposal was dropped from the Senate version of… Continue Reading


Comments On President Obama’s Remarks On The Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee

"I share President Obama's commitment to recovering taxpayers' investment in sustaining the nation's top financial institutions. I supported efforts to respond to the financial crisis in order to prevent the country from sliding into a possible economic depression. While our economy has shown signs of progress in recent months, I with all Vermonters am outraged by reports of continued misuses of government funds by companies that received taxpayers' dollars. This is the same type of greed and… Continue Reading


Vermont’s Rhino Foods To Receive $1.2 Million In Loan Assistance

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded Vermont's Rhino Foods, Inc. $1.2 million in loan assistance through the Rural Development's Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program, Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Peter Welch announced Thursday. The loan guarantee was made possible through funding available in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Rhino Foods, Inc., located in Burlington, produces and distributes ice cream novelties and ingredients. … Continue Reading


Leahy, 18 Senators Press For Antitrust Repeal In Health Care Compromise

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and 18 Senators today sent a letter to President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urging the leaders to press for inclusion of language to repeal the federal antitrust exemption for health insurers and medical malpractice insurers in the final compromise on health reform legislation. Leaders in the Senate and House are working with the administration to negotiate final compromise language to reconcile the differing health ref… Continue Reading


Leahy Applauds State Action On Pilot Program To Get Heavy Trucks Out Of Vermont Downtowns

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday applauded the Vermont Legislature and Governor Douglas for moving quickly to implement a federal pilot program to reduce heavy truck traffic in downtown communities across Vermont. The bill won approval in the Vermont House and Senate on Tuesday, and Governor Douglas signed it into law Wednesday afternoon. In December, Leahy authored federal legislation to establish a one-year pilot program in Vermont to allow heavier trucks to travel on the state's… Continue Reading


Vermont Receives $3.7 Million in LIHEAP Home Heating Funds

The Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday released $3.7 million in home heating assistance to Vermont, announced Sen. Patrick Leahy, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch. The grant is part of a nationwide release of $1.2 billion in Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding to help eligible families pay for the cost of heating their homes. The funds are the second installment of regular LIHEAP block grants to be released this fiscal year. The program was funded… Continue Reading


Leahy: Burlington Coast Guard Station To Receive New Rescue Air Boat

BURLINGTON, Vt. - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and the U.S. Coast Guard announced Tuesday that the Coast Guard will soon deploy an air boat to Station Burlington to assist in ice rescues on Lake Champlain. The new air boat will enable Coast Guard personnel to respond more quickly to incidents on the ice. The importance of the new rescue equipment was highlighted last weekend when a tragic snowmobile accident on Lake Dunmore claimed three lives. In addition to unusually thin ice this ye… Continue Reading

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