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


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Signing Of The Securing The Protection Of Our Enduring And Established Constitutional Heritage Act

On Tuesday, August 10, President Obama signed into law legislation co-authored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to protect American authors, journalists and publishers from foreign libel lawsuits that undermine the First Amendment. The freedoms of speech and the press are cornerstones of our democracy. The SPEECH Act is the product of hard work and extensive negotiations on both sides of the aisle. Foreign libel lawsuits threaten the free flow of information in … Continue Reading


Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy On Final Passage Of The Health/Education Jobs Bill

(Bill Passed The House 247-161 Tuesday Afternoon) Bill Now Goes To President For Signing I am pleased that in a rare emergency session, the House has joined the Senate in passing this bill to save teaching jobs and to extend supplemental Medicaid payments to states. It is easy to see why this bill has been one of Vermont's highest priorities in the Congress. This is a timely influx of education dollars for Vermont, coming just as schools throughout Vermont are facing tough cuts in the two up… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Leahy On The Death Of Former Senator Ted Stevens Of Alaska

Ted Stevens loved his state, he loved his country and served it in uniform and in other ways from World War II on, and he loved the Senate. I worked with him for 34 years on the Senate Appropriations Committee, and we traveled together to Alaska and overseas, visiting our men and women in uniform. He was a tough negotiator and a savvy legislator. But as I told him again last month, he was an old-school senator. He always kept his word to me and to other senators. In moments of legislative b… Continue Reading


Senate Votes To Revamp School Lunch Program To Counter Child Obesity And Promote Healthier Meals

(FRI./SAT./SUN., Aug. 6-8) - Before ending its summer session, the U.S. Senate on Aug. 5 unanimously approved sweeping changes in the school lunch program, including an expansion of an effort led by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to multiply links between local farms and school lunch counters. The fully paid for, bipartisan $4.5 billion childhood nutrition bill, which will be conferenced with a counterpart bill nearing action in the House, will renew and expand federal support for school lunch p… Continue Reading


Senate Confirms Kagan To Be Associate Justice

(Thursday, August 5) - The Senate confirmed Elena Kagan to become the 112th Justice of the United States Supreme Court by a bipartisan vote of 63-37. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who presided over the confirmation proceedings on the nomination, made the following statement before the vote. Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee On The Nomination Of Solicitor General Elena Kagan To Be An Associate Justice Of The United S… Continue Reading


Senate Passes Emergency Funds For Schools, Health Care

, August 5 - The Senate today approved a bill to save the jobs of tens of thousands of public school teachers and boost Medicaid payments to states. The measure includes $19 million for Vermont schools and some $40 million will go to the state for health care. The Senate vote was 61 to 39. The bill now goes back to the House, which next week is expected to send the bill to President Obama. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said, "These emergency health and education funds are one of Vermont's top pri… Continue Reading


Senators Leahy, Cornyn, Kaufman, and Grassley Introduce Bill To Strike SEC FOIA Exemptions

(Thursday, August 5, 2010) - Leading members of the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday introduced legislation to strike Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exemptions for the Securities and Exchange Commission that were included in the recently enacted Wall Street Reform bill. The bipartisan legislation is sponsored by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Ted Kaufman (D-Del.), and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). The bill introduced Thursday will eliminate the FOIA exemption for certa… Continue Reading


Further Remarks Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Nomination Of Elena Kagan To Be An Associate Justice Of The Supreme Court

During the three months that this nomination has been pending, Senators have made many statements about Solicitor General Elena Kagan. I begin today by commending the 23 Senators who came to the floor yesterday to make supportive statements. They were outstanding in describing the qualifications of a nominee who should be confirmed with a strong bipartisan majority. I also want to acknowledge the extraordinary contributions of Senator Klobuchar. She spoke eloquently, organized a group of Sen… Continue Reading


Senate Votes For Schools, Health Care

, August 4 - In a crucial showdown vote, the U.S. Senate today advanced a bill to preserve the jobs of teachers and extend emergency Medicaid payments to states. In Vermont, the measure includes $19 million for teachers and $30 million to $40 million for health care. Winning approval of the relief funds for Vermont has been a high priority of Vermont's congressional delegation and the state of Vermont. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said, "During the economic downturn, more Vermonters have relied … Continue Reading


Vermont Delegation Announces $116 Million Grant And Loan To Bring Wireless Broadband To Unserved Vermonters

(WEDNESDAY, August 4) - The Vermont Congressional Delegation -- U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Congressman Peter Welch (D) -- called Wednesday's U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announcement of a more than $81 million broadband stimulus grant and a $35 million government backed loan to Springfield-based Vermont Telephone Company (VTel) a "game changer" for Vermonters who so far have been left behind on access to high-speed Internet. VTel President Michel … Continue Reading


Vermont Delegation Announces Northern Border Regional Commission Funding Opportunities

, August 3 - Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) on Tuesday announced that the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) is accepting applications for $1.3 million worth of federal assistance. Created and funded by Congress, the NBRC is a federal-state partnership devoted to economic development in the northernmost regions of Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and New York. Today's announcement marks the first time the NBRC, which was first funded la… Continue Reading


Senate Begins Debate On Kagan Nomination

(Tuesday, August 3, 2010) - The Senate Tuesday morning began debate on the nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who presided over the confirmation hearings on the nomination, opened the debate. "During her confirmation hearing, Solicitor General Kagan reflected an understanding of the judicial role and a traditional view of deference to Congress and judicia… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Nomination Of Elena Kagan To Be An Associate Justice Of The Supreme Court (Full Text)

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Nomination Of Elena Kagan To Be An Associate Justice Of The Supreme Court Of The United States August 3, 2010 More than 12 weeks ago, President Obama nominated Elena Kagan to succeed Justice John Paul Stevens as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. When the President announced his choice on May 10, he talked about her legal mind, her intellect, her record of achievement, her tem… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Leahy On FOIA Exemptions For The Securities And Exchange Commission

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On FOIA Exemptions For The Securities And Exchange Commission August 2, 2010 "The Freedom of Information Act is our nation's premier open government law, and a powerful guardian of the public's right to know. The Wall Street reform bill that has now become law makes great strides toward enhancing transparency in our financial system. However, I am concerned that an overly broad Freedom of Information Act exemption… Continue Reading


Senate Passes Leahy-Sessions Bill To Clarify Copyright Laws

Senate Passes Leahy-Sessions Bill To Clarify Copyright Laws WASHINGTON (Monday, August 2, 2010) - The Senate Monday night unanimously approved legislation sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) to make clarifications and technical fixes in the federal copyright laws. The Copyright Cleanup, Clarification and Corrections Act was introduced Monday and promptly passed by the Senate. The legislation will implement several re… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces $1.4 Million U.S. Navy Contract With GE Aviation In Rutland

RUTLAND, Vt. (FRIDAY, July 30) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday announced a new $1.4 million U.S. Navy contract with General Electric Aviation for work in Rutland on additional components of the company's F414-GE-400 engine used in the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft and the E/A-18G Growler aircraft. The full contract, for work performed in Rutland and at several other GE plants, amounts to $28,202,039 for purchase of six full engines, four engine fan modules, 14 engine high pressure comb… Continue Reading


Vermont Air National Guard Chosen To Be First To Receive F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

(THURSDAY, July 29) -- 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 to be the first Air Guard unit to base the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The Air Force announced that Burlington is one of two preferred choices for F-35 operations, along with Hill Air Force Base in northern Utah, and that Luke Air Force Base… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Leahy On A Proposed Change By The Administration To The Electronic Communications Privacy Act

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On A Proposed Change By The Administration To The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) July 29, 2010 "Given the technical advances of the last two decades and the need for a comprehensive, national cybersecurity strategy, it is clear that the Electronic Communications Privacy Act must be updated to reflect the realities of the Digital Age. But the administration's proposal to change ECPA to cover electroni… Continue Reading


Leahy Introduces Bill To Increase Penalties For Food Safety Violations

(Thursday, July 29, 2010) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced legislation Thursday to strengthen penalties imposed on companies that knowingly violate food safety standards and endanger Americans' lives. The Food Safety Enforcement Act will increase the sentences that prosecutors can seek for people who knowingly contaminate the nation's food supply and endanger Americans' lives. The 2009 outbreak resulting from the Peanut Corporation of America's sale of peanut products which the compa… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces Over $10 Million In New Funding For Lake Champlain

BURLINGTON (Monday, July 26, 2010) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) joined representatives of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLCF), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission on Monday to announce an infusion of over $10 million in federal funds for projects related to Lake Champlain. Leahy has been an ardent supporter of initiatives to keep the lake healthy for decades and continues to … Continue Reading

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