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


Senate Should Hold Up-Or-Down Votes On Noncontroversial Judicial Nominees

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) spoke on the Senate Floor Tuesday about delays in confirming noncontroversial judicial nominations. Fourteen judicial nominations reported by the Judiciary Committee are pending on the Senate's Executive Calendar. The Senate is scheduled to vote on a motion to end debate on the nomination of Barbara Milano Keenan to fill a vacancy on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Keenan is a Justice on the Virginia State Supreme Court, and her n… Continue Reading


Congratulations To Vermont Olympians

Mr. President, I rise today to congratulate the Vermonters who represented our country at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The Olympics were exciting. I know that Marcelle and I watched hours and hours of them. But we watched especially, obviously, when we saw some of these young Vermonters. These athletes carry on a long tradition of Vermonters participating in the Winter Olympics. Hundreds of Vermonters have competed in the 21 winter Olympiads. It is no secret that Vermont produces great… Continue Reading


Leahy-Backed Extension Of Satellite TV Licenses Included In Proposed Jobs Legislation

Provisions negotiated by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to modernize satellite television services and to reauthorize the expiring statutory licenses that permit satellite providers to retransmit broadcast stations to consumers has been included in legislation introduced Monday to bolster job growth and creation. When enacted, the legislation will again authorize satellite providers to retransmit broadcast stations to consumers. "This important legislative package will modernize and streamline… Continue Reading


Leahy Launches Redesigned Website

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), an online pacesetter on Capitol Hill, has again launched a full redesign of his website ( A lifelong technophile, Leahy in 1995 became the second senator to start a website, was the first to venture into blogging, and has been dubbed "the cyber senator" for his enthusiasm for and leadership on Internet issues. He was cofounder and remains Senate co-chair of the Congressional Internet Caucus. A leading advocate of the public's right to k… Continue Reading


Leahy Blasts Republican Objection Stalling Extension Of Satellite TV Licenses

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday criticized a Republican Senator's objection to adopting a 30-day extension of expiring provisions of the Satellite Home Viewer Extension Reauthorization Act, which permits satellite providers to retransmit broadcast stations to consumers. Leahy, long the Senate's leader in updating the law to expand and improve service to satellite customers, last year introduced the bipartisan Satellite Television Modernization Act to extend the license for … Continue Reading


Senators' Friendship Strong On and Off Capitol Hill

(CNN) -- While many in Washington believe that bipartisanship is long gone, two seasoned senators say it's not -- at least not yet. The relationship between Sen. Richard Lugar, a conservative Republican from Indiana, and Sen. Patrick Leahy, a liberal Democrat from Vermont, was born in obscurity -- two very junior senators at the far reaches of a committee room table. Leahy recalled a story from a time when their voices were virtually muted in a committee meeting. "Neither one of us coul… Continue Reading


Statement On The Office of Professional Responsibility Investigation Into the Office of Legal Counsel Memoranda

It has now been more than a year since I first proposed the establishment of an independent, nonpartisan Commission to engage in a comprehensive inquiry to determine how the United States Government came to authorize torture. Over one year ago, I called for a bipartisan effort to create a nonpartisan commission to conduct a needed comprehensive review. I proposed to take these matters out of politics and find out exactly what happened so we can understand what went wrong and make sure it does … Continue Reading


Leahy asks Clinton about Iran

At a hearing with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Wednesday, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) invoked the Iron Curtain in discussing the Iranian regime's use and blocking of technology to thwart pro-democracy activists. "The Iranian government has spent millions of dollars to block Internet and social connections inside Iran," Leahy, chairman of the Senate Appropriations State, Foreign Ops Subcommittee, said. "To me, that's a sign of a regime afraid of their own people. In earlier times the… Continue Reading


Comment On Patent Reform Legislation

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) spoke at an Executive Business meeting Thursday morning about patent reform. Watch the webcast here: I want to thank Senator Sessions for working with me on what has been a top priority of this Committee - patent reform legislation. Today we can report that we have reached a tentative agreement in principle that preserves the core of the compromise struck in Committee la… Continue Reading


Comment On One Year Extension Of Expiring Provisions Of The USA PATRIOT Act

The Senate tonight passed a one-year extension of expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act. The provisions will now expire on February 28, 2011. "I would have preferred to add oversight and judicial review improvements to any extension of expiring provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act. A bipartisan majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced compromise legislation to the full Senate for consideration more than four months ago. Since then, I have worked with Senator Kyl, Senator Feinste… Continue Reading


Comment On Bipartisan House Passage Of A Repeal Of The Health Insurance Industry’s Federal Antitrust Exemption

"I commend the House's vote today to eliminate the health insurance industry's exemption from federal antitrust laws. Ending this exemption will help ensure that health insurers compete rather than collude. Members in both chambers recognize that this repeal is needed. We cannot introduce competition to the health insurance market while allowing the insurance industry to hide behind a special-interest, anachronistic, statutory antitrust immunity. A study released by the American Medical Asso… Continue Reading


Leahy Introduces Bill To Help Community Coalitions Fight Local Drug Issues

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday introduced legislation to authorize a federal grant program to help communities address local emerging drug issues. The Drug Free Communities (DFC) Enhancement Act will authorize additional grants to assist community coalitions that help to lower substance abuse, and will sharpen the focus of the grant program on emerging and local drug issues. Fourteen coalitions in Vermont receive assistance from Drug Free Communities grants. The Drug Free Communities… Continue Reading


Leahy Lauds Senate's Bipartisan Approval Of New Jobs Bill

[The U.S. Senate Wednesday approved a new fully paid for jobs bill -- the Hiring Incentives To Restore Employment Act -- in a bipartisan vote of 70 to 28. Following are the comments of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who voted for the bill.] "This is a straightforward boost to the economy that will create jobs and help put Vermonters back to work. The strong bipartisan showing for the bill shows there is widespread support in America for a bold agenda to encourage job creation and growth." # #… Continue Reading


Leahy-Chaired Panel Holds Hearing On Libel Tourism And The Growing Threat To American Journalists

The Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday held a hearing to examine libel tourism, a growing threat to American journalists' First Amendment rights. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) presided at the hearing. Permissive libel laws in other countries have resulted in foreign law suits against American journalists, publishers and authors. A widely-publicized case in Britain in which an American author, Rachel Ehrenfeld, was sued in British courts by a Saudi businessman led the United Nations… Continue Reading


Comment On Najibullah Zazi’s Guilty Plea In Federal Court

Another example of the strength of our justice system unfolded today in a Federal district court in New York, where Najibullah Zazi, whose actions have been described by the Attorney General as one of the most serious terrorist threats since September 11, pleaded guilty to terrorism charges. I ask the critics whether, in this case, they would have forgone justice and the intelligence that was gained, by insisting, instead, that Zazi be designated as an enemy combatant and whisked away to Guanta… Continue Reading


Comment On President Obama’s Proposals For Health Care Reform

I am pleased the President remains committed to passing a comprehensive health insurance reform bill that will give millions more Americans access to health insurance, while improving quality and keeping costs down for everyone. Not only do tens of millions of Americans lack health insurance, but under the current system, insurance companies can actively discriminate against sick people, and American families are driven into bankruptcy every day by medical expenses. These escalating health cos… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces Hearing On OPR Report

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing to examine the Office of Professional Responsibility Report on the Office of Legal Counsel, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced today. The report was released to Congress today. The hearing will be held Friday, February 26, at 10:00 a.m. Witnesses will be announced in the coming days, and the hearing will be webcast live online. Below is Chairman Leahy's comment on the report. Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Sen… Continue Reading


Comment From Leahy Spokesman On FBI Report On 2001 Anthrax Attacks

David Carle, spokesman for Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.): "Senator Leahy had a long discussion with Director Mueller about the investigation. He will read the report and has no plans to comment."… Continue Reading


New Shelter Is Almost Home

White River Junction --The Upper Valley Haven plans to open its new 20-bed shelter for homeless adults in May but needs to raise roughly $150,000 to add staff and programming for the Hartford Avenue building. "We aren't finished yet. … We still have a ways to go to be able to have the funds to operate this program," Haven Executive Director Sara Kobylenski said yesterday during a ceremony intended to highlight a $200,000 federal earmark U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., included i… Continue Reading


Burlington Secures $3.15 Million For More Waterfront Transportation Improvements

U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and U.S. Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) hailed the White House announcement Wednesday that the City of Burlington will receive $3.15 million to enhance year-round public access to the northern section of Burlington's historic waterfront by making several roadway, parking, and pedestrian improvements to the area. Through $2.7 million in previous federal funding secured by Leahy, Burlington has developed detailed design p… Continue Reading

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