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


Leahy, Sessions, Hatch, Schumer, Kyl, Kaufman Unveil Details Of Patent Reform Agreement

Leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday announced details of an agreement on long-pending legislation to make needed reforms to the nation's patent system. This is the third consecutive Congress in which Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the chairman of the panel, and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), a former committee chair, have introduced patent reform legislation. A bipartisan majority of the Committee advanced the legislation last April. In the months since, Leahy, Hatch, and Senato… Continue Reading


Panel Advances Leahy-Authored Bill To Improve Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act,

The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday advanced legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to improve the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA). The legislation would make necessary improvements to the Act, which permits active and qualified retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed firearms across state lines. Leahy was a lead author of the Act, which was signed into law in 2004. Leahy, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, introduced the Law Enforcement Officers Sa… Continue Reading


Judiciary Panel Advances OLC Nominee, Five Judicial Nominees To Full Senate

The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday voted to advance the long-stalled nomination of Dawn Johnsen to lead the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice, as well as five nominees to fill judicial vacancies across the country. Johnsen's nomination was first reported by the Judiciary Committee in March 2009, but objections on the Senate floor prevented a debate and up-or-down vote on the nomination. In December, Senate Republicans forced the nomination to be returned to the Presiden… Continue Reading


Leahy, Senators Urge Leader To Schedule Vote On Health Insurance Antitrust Repeal

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and 21 Senators sent a letter on Wednesday to Senate Majority Harry Reid, pressing him to schedule a Senate vote on the Health Insurance Industry Fair Competition Act. If enacted, the legislation would repeal the federal antitrust exemption for health insurers. The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the legislation last week by a vote of 406-19. Last week, the administration released a statement in support of the legislation. "We write to urge you to… Continue Reading


Senate Confirms Vermont’s Julie Brill To Federal Trade Commission

The U.S. Senate Wednesday night confirmed former Vermont Assistant Attorney General Julie Brill for a vacancy on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Brill served for more than 20 years as Vermont's Assistant Attorney General for Consumer Protection and Antitrust, from 1988 to 2009. Since February 2009 she had been the Senior Deputy Attorney General and Chief of Consumer Protection and Antitrust for the North Carolina Department of Justice. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced Brill at her C… Continue Reading


The Leahy Letter - March 4, 2010

Leahy Takes Website 'To Next Level' Senator Leahy is an online pacesetter on Capitol Hill and has launched a full redesign of his website. The new site builds on the foundations of Senator Leahy's previous award-winning website. Highlights of the new site include easy ways to contact Senator Leahy, including customized forms for such common requests as submitting intern, page, and academy nomination applications, for submitting requests for flags flown above the Capitol and for Washington tours… Continue Reading


Leahy-Authored Bill To Ease Burdens On Trademark Owners Set To Become Law

[UPDATE - On March 17, President Obama signed into law legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to ease burdens on trademark owners. Note reference to Vermont's Rock Art Brewery in release below.] WASHINGTON - Legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to help assist trademark owners in maintaining the protection of their brands was passed by the House of Representatives today, and will now head to the President's desk to be signed into law. The Trademark Law Technic… Continue Reading


Statement On Emergency Senior Citizens Relief Act, Amendment #3353, To H.R. 4213, The Tax Extenders Act

Social Security represents a strong commitment to our nation's seniors. Ever since Ida May Fuller of Vermont received the first Social Security check issued, vulnerable seniors have had a safety-net to fall back on in retirement and to supplement individual retirement savings or pensions. Nearly 70 percent of beneficiaries depend on Social Security for at least half of their income, and Social Security is the sole source of income for 15 percent of recipients. Social Security is an immensely … Continue Reading


Burlington Police Chief Schirling Testifies Before Leahy-Chaired Panel

Burlington Police Chief Michael E. Schirling testified Tuesday afternoon before a congressional panel chaired by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). Leahy invited Schirling to testify at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "Encouraging Innovative and Cost-Effective Crime Reduction Strategies." Leahy has made state and local law enforcement issues a priority for the Judiciary Committee this Congress. He dedicated the first hearing of the 111th Congress to examining the needs of state and local … Continue Reading


Senate Confirms Keenan To Fourth Circuit

Just hours after it voted unanimously to end debate on a long-pending judicial nomination, the Senate again voted unanimously to confirm Barbara Keenan to fill a vacancy on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), unanimously approved the Keenan nomination more than four months ago. Keenan's is the just sixth circuit court nomination confirmed this Congress. The Senate has confirmed just 16 circuit and district court nomi… Continue Reading


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

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