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


Judiciary Committee Approves Leahy-Sponsored, Bipartisan Bill To Prevent Enforcement Of Foreign Defamation Judgments

The Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday unanimously approved bipartisan legislation to protect American authors, journalists and publishers from foreign libel lawsuits that undermine the First Amendment. The Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage (SPEECH) Act was introduced last month by Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). The SPEECH Act provides protections from foreign libel suits for authors, journalists… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces Support For Kagan Nomination

Senate Judiciary Committee Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Tuesday that he will support the nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Judiciary Committee was scheduled to vote on Kagan's nomination, but Committee Republicans invoked a Committee rule to delay the vote for one week. "Solicitor General Kagan demonstrated an impressive knowledge of the law and fidelity to it," Leahy said of Kagan's testimony before the Jud… Continue Reading


Dairy Bill Would Save Family Farms with Stable Prices

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt., July 12 - With the Ethan Allen Farm as a backdrop, U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy today unveiled legislation to stabilize dairy prices and preserve the family farms that have been a fixture of Vermont culture for centuries. Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced The Dairy Market Stabilization Act. The bill was cosponsored by Leahy (D-Vt.), the senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who serves in Senate leadership, also is an origi… Continue Reading


Leahy And Food Venture Center Partners Break Ground On $3 M. Facility In Hardwick

HARDWICK, Vt. - Senator Patrick Leahy joined representatives of the Northeastern Vermont Development Association (NVDA), the Center for an Agricultural Economy (CAE), and local business and community leaders Wednesday afternoon in Hardwick to break ground on the Vermont Food Venture Center 2 - a non-profit kitchen incubator Leahy said would be a cornerstone in the State of Vermont's efforts to promote agricultural innovation and the food-based economy. The new $3.1 million facility is being d… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces $1.6 Million For Cyber Security Research At Norwich University

(FRIDAY, July 2) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) says a new infusion of $1.6 million in federal funding that he has secured for Norwich University's Center for Counterterrorism and Cyber Crime will continue the Center's work in countering threats to the nation's cyber networks. This funding is awarded under Homeland Security National Training Program (HSNTP). Leahy has sponsored funding for ongoing research and training work at the Center since he won designation of Norwich's program as a nati… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch, Douglas: Vermont Nets $47 M. To Build Broadband Infrastructure

(Friday, July 2) - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I), Rep. Peter Welch (D) and Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas (R) Friday announced the largest public investment in broadband infrastructure ever made in Vermont. Federal agencies have awarded two Vermont telecommunication organizations a total of $47.1 million in federal economic recovery grants to build fiber optic networks that will help form the core of Vermont's broadband network. The new funds will be used to wire "anchor institutio… Continue Reading


Vermont Congressional Delegation Announces Payments To Local Vermont Governments For Tax-Exempt Federal Lands

Vermont Senators Patrick Leahy (D) and Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D) reported Wednesday that Vermont local governments are set to receive $896,432 for Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) - the federal payments to local governments that help compensate communities for nontaxable federal lands within their boundaries. Fifty-six towns and counties in Vermont will receive payments, ranging from $214 to $70,513. PILT payments nationally declined this year, but Vermont will see… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Public Hearing In Newport Tuesday Night On The Proposed Donation To/Federal Acquisition Of The Dunn Estate On Lake Memphremagog

[Senator Patrick Leahy, a senior member of the Subcommittee on the Interior of the Senate Appropriations Committee (which oversees the Senate's work in writing the annual budget bill for the Department of the Interior and related agencies), raised Michael Dunn's offer, and the upcoming deadline, with Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, in a Senate hearing on March 9. Leahy before and after that has worked to facilitate the process of helping the State of Vermont and the Department of Interio… Continue Reading


Protecting Afghan Civilians

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, as we take stock of the changes made last week by President Obama to the military command in Afghanistan, there is a related issue that has been discussed in the press that is of particular concern to me. I believe the President's decision to replace General McChrystal was the right decision. The published comments of the general and his aides were unquestionably insubordinate. They portrayed extraordinarily poor judgment and disrespect, and a deterioration of… Continue Reading


Statement On Confirmation Of Gary Scott Feinerman to Federal Court

Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, today the Senate is proceeding on only one of the 23 judicial nominees stalled by Republican obstruction from action by the Senate. The nominee the Senate will confirm tonight has been stalled for more than 10 weeks, even though his nomination was reported without a single objection from the Judiciary Committee on April 15. There are eight other judicial nominees who have been stalled for at least as long, or longer, and nominees who were favorably reported las… Continue Reading


Remarks on the Passing of Senator Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia

Tribute to Senator Robert C. Byrd Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, I appreciate the words of the Senator from North Dakota. I recall sitting here on the floor, I tell my friend from North Dakota, who may well have been here at that time when Senator Byrd spoke of the pygmies strutting like a colossus. We both know who he meant and we both know the effect it had, and I thank him for reminding us of that. I believe all of us who served with him and knew Senator Byrd were saddened by the news… Continue Reading


Comment On The Supreme Court’s Decision In Bilski v. Kappos

The Supreme Court today issued a decision in Bilski v. Kappos, affirming a Federal Circuit decision and holding a process for hedging on energy commodities unpatentable as an abstract idea. "In Bilski v. Kappos, the Court unanimously affirmed the judgment of the Federal Circuit that the application for a patent on a business method should be rejected. The Court's opinion, joined by only five of the Justices, however, needlessly left the door open for business method patents to issue in the fu… Continue Reading


Comment On The Supreme Court Decision In Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board

[The Supreme Court today issued a ruling in Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. In a 5 to 4 decision, the Court found unconstitutional a provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the anti-fraud law Congress enacted in the aftermath of the Enron and WorldCom accounting scandals. Overturning decisions by the D.C. District Court and the D.C. Circuit Court, the Supreme Court held that the composition of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board violated Separation of Po… Continue Reading


Opening Statement At The Confirmation Hearing On The Nomination Of Solicitor General Elena Kagan To Be An Associate Justice Of The Supreme Court Of The United States

C-SPAN 3: Leahy Opens Supreme Court Hearings Today We meet today to consider President Obama's nomination of Elena Kagan for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States. Just last year, this Committee and the Senate reviewed her record, and a bipartisan majority voted to confirm her to be the Solicitor General, the top lawyer representing the United States before the Supreme Court. With her confirmation, Solicitor General Kagan became the first woman in America's hist… Continue Reading


On The Supreme Court’s Decision In McDonald v. City of Chicago

In McDonald v. City of Chicago, a 5-4 majority of the Court overturned the Seventh Circuit and held that a Chicago gun control law violated the Second Amendment's guarantee of the right to bear arms. Building on a 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which placed limits on what the federal government may do to regulate guns, the Court held that the right to bear arms is a fundamental right that limits state and local law, as well as federal law. "In its decision today in McDonald v… Continue Reading


Comments On The Passing Of Senator Robert Byrd

We are all saddened by the news of Senator Byrd's passing. No Senator came to care more about the Constitution or to be a more effective defender of our constitutional government than the senior Senator from West Virginia. He was a senator's senator. Others will speak of his records for time served in the Senate and in Congress and for the number of votes he cast. I know him as a mentor and a friend. I was honored to stand with him and fight against assaults on the Constitution and against… Continue Reading


DHS Lays Out Steps To Assess Port Closure Decision

TO THE RIGHT is a letter Senator Patrick Leahy has received from DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, laying out the steps ahead in assessing the DHS decision to close the Morses Line Point Of Entry. The process includes consultation with the community and a public comment period. Leahy said the process will be "an opportunity for the community to come together and work with DHS" to identify a workable solution. He has asked DHS to listen to and carefully consider the community's wishes and sugges… Continue Reading


Leahy Authored Anti-Fraud Amendment Included In Wall Street Reform Conference

A conference committee of the Senate and House of Representatives has included an amendment authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to increase the tools available to law enforcement to root out and prosecute financial and securities fraud in the final legislative package that will bring the first major reforms to Wall Street in years. The amendment will also strengthen protections for whistleblowers who help expose financial fraud. Leahy was a member of the Conference Committee. "In recent… Continue Reading


The Leahy Letter - June 24, 2010

Wall Street Reform Bill Nears The Finish Line - Negotiations Are Continuing Into The Night Today is the last scheduled day of the House-Senate conference on the Wall Street reform bill. As one of the 12 Senate conferees, Senator Leahy used Vermont's seat at the table to increase transparency, tougher criminal penalties for Wall Street fraud, and curb abuses such as unfettered derivatives. Cleaning up Wall Street abuses will help build confidence in the economy and continue the progress toward… Continue Reading


Leahy Responds To Republican Requests For More Kagan Documents From Archives

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) responded to a letter sent earlier this week by Committee Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), requesting further documents from the Clinton Library in connection with the nomination of the Elena Kagan to be an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. The National Archives and Clinton Library have produced 170,000 pages of documents related to Elena Kagan's work in the Clinton administration. Only a small number of docum… Continue Reading

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