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Press Releases

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

03.24.09

Leahy Joins Effort To Curb Excessive Interest Rates For Credit Cards

(Tuesday, March 24, 2009) - With the looming economic recession affecting more American families, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts held a hearing Tuesday to examine "Abusive Credit Card Practices and Bankruptcy." Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who chairs the full Judiciary Committee, is a cosponsor of legislative proposals to curb abusive lending practices from the nation's credit card companies. "At a time when corporate executive… Continue Reading


03.19.09

Senate Confirms Kagan To Be Solicitor General

(Thursday, March 19, 2009) - The Senate Thursday evening confirmed Elena Kagan to be the Solicitor General of the United States by a vote of 61-31. Kagan is the first woman to be confirmed to the post. Kagan is the fourth nominee confirmed to a high-ranking position at the Department of Justice. Her nomination was reported by the Judiciary Committee on March 5. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) gave the following remarks as the Senate closed deb… Continue Reading


03.19.09

Comment On FOIA Guidelines Issued By The Department Of Justice

The Justice Department today issued new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) guidelines for federal agencies. In a letter sent to Attorney General Holder on February 23, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) offered several suggestions to guide the drafting of the new FOIA rules. Earlier this week, Leahy joined with Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) to introduce the OPEN FOIA Act, which would require Congress to openly and clearly state its intention … Continue Reading


03.19.09

Statement On The Nomination Of Elena Kagan To Be Solicitor General Of The United States

In the course of the Senate's debate on the nomination of Elena Kagan to be Solicitor General of the United States, Republican Senators have wrongly suggested that Dean Kagan has not been forthcoming and responsive to questions from the Members of this Committee. They say she has not provided sufficient information to evaluate her nomination. This suggestion is wrong. It applies a double standard to Dean Kagan's historic nomination that the Republicans did not apply when sup… Continue Reading


03.19.09

Statement On The Introduction Of The Sunshine In The Courtroom Act Of 2009

This week, the Nation celebrates the fifth annual Sunshine Week - a time when open government advocates raise their voices to renew the call for open and transparent government. Our democracy works best when citizens know what their government is doing. There is no more appropriate time to recommit ourselves to defending the public's right to know. Today, I am pleased to join Senators Grassley and Schumer to reintroduce the Sunshine in the Courtroom Act of 2009. This b… Continue Reading


03.19.09

Senate Begins Debate On Kagan Nomination

(Thursday, March 19, 2009) - The Senate opened debate Thursday on the nomination of Elena Kagan to be the Solicitor General of the United States. If confirmed, Kagan would become the first woman to serve as Solicitor General of the United States. Kagan appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 10, and her nomination was reported to the full Senate for consideration on March 5. Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) spoke on the Senate f… Continue Reading


03.19.09

Leahy Urges Attorney General To Extend Deadline For State Compliance With Sex Offender Registry Act

(Thursday, March 19, 2009) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking the Justice Department to provide an extension to states and jurisdictions struggling to comply with the provisions of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). The Act was included as part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, which was signed into law in 2006. Under the provisions of SORNA, states and other jurisdictions … Continue Reading


03.19.09

Judiciary Committee Reports Johnsen Nomination

(Thursday, March 19, 2009) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday ordered the nomination of Dawn Johnsen to be the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel to be reported to the full Senate for consideration. Johnsen testified before the Committee on February 25. Johnsen's nomination is now one of three Department of Justice nominations pending on the Senate's executive calendar. Also awaiting votes in the Senate are the nominations of Elena Kagan… Continue Reading


03.19.09

Encouraging Progress On Patent Reform

(Thursday, March 19, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday said that advocates for patent reform are making progress in considering legislation that would bring the first significant reforms to the nation's patent system in more than 50 years. On March 3, Leahy and former Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced the Patent Reform Act of 2009. Leahy and Hatch have introduced patent reform legislation in each of the last three C… Continue Reading


03.18.09

Statement In Opposition To An Obama Administration Proposal Concerning Private Insurance And Veterans Health Care

The Obama Administration is considering a budget trimming proposal that would include billing private health insurance companies for treating the service-connected conditions of veterans. I am disappointed that the Administration has let this bad idea slip through the door and into the budget plan. I do not expect this to make it into the budget that Congress will consider, and I will oppose it if an effort is made to include it. The Obama Administration will soon propose … Continue Reading


03.18.09

Leahy Introduces Bill To Simplify Court Deadline Calculation

(Wednesday, March 18, 2009) - Responding to proposed amendments to the court deadline calculations that have been approved by the Judiciary Conference of the United States, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday introduced legislation to lengthen deadlines for court proceedings in certain federal statutes. Leahy introduced the Statutory Time Periods Amendments Act of 2009 with Committee Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R-Pa.). The Chairman and Ranking Member o… Continue Reading


03.18.09

Vermont Delegation Announces Release Of Economic Recovery Act Funds For Senior Nutrition Assistance

(WEDNESDAY, March 18, 2009) -- Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch Wednesday announced that the federal Department of Health and Human Services is releasing funds to Vermont for senior nutrition programs under the recently enacted economic recovery plan. The economic crisis, combined with the growing number of older Americans and the rising cost of food, has led to increased demand for senior services across the country. Vermont will rece… Continue Reading


03.18.09

Leahy Secures $1 Million More For Vermont Drug Task Force

(WEDNESDAY, March 18) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced that the Vermont Drug Task Force -- which arrested 16 people Tuesday in a drug sweep in St. Albans -- will receive $1 million in new federal grant funding through the Edward Byrne Discretionary Grant program. Leahy secured the funding in the appropriations bill passed by the Congress signed into law last week by President Obama. The funding will allow the Task Force to increase efforts to combat th… Continue Reading


03.18.09

Senate Judiciary Committee Considers Report On Forensic Science Standards

(Wednesday, March 18, 2009) - The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing Wednesday to examine a recent report from the National Academy of Sciences on forensic science. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) scheduled the hearing following the February 18 release of the report, which found that many forensic disciplines lack the standards necessary to ensure scientific reliability in court. Judge Harry T. Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia … Continue Reading


03.17.09

Leahy, Cornyn Celebrate Sunshine Week With FOIA Legislation

(Tuesday, March 17, 2009) - Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) on Tuesday partnered again to introduced legislation to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act, the nation's foremost federal law that protects the public's right to know what their government is doing. This week marks the fifth annual Sunshine Week, a national observance of the importance of open government and the freedom of information. The OPEN FOIA Act introduced by Leahy an… Continue Reading


03.17.09

Comment On President Obama’s First Judicial Nomination

"After the partisan and divisive approach that President Bush took with judicial nominations, I appreciate President Obama's seriousness in making his selection, and his constructive engagement with both Senator Lugar and Senator Bayh, the Republican and Democratic home state Senators. The President is doing his part to remove these matters from partisan politics, and that's a healthy change for the nation and for all three branches of government." # # # # #… Continue Reading


03.17.09

Second Vermont Conference Set And Registration Opens For Workshops On Tapping The Newly Enacted Stimulus Plan

(TUESDAY, March 17) - Sen. Patrick Leahy says online registration has opened for the second statewide conference in Vermont on the newly enacted economic recovery package, which will be held Monday, March 30, in Brattleboro. Leahy and Gov. James Douglas again will host the Vermont conference and workshops on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), where free workshops will give Vermont families, businesses and towns an early start in learning how the stimulus pla… Continue Reading


03.16.09

Leahy Opens “Sunshine Week” With FOIA Speech At American University

(Monday, March 16, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) delivered the keynote address Monday at the Second Annual Freedom of Information (FOI) Day Celebration at American University Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C. Leahy, a longtime advocate of government transparency and of strengthening the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), was also awarded the Robert Vaughn FOIA Legend Award at Monday's conference. March 16 is the first day of th… Continue Reading


03.13.09

Leahy Secures Nearly $3 Million For New Addison County Transit Facility

(FRIDAY, March 13) -- U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has secured $2,850,000 for Addison County Transit Resources (ACTR) to build a new maintenance and administrative facility in Middlebury. Leahy included the funding for the project in the newly enacted annual appropriations bill for several government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Transportation. Leahy is a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, which handled the Senate's work in writing the bill,… Continue Reading


03.12.09

Leahy, Grassley Press Senate Leadership To Consider Anti-Fraud Legislation

(Thursday, March 12, 2009) - Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) Thursday sent a letter to the Majority and Minority Leaders urging Senate consideration of the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009, which was reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee March 5. Leahy is the Chairman of the Committee, and Grassley is a senior member. "We write to request that you schedule Senate consideration of the Leahy-Grassley Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Ac… Continue Reading

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