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


Leahy: DHS Agrees To Close Morses Line Border Crossing

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy announced Thursday that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has agreed with his request to close the border crossing at Morses Line. The closure process will involve a public comment period, extensive consultations with stakeholders, and further assessments on safety and traffic patterns -- steps that Secretary Napolitano estimates will likely take a year to complete. In a letter to Napolitano after a DHS public meeting on May 23 requested by Leahy, the Verm… Continue Reading


Leahy Presses Senate Leaders To Schedule Votes On Pending Judicial Nominations

The Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), urging them to schedule votes on pending judicial nominations. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has pressed for prompt Senate consideration of the more than two dozen judicial nominations that have been reported by the Judiciary Committee but not yet scheduled for a final vote. Despite efforts from Senate Democrats to secure time… Continue Reading


Leahy: $54.7 M. Army Contract For Continuation Of Work On Goodrich-Vergennes’ Helicopter Diagnostics Unit Will Save Lives and Tax Dollars

VERGENNES, Vt. - Senator Patrick Leahy says a new $54,745,988 U.S. Army contract with Goodrich for additional units of the company's groundbreaking helicopter maintenance diagnostic system, produced by the firm's facility here, shows the advanced system has quickly taken its place as a key maintenance feature of U.S. military helicopter programs. Leahy just two months ago joined Goodrich employees here to mark shipment of the 2000th system, at that point achieving more than $100 million in hel… Continue Reading


Comment On The Supreme Court’s Opinion In Samantar v. Yousuf

[The Supreme Court today ruled that the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act does not provide immunity to foreigners accused of torture. Solicitor General Elena Kagan filed a "friend of the Court" brief urging the Court to affirm the decision of the Fourth Circuit. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously to affirm the Fourth Circuit's decision that the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act does not grant individual immunity. Senator Patrick Leahy was the lead Democratic sponsor of the Torture Victim Protection… Continue Reading


The Leahy Letter - May 28, 2010

Leahy Says Oil Spill Is Both 'Maddening and Disheartening' Senator Leahy continues to express his outrage over BP oil rig explosion and oil continues to stream into the Gulf at a rate some experts believe to be as high as 200,000 gallons a day. Senator Leahy has called this catastophe, "both maddening and disheartening. I am appalled by the dangerous relationships that appear to have developed between powerful oil interests and the agencies that were supposed to protect the public's stake." … Continue Reading


Comment On Proposed Rescission Of Final Rule On The Certification Process For State Capital Counsel Systems

On May 25, the Department of Justice announced that it has proposed rescinding regulations implementing a provision giving the Attorney General, rather than the courts, decision-making authority over whether states can successfully "opt in" to a compressed habeas process in death penalties. The regulations, which were finalized in December 2008 under Attorney General Mukasey, gave the Attorney General almost unfettered discretion to allow states to opt in, whereas courts had previously demanded… Continue Reading


President Signs Leahy-Authored Reauthorization Of Satellite TV Licenses

President Obama has signed into law legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy to reauthorize satellite television licenses and to modernize satellite television services. The legislation will particularly benefit Vermonters in Bennington and Windham counties, who now may be able to receive Burlington networks through DISH, in addition DirecTV. The President signed the bill into law on Thursday. "Vermonters are connected by the programming the state's networks provide to television viewers… Continue Reading


Comment On Attorney General Holder’s Issuance Of A New Justice Department Policy On Charging and Sentencing

"With this new policy, Attorney General Holder has taken a further step toward restoring the Justice Department's commitment to enforcing the law aggressively, effectively, and fairly. I applaud Attorney General Holder for his forward-thinking and common-sense update to the Justice Department's policies on charging criminal cases, making plea deals, and seeking sentences. This is a marked change in the policies implemented by the Bush Justice Department. By emphasizing both the importance of … Continue Reading


Leahy Named A Conferee On Wall Street Reform Bill

Senate leaders have appointed U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) as one of the 12 Senate conferees who will negotiate the final form of the landmark financial reform legislation that now has passed the Senate and the House in different forms. The conferees will meet in June. The Senate conferees - seven Democratic senators and five Republican senators - are senior members on either the Banking or Agriculture Committees. From the Agriculture Committee, Leahy -- the panel's most senior member o… Continue Reading


Leahy And Other Senators Ask Attorney General To Look Into Transocean’s Plans To Distribute $1 B. In Dividends

(Wednesday, May 26) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and 17 other senators are asking U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to look into financial transactions of Transocean Ltd. Just weeks after the Transocean-owned Deepwater Horizon oil rig was destroyed in the Gulf of Mexico, the corporation announced intentions to distribute $1 billion to private shareholders. In the letter to Holder, the senators question if the move by Transocean is an attempt to shield the company from lawsuits. The move ma… Continue Reading


Vermont Delegation Announces Grants For Three Vermont Towns;

(May 26, 2010) -Vermont Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch announced Wednesday that three Vermont towns will receive grants for the improvement of public safety services through the purchase of equipment and upgrades. This funding comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This Recovery Act funding is provided through USDA Rural Development's Community Facilities program, which helps finance … Continue Reading


Health Care Reform Means Additional Assistance For Vermont Medicaid

(May 26, 2010) - During the debate earlier this year on health insurance reform, Senator Leahy worked to ensure that states that took early action to cover more people through Medicaid were not punished for acting early. Under the original Senate bill, Vermont was one of only two states that would not have received any additional federal assistance for the state's Medicaid program, simply for acting early to do the right thing. Senator Leahy, in collaboration with other Senators, agreed upon … Continue Reading


Statement on Sessions Amendment Number 4173

Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, I wish to speak about the Sessions amendment to the supplemental appropriations bill. This is the amendment that would cap discretionary spending this year and for future years, irrespective of the needs of the government and the American people. I know our distinguished chairman, Senator Inouye, has already spoken about it. I note this is the fourth time the Senate has been asked to vote on this amendment. The last three times it was defeated. Now we have to v… Continue Reading


Comment On Repeal Of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy

"I support congressional action to move past the policies that discriminated against men and women serving or wanting to serve in our Nation's military, on the basis of their sexual orientation. I commend Admiral Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Defense Secretary Gates, and the President for their leadership on this important issue. America is defended by the finest military in the world. There should be no place in America, including in our military, for discrimination. "W… Continue Reading


Statement On The Nomination Of Elena Kagan To The Supreme Court Of The United States

Senator Leahy Speaks on Kagan Nomination on Senate Floor Two weeks ago, President Obama nominated Elena Kagan to succeed Justice John Paul Stevens as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Much has been written and said about this nomination during the last two weeks, and more will be said over the next month, as we prepare for the Judiciary Committee's hearing, which will begin on June 28. So far, there has been too much talk about process and too much partisanship … Continue Reading


Comment On The Supreme Court’s Decision In American Needle Inc. v. National Football League

[The Supreme Court today issued a ruling in American Needle, Inc., v. National Football League. In a unanimous decision, the Court reversed the Seventh Circuit and held that NFL teams can be held liable for agreements among League members that constitute an unreasonable restraint of trade.] "The Court's unanimous decision will ensure that the antitrust laws apply to concerted actions by teams of the National Football League. This ruling is a rare win for sports fans, and in fact for all Amer… Continue Reading


Leahy Calls on Napolitano To Close Morses Line Border Crossing

(SUNDAY, May 23, 2010) - Following Saturday's public meeting in Franklin regarding the Morse's Line Border Crossing, Senator Patrick Leahy has written to Secretary Janet Napolitano calling for closure of the crossing. Leahy, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, told Napolitano that he was prepared to close the port during the Appropriations process if necessary. May 23, 2010 The Honorable Janet NapolitanoSecretaryUnites States Department of Homeland Security Washington, DC … Continue Reading


Comment On National Archive And Clinton Library Efforts To Identify Materials In Connection With Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s Nomination To Be An Associate Justice Of The United States Supreme Court

A copy of the letter from David S. Ferriero to Chairman Leahy and Ranking Member Sessions is available online. "The National Archives and Records Administration and the Clinton Library are undertaking an exhaustive and thorough search for records responsive to the requests of the White House and the Senate Judiciary Committee. The search methodology they have outlined appears to be more comprehensive than that undertaken in response to Senate Democrats' narrow request for high-priority documen… Continue Reading


Statement On Wall Street Reform Legislation

Mr. President, I strongly support the reform bill before us, S.3217, the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010. I commend Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd and Majority Leader Harry Reid for shepherding this significant piece of legislation through the Senate. Getting to this point was no small feat given the near-unanimous opposition to Wall Street reform that this effort has encountered from the other side of the aisle. But Senators Dodd and Reid persevered because t… Continue Reading


Leahy Pushes For Public Access To Oil Spill Information

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to press federal executive agencies to make publicly available information related to the ongoing oil spill and growing environmental crisis in the Gulf of Mexico. Leahy is a longtime leader Congress in promoting government transparency, and in strengthening the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the nation's premier open government law. "I write to urge you to take immediate steps to increase public acc… Continue Reading

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