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Press Releases

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

10.23.09

Leahy, Mikulski, 23 Senate Colleagues Continue Fight To End Gender Rating, Discriminatory Health Insurance Industry Practices That Deny Coverage To Women

- U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), a senior member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and 24 of her Senate colleagues today sent a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), HELP Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), and Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) encouraging them to maximize this historic opportunity to end punitive practices currently used by insurance companies to deny coverage to women. The letter urges the group of S… Continue Reading


10.23.09

Comment On The State Department And Foreign Operations, On Report From State Department On Possible Violations Of Laws of War in Sri Lanka

"The report eliminates any reasonable doubt that serious violations of the laws of war were committed by both the LTTE rebels and Sri Lankan Government forces. Civilians have paid, and continue to pay, a heavy price. If Sri Lanka is to build real peace based on reconciliation and justice, a full and independent investigation is needed, and those responsible must be held accountable." # # # # #… Continue Reading


10.23.09

In News Conference, Leahy Sums Up Long Effort To Pass Bill Strengthening Hate Crimes Law

Leahy Praises Passage of Bill to Strengthen Hate Crimes Law WASHINGTON - In a news conference in the U.S. Capitol on Friday, Vermont U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) hailed Thursday night's final passage of long-sought legislation to strengthen federal hate crime laws. Leahy is chief sponsor of the hate crimes legislation that is now headed to President Obama, who has said he will sign it. The hate crimes measure will broaden federal hate crimes law to include crimes based on gender, se… Continue Reading


10.22.09

Leahy Praises Support Plan For State Housing Agencies

(Thursday, Oct. 22) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) hailed a new Obama Administration initiative sought by Leahy that will free up some of the frozen liquidity of housing finance agencies like Vermont's Housing Finance Agency (VHFA). State and local housing finance agencies (HFAs) like VHFA expand access to affordable housing by helping low and middle income borrowers to buy homes. They work with participating lenders to provide affordable long term fixed rate home loans. The credit and housin… Continue Reading


10.22.09

Panel Approves Leahy-Authored Bill To Protect Crime Victims Fund

- The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved bipartisan legislation to preserve and enhance federal assistance to victims of crime. The Crime Victims Fund Preservation Act was introduced in June by Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). The legislation was reported unanimously by the Committee and will now be sent to the full Senate for consideration. The Crime Victims Fund Preservation Act will help ensure that crime victims receive essenti… Continue Reading


10.22.09

Leahy Praises Passage Of Federal Hate Crimes Legislation

The U.S. Senate today approved a provision to broaden federal hate crimes law to include crimes based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), offered the bipartisan Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act in July. The House has already passed the bill, and it will now head to the President's desk to be signed into law. The legislation was a long-time priority … Continue Reading


10.21.09

Reid, Leahy and Schumer Join Consumers Union President To Announce Amendment To Promote Fair Competition Within The Health Insurance Industry

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy and Democratic Conference Vice Chairman Charles Schumer held a press conference with Jim Guest of the Consumers Union today to announce that The Health Insurance Industry Antitrust Enforcement Act of 2009 will be offered as an amendment to health insurance reform legislation. The bill, which was first introduced in September by Chairman Leahy, promotes competition in the health insurance and medical malpractice… Continue Reading


10.21.09

Senate Judiciary Committee Health Care Fraud Prevention Hearing Rescheduled For Oct. 28

The Senate Judiciary Committee has rescheduled a hearing to examine health care fraud prevention. The hearing will be held on October 28. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Wednesday representatives from the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services will testify. Deputy Health and Human Services Secretary Bill Corr and Assistant Attorney General Tony West, who leads the Civil Division at the Department of Justice, are scheduled to a… Continue Reading


10.21.09

Senate Set To Pass Historic Hate Crimes Legislation

Senator Leahy Supports Passage Of Historic Hate Crimes Legislation [WASHINGTON -- The Senate is expected to vote later this week on the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced an amendment to include the federal hate crimes provision in the authorization bill during Senate debate in July. He worked to ensure the provision was included in the final version of the legis… Continue Reading


10.21.09

Senate Unanimously Confirms District Court Judge

The Senate Wednesday unanimously confirmed Roberto A. Lange to serve as a U.S. District Court Judge for the District of South Dakota. Lange is just the third lower court nomination to be confirmed by the Senate this year. Ten judicial nominations remain pending before the full Senate. "The American Bar Association's Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary reported that its peer review of the President's nomination of Mr. Lange resulted in the highest rating possible, a unanimous rating of… Continue Reading


10.21.09

President Obama Signs Aid for Dairy Farmers

, October 21 - President Barack Obama today signed legislation to provide $350 million in emergency assistance for hard-pressed dairy farmers. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) sponsored an amendment that added the dairy funds to the Department of Agriculture appropriations bill. He joined the president at the White House for the Oval Office bill-signing ceremony. The measure provides $290 million for direct support to dairy farmers. Another $60 million will be used to purchase cheese and other dairy… Continue Reading


10.21.09

Leahy, Senate Leaders Announce Amendment To Promote Fair Competition Within Health Insurance Industry

Leahy Announces Amendment To Promote Fair Competition Within Health Insurance Industry WASHINGTON - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday joined with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to announce that he will offer the Health Insurance Industry Antitrust Enforcement Act as an amendment to health insurance reform legislation. The bill, which Leahy first introduced in September, promotes competition in the health insurance and medical malpracti… Continue Reading


10.21.09

FACT SHEET: Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay

Summary: The Defense Department announced today plans to provide Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay to service members who had their enlistment extended or retirement suspended due to Stop Loss between Sept. 11, 2001 and Sept. 30, 2009. What is the Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay? Eligible personnel will receive a payment of $500 per month for each month (or any portion of a month) that the member was retained on active duty due to Stop Loss. Who is Eligible for the Retroactive Stop Loss S… Continue Reading


10.21.09

After Nearly Six Month Delay, Senate Confirms Vermont Judge To Chair Sentencing Commission

After a nearly six month delay, the U.S. Senate Wednesday night confirmed Vermont District Court Judge William Sessions to chair the U.S. Sentencing Commission. The Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, unanimously reported the nomination on May 7. "Judge Sessions is an extraordinary public servant," said Leahy. "He has twice previously been confirmed unanimously by the Senate to serve on the Sentencing Commission. He has served with distinction for 10 years… Continue Reading


10.21.09

Statement On S. 1776, the “Medicare Physician Fairness Act of 2009”

am proud to be a cosponsor of the bill we are considering today, the "Medicare Physician Fairness Act", introduced by Senator Stabenow. This bill would permanently end the scheduled reductions in Medicare and TRICARE payments that physicians face each year. This legislation is long overdue and an important step in making sure doctors will continue to serve Medicare patients and veterans in the years to come. This year marks the eighth year in a row that Congress will be forced to prevent sche… Continue Reading


10.21.09

Leahy, Kohl, Mikulski, Lemieux Introduce Bill To Improve Enforcement Of Elder Abuse Laws

Today Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI), Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Chairwoman of the Senate HELP Subcommittee on Retirement and Aging, and Senator George LeMieux (R-FL) introduced the Elder Abuse Victims Act, a bill that would improve the law enforcement community's ability to target and combat abuse and exploitation of senior citizens. A companion to the Elder Abuse Victim… Continue Reading


10.20.09

Leahy-Authored Open Government Provision Set To Become Law

Legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that will strengthen the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was approved by the Senate Tuesday, and is set to become law. Leahy introduced the OPEN FOIA Act earlier this year, and pushed for its inclusion in the 2010 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, which was passed by the Senate by a vote of 79-19. The House of Representatives has already passed the bill, clearing the way for President Obama to sign it into law. Leahy in… Continue Reading


10.20.09

Leahy's Extension Of Investor Visa Program, Used In Vermont To Create Hundreds Of Jobs, Clears Congress, Heads To President’s Desk

The U.S. Senate late Tuesday approved and sent to the President's desk a bill that includes Senator Patrick Leahy's extension of the "investor visa" program that has attracted millions of dollars in economic development to Vermont, creating hundreds of jobs. "This is a big win for our state," said Leahy. "This program has become an economic engine in Vermont, and we have proven it with the creation of hundreds of jobs. I want Vermont to stay on the cutting edge in harnessing these investments… Continue Reading


10.17.09

Comment On President Obama’s Radio Address On Health Insurance Industry Reform

"Last month, I introduced the Health Insurance Industry Antitrust Enforcement Act to repeal the unjustifiable immunity enjoyed by health insurers and medical malpractice insurers. Support is growing to repeal this exemption from our federal antitrust laws, and this week, the Judiciary Committee heard compelling testimony from the government's chief antitrust enforcer that should bolster this effort. "President Obama today renewed the call to end the status quo in the healt… Continue Reading


10.17.09

Letter To The Meeting Of The Vermont Library Trustee Association Annual Conference

Dear Friends, I appreciate this opportunity to report the latest developments on the process to reauthorize several sunsetted portions of the Patriot Act and to commend Vermont Library Association for all you do for Vermont. On September 22, 2009, I introduced the USA PATRIOT Act Sunset Extension Act (S.1692) with Senators Benjamin Cardin and Ted Kaufman. Senator Sanders soon joined as a cosponsor. As before, I wrote the bill with close attention to protecting constitutional rights and civil… Continue Reading

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