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


Judiciary Committee Hears Testimony About Risky Business Of Big Oil

(Tuesday, June 8, 2010) - The Senate Judiciary Committee this morning is holding a hearing on "The Risky Business of Big Oil: Have Recent Court Decisions and Liability Caps Encouraged Irresponsible Corporate Behavior" Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) delivered the following opening statement. Witness testimony and a live webcast are available online. Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee,Hearing On "The Risky Business Of Big Oil: Have Rec… Continue Reading


Senate Confirms Three District Court Judges

The Senate Monday night confirmed three nominations to fill vacancies on federal district courts across the country. The votes marked the first Senate action on pending judicial nominations in nearly a month. The last confirmation vote was held on May 11. The Senate unanimously confirmed district court nominees Audrey Fleissig to the federal district court for eastern district of Missouri; Lucy Koh to the federal district court for the northern district of California; and Jane Magnus-Stinson … Continue Reading


Leahy On Kagan Nomination: Senators Should Reject The Ideological Litmus Test

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) delivered brief remarks on the Senate Floor today regarding the nomination of Elena Kagan to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. The full text of his statement follows. Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.),Chairman, Senate Judiciary CommitteeOn The Nomination Of Elena Kagan To The Supreme CourtJune 7, 2010 Leahy Urges Senators To "Reject The Ideological Litmus Test" On Kagan Nomina… Continue Reading


Health Care Law Improves Prescription Drug Coverage

BURLINGTON, Vt., - U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced today that almost 9,000 Vermont seniors will receive a one-time $250 rebate check beginning this week as the new federal health care law begins to close a gap in Medicare coverage for prescription medicine. The first checks will be mailed June 10 for people whose out-of-pocket expenses already total more than $940 for the year, the senators said during a joint press conference at the Champlain Senior Center… Continue Reading


Leahy On The Borderline In Immigration Debate

On a map, the nation's borders are innocuous lines of ink. But for U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., they're an increasingly precarious tightrope. As chairman of his chamber's Judiciary Committee, he faces angry Arizonans who want the federal government to back their headline-grabbing efforts to bar illegal immigrants. But as the senior member of Vermont's congressional delegation, he's hearing from dairy farmers desperate to retain an estimated 1,500 hired hands from Mexico, and from truck… Continue Reading


Comment On Production Of Documents By The National Archives Related To Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s Nomination To The Supreme Court Of The United States

"With this initial delivery of documents, the Judiciary Committee has received more information from the administration than was made available at this point in the confirmation process for either the Roberts or Alito nominations. I commend the staff at the Clinton Presidential Library and the National Archives for their prompt work in responding so thoroughly to the Committee's request. "The Obama administration and the Archives are continuing to work to make available an unprecedented volum… Continue Reading


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

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