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Press Releases

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

03.12.09

Senate Confirms Perrelli To Be Associate Attorney General At Justice

(Thursday, March 12, 2009) - The Senate Thursday overwhelmingly confirmed Thomas Perrelli to the number three position at the Department of Justice by a vote of 72-20. Perrelli's nomination to be the Associate Attorney General was first announced on January 5, and he appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 10. His nomination was reported by the Committee by a vote of 17-1 on March 5. Earlier today, the Senate confirmed the nomination of David Og… Continue Reading


03.12.09

Statement On The Fiscal Year 2009 State And Foreign Operations Appropriations Conference Report

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, the Fiscal Year 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act, which President Obama signed yesterday, contains $36.6 billion in discretionary budget authority for the Department of State and Foreign Operations, which is the same amount approved by the Appropriations Committee in July 2008. This represents a $1.6 billion decrease from former President Bush's budget request of $38.2 billion. I repeat - this legislation is $1.6 billion below what former President… Continue Reading


03.12.09

Senate Confirms Deputy Attorney General Nominee

(Thursday, March 12, 2009) - The U.S. Senate today confirmed David Ogden to be the Deputy Attorney General of the United States, the second highest-ranking position in the Department of Justice. After two days of debate, the Senate voted 65-28 to confirm the nominee. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) moved quickly to schedule a hearing and Committee vote on the nomination. Deputy Attorney General Ogden testified before the Committee on February 5. T… Continue Reading


03.12.09

Judiciary Committee Reports Leahy-Cornyn Anti-Public Corruption Bill

(Thursday, March 12, 2009) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday voted to report The Public Corruption Prosecution Improvements Act , legislation to give prosecutors expanded tools to identify, investigate and prosecute public officials who have committed criminal corruption. The legislation was introduced by Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), also a member of the Committee, on Jan. 6. The Public Corruption Prosecution Impro… Continue Reading


03.12.09

Vermont Receives $38 M. For Energy Efficiency Programs

(THURSDAY, March 12) - More than $38 million in weatherization and energy efficiency funding was released to Vermont Thursday as part of the newly enacted economic recovery bill, Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch announced. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act included nearly $8 billion in state and local efficiency funding, designed to create 87,000 jobs nationwide and save families hundreds of dollars per year on their energy bill… Continue Reading


03.12.09

As Joblessness Rises, Leahy Announces More Than $1 Million In Economic Recovery Funds For Children And Crime Victims In Vermont

(THURSDAY, March 12) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Thursday that Vermont will receive more than $1 million in federal grants to provide key services for victims of crime and to protect children against online predators. Leahy secured the funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which was signed into law Feb. 17. Vermont will receive $541,000 in assistance programs to aid victims of crimes that include assault, fraud, elder abuse, domestic a… Continue Reading


03.12.09

FY 2009 Omnibus Bill Includes Leahy-Feinstein Provision To Prohibit Sale Or Transfer Of Most U.S. Cluster Munitions

(THURSDAY, March 12) -- U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) Thursday announced that the Fiscal Year 2009 omnibus appropriations bill includes a provision they authored to prohibit the sale or transfer of cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians. The omnibus bill was signed into law by President Obama on Wednesday. The provision was included as part of the State Department and Foreign Operations section of the Omnibus Appropr… Continue Reading


03.11.09

Leahy On Ogden Nomination: “Reject The Partisan Tactics And Double Standards”

(Wednesday, March 11, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) refuted Republican partisan attacks on Deputy Attorney General nominee David Ogden Wednesday afternoon, calling the tactics "false" and "wrong." Republican Senators threatened to filibuster Ogden's nomination, and on Monday, the Majority Leader filed cloture on the nomination. A vote on the nomination is expected on Thursday. The full text of Leahy's statement follows. Statement … Continue Reading


03.11.09

Leahy Announces FBI Oversight Hearing

(Wednesday, March 11, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today announced the first oversight hearing of the 111th Congress for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Director Robert S. Mueller will testify before the Senate panel at an oversight hearing scheduled for March 25. Mueller appeared before the Committee twice last year. The Senate Judiciary Committee has held periodic oversight hearings of the FBI with the Bureau's Director. … Continue Reading


03.11.09

Senate Begins Debate On Justice Department Nominee

Sen. Leahy Begins Debate On David Ogden To Be Deputy Attorney General WASHINGTON (Wednesday, March 11, 2009) - The U.S. Senate today began debate on the nomination of David Ogden to be the Deputy Attorney General of the United States, the number two position at the Department of Justice. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) opened the debate in a floor statement Wednesday morning. Ogden's nomination was first announced on January 5. A hearing to con… Continue Reading


03.11.09

Thomas Fleming Elementary School

On March 11, 2009, Senator Leahy held his second online chat using Skype, which is an online tool for making video calls and instant messaging. Senator Leahy was able to see and hear the 45 fourth and fifth graders and they were able to see video of him from their classroom in Essex. The students chatted with Senator Leahy for 30 minutes and asked a range of questions, a sample of which are available below. The photo to the left shows Senator Leahy's … Continue Reading


03.11.09

Critical FOIA Office Receives Funding In Omnibus

(Wednesday, March 11, 2009) - A new office to mediate Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) disputes has received key funding necessary to establish its operations, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said Wednesday. The omnibus appropriations bill passed by the Senate Tuesday night includes $1 million to establish the new Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) in the National Archives and Records Administration. Congress mandated the establishment of OGIS in the OPEN Govern… Continue Reading


03.10.09

Leahy Taps Former Essex And St. Albans Police Chief As Choice For U.S. Marshal In Vermont

(TUESDAY, March 10) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday announced that he has selected former Essex Jct. and St. Albans Police Chief David E. Demag -- a highly honored, fourth-generation Vermont law enforcement veteran - as his choice to be Vermont's next U.S. Marshal. Demag also is a former Commander in the Burlington Police Department. After interviewing several candidates, Leahy said he will recommend David E. Demag to President Obama to head Vermont's U.S. Mar… Continue Reading


03.10.09

Leahy Chairs Judiciary Committee Hearing On Patent Reform

(Tuesday, March 10, 2009) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) chaired a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday morning to discuss patent reform in the 111th Congress. On March 3, Leahy, who is the chairman of the Committee, and Judiciary Committee member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced thebipartisan Patent Reform Act of 2009 (S.515), legislation to make the first significant reforms to the nation's patent system in more than 50 years. Testifying at Tuesda… Continue Reading


03.10.09

Fresh Victories For The Public's Right To Know

There is reason to hope that an era of greater openness is coming. As we mark this fifth annual Sunshine Week, some of the recent clouds obstructing the public's right to know are giving way to more transparency. The American people are beginning to get a better glimpse of how their government works - or sometimes doesn't work so well. Already there is some good news for the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the law that gives life to the public's right to k… Continue Reading


03.09.09

Leahy Announces Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing On Forensic Science

(Monday, March 9) -- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday announced that the Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday, March 18, 2009, to examine a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences on forensic science. The report, which was released on February 18, found that many forensic disciplines lack the standards necessary to ensure scientific reliability in court. The report is the result of three years of study by the National Academy … Continue Reading


03.09.09

Comment On Supreme Court Opinion In Bartlett v. Strickland

"Just after the 44th anniversary of 'Bloody Sunday,' the Supreme Court's decision in Bartlett v. Strickland has dealt a serious blow to the progress of the civil rights movement through its cramped reading of the historic Voting Rights Act." "Congress intended with the Voting Rights Act (VRA) to enable racial minorities to participate in the political life of our democracy. Today's plurality decision is based on a limited reading of the Act, and instead uses the guarantees o… Continue Reading


03.06.09

Leahy Joins Kennedy, Others To Introduce Bill To Reverse Supreme Court Medical Device Decision

(Friday, March 6, 2009) - On Thursday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has joined Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) to reintroduce legislation to reverse last year's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that immunized medical device companies from state lawsuits brought by patients who are injured by faulty devices. The Medical Device Safety Act has 18 sponsors in the Senate. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court, for the first time, ruled that medical d… Continue Reading


03.06.09

Remarks At Economic Recovery Conference At Champlain College

Thank you, President Finney and Champlain College, for hosting us at this timely conference today. We welcome this opportunity to offer Vermonters, Vermont businesses, and Vermont communities a chance to learn more about how they can take advantage of the recently passed federal economic recovery act. And the more rapidly and effectively that Vermont puts these resources to work, the better we will be able to keep Vermonters working today, and the better we will be able to… Continue Reading


03.05.09

Statement On United Nations Population Fund

Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, I understand that we are on the Wicker amendment. I have listened to the statements made about it. It is hard to understand what the real purpose of the amendment is, although the junior Senator from Mississippi says the purpose is as follows: To require that amounts appropriated for the United Nations Population Fund are not used by organizations which support coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization. I do not know anybody who would disagr… Continue Reading

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