Press Room

Press Releases

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

03.05.09

Statement On Protecting Indonesia's Forests

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, at a time when the world seems to finally be speaking in one voice about the need for dramatic action to stop global warming, an article in the Jakarta Post on February 13 reminds us that many difficult obstacles lie ahead. It is well known that Indonesia's forests, and particularly its peat swamps, store huge amounts of carbon. When the trees from these areas are cut and burned, which is happening due to illegal logging and to make way for … Continue Reading


03.05.09

Statement On Colombia

MR. LEAHY. The abuses perpetrated against civilians by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, popularly known as the FARC, are too numerous to list. From kidnappings to bombings, torture and summary executions, the FARC have lost whatever credibility and popular support they may once have had. They are a criminal enterprise, despised by the vast majority of Colombians, funded with proceeds from the production and sale of cocaine, who show no respect for the laws of … Continue Reading


03.05.09

A $5.7 Million Stimulus For Vermont Transit

, March 5 - Almost $5.7 million was released to Vermont today for transit programs funded by the economic recovery bill, Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Representative Peter Welch announced. The stimulus money for Vermont from the Federal Transit Administration was included in the bill that was designed to create some 8,000 jobs in Vermont to help jolt the economy out of recession. Statewide, the Vermont Agency of Transportation will use $3.9 million to pur… Continue Reading


03.05.09

Friday Conference Quickly Fills As 700 Register For Sessions At Champlain College; Leahy Will Set A Second Session For Late March In Brattleboro

… Leahy and Douglas will open March 6th Conference, featuring free workshops on small business aid, help for families, infrastructure improvements, health care and education, and first responders (THURSDAY, March 5) - Vermonters' interest in the newly enacted economic stimulus bill is so high that registration requests for Friday's workshops on the plan have quickly outstripped capacity. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who organized the sessions, says signup requests topped… Continue Reading


03.05.09

Anti-Fraud Bill Clears Judiciary Committee

(Thursday, March 5, 2009) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday voted to report the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act (FERA) to the full Senate for consideration. The legislation would increase tools to help prosecutors combat fraud. The bill was introduced by Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Committee member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on February 5. Freshman Senator and Committee member Edward Kaufman (D-Del.) is an original cosponsor of the legislatio… Continue Reading


03.05.09

Judiciary Committee Reports Three Justice Department Nominees

(Thursday, March 5, 2009) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday reported three high-ranking executive nominations. The nominations of Thomas J. Perrelli to be Associate Attorney General, Elena Kagan to be Solicitor General of the United States, and David S. Kris to be Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division will next be considered by the full Senate. Perrelli and Kagan were first scheduled to be considered by the Committee on February 26, bu… Continue Reading


03.04.09

Statement On Coburn Amendment To Omnibus Appropriations Bill

Mr. President, I worked very hard over the last two years with Senator Dodd and Congressman Lewis to pass the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act to provide resources for the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate and prosecute decades-old unsolved civil rights cold case crimes. It could have been law earlier than the end of last year had not Republican opposition obstructed its enactment. This should have been a noncontroversial bill and it sho… Continue Reading


03.04.09

Comment On The House Agreement For Testimony And Documents In U.S. Attorney Firings

"I hope today's agreement will help to finally uncover the truth about the firings of U.S. Attorneys and the Bush White House cover up designed to shield from public view the inappropriate and illegal actions of the last administration. "It should not have taken until now to obtain testimony and documents from Bush administration officials connected to the investigation into the firings. Today's agreement leaves in place the court ruling that rejected the Bush administration's unpreced… Continue Reading


03.04.09

Leahy Announces Witness List For Patent Reform Hearing

(Wednesday, March 4, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced the list of witnesses who will testify at a Committee hearing scheduled for March 10, on patent reform. On Tuesday, Leahy and Judiciary Committee member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced the Patent Reform Act of 2009 (S.515), legislation that would make the first significant reforms to the nation's patent system in more than 50 years. Information about the legislation, including a se… Continue Reading


03.04.09

Comment On Supreme Court Ruling Upholding Jury Award To Vermont Musician Diana Levine In Much-Watched Wyeth v. Levine Case

[The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Nov. 3, 2008, in Wyeth v. Diana Levine, a case in which a jury in Vermont awarded damages to Levine, a musician from Marshfield, Vermont, who sustained life-altering injuries due to a drug manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Wyeth. Wyeth sought to overturn the Vermont Supreme Court's decision, which affirmed a jury verdict in Levine's favor. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court announced a 6-3 decision which reaffirmed the ruling, uphold… Continue Reading


03.04.09

Statement At Hearing On

Sen. Leahy Chairs A Hearing On Truth Commission In the wake of the tragic attacks on September 11, 2001, we came together as Americans. We need to do so, again, in these difficult economic times. Regrettably, too many seem mesmerized by the siren call of talk radio personalities and extreme special interest groups. Far from grasping the bipartisan hand that President Obama has extended, congressional Republicans are, with few exceptions, following the play book laid out by conserva… Continue Reading


03.03.09

Leahy, Hatch, Conyers, Smith Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Patent Reform Legislation

Leaders of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees introduced bipartisan, bicameral patent reform legislation Tuesday. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), a senior member and former Chairman of the Committee, and House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Ranking Member Lamar Smith (R-Texas), introduced the Patent Reform Act of 2009 on Tuesday. The Senate and House bills are similar to bipartisan legislation intro… Continue Reading


03.03.09

Vermont Police Units To Receive Nearly $5 Million Under Leahy-Led Law Enforcement Grants In Newly Enacted Economic Recovery Package

(Tuesday, March 3) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Tuesday that Vermont will receive nearly $5 million in federal grant funding to combat crime through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program. The funding was secured through Leahy's efforts in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was signed into law Feb. 17. The JAG program allows states and local governments to support a range of programs to help prevent crime and improve the criminal just… Continue Reading


03.02.09

Comment On Release Of Nine OLC Memoranda And Opinions

"After just a month in office, Attorney General Holder has already shown a policy of greater transparency at the Department of Justice. The memoranda and opinions of the last administration regarding national security remain of great concern. Finally, today, some of these long secret opinions from the Office of Legal Counsel are being publicly released. These documents, and those released late last year in response to a Senate Judiciary Committee subpoena, begin to provide details of … Continue Reading


03.02.09

Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Release of Nine OLC Memoranda And Opinions

"After just a month in office, Attorney General Holder has already shown a policy of greater transparency at the Department of Justice. The memoranda and opinions of the last administration regarding national security remain of great concern. Finally, today, some of these long secret opinions from the Office of Legal Counsel are being publicly released. These documents, and those released late last year in response to a Senate Judiciary Committee subpoena, begin to provide details of some o… Continue Reading


02.27.09

The Leahy Letter - February 27, 2009

Leahy To Host American Recovery And Reinvestment Act Workshop Wondering how your business, municipality, organization, or non-profit could benefit from the recently enacted economic recovery bill? Interested in how the stimulus bill might help you buy a home or improve your family's bottom line this year? Senator Leahy, Governor James Douglas, the Vermont Procurement Technical Assistance Center, and the Vermont Small Business Development Center invite you to attend a FREE work… Continue Reading


02.27.09

The Need For Justice

(as submitted to the Kathmandu Post) Three years ago, thousands of brave Nepalis took to the streets to protest the abuses of a corrupt monarch and the security forces under his control. Since then there have been some remarkable, positive changes in Nepal, and yet its future as a peaceful, democratic republic is far from secure. The Nepali people who risked their lives -- and some gave their lives -- did so, like the founding patriots of my country, with the conviction that they deserve… Continue Reading


02.27.09

Comment On Indictment Of Ali al-Marri

"In short order, Attorney General Holder has done what the last administration did not after years of detaining a legal resident of the United States without charge. The United States Government has finally brought charges against Ali al-Marri in a court of law. In the Padilla case, after years of overhyping the matter, the Government brought charges and he was convicted. I have said for many years that our legal system and federal courts have the ability to try terrorism-related cases … Continue Reading


02.27.09

Vermont Congressional Delegation Commends Obama Administration For Prompt Release Of First Funds To Vermont Under The Economic Recovery Act

(FRIDAY, Feb. 27, 2009) -- Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch Friday praised the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for its swift action in releasing the first official funding to Vermont under the newly enacted economic recovery act. Four grants for community development and to improve the availability of affordable housing, totaling $14.4 million, are the first Vermont grants to flow to Vermont under the American Recovery a… Continue Reading


02.26.09

Leahy Announces Witnesses For Commission Hearing

(Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has announced three witnesses for a hearing scheduled Wednesday, March 4, on "Getting to the Truth Through a Nonpartisan Commission of Inquiry." Leahy has proposed establishing a nonpartisan commission to examine past national security policies. Leahy has invited three witnesses to testify at the hearing: Thomas Pickering, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Retired Vice Admiral Le… Continue Reading

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