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


The Leahy Letter - March 26, 2010

March 26, 2010 - Health Care Reform Edition Comprehensive Health Care Reform Signed Into Law On March 23, 2010, Senator Leahy was on hand at the White House ceremony as President Obama signed into law the historic Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This new law is the most comprehensive health care reform since the creation of the Medicare program in 1965 and will provide health insurance for more than 32 million uninsured Americans and improve the health insurance system fo… Continue Reading


Comment On The Senate's Passage of The Health and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010

"Today, the Senate completed the next step in reforming our nation's health insurance system by passing a series of improvements to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. We should all support these improvements. They include closing the Medicare "donut hole," making coverage more affordable, and creating a more equitable distribution of Medicaid reimbursements to states like Vermont that have acted early on reform. I worked with Senate and House Leadership to ensure Vermont and othe… Continue Reading


Vermont Delegation Heralds Grant For Vermont Council on Rural Development

U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch announced Thursday that the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) has been awarded a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The grant, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), will complete the funding needed to launch VCRD's "e-Vermont: The Vermont Community Broadband Project", which will stimulate broadband use in 24 Vermont towns by identifying best practices for increasing … Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Advances Leahy-Sponsored Bills To Assist Refugees

The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday advanced two pieces of legislation sponsored by Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.). The Refugee Opportunity Act and the Return Of Talent Act will help continue long-held U.S. policy of rewarding refugees who help the country, and refugees who help those in need beyond the country's borders. The Refugee Opportunity Act will create an exception to the physical presence requirement for refugees who, during their firs… Continue Reading


Statement On The Constitutionality Of The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act

Earlier this week, we saw what I have called the dawn of a new day of hope for tens of millions of Americans who have fallen through the cracks - or who worry with good reason that they may fall through the cracks - of our broken health insurance system. The signing into law of comprehensive health insurance reform by President Barack Obama ranks with the creation of Social Security and Medicare as a defining moment and legislative achievement. Congress and Presidents from both parties tried t… Continue Reading


Republicans Object To The Hearing On The Nominations Of Liu And Mueller

POSTPONEMENT NOTICE FOR A COMMITTEE HEARING The hearing on "Nominations" scheduled before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary for Wednesday, March 24, 2010, at 2:30 pm has been postponed due to Republican objection and will be rescheduled at the earliest possible time. By order of the Chairman. Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.),Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee,On Republican Objection To The Hearing On The Nominations Of Goodwin Liu To The United States Court Of App… Continue Reading


US Senate committee takes testimony on drug crime

Strapped by shrinking budgets, state and local officials told members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday they need Uncle Sam's help now more than ever in combatting drug crime. The panel _ represented by U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont and U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island _ took testimony from national drug czar Gil Kerlikowske, the director of the Vermont State Police, Barre Mayor Thomas Lauzon and three other people with varying perspectives on the problem.… Continue Reading


Republican Objections Now Stall Even Committee Progress

(Wednesday, March 24, 2010) - A Senate Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled to consider pending nominations, including a critical circuit court nomination, has been suspended because Senate Republicans have not yet consented to allowing the hearing to proceed Employing a little used rule requiring the Senate's unanimous consent to permit committees to hold hearings and meetings, Republicans have not yet consented to permit several Committees to meet Wednesday afternoon, including an important… Continue Reading


Statement On Justice for Jamie Leigh Jones

Yesterday, I was pleased to learn that a brave young woman, Ms. Jamie Leigh Jones, will finally have her day in court. Ms. Jones testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee last year about how the Supreme Court's interpretation of the Federal Arbitration Act has hampered American employees from having their civil rights protected. Ms. Jones was a compelling witness; her case deserves the attention of every Senator. When she was just 20-years-old and was working overseas for the military c… Continue Reading


Statement On Comprehensive Health Insurance Reform

This is the dawn of a new day of hope for tens of millions of Americans who have fallen through the cracks - or who worry with good reason that they may fall through the cracks -- of our broken health insurance system. The signing into law of comprehensive health insurance reform by President Barack Obama is a defining moment in our history, ranking with the creation of Social Security and Medicare. Reforming the health insurance system has been talked about for decades. This has been an ard… Continue Reading


Comment On The Signing Of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

After a long night of worry and ruin for uncounted millions of American families who have fallen through the cracks of a broken health insurance system, this is the dawn of an historic new day of hope in a country that has always risen to meet its challenges and to renew its promises. America has some of the best health care in the world, if you can afford it. Millions of families in Vermont and across the nation worry that they are just one paycheck away from medical and financial disaster. … Continue Reading


Patent Reform: Good For American Innovation, Good For American Jobs

Ingenuity and innovation have been mainstays of the American economy from the time Thomas Jefferson issued the first patent, to today. The discoveries made by American inventors and research institutions, commercialized by our companies, and protected and promoted by our patent laws, have made our system the envy of the world. Despite the importance of our patent system to the American economy and job creation, Congress has not enacted major reforms to the system in more than 55 years. In th… Continue Reading


Leahy Chairs U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing In Barre, Vermont

BARRE, Vt. - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today held a field hearing of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in Barre, Vt., to explore "Effective Community Efforts to Counter Drug-Related Crime in Rural America." It is the third in a series of field hearings on drug-related crime that Leahy has chaired in Vermont. Testifying at the hearing Monday was the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, R. Gil Kerlikowske - the nation's "drug czar." Kerlikowske is the former police chie… Continue Reading


USDA’s Acceptance Of Audit Findings Helps Clean The Slate For 20-Year-Old Organic Standards And Labeling Program To Advance To Next Level

[Following are the comments of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on the USDA Inspector General's audit of the national organic standards and labeling program, released Thursday. Leahy is the "father" of the national program and author of the 1990 Organic Foods Production Act. Leahy also led on the Senate Appropriations Committee in securing funds for the audit. The report is now available on the Inspector General's website in the "What's New" section (] Commen… Continue Reading


Vermont Medicaid Solution In Health Reform Plan Will Mean Millions More For Vermont’s Medicaid Program

Comments on Vermont's Breakthrough on Medicaid In Health Reform Plan Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Thursday that the final health reform package that is now headed for House and Senate votes will recognize the early investment Vermont has made in its Medicaid program, meaning more than $100 million in added funding for Vermont's Medicaid programs over the next ten years. The Medicaid solution for Vermont - one of the last issues to be resolved in final work on the plan -- was chi… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces Grant To Seal A Dairy Processor’s Move To Brattleboro

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. - During a groundbreaking ceremony for Commonwealth Dairy in Brattleboro on Thursday, staff for Senator Patrick Leahy announced that he has secured a $300,000 federal grant for the project, finalizing a $25 million public and private investment that will create jobs in Brattleboro and boost demand for Vermont milk. "The Town of Brattleboro, the State of Vermont, and the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation have helped facilitate a great opportunity for Brattleboro and al… Continue Reading


Leahy Praises Senate Passage Of Historic Bill To Address Crack/Powder Sentencing Disparity

The Senate Wednesday night unanimously approved historic legislation to address the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine. The Fair Sentencing Act was introduced last year by Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), a senior member of the panel, Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and others, and the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously advanced the legislation to the full Senate on March 11. Current law sets out a ratio of 100:1 in terms of the amount of powder cocaine and the am… Continue Reading


Comment On Immigration Reform

"Last week, Senators Schumer and Graham met with the President to discuss the progress they have made toward introduction of an immigration reform bill. Like President Obama, I look forward to reviewing that legislation. Last year, at the beginning of this Congress, I called for Congress to enact legislation consistent with our history as a nation of immigrants. Those who oppose a realistic solution to address the estimated millions of people currently living and working in the United States … Continue Reading


Leahy Speaks About Efforts On Behalf Of Refugees At Capitol Hill Conference

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) joined advocates on Capitol Hill Wednesday at an event sponsored by Refugees International to highlight the future of Iraqi refugees and international displaced persons in the Iraq region. Leahy has been a longtime leader in Congress in efforts to help refugees seeking safe harbor in the United States. Leahy is the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, and of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Leahy was joined at the eve… Continue Reading


Leahy Lauds Senate's Final Approval Of New Jobs Bill

[The U.S. Senate Wednesday gave final approval to a new fully paid for jobs bill -- the Hiring Incentives To Restore Employment Act -- in a bipartisan vote of 68 to 29. The bill now goes to President Obama for signing. Following are the comments of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who voted for the bill.] "This bill is another straight ahead boost to the economy that will create jobs and help put Vermonters back to work. It will help struggling small businesses in Vermont invest in new jobs an… Continue Reading

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