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Press Releases

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

07.06.09

Leahy And Business Leaders Announce Creation Of $1 M Vermont Technology Seed Capital Fund

BURLINGTON, Vt. - Members of Vermont's business community and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) gathered Monday at the new home to a start-up business to announce the creation of a $1 million seed capital fund that will offer businesses much-needed funding in this difficult economy. Leahy also welcomed two high-tech companies as new clients at the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET) - 89 North (www.89North.com), which hosted the event in Burlington, and Standards Technology Group … Continue Reading


07.02.09

The Leahy Letter - July 2, 2009

Accessible and Affordable Health CareFor All Americans One of the top issues facing Congress and the American people today is health care reform. Ensuring that no American goes without needed health care is a top priority for Senator Leahy and the Obama Administration. Senator Leahy has recorded a message to Vermonters on the importance of this challenge. You can view Senator Leahy's remarks on his YouTube channel here or read more about his thoughts on health care here. ________________… Continue Reading


07.02.09

Remarks at Vermont National Guard Groundbreaking Ethan Allen Firing Range

I am so proud to be with you today as we figuratively set the cornerstones for one of the cornerstone units of the Vermont National Guard. This $10 million facility, spanning almost 50,000 square feet, will serve as the headquarters for the 86 Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Mountain), the only a brigade in the entire Army with a mountain-fighting designation. This is the unit that has spent the last year preparing for a deployment to Afghanistan, and it only fitting that this durable brigad… Continue Reading


07.02.09

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Names Robert Paquin Of Shelburne To Head USDA’s Farm Service Agency In Vermont

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack Thursday appointed Robert Paquin of Shelburne as State Executive Director of USDA's Farm Service Agency for Vermont. Paquin is a longtime policy aide to Vermont's senior U.S. Senator, Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who recommended Paquin for the post. Leahy also is the most senior member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry and a former chair of the panel, which oversees USDA. The Farm Service Agency administers farm commodity, … Continue Reading


07.01.09

New Armored Vehicle Contract For Bennington Firm Means Hundreds Of New Regional Jobs And Safer And More Agile Armored Vehicles For U.S. Troops In Afghanistan

BENNINGTON, Vt. - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy Wednesday announced that Bennington-based Plasan North America will help build a new agile armored vehicle that will help protect troops and create more than 100 jobs throughout the Bennington area, under a contract partly funded by a Leahy-led plus-up in an appropriations bill signed into law last month. On Tuesday the U.S. Department of Defense awarded a $1.05 billion contract to a team led by Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Corporation and Plasan No… Continue Reading


06.30.09

Vermont Nonprofit Finance Organizations To Receive $6 M. In Stimulus Funds To Leverage Economic Development And Home Ownership

Sen. Patrick Leahy, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch Tuesday announced that three Vermont nonprofit organizations together will receive $6 million - a hefty share of the national funding total - to spur community development and ease consumer credit as further steps on the path to economic recovery. The funds, released through the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Program, were included in this year's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act under provisions promot… Continue Reading


06.29.09

$5 Million in Stimulus Funds for Vermont Health Centers

Eight community health centers in Vermont will receive almost $4.9 million in economic stimulus funds to address immediate and pressing facility and equipment needs. "We are finally making real progress in addressing the primary health care crisis in our country," said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who has spearheaded a dramatic expansion of health centers in Vermont and across the country. "With 60 million Americans not having regular access to a doctor, we have a major shortage of prima… Continue Reading


06.29.09

Comment OnThe Supreme Court’s Decision In Ricci v. DeStefano

The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Ricci v. DeStefano interprets the critical protections of Title VII in a way never intended by Congress when it passed this landmark law to prevent workplace discrimination more than 40 years ago. Today's narrow decision is likely to result in cutbacks on important protections for American families. It is less likely now that employers will conscientiously try to fulfill their obligations under this time-honored civil rights law. This i… Continue Reading


06.29.09

Comment On The Supreme Court’s Decision In Cuomo v. Clearinghouse

"The Supreme Court's decision in i invalidated a regulation of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the agency that oversees national banks. As part of an investigation into discriminatory lending practices by some national banks in New York, the New York Attorney General sent letters to several national banks seeking information concerning the banks' lending practices, in an effort to determine whether these practices violated state fair-lending laws. The national banks and th… Continue Reading


06.26.09

Closing In On The Finish Line: Leahy Secures $250,000 For Chandler Centennial Project

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Tuesday that Chandler Center for the Arts will receive a $250,000 federal grant through a partnership with the Preservation Trust of Vermont for the rehabilitation of the Chandler Music Hall and Gallery in Randolph. These funds, plus an anticipated fundraising effort announced this weekend, will bring Chandler's capital campaign within $50,000 of the completion of the original $3.2 million dollar campaign. Leahy, a senior member of the Senate … Continue Reading


06.26.09

Leahy Launches Drive To Extend Federal Death Payments To Nonprofit EMS Personnel

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday introduced legislation to extend the federal Public Safety Officers Benefits (PSOB) program to paramedics and emergency medical technicians killed or disabled in the line of duty who are employed by nonprofit organizations and ambulance services. U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is a cosponsor of the bill. Named the "Dale Long Emergency Medical Service Providers Protection Act" in honor of the Bennington emergency medical service provider who was … Continue Reading


06.25.09

Leahy Marks 43rd Anniversary Of Freedom Of Information Act

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday marked the upcoming 43rd anniversary of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the nation's premier open government law. Leahy is a longtime advocate of government transparency. He is the co-author of the OPEN FOIA Act, which would require Congress to clearly and explicitly state its intention to create a statutory exemption to FOIA when it provides for such an exemption in new legislation. Leahy was the 2009 recipient of the Robert Vaughn FOIA Leg… Continue Reading


06.25.09

Leahy, Bond Reintroduce National Guard Empowerment Effort

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) Thursday reintroduced legislation that would obligate the Department of Defense to pay greater attention to the mission of domestic operations in support of civilian authorities and to further empower the National Guard in defense policymaking. Leahy and Bond are co-chairs of the 96-member Senate National Guard Caucus. In addition to serving as the primary reserve to the active military when assigned abroad, the National Guard is the nation… Continue Reading


06.25.09

Holder Offers Strong Support For Hate Crimes Legislation

(Thursday, June 25, 2009) - Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder expressed the administration's strong support for the enactment of the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act, legislation that would make needed changes to the federal hate crime law. Holder returned to the Senate Judiciary Committee just one week after appearing for a Department of Justice oversight hearing. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), responding to req… Continue Reading


06.24.09

Durbin, Leahy, Feingold Introduce Legislation Making Crimes Against Humanity A Violation Of U.S. Law

Assistant Senate Majority Leader and Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law, Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), introduced the Crimes Against Humanity Act today - legislation that would make it a violation of U.S. law to commit a crime against humanity. This legislation is needed to ensure that perpetrators of the worst human rights violations do not find safe haven in our country. "The United States led the first prosecutions for crimes against humanity in th… Continue Reading


06.24.09

Comment On Senate Consideration Of Articles Of Impeachment Concerning Judge Samuel B. Kent

The Senate is moving with deliberate speed to address impeachment of Judge Kent. This is no routine matter, nor is it an action to be taken lightly. But Judge Kent is guilty of a crime, and must be held accountable. I am outraged that he continues to receive benefits and compensation as a federal judge, despite his felony conviction, admission of guilt, and prison sentence. The House unanimously voted to refer four articles of impeachment to the Senate just last week. I applaud the Senate's a… Continue Reading


06.24.09

Leahy Introduces Crime Victims Reauthorization Bill

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday introduced legislation to preserve and enhance federal assistance to crime victims under the Victims of Crime Act. The Crime Victims Fund Preservation Act will ensure that victims of crime, through victim service providers around the country, will receive essential services that they need to become survivors and move forward with their lives. The Crime Victims Fund serves roughly four million crime victims every year, including victims of domestic… Continue Reading


06.23.09

Statement On The Nomination Of Judge Sonia Sotomayor To The Supreme Court

I thank Senator Menendez and Senator Schumer for their outstanding statements to the Senate today. As I review Judge Sotomayor's record in preparation for her confirmation hearing on July 13, I am struck by her extraordinary career and how she has excelled at everything she has done. I know how proud her mother Celina is of her accomplishments. I was delighted to hear Laura Bush, the former First Lady, say recently that she, too, is "proud" that President Obama nominated a woman to ser… Continue Reading


06.22.09

Reaction To The Supreme Court’s Decision On Section 5 Of The Voting Rights Act

I am relieved that today the Supreme Court did not overturn the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act. Doing so would have been pure and simple judicial activism. A nearly unanimous Supreme Court wisely did not take such a drastic step. However I strongly disagree with the Supreme Court that Congress' reauthorization of Section 5 poses serious constitutional concerns. There is no more explicit constitutional grant of power to the Congress than in the second section of the 15th Amendment t… Continue Reading


06.18.09

Leahy Steers Vermont U.S. Attorney Nominee Through Judiciary Committee, On Track To Become One Of The First Headed For Senate Confirmation

Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Thursday won the panel's approval of the nomination of Hinesburg attorney Tristram J. Coffin to be Vermont's next U.S. Attorney. Leahy has kept Vermont's candidate on a fast legislative track. Coffin and two others are the first three U.S. Attorney nominees the panel has approved from the new administration. President Obama, who had accepted Leahy's recommendation to nominate Coffin, sent the nomination to the Senate … Continue Reading

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