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Press Releases

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


Comment On The Passing Of Dr. Dorothy I. Height

"Marcelle and I join Americans across the nation in mourning the passing of an American heroine and true champion of civil rights and women's rights, Dr. Dorothy Irene Height. As President of the National Council of Negro Women, Dr. Height led the fight for civil rights and equality for women from the homes of hardworking Americans straight to the halls of Congress. During tumultuous times in our nation's history, she was a leading voice and tireless advocate for school desegregation, voting r… Continue Reading


Statement On FY 2011 Budget Request for Operations and Programs of the U.S. Agency for International Development

Dr. Shah, welcome to this subcommittee. We are here to discuss your budget request for fiscal year 2011. I - and I believe I speak for others here - sincerely appreciate that a person of your intellect and enthusiasm has taken on this job. That said, I do not envy you. USAID is an agency in urgent need of reform and it is a formidable task. I think every member of this subcommittee supports USAID's mission in one way or another, but many of us have become increasingly concerned with its per… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing On Oversight Of Civil Rights Division

(Tuesday, April 20, 2010) - The Senate Judiciary Committee is this morning holding a hearing on oversight of the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice. The hearing is chaired by Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.). Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez, the head of the Civil Rights Division, testified. Member statements, testimony, and a live webcast are available online. The prepared statement of Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) follows. Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt… Continue Reading


Statement On The Presidential Memorandum On Respecting The Rights Of Hospital Patients

Last week, the country took another important step toward a more just and perfect union when President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum on Respecting the Rights of Hospital Patients to Receive Visitors and to Designate Surrogate Decision Makers for Medical Emergencies. I applaud the President for this effort to ensure that every person enjoys the same right to have their loved ones with them in hospitals and to designate surrogate decision makers when they are hospitalized, often in their… Continue Reading


Senate Finally Set To Consider Several Long-Stalled Nominations

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday urged prompt confirmation of nominations pending before the full Senate, including 25 judicial nominations and 15 executive nominations favorably reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Senate this week is expected to consider five nominations that have been stalled on the Senate's executive calendar for several months, including three nominations considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee. "In a dramatic departure fro… Continue Reading


Comment On Administration Support For The Juvenile Justice And Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act

The Justice Department on April 15 sent a letter to Senator Patrick Leahy in support of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act. Leahy introduced the legislation in March 2009, and the Judiciary Committee favorably reported the bill in December. "The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act is intended to keep children safe and out of trouble, and also to ensure that they have the opportunity to become productive adult members of society. In working hard o… Continue Reading


What Matters Most In A Nominee?

One of the most frequently asked questions after the announcement of a Supreme Court vacancy is about the attributes that should matter most to the president in choosing a nominee. With the coming retirement of Justice John Paul Stevens, it's difficult to think of any better model than Justice Stevens himself - a superb and influential jurist, a man of great decency, and the last justice from the "Greatest Generation" that carried the nation through the Second World War. The choice… Continue Reading


April 16, 2010 - Postcards From Home

Send Your Postcards From Home To Our TroopsSenator Leahy Announces Vermont National Guard YouTube Project Postcards From Home - Instructional Video This week Senator Leahy launched Postcards From Home, a YouTube video project dedicated to Vermont National Guard troops and Vermonters in the armed services who are currently serving in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other locations across the globe. Senator Leahy and his wife Marcelle created their own message, as did Major Ge… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing For Ninth Circuit, District Court Nominees

The Senate Judiciary Committee Friday held a hearing to consider the nominations of Professor Goodwin Liu to be a judge for the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; Magistrate Judge Kimberly Mueller to be a judge for the Eastern District of California; Richard Gergel to be a judge for the District of South Carolina; J. Michelle Childs to be a district judge for the District of South Carolina; and Catherine C. Eagles to be a district judge for the Middle District of North Carolina… Continue Reading


Liu Hearing To Proceed Friday As Scheduled

In a letter sent Thursday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) responded to a request from Committee Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) to postpone for a third time a Committee hearing to consider the nomination of Professor Goodwin Liu to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Leahy restated that the Committee hearing, scheduled for Friday, April 16 at 10:00 a.m., will proceed as scheduled. Leahy first delayed scheduling Liu's confirmation hearing at the request of Comm… Continue Reading


Judiciary Committee Advances Leahy, Grassley Drug Free Communities Bill

The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday voted to advance legislation sponsored by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to authorize additional Drug Free Communities (DFC) grants that will assist community coalitions in lowering substance abuse rates in neighborhoods across the country. Leahy chairs the panel, and Grassley is a senior member of the Committee. Leahy and Grassley introduced the Drug Free Communities Enhancement Act in February. The bill will allow current a… Continue Reading


Leahy Launches Vermont National Guard YouTube Project: Postcards From Home

. . . General Dubie Submits First Video WASHINGTON -- Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday unveiled a new initiative to connect Vermonters with members of the Vermont National Guard currently serving in Afghanistan and Vermonters in the other military services stationed across the globe. The Vermont National Guard YouTube Project: Postcards From Home, allows Vermonters to post their own YouTube videos thanking the Vermont troops for their service, wherever they may be stationed. There are curre… Continue Reading


Senate Panel Advances Leahy, Cornyn Faster FOIA Legislation

A panel chaired by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday voted to advance legislation authored by Leahy to make further improvements to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the nation's premier open government law. Leahy introduced the Faster FOIA Act last month, during the sixth annual Sunshine Week, a national observance of the importance of an open and transparent government. Leahy teamed with Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas to introduce the legislation. Leahy and Cornyn are lon… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces Lake Champlain Funding

Vermont's senior senator announced Wednesday more than $700,000 in federal funding to fight invasive species on Lake Champlain. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., made the announcement at a daylong workshop hosted by the Lake Champlain Cooperative Wildlife Technical Committee. The workshop, "Cormorant Predation on Fisheries in Lake Champlain," featured a number of speakers and presenters on the effects of the bird on fish populations. The funding comes from the 2010 appropriations bi… Continue Reading


Leahy, Lugar Call for Haitian-American Enterprise Fund

(WEDNESDAY, April 14) -- U.S. Sens. Dick Richard Lugar (R-Indiana) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) have introduced legislation to establish a "Haitian-American Enterprise Fund" to focus on strengthening the private sector in post-earthquake Haiti. The legislation will help to empower the private sector to create jobs and sustainable revenue streams that will ensure Haiti's progress long after foreign assistance diminishes. The Fund is modeled after successful post-Cold War funds established 20 years … Continue Reading


Leahy Enlists Bipartisan Support In Urging Further Steps To Ease Continuing Dairy Crisis

Senators from two leading dairy states - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.) - are heading a new effort to urge USDA actions to ease the dairy price crisis that continues to squeeze the nation's dairy farmers. Leahy, with Kohl, is leading the bipartisan effort in which 22 senators from across the country and from every region signed a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, urging him to use all existing programs and resources to help struggling dairy producers and to b… Continue Reading


Leahy Secures Funds for Lake Champlain To Counter Nuisance and Invasive Species

BURLINGTON, Vt. - Senator Patrick Leahy has secured new funds to counter invasive and nuisance plant and animal species that have made inroads in Lake Champlain's ecosystem. The invasive and nuisance species include cormorants and sea lamprey, as well as water chestnut and other aquatic plants. "Some of the same factors that make the lake so useful and so popular can also threaten it," Leahy said. "Protecting the lake requires steady and persistent cleanup, management and research efforts lik… Continue Reading


Justice For All

Sen. Patrick Leahy will be center stage this summer as the Senate Judiciary Committee considers the confirmation of the Supreme Court nominee appointed to take the place of retiring Justice John Paul Stevens. "This should not be a Democratic or Republican issue," Leahy said on Friday. No doubt, he remembers when the Senate confirmed Stevens to the court in 1975 with a vote of 98 to 0. But a lot has happened since 1975, and with the nation these days split into two seemingly irreconcilab… Continue Reading


Statement At Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing On Oversight Of The Department Of Justice

Attorney General Holder appears before the Committee today for the fifth time in this Congress. I want to thank him for his continued responsiveness to oversight requests from the Committee; it has been a marked improvement from the previous administration. I also congratulate the Attorney General on his successful trip last week to Spain, an ally that has also suffered devastating terrorist attacks, where he finalized an extensive security agreement of cooperation against terrorists and organ… Continue Reading


Hiawatha Elementary School

On April 13, 2010 Senator Leahy held an online chat with the 3rd grade students of Miss Kolter from Hiawatha Elementary School. Using Skype to communicate with students, their teachers and principal, Senator Leahy spoke about what it was like to work as a Senator, his childhood, helping the earthquake victims in Haiti and ways to protect Lake Champlain. Students asked questions about a variety of topics and answered some of Senator Leahy's questions about themselves. Listed below is a sample o… Continue Reading

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