Press Room

Press Releases

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


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


Leahy Launches Bill To Multiply Farm To School Links

- Despite the usual abundance of nearby farms, local farm products are largely missing from most schools' lunch trays. An emerging "farm to school" movement aims to fix that by matching local farms with local schools, cutting out the middleman, and scaling up students' nutrition. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has been joined by Senator Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) and 12 other senators in introducing legislation to expand farm to school links to boost the use of local farm products in the federally s… Continue Reading


Senator Leahy's Pictures from Ringside

Photographers who cover politics in Washington are a competitive lot. They don't like it when someone else gets a better position or exclusive access. Resentments can stew. Tempers can flare. But there is one photographer who always gets the different point of view and behind-the-scenes access, yet is never resented by the rest. This photographer, Patrick J. Leahy, has been a fixture around town for 35 years; and not always behind the camera. Between photographs, he is Vermont's senior senator … Continue Reading


Westford Elementary School

On Tuesday March 16, 2010, Senator Leahy held an online chat with 7th and 8th grade students from Westford Elementary School in Westford. Students spent 30 minutes using Skype to chat with the Senator and ask questions about such topics as health care reform, the war in Afghanistan, bipartisanship in Congress and global warming. This was the second chat that Senator Leahy has conducted with the Westford Elementary School.… Continue Reading


Leahy Echoes Call For Up-Or-Down Votes On Nominations

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday repeated his recent calls to end the obstruction that has prevented confirmation votes on many of the more than 80 executive and judicial nominations awaiting final action in the Senate, including 26 nominations reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee. "There have already been 17 filibusters of President Obama's nominees," said Leahy. "That is the same number of Federal circuit and district nominees the Senate has confirmed d… Continue Reading


Leahy Introduces Landmark Refugee Protection Act

(Monday, March 15, 2010) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday introduced legislation to strengthen the country's commitment to protecting refugees fleeing persecution or torture. The Refugee Protection Action of 2010 will help to improve protections for refugees and asylum seekers with bona fide claims. The legislation is cosponsored by Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.). The introduction of the Refugee Protection Act also commemorates the 30th anniversary of the historic Refugee Act of 1980, whi… Continue Reading


Leahy, Cornyn Commemorate Sunshine Week With Faster FOIA Act Introduction

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today will introduce bipartisan legislation to make further improvements to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the nation's premier open government law. Leahy is a longtime leader on FOIA issues, and has led efforts to make the federal government more open and transparent to the people it represents. This week marks the sixth annual Sunshine Week, a national observance of the importance of an open and transparent government. Leahy partnered with Senator John … Continue Reading


Leahy To Chair Barre Hearing Of Senate Judiciary Committee

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) will chair a field hearing of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, March 22, in Barre, Vermont. The hearing will examine the effective efforts of Barre and surrounding communities in fighting drug-related crime. Leahy has invited the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, R. Gil Kerlikowske - the nation's "drug czar" - to testify at the hearing. Kerlikowske is the former police chief in Seattle, and has almost 40 years of law enforcement e… Continue Reading


Congress Marks Long Trail’s 100th Birthday With Commemorative Resolutions, Not Candles

What birthday present do you give to a trail that has everything - drop-dead scenery, border-to-border expanse, and a rich 100-year history? The U.S. House and U.S. Senate Thursday commemorated the Long Trail's centenary with the introduction of resolutions recounting the trail's heritage and significance. Rep. Peter Welch (D) introduced the House resolution, and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) introduced the Senate one. The commemoration comes on the 100th anniversary of t… Continue Reading

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