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Press Releases

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

02.05.09

Leahy Says Vermont Mother's Ordeal In Peanut-Salmonella Case Shows Need For ‘Jail Time’ In Protecting Public From Tainted Food

A South Burlington woman, invited by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Thursday told the Senate Agriculture Committee about the hurdles she faced getting the facts about the salmonella poisoning that threatened her son's life. Gabrielle Meunier's 7-year-old-son Christopher fell ill last fall in a case connected to the peanut-salmonella outbreak associated with products from the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA). After Leahy called for an investigation into possible crimina… Continue Reading


02.05.09

Leahy, Grassley Introduce Anti-Fraud Legislation

(Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) introduced legislation Thursday to provide the federal government with more tools to investigate and prosecute financial fraud. The Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act makes necessary changes to federal criminal laws, including criminal fraud, securities law, and money laundering laws, increases the funding available to the federal law enforcement agencies to combat mortgage fraud an… Continue Reading


02.05.09

Judiciary Committee Considers Deputy Attorney General Nominee

(Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) chaired a hearing Thursday morning to consider the nomination of David W. Ogden to be the Deputy Attorney General, the number two position in the Department of Justice. President Obama announced Ogden's designation on January 5. He is a partner at WilmerHale in Washington, D.C. On Monday, the Senate confirmed Eric Holder to be the Attorney General of the United States. For more information … Continue Reading


02.04.09

Leahy, Hatch Introduce Bipartisan Performance Rights Legislation

(Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2009) - Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced bipartisan legislation Wednesday to give fair compensation to musical artists while protecting songwriters. The Performance Rights Act would end an exemption benefiting traditional, over-the-air broadcasters, which are not required to pay recording artists for use of their work, as webcasters, satellite radio providers and cable companies do. Under current law, conventional radio stations are n… Continue Reading


02.03.09

Statement On The Situation In Sri Lanka

Mr. LEAHY. The ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka that has waxed and waned for decades costing the lives of tens of thousands of people, has exploded into a full scale war and it is civilians who are bearing the brunt of the carnage. The origins of the conflict arise from decades of the Sinhalese majority's systematic discrimination against the Tamil minority, and its denial of the Tamils' meaningful participation in the political process. The Sri Lankan army is almost exclusively Sinhales… Continue Reading


02.03.09

Leahy Notices Confirmation Hearing For Associate Attorney General, Solicitor General Nominees

(Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Tuesday noticed a hearing to consider the nominations Thomas Perrelli to be the Associate Attorney General, the number three position at the Department of Justice, and Elena Kagan to be the Solicitor General of the United States. Perrelli and Kagan will appear before the Committee on February 10, at 10:00 a.m. The Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing Thursday on the nomination of David W. Ogden to b… Continue Reading


02.03.09

Comment On President Obama’s Nomination Of Senator Judd Gregg To Be Secretary Of Commerce

"Judd Gregg will be a credit to the new administration just as he has been a credit to the Senate. I will miss serving with my friend but I admire his commitment to our country. "He is a senator of extraordinary intellect and discipline who is able to rise above partisanship. Together he and I have led the Senate Appropriations panel that oversees one of the largest and farthest-reaching federal agencies, the State Department, and the close relationship we have forged has yielded practi… Continue Reading


02.03.09

Protect Health Privacy Provisions In Recovery Package

(Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2009) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday urged Congress to support critical health information privacy protections included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which the Senate is considering this week. The legislation includes funding for investments and incentives in health information technology. The increased use of technology and the Internet can help reduce health care costs and increase Americans' accessibility to health care services. Leahy has… Continue Reading


02.02.09

Holder Confirmed In Overwhelming Senate Vote

(Monday, Feb. 2, 2009) - The United States Senate Monday night overwhelmingly voted 75-21 to confirm Eric H. Holder Jr. to be the 82nd Attorney General of the United States. Attorney General Holder's designation was first announced more than two months ago, on Dec. 1, 2008. Last month, the Senate Judiciary Committee held two days of hearings to consider the nomination. Holder responded to hundreds of questions submitted for the record before the Committee voted to report the nomination … Continue Reading


02.02.09

Leahy Opens Debate On Holder Nomination; Senate To Vote Tonight

Sen. Leahy Opens Debate On Eric Holder's Nomination WASHINGTON (Monday, Feb. 2, 2009) - The Senate is expected to vote later tonight on the nomination of Eric H. Holder Jr. to be Attorney General of the United States. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), opened the Senate's debate on the nomination this afternoon. Holder's nomination was reported by the Judiciary Committee in a 17-2 vote on Jan. 28. A vote is expected around 6:15 p.m. Statement Of Senator Pat… Continue Reading


01.31.09

Comment On HHS Nominee Tom Daschle

"Tom Daschle has dedicated his life to public service. I have every confidence that he will be a great Secretary of Health and Human Services. I look forward to working with him to finally deliver real health care reform for the American people." # # # # #… Continue Reading


01.30.09

Reaction To The Announcement That The Department Of Justice Will Investigate Possible Criminal Violations By Peanut Corporation Of America

Earlier today, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) sent a letter to Acting Attorney General Mark Filip urging the Justice Department to launch a criminal investigation into the actions of the Peanut Corporation of America. A report from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revealed that the PCA knowingly provided tainted peanut products to food producers. The tainted products have led to an outbreak of salmonella poisoning. Four cases in Vermont have been linked to the outbreak, and more t… Continue Reading


01.30.09

Vermont Stands To Gain $492.3 Million In Grants Under Senate’s Economic Recovery Bill

(Friday, Jan. 30) - New official estimates released late Friday by the Senate Appropriations Committee show that Vermont would garner a two-year minimum of $492.3 million in formula grants under the Senate's version of the economic recovery and reinvestment package that will reach the Senate Floor next week, according to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the panel's third most-senior member. The new Senate Appropriations Committee analysis does not include hundreds of millions more to Vermonter… Continue Reading


01.30.09

Leahy Calls For Criminal Investigation Into Peanut-Salmonella Outbreak

(Friday, Jan. 30) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is calling for a criminal investigation of Peanut Corporation of America (PCA), which, according to a report by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), knowingly sold peanut products containing salmonella. The salmonella outbreak has resulted in one of the largest food recalls in history and has been linked to the deaths of eight people, and more than 500 people have fallen ill. The outbreak has affected people in 43 states. In Vermont,… Continue Reading


01.30.09

The Leahy Letter - January 30, 2009

Reinvestment Plan Will Help America And Vermont On Tuesday January 27, 2009, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan to provide assistance to hardworking Americans struggling during the widening economic crisis. As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Leahy has been working to incorporate priorities important to Vermont, including expanded broadband access, an increase in nutrition programs, and much needed improvements … Continue Reading


01.29.09

Statement On S. 275, The Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act Of 2009

Sen. Leahy Comments On The Importance Of CHIP Mr. President, I wish to express my strong support for the reauthorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program. At a time when our country is moving in a new direction, it is fitting that we are considering this important measure among the first bills considered this Congress. I believe the extension of CHIP will stand out as one of the great accomplishments of this body. By passing this legislation, we would state clearly that t… Continue Reading


01.29.09

Leahy Notices Confirmation Hearing For Deputy AG Nominee

(Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Thursday noticed a hearing to consider the nomination of David W. Ogden to be Deputy Attorney General of the United States. Ogden is a former Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Civil Division, and a former counsellor and chief of staff to the Attorney General. Ogden will testify before the panel on February 5. President Obama announced Ogden's designation to fill the number two… Continue Reading


01.28.09

Statement On The Shurrab Family

MR. LEAHY. Mr. President, we have all seen the photographs of houses, schools and other civilian infrastructure destroyed in Gaza, and the reports of civilian deaths, including over 400 children, and many thousands more injured. Behind each of these statistics is a story of a family tragedy. I want to take this opportunity to talk about one that has touched the lives of Vermonters, and which should cause each of us deep concern. Amer Shurrab is arecent graduate ofMiddlebury College, wh… Continue Reading


01.28.09

Statement On Martinez Amendment On Mexico City Policy

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I have listened to the debate on the amendment offered by Senator Martinez to reverse President Obama's decision to overturn the Mexico City policy. I have been struck by the statements of proponents of the amendment that the President's action means federal funds will now be used for abortions overseas. That is nothing more than a scare tactic and a flagrant misrepresentation of fact. As those who make such statements know well, U.S. law has banned the use of… Continue Reading


01.28.09

Comment Commemorating

"Today, privacy advocates, industry leaders and government officials from across the nation and around the world celebrate Data Privacy Day - a day to raise awareness about data privacy practices and rights. As the nation answers President Obama's call for an immediate investment in health information technology, Data Privacy Day is an important opportunity to remind all of us about the important work that the Congress must complete to protect Americans' health privacy rights." "Yesterd… Continue Reading

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