Press Room

Press Releases

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

05.26.09

Comments On The President’s Nomination Of Sonia Sotomayor To The U.S. Supreme Court

While I was visiting with our troops in Afghanistan today, President Obama called to inform me that he will nominate Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be the next Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Sotomayor has a long and distinguished career on the federal bench. She has been nominated by both Democratic and Republican presidents, and she was twice confirmed by the Senate with strong, bipartisan support. Her record is exemplary. Judge Sotomayor's nomination is an historic… Continue Reading


05.22.09

Senators Leahy, Bond Secure $500 Million To Address National Guard, Reserve Equipment Shortfalls

U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Kit Bond (R-Mo.), co-chairs of the Senate National Guard Caucus, announced that they have secured an additional $500 million to help the National Guard and Reserves address critical equipment shortfalls, in a budget bill passed by the Senate Thursday night. "Despite our best efforts to increase funding for the Guard and Reserves, they continue to face equipment shortfalls," Bond said. "The funding announced today will certainly help, but the fight t… Continue Reading


05.22.09

Canaan To Be New Home Of Border Patrol Station

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and U.S. Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) announced Friday that the Department of Homeland Security has chosen Canaan, Vermont, as the new home to a U.S. Border Patrol Station that will eventually accommodate 50 agents. The decision marks an end to a nearly two-year selection process that had narrowed the new site to either Canaan, Vermont, or Colebrook, New Hampshire. The new station would allow the Border Patrol… Continue Reading


05.22.09

Vermont And New Hampshire Senators Introduce Bill To Advance Conservation Along The Upper Connecticut River

The U.S. Senators from Vermont and New Hampshire have introduced the Upper Connecticut River Partnership Act of 2009, legislation that would help conserve the largest ecosystem in New England. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) was joined by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) in introducing the bipartisan legislation late Thursday. The bill would authorize the U.S. Secretary of the Interior to give technical and financial help fo… Continue Reading


05.22.09

Vermont Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Awarded $440,000 Grant

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Friday that Vermont will receive nearly $440,000 in federal grant funding to combat child exploitation through the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force Program. Leahy worked to include funding for the ICAC program in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was signed into law earlier this year. Vermont's ICAC task force is based in the Burlington Police Department. The ICAC task forces across the country work collaboratively as a… Continue Reading


05.21.09

Statement On Closing the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility

Comments On The President's Plan For Guantanamo President Obama said in his campaign and he has repeated since the first days of his presidency that we must keep our Nation safe and secure, but we must do it in ways consistent with our values. Now that is a sentiment I share, and one that I voiced in hearings and statements for years as well. And to President Obama's credit and to the benefit of the Nation, he has worked since his first day in office to turn these words into action a… Continue Reading


05.21.09

Comment On President Obama’s Remarks On State Secrets

As President Obama pointed out today in his speech at the National Archives, "[w]e must not protect information merely because it reveals the violation of a law or embarrasses the government." The President today raised his own concerns that the state secrets privilege has been "over-used." He promised to embrace reform and to apply "a stricter legal test" to material before the government asserts the privilege and to report to Congress. I am encouraged by this new President's willingnes… Continue Reading


05.21.09

Leahy, Sessions Announce Updated Subcommittee Rosters

(Thursday, May 21, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) Thursday announced new membership lists for the Committee's subcommittees. Leahy and Sessions also announced the return of the Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law, which was first established during the 110th Congress. The full Committee approved the Subcommittee memberships during an executive business meeting Thursday. The seven Judiciary Committee Subco… Continue Reading


05.21.09

Leahy Introduces Bill To Improve Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday introduced legislation to improve the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA). The Leahy-authored legislation would make necessary improvements to the Act, which permits active and qualified retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed firearms in most situations. The Act was signed into law in 2004. The legislation introduced Thursday would make the LEOSA certification process more flexible for active and qua… Continue Reading


05.21.09

Statement On The Need For Health Care Reform Legislation

Very few people in America today would argue that our health care system is not in need of reform. It is a travesty that in the richest, most powerful country in the world, there are more than forty-seven million people without health insurance. That is an absolutely shocking number. It represents roughly one in six people who are going without regular trips to the doctor, forgoing needed medications and resorting to emergency rooms for care because they have nowhere else to turn. These are … Continue Reading


05.20.09

Statement At Hearing On Fiscal Year 2010 State Department Budget Request

Welcome Madam Secretary. We know how busy you are and appreciate you being here. We also have amendments to the FY 2009 supplemental appropriations bill on the Senate floor today, so I am not going to talk long. We will hear your testimony and place your written statement in the record, to leave plenty of time for questions. I do want to say how pleased and proud we are that you are representing the United States as Secretary of State. It is reassuring to have someone with your stature, int… Continue Reading


05.20.09

Comment On Creation Of The Health Care Fraud Prevention And Enforcement Action Team (HEAT)

"Attorney General Holder and Secretary Sebelius are committed to making health care fraud enforcement a priority. By expanding the joint-agency health care task forces to Detroit and Houston and establishing the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team, they have pledged to make greater efforts to use technology and data sharing to stop fraud before it starts. "Just as the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act, which the President will sign into law today, will help combat fraud, … Continue Reading


05.20.09

Leahy Attends White House Signing Ceremony For Anti-Fraud Legislation

(Wednesday, May 20, 2009) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday attended a White House ceremony where President Obama signed into law Leahy-authored legislation to combat the growing wave of fraud. Leahy introduced the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act in February, and worked to move the legislation through Judiciary Committee and Senate consideration. Leahy is the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act will strengthen tools and increase resour… Continue Reading


05.19.09

Clean Water Economic Stimulus Funding Released

, May 19 - The Vermont congressional delegation today announced more than $19 million in federal aid for water projects. The funds, from the economic recovery act, support improvements to municipal wastewater systems in communities around the state. Forty-one projects around the state will receive at least partial funding out of the $19,239,100 in economic stimulus funds. These funds will go toward low- and negative-interest loans to pay for clean water projects in Vermont. More than … Continue Reading


05.19.09

Leahy-Authored Anti-Fraud Legislation Clears Final Hurdle, Headed To President’s Desk For Signature

(Tuesday, May 19, 2009) - Legislation authored by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy (D) to strengthen tools and increase resources available to federal prosecutors to combat fraud cleared a final hurdle in Congress Monday when the House of Representatives approved the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act. On May 14, the Senate unanimously passed the amended bipartisan legislation. The bill will now head to the President's desk to be signed into law. The Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act (FERA) wil… Continue Reading


05.19.09

Comment On Senate Passage Of The Credit Card Reform Bill

[The Senate today (Tuesday) passed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act, by a vote of 90 to 5, with Senator Leahy and Senator Sanders voting for the bill. The reforms - long supported by Leahy, who cosponsored an earlier version of the bill -- would prohibit interest charges on credit card debt that is paid on time; requires a 45-day notice of any fee or interest rate changes; prohibits interest charges on credit card transaction fees such as late fees; prohib… Continue Reading


05.19.09

Statement on Credit Card Reform Bill

Mr. President, it is a mark of the difference between the Senate's agenda last year and the new Senate's agenda this year that we finally are able to debate and move toward a vote on the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act, which I strongly support. I thank and commend both Senator Dodd and Senator Shelby for their hard work on this important legislation. The Banking Committee has faced a number of extraordinary challenges this year - stabilizing our financial institu… Continue Reading


05.18.09

Senator Leahy, U.S. Forest Chief Announce Forest Legacy Funding

RICHMOND (Monday, May 18) - U.S. Forest Service Chief Abigail Kimbell joined Senator Patrick Leahy Monday to announce $50 million in grants to protect 24 working forests in 21 states, including Vermont, through the Forest Service's Forest Legacy Program. Chief Kimbell also announced the details of the President's Fiscal Year 2010 proposal to fund 47 Forest Legacy projects at $91 million. Kimbell, a graduate of the University of Vermont who graduated from high school in St. Albans, hailed V… Continue Reading


05.15.09

President To Nominate Tristram Coffin To Be U.S. Attorney For Vermont

President Obama has accepted the recommendation of Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and announced Friday that he will nominate Hinesburg attorney Tristram J. Coffin to be Vermont's next U.S. Attorney. Coffin will be one of the first six U.S. Attorneys to be nominated by the new President. Leahy said, "Tris Coffin's experience as a prosecutor and in the courtroom makes him a good match for this difficult job. His work on drug-crime issues in particular will help him hit the ground running in dealing… Continue Reading


05.15.09

Leahy Backs Legislation To Relieve Labor Crunch For Dairy Farmers

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) joined more than dozen U.S. Senators Thursday to introduce legislation to provide relief to the nation's ongoing agriculture labor shortage. The Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits and Security Act (AgJOBS) will help Vermont dairy farmers and other farmers by reforming the H-2A seasonal worker program. The bill will provide farmers with legal foreign workers, and offer a path to lawful immigration status for hardworking, law-abiding immigrants already employe… Continue Reading

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