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Press Releases

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

01.15.09

A Timely Bid In Support Of Equal Pay For Equal Work

In today, the United States Senate will consider an important step toward restoring a core principle in our society: that employers should provide equal pay for equal work. Three years ago the Bush administration ignored the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's long-held interpretation of discrimination laws and court rulings across the country when it advocated a position that set back the progress made toward eliminating workplace discrimination. Unfortunately, five justices of t… Continue Reading


01.15.09

Senate’s Guard Leaders Press To Reduce Facilities Backlog In Stimulus Package

(January 15, 2009) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and U.S. Senator Kit Bond (R-Mo.), the longtime co-chairs of the Senate's National Guard Caucus, are asking Senate leaders to include $1.5 billion for military construction funding for the National Guard in the emerging economic stimulus plan. They want the funds to be used for facilities construction and renovation projects within the National Guard, including creation of new National Guard armories across the country, which serve … Continue Reading


01.15.09

Vermont Rivers Bill Passes Senate

(January 15) - The Senate today approved legislation that could lead to designating the Missisquoi and Trout rivers as "Wild and Scenic." The measure was introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and cosponsored by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The legislation would direct the U.S. Department of the Interior to study the two northern Vermont rivers as the first step toward adding them to the National Wild and Scenic River… Continue Reading


01.15.09

Opening Statement At Holder Confirmation Hearing

The election of Barack Obama and Joe Biden, and the President-elect's selection of Eric H. Holder Jr. to be Attorney General of the United States, provide an historic opportunity for the country to move past the partisanship of the past decades. We can make a real difference if we will come together to solve the Nation's problems, protect against serious threats, and meet the challenges of our time. Let us honor the wishes of the American people who in November broke through debilitatin… Continue Reading


01.14.09

Major Disaster Declaration Made As A Result Of December 11th Ice Storm

See attached PDF for more information.… Continue Reading


01.14.09

Leahy Questions Nominee For Secretary Of Agriculture

(January 14, 2009) - At the confirmation hearing Wednesday for President-elect Obama's choice for Secretary of Agriculture - former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack -- Senator Patrick Leahy today homed in on two of Vermont's economic priorities that will be on the desk of the next USDA Secretary: organic farming, and federal help to expand broadband access to rural communities. Leahy is a senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and is leading efforts to include rural broadband expansi… Continue Reading


01.13.09

Updated Witness List For Holder Confirmation Hearing

An updated witness list for the confirmation hearing on the designation of Eric H. Holder Jr., to be Attorney General of the United States was released today. The hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 15, 2009, at 9:30 a.m. in the historic Senate Caucus Room, room 325 of the Russell Senate Office Building. Witness List The Honorable John W. Warner, Former United States Senator from Virginia The Honorable Eleanor Holmes Norton, Congresswoman from the District of Columbia Panel I… Continue Reading


01.13.09

Comments On The Report By The Inspector General And The Office Of Professional Responsibility On Allegations Of Politicized Hiring

IG/OPR Report From The Dept. of Justice On Improper Personel Actions "Today's report confirms some of our worst fears about the Bush administration's political corruption of the Justice Department. Not only did senior Republican appointees violate the law in hiring based on politics in the Civil Rights Division, they also lied about it when called to explain themselves to Congress. "I am particularly disturbed about the findings that a senior Justice Department appointee, Bradley Sch… Continue Reading


01.13.09

Holder Nomination Has Bipartisan Support

(Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) was joined by former Senator Republican Senator John Danforth and Former Republican Congressman Asa Hutchinson in a conference call with reporters Tuesday morning to discuss the broad, bipartisan support for Eric H. Holder, Jr.'s nomination to be Attorney General of the United States. Danforth and Hutchinson have both endorsed Holder's nomination, and have joined a growing list of former Republican offic… Continue Reading


01.12.09

Leahy Presses 3 Priorities For Smaller States And Rural Areas In Stimulus Package

(MONDAY, Jan. 12) - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is pressing for rural flexibility in the forthcoming economic stimulus package to make sure it suitably addresses the infrastructure needs of smaller states and rural communities. In a letter to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii), Leahy - one of the panel's most senior members -- urges three steps to shape the plan to help meet rural America's needs: 1) Allow the pass-through of some infrastructure f… Continue Reading


01.09.09

Congressional Delegation Nominates 19 Vermont Students To Service Academies

, January 9 - Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch today announced the names of 19 students they nominated to the U.S. service academies. Applicants to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy must be nominated by a member of Congress. Those accepted by the service academies will be notified early this year. Leahy said, "Our country's service academies provide outstanding a… Continue Reading


01.09.09

Former Republican Officials Endorse Holder’s Nomination

(Friday, Jan. 9, 2009) - Former Republican officials are expressing their strong support for the nomination of Eric Holder to be the next Attorney General of the United States. In a series of letters released Friday by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Judge Louis Freeh, a former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, former Attorney General William Barr, and others, endorse Holder's long career in public service, and urge his confirmation as the nation… Continue Reading


01.09.09

Leahy Announces Witnesses For Holder Confirmation Hearing

(Friday, Jan. 9, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday announced witnesses who will testify at the confirmation hearing on the designation of Eric H. Holder Jr., to be Attorney General of the United States. The hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 15, 2009, at 9:30 a.m. in the historic Senate Caucus Room, room 325 of the Russell Senate Office Building. Witness List The Honorable John W. Warner, Former United States Senator from Virginia The Honorable El… Continue Reading


01.09.09

Leahy Presses For Early Action On Fair Pay Bill

(Friday, Jan. 9, 2009) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is among the Senate leaders who on Thursday introduced the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, legislation to ensure equal pay for women and minorities in the workforce. The Senate is expected to consider the legislation -- cosponsored by 54 Senators in all, and one of the first bills introduced in the new session -- later this month. "Equal pay for equal work should be a given in this country," said Leahy. "Unfortunately, the rea… Continue Reading


01.08.09

Leahy Chairs Hearing On Law Enforcement Assistance

- The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday held a hearing to examine proposals to provide resources for underfunded law enforcement programs in the economic stimulus package. Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who also serves as a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has requested funding in the stimulus package for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), the Byrne grant program and other initiatives that assist state and local law enforcement agencies by providing r… Continue Reading


01.08.09

Comments On Eric Holder To Be Attorney General of The United States

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today joined leaders of national law enforcement organizations at a press conference on Capitol Hill in support of the designation of Eric Holder to be the next Attorney General of the United States. Holder's designation was announced on December 1, 2008, and hearings on the nomination are scheduled for January 15, 2009. Holder's nomination has received wide support from law enforcement organizations, civil rights groups, crime v… Continue Reading


01.08.09

Statement On S. Res. 10 and the Situation in Gaza

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, S. Res. 10, the resolution that was adopted today reaffirming U.S. support for Israel, is factually accurate. No one here doubts our commitment to Israel's security, or Israel's right to defend itself from Hamas rocket attacks. But the resolution, unfortunately, presents an incomplete response to the situation in Gaza. With so much at stake for the United States, for Israel and for the world, we owe the American people and all concerned a clear-eyed, forthr… Continue Reading


01.07.09

Leahy Introduces Bill to Provide Rural Law Enforcement Assistance

(Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009) - On the first day of the new Congressional session, Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy introduced legislation designed to help rural communities in Vermont and across the country address crime problems in our neighborhoods and on our streets. The Rural Law Enforcement Assistance Act, which Leahy introduced Tuesday, aims to help local law enforcement agencies address crime problems that are expected to grow worse with the mounting economic downturn. The Leahy-authored bill … Continue Reading


01.07.09

Comment On Eric Holder

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment at a press conference held by Committee members Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) Wednesday on the nomination of Eric Holder to be the next Attorney General. Cardin and Whitehouse were joined by representatives from the civil rights community, which has urged swift confirmation of the nomination.] "We need the new Attorney General to be a person of experience and independence. Eric Ho… Continue Reading


01.07.09

Comment On The Passing of Peter Freyne

Marcelle and I have lost a good friend, and Vermont has lost its own version of the legendary Mike Royko. Though Peter was born in the age of manual typewriters, in recent years he took to blogs like a 20-year-old. Flatlander reporters sought him out first when they wanted to understand our state. He brought insight to some of the biggest stories of our time here in Vermont - the civil unions debate, the Dean campaign, the Jeffords switch and the war in Iraq. He was courageous in his fight wit… Continue Reading

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