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


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


Committee Advances Bill To Address Crack/Powder Sentencing Disparity

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday unanimously voted to advance 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. Current law sets out a ratio of 100:1 in terms of the amount of powder cocaine and the amount of crack cocaine that result in the same sentence. The Fair Sentencing Act… Continue Reading


Statement On “The Shameful Smear Against Attorneys In The Justice Department”

It saddens and concerns me that another line has been crossed, moving us further toward partisan excess and incivility. I refer to the calculated, political campaign-style attacks on the loyalty and patriotism of honorable Department of Justice attorneys over the past few weeks. Self-restraint is a crucial but often neglected value in our democracy. Just because a political attack that can put "points" on the board is possible, does not make it right. Misleading appeals to fear, like this o… Continue Reading


Senate Passes Leahy-Authored Extension Of Satellite TV Licenses

The Senate Wednesday afternoon passed legislation to modernize satellite television services and to reauthorize the expiring statutory licenses that permit satellite providers to retransmit broadcast stations to consumers. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) worked with others in the Senate and House to negotiate the package. "Ensuring that Americans have access to broadcast television content is important, and it is particularly relevant for consumers in rural areas who might not otherwise be able … Continue Reading


Attorney General Holder To Appear Before Senate Judiciary Committee

(Wednesday, March 10, 2010) - Attorney General Eric Holder will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, March 23, 2010, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced today. The hearing will be the third Justice Department oversight hearing of the 111th Congress. The Attorney General last appeared before the Committee on November 18. The Senate Judiciary Committee holds periodic oversight hearings of the Department of Justice. The hearing will be held on Tuesday, March 23, 2010, … Continue Reading


Leahy Chairs Hearing On Impact Of Citizens United Decision

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday chaired a hearing focusing on the Supreme Court's narrow decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Member statements and witness testimony, as well as a live webcast, are available online. Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, Hearing On "We The People? Corporate Spending In American Elections After Citizens United" March 10, 2010 Today's hearing is another in a s… Continue Reading


Mystery Bat Illness Keeps Spreading

- A rapidly spreading bat pandemic continues unchecked and could be on the verge of sweeping across the country, Senator Patrick Leahy warned Tuesday. He noted that the mystery disease - White Nose Syndrome - last month was found for the first time in Tennessee. In a Senate hearing with Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar, Leahy said the bat disease - which has already killed more than a million hibernating bats across the Northeast - could threaten the extinction of several bat species. … Continue Reading


Leahy Urges President To Make Privacy Board Nominations

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) yesterday sent a letter to the White House, urging President Obama to make nominations to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. Leahy first wrote to the President about reconstituting the Board in April 2009. The Board, which was established by Congress at the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission, is charged with ensuring that privacy and civil liberties concerns are considered in the development of national security and cou… Continue Reading


Stafford Technical Center

On March 9, 2010 Senator Leahy conducted his first online chat with 11th and 12th grade students of the Stafford Technical Center. Students from nine of the seventeen programs of study offered at Stafford Technical Center spent 30 minutes asking the Senator questions about stimulating the economy in Vermont, the role of technical education and lowering the cost of college. Students also asked the Senator about his favorite band The Grateful Dead and about how they could make a difference in the … Continue Reading


Leahy Unveils State of the Art Simulation Program At Fletcher Allen Health Care

BURLINGTON, Vt. - On Monday Senator Leahy met with leadership of Fletcher Allen Health Care, the University of Vermont and the Vermont National Guard to view a demonstration of new equipment at the hospital's Simulator Training Program. At the event Leahy announced more than $1.7 million in funding he has secured in the federal budget for the project, which provides training to hospital nurses and doctors, university medical students and guard personnel on state of the art simulation equipment.… Continue Reading


Leahy Congratulates Goodrich Employees On Delivery Of Two-Thousandth Unit Of Life-Saving, Money-Saving Helicopter Technology

VERGENNES, Vt. - Sen. Patrick Leahy joined approximately 300 Goodrich employees in Vergennes Monday to celebrate the shipment of the company's two-thousandth helicopter diagnostic system to the Department of Defense. Leahy, who for the past ten years has helped the company win more than $100 million in contracts to develop and deploy the systems, said the company's diagnostic tools have been at the heart of the Addison County economy since 2000. Goodrich's Health and Usage Monitoring Systems (… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sessions, Hatch, Schumer, Kyl, Kaufman Unveil Details Of Patent Reform Agreement

Leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday announced details of an agreement on long-pending legislation to make needed reforms to the nation's patent system. This is the third consecutive Congress in which Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the chairman of the panel, and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), a former committee chair, have introduced patent reform legislation. A bipartisan majority of the Committee advanced the legislation last April. In the months since, Leahy, Hatch, and Senato… Continue Reading


Panel Advances Leahy-Authored Bill To Improve Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act,

The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday advanced legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to improve the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA). The legislation would make necessary improvements to the Act, which permits active and qualified retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed firearms across state lines. Leahy was a lead author of the Act, which was signed into law in 2004. Leahy, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, introduced the Law Enforcement Officers Sa… Continue Reading


Judiciary Panel Advances OLC Nominee, Five Judicial Nominees To Full Senate

The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday voted to advance the long-stalled nomination of Dawn Johnsen to lead the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice, as well as five nominees to fill judicial vacancies across the country. Johnsen's nomination was first reported by the Judiciary Committee in March 2009, but objections on the Senate floor prevented a debate and up-or-down vote on the nomination. In December, Senate Republicans forced the nomination to be returned to the Presiden… Continue Reading


Leahy, Senators Urge Leader To Schedule Vote On Health Insurance Antitrust Repeal

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and 21 Senators sent a letter on Wednesday to Senate Majority Harry Reid, pressing him to schedule a Senate vote on the Health Insurance Industry Fair Competition Act. If enacted, the legislation would repeal the federal antitrust exemption for health insurers. The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the legislation last week by a vote of 406-19. Last week, the administration released a statement in support of the legislation. "We write to urge you to… Continue Reading


Senate Confirms Vermont’s Julie Brill To Federal Trade Commission

The U.S. Senate Wednesday night confirmed former Vermont Assistant Attorney General Julie Brill for a vacancy on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Brill served for more than 20 years as Vermont's Assistant Attorney General for Consumer Protection and Antitrust, from 1988 to 2009. Since February 2009 she had been the Senior Deputy Attorney General and Chief of Consumer Protection and Antitrust for the North Carolina Department of Justice. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced Brill at her C… Continue Reading

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