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


Burlington International Airport Awarded $2.4 Million In Recovery Funds, Vermont Delegation Announces

The U.S. Department of Transportation today awarded $2,424,030 in recovery funding to Burlington International Airport for taxiway rehabilitation and extension, Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) announced. The funding will be used to rehabilitate and repave the intersection of two taxiways and to extend a third taxiway. The projects are part of the airport's multi-phase South End Development program, which will enhance cargo, aircraft maintenanc… Continue Reading


Leahy Unveils Online Health Care Feature For Vermonters To Share Stories, Views On Health Issues And Reform Plans

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) this week posted an expanded webpage on health care reform on his Senate website. The new feature offers Vermonters up-to-date information on health care reform plans currently before Congress and invites Vermonters to submit questions and comments to Leahy on each of the proposals. Vermonters can access this webpage via Leahy periodically will respond to comments, individuals' own health care system experiences and questions submitted by Ve… Continue Reading


Senate Confirms Two For Key Federal Law Enforcement Posts In Vermont

The U.S. Senate Friday confirmed two nominees for the top federal law enforcement offices in Vermont, steered through the Senate by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). Tristram Coffin and David Demag became the first U.S. Attorney and U.S. Marshal nominees of President Obama to be confirmed by the Senate. In March, Leahy recommended Coffin to fill Vermont's U.S. Attorney position, and Demag, a longtime law enforcement officer in Vermont, to be the state's U.S. Marshal. Coffin was the President's f… Continue Reading


Comment On The Confirmation Of David Kappos

On Friday, the Senate confirmed the nomination of David Kappos to be the Under Secretary for Intellectual Property at the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. "I am pleased the Senate moved quickly to confirm the nomination of David Kappos to head the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The USPTO will benefit under his leadership, and I look forward to working closely with him to enact meaningful reforms to our nation's patent system this year." … Continue Reading


Senate Confirms Ten Judiciary Committee-Reported Nominees

After nearly three months of inaction on Judiciary Committee reported nominations, the Senate Friday confirmed 10 nominations reported by the Committee, many which have been pending on the Senate's executive calendar for more than a month. The nominations, confirmed just one day after the Senate's final vote on the historic nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, were the first non-judicial nominations reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee to be confirmed since May 12. Among th… Continue Reading


Help Approved For Laid Off Ethan Allen Workers

The U.S. Labor Department today approved trade adjustment assistance for Ethan Allen employees in Beecher Falls, Vt., Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) announced. The Vermont congressional delegation supported an application submitted by the Vermont Department of Labor on behalf of the employees for assistance after Ethan Allen announced up to 260 employees would lose their jobs at the company's Beecher Falls location. Members of New Hampshire's… Continue Reading


Comment On The Immigration And Customs Enforcement Reforms To Detention System

"The Obama administration is taking a step forward to improve what have been shameful - and all too often fatal - conditions of custody in immigration detention. Today's announcement shows a recognition of the scope of the problem and the need for systemic reform. That said, I would like to see ICE commit not just to stronger internal oversight, but also to independent monitoring of its detention facilities. The new facilities that ICE proposes to build must be located in areas where detainee… Continue Reading


Statement On Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Program “Cash For Clunkers”

Mr. President, I would like to make some observations about the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Program, more commonly known as cash for clunkers. When Congress first passed this program in June, I evaluated the merits and the arguments and chose to support it, because I believed it would provide a prompt shot in the arm to our ailing economy. I continue to believe that the program's goals of reducing the environmental impact of automobiles on the road and producing economic stimulus a… Continue Reading


On The Nomination Of Judge Sonia Sotomayor

I thank the many Senators who took part yesterday in the historic debate on the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. I hope today that we will conclude this debate and vote on her confirmation. Senator Klobuchar, the senior Senator from Minnesota and an active member of the Judiciary Committee, led a group of five women Senators in a powerful opening hour of debate yesterday that included Senators Shaheen, Stabenow, Gillibrand and Murray. Several Judiciary Committee Senat… Continue Reading


Closing Statement On The Nomination Of Sonia Sotomayor To Be A Justice Of The United States Supreme Court Senate Debate

As we conclude Senate consideration of this nomination, I thank those Senators who have evaluated this nomination fairly and, in particular, those Republican Senators who have shown the independence to join in the bipartisan confirmation of this historic nomination. Critics have attacked President Obama's nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor by contending that he picked her for the Supreme Court to substitute empathy for the rule of law. These critics are wrong about the President and wrong abou… Continue Reading


Senate Confirms Sotomayor To Nation’s High Court

The Senate has confirmed Sonia Sotomayor to become the 111th Justice of the United States Supreme Court by a bipartisan vote of 68-31. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) applauded the confirmation of the historic nomination. Sotomayor will be the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice. "It has been my privilege to have participated in the confirmation of a dozen Justices to the Supreme Court. I have considered each of those nominations with an understanding of that solemn… Continue Reading


On The Nomination Of Judge Sonia Sotomayor To Be An Associate Justice Of The U.S. Supreme Court

Yesterday, as we began the debate on the historic nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, Senator Reid, Senator Feinstein, Senator Menendez, Senator Whitehouse and Senator Brown gave powerful statements in support of Judge Sotomayor's long record - a record that makes her a highly qualified nominee. I thank those Senators for their moving statements. In the course of my opening statement yesterday, I spoke about the value of real world judging. Among the cases I discussed wer… Continue Reading


Comments On State Department And Foreign Operations On The Provisions In Law That He Authored Concerning The Merida Initiative

"All Americans are sympathetic to the challenges faced by the Mexican Government and all of us want them to be successful. "The law withholds 15 percent of the Merida funds until the Secretary of State reports to Congress that the Mexican Government is meeting four requirements, including prosecuting military and police officers who violate human rights. The Congress provides 85 percent of the aid without conditions, but there needs to be evidence that the military is accountable to the rule of… Continue Reading


Statement On The Employment Non-Discrimination Act

Our Nation has a proud history of diversity and a commitment to justice and equal rights for all Americans. The promise of equal rights is a foundational freedom of our democracy. Today we re-introduce important legislation to protect Americans from discrimination in the workplace. I am proud to again cosponsor the bipartisan Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and I thank Senators Kennedy, Collins and Merkley for their leadership and commitment to an issue that has practical significance in t… Continue Reading


Leahy Introduces Legislation To Help Ease Crunch On Free Health Clinics

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday introduced legislation to help ease the pressure on free medical clinics across the country that are struggling to pay medical malpractice insurance premiums. The legislation would expand the scope of the Federal Tort Claims Act, and clarify its application to free medical clinics. Leahy introduced the legislation after hearing from representatives of Vermont's seven free health care clinics. "Free clinics in Vermont and around the country are struggling… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces More Armored Vehicles For Bennington Firm

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced that the Pentagon has increased the order for troop vehicles built in part by Bennington-based Plasan North America, creating additional jobs in the area. He said the Defense Department has approved a second contract for Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Corporation and Plasan North America to build an additional 1,700 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain-Vehicles (M-ATV) for $1.06 billion. At the beginning of July, Leahy announced a $1.05 bi… Continue Reading


On The Nomination Of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, To Be An Associate Justice Of The U.S. Supreme Court

When the Judiciary Committee began the confirmation hearing on the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, I recounted an insight from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which is often quoted by President Obama: "Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." Each generation of Americans has sought that arc toward justice. Indeed, that national purpose is inherent in our Constitution. In the Constitution's preamble, the Founders set forth to "… Continue Reading


St. Johnsbury To Receive $15 Million In USDA Rural Development Economic Recovery Funds For Water And Wastewater Improvements

Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch Monday announced that the Town of St. Johnsbury will receive a $15 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development grant and loan package to make much-needed water delivery and wastewater improvements. Vermont's Congressional Delegation had written to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack in support of the town's application. The grant and loan package consists o… Continue Reading


Statement At Press Conference On USDA Price Support Announcement

USDA Boost In Dairy Pricing Caps Leahy-Led Push To Help Farmers We are here today to applaud this morning's announcement by Secretary Vilsack of an increase in the Dairy Price Support Program. Senator Kohl and I led a group of more than 20 Senators in advocating for this quick increase in the federal floor for dairy prices. Secretary Vilsack became our partner in getting this done, and we are grateful that dairy farmers have a true ally at USDA. Two days ago we organized a meeting with… Continue Reading


The Leahy Letter - July 31, 2009

USDA Boost In Dairy Pricing Caps Leahy-Led Push To Help Farmers Two days after a coalition of two dozen senators strongly urged Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to raise the floor price for dairy products, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Friday that it will do that for three months, beginning immediately. Today's announcement follows a strategy meeting between the coalition, led by Senator Leahy and including Senator Sanders, and Secretary Vilsack, where the senators urged h… Continue Reading

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