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Press Releases

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

12.12.08

In Final Days, Bush Administration Continues To Stonewall

Even in the final days of the Bush administration, the Department of Justice continues to stonewall congressional subpoenas for documents from the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), according to the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Friday underscored the Department's continued obstruction and hit the Department on going back on its word to provide the Committee with copies of six documents related to a subpoena issued in October for OLC documents. In a l… Continue Reading


12.12.08

New Leadership Needed At Justice Department Without Delay

-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today released the following statement urging Democrats and Republicans to work with the incoming administration to promptly confirm Eric Holder, President-elect Obama's designee to be Attorney General of the United States. Historically, the Attorney General designees of incoming presidents have received confirmation hearings within four weeks of being announced. On Tuesday, Leahy announced that Holder's confirmation proceedings wou… Continue Reading


12.11.08

Comment On President-elect Obama's Choice Of Former Senator Tom Daschle To Head The Department Of Health And Human Services And A New White House Office Of Health Reform

President-elect Obama has made another superb choice in selecting Tom Daschle to head the Department of Health and Human Services as well as a new White House Office of Health Reform. Tom Daschle is a born leader and a skilled policymaker, and he has been a friend for 25 years. Health care reform is sorely needed and long overdue. It will be one of the core projects of the Obama presidency and certainly one of the most complex and difficult issues on the nation's agenda. No one is better … Continue Reading


12.10.08

Vermont Delegation Introduces Bill To Waive State Transportation Match Requirement

The Vermont congressional delegation introduced legislation today that would waive the state and local match requirement for all federally-funded highway, transit and rail projects through September 2009. The legislation is intended to stimulate the economy and create jobs by jump-starting projects stalled by state budget deficits. At the same time, it would immediately improve Vermont's and the nation's crumbling transportation infrastructure. "In these tough economic times, we must look for … Continue Reading


12.10.08

Following Vermont Hearing, Leahy Introduces Reauthorization For Anti-Crime Grant Program

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today introduced legislation to reauthorize a critical grant program targeted at reducing crime in rural communities. The Crime-Free Rural States Reauthorization Act will authorize $40 million over four years for rural states to address crime and drug issues. Leahy chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, which held a hearing Dec. 5 in St. Albans, Vermont, to hear from officials and community leaders who are working together to combat crime and drug use in St. … Continue Reading


12.10.08

Statement Of Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Introduction Of S. Res. 728, “National Mentoring Month”

I am honored to join Senator Kennedy and others to introduce S.Res. 728, which designates January 2009 as National Mentoring Month. Mentoring a child is a uniquely rewarding experience for both the mentor and the child. Research continues to support that building these positive relationships helps keep children off of drugs, in school and off the streets, and out of trouble. This month, I brought the Senate Judiciary Committee to St. Albans, Vermont, for a field hearing about "Community-Bas… Continue Reading


12.10.08

Leahy, Sanders, Other Senators Insist That Blagojevich Resign

U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders of Vermont today called for the resignation of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich one day after he was arrested and accused of putting President-elect Barack Obama's former United States Senate seat up for sale. The Vermont senators signed a letter also warning Blagojevich not to exercise his power to name Obama's Senate successor, saying that could trigger a provision in the U.S. Constitution that lets the Senate refuse to seat a member. T… Continue Reading


12.10.08

No Double Standard For Eric Holder

No Double Standard For Eric Holder WASHINGTON- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday sent a letter to Committee Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) regarding confirmation proceedings for Eric Holder, President-elect Barack Obama's designee to be the next Attorney General. Leahy has scheduled confirmation hearings on Holder's nomination to begin on January 8. Press reports from mid-November also suggested that Holder would be the President-elect's pick to … Continue Reading


12.09.08

Leahy Announces Hearing Schedule For Attorney General Confirmation Proceedings

- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday announced that confirmation proceedings for Eric Holder, President-elect Barack Obama's designee to be Attorney General, will begin January 8, 2009. President-elect Obama announced his intention to nominate Holder to the top position in the Justice Department on Dec. ,1 after weeks of reports concerning that likelihood. Following a Monday meeting with Holder, Leahy announced his intention to begin hearings in early Januar… Continue Reading


12.08.08

Statement Hearing On Promoting Health, Preventing Chronic Disease And Fighting Hunger, Assessment Of USDA Food Assistance And Child Nutrition Programs In The Economic Downturn December 8, 2008

Sen. Leahy Statement Before Agriculture Committee I would like to thank the Chairman and Ranking Member for holding this hearing today so that we can all have the chance to learn more about how well equipped the Department of Agriculture is to assist the American people in preventing chronic disease and fighting hunger during our current economic crisis. I would also like to welcome back my fellow committee members and I hope everyone, especially our friends at USDA, is prepared to work… Continue Reading


12.08.08

Following Meeting With Attorney General Designate Eric Holder December 8, 2008

"Eric Holder is a superb match for the talents that Americans need at the helm of the Department of Justice. After meeting with Mr. Holder today, I am impressed with the extensive prosecutorial background and experience he will bring to the Department. He understands the importance of rebuilding the public's trust in our justice system, and restoring morale among the Department's staff. Mr. Holder and I discussed the importance of supporting our state and local law enforcement agencies and of… Continue Reading


12.07.08

President-elect Barack Obama's Choice Of Retired General Eric K. Shinseki To Be Secretary Of Veterans Affairs

In choosing retired General Eric Shinseki to be Secretary of Veterans Affairs, President-elect Obama has made another impressive choice for his Cabinet. He is a straight shooter and a truth talker. General Shinseki has tremendous character and honesty, deep experience and a clear vision. Throughout a stellar career, especially in his time as the Army's Chief of Staff, his words and deeds reflected an overwhelming care about soldiers and all of our military service members. It was a sad m… Continue Reading


12.05.08

Brattleboro Union High School Band To March In Inauguration Parade

BURLINGTON, December 5 - The Brattleboro Union High School Band has been invited by the Presidential Inaugural Committee to march down Pennsylvania Avenue in the parade after President-elect Barack Obama is sworn into office, the Vermont congressional delegation announced today. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) wrote a joint letter to the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee urging it to include the Brattleboro band in the parade a… Continue Reading


12.05.08

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, Hearing On “Community-Based Solutions To Drug-Related Crime In Rural America” St. Albans, Vermont

Today the Senate Judiciary Committee returns to Vermont to hear from the people of St. Albans about this community's efforts to combat the persistent problems of drug-related crime in rural America. Once again, Vermont's civic-minded, all-hands-on-deck experience in dealing with drug-related crime in rural areas is helping to advance a dialogue about this problem that can be useful to rural communities across the nation. Drug-related crime is not just a big-city issue. As we heard in Rut… Continue Reading


12.03.08

New Treaty Should Prompt New Administration To Review U.S. Policy On Cluster Munitions

"If you had them on your land, if your children faced them, you'd ban them for sure." Those are the words of an Afghan boy who lost both legs after picking up an errant U.S. cluster munition in a public park. It is estimated that nearly 100,000 civilians have been maimed or killed by cluster bombs, which scatter hundreds of deadly munitions over a wide area. During the past 50 years, vast areas of arable land have been turned into death traps by unexploded duds that remain lethal long a… Continue Reading


12.03.08

New Treaty Should Prompt New Administration To Review U.S. Policy On Cluster Munitions

"If you had them on your land, if your children faced them, you'd ban them for sure." Those are the words of an Afghan boy who lost both legs after picking up an errant U.S. cluster munition in a public park. It is estimated that nearly 100,000 civilians have been maimed or killed by cluster bombs, which scatter hundreds of deadly munitions over a wide area. During the past 50 years, vast areas of arable land have been turned into death traps by unexploded duds that remain lethal long afte… Continue Reading


12.01.08

Comments On President-Elect Obama’s Announcement Of Cabinet Nominations

President-elect Obama has honored his commitment to reach across the aisle and nominate members to his cabinet that reflect a diverse and experienced range of views. His decision to ask Defense Secretary Gates to remain in the Pentagon at this crucial time in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as his appointment of General Jones to serve as National Security Advisor, are sensible choices that will contribute steadiness and seasoned experience to the new President's team. I have known Se… Continue Reading


11.24.08

Vermont Delegation Seeks To Stimulate Economy With Transportation Waiver

- In order to stimulate the economy and meet pressing infrastructure needs, the Vermont congressional delegation is seeking to waive the state and local match requirement for all federally-funded highway, transit and rail projects through September 2009. The move would give Vermont and other states facing tight budgets a much-needed boost to improve roads and bridges, support public transit agencies and upgrade rail lines at no additional cost to the federal government. Transportation o… Continue Reading


11.24.08

Leahy Praises FDIC Decision To Give Full Deposit Insurance To Lawyers’ Trust Accounts

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday praised a decision by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to protect the Interest on Lawyers' Trust Accounts program (IOLTA), which helps support legal services for those in need. The rule, which was approved on November 21, provides full deposit insurance coverage to lawyers' trust accounts under the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program (TLGP). Earlier this month, Leahy joined with 17 Senators, including Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), to ur… Continue Reading


11.24.08

Leahy, Conyers Press Mukasey For Details Of Gonzales Legal Fees

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Congressman John Conyers (D-Mich.), chairs of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees, sent a letter Monday to Attorney General Michael Mukasey urging him to disclose the details of a Department of Justice agreement to pay a private attorney to represent former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in connection with his involvement in the politicized hiring practices of the Justice Department during his tenure from 2005 to 2007. A report released in June by t… Continue Reading

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