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Press Releases

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


Comment On Repeal Of Health Insurance Industry Antitrust Exemption In The House-Proposed Health Care Reform Bill

"I commend the leaders in the House of Representatives for including in their health care reform proposal a repeal of the federal antitrust exemption enjoyed by the health insurance industry. This is not a new proposal, nor should it be a partisan one. As I have said, I intend to offer such a repeal as an amendment to the health care reform legislation that the Senate will debate in the coming weeks, and I look forward to working with Senator Reid and others, as well as leaders in the House, t… Continue Reading


Dothan Brook School

Mrs. Vielleux's and Mrs. Thorburn's 5th grade classes Using a video conferencing system, Senator Leahy spoke with 60 5th grade students in White River Junction, VT from his office in Washington, DC. This was Senator Leahy's first online chat with the Dothan Brook School. The students asked him questions concerning his career as a Senator as well as his life in Vermont. The students also brought up the topics of health care reform, energy conservation, and the war in Iraq. The Senator spoke with… Continue Reading


Comment On The Signing Of The Matthew Shepard And James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act

"I join with the Shepards, the Byrds, Mrs. Kennedy and countless others in celebrating President Obama's signing of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. More than a decade after Senator Kennedy began the effort to enact this legislation, we have finally acted to ensure that violence against members of any group because of who they are will not be tolerated. It is one more step forward in protecting the civil rights of all Americans. I am honored to have w… Continue Reading


Leahy, Judiciary Committee Members Introduce Health Care Fraud Enforcement Bill

- Following a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday on "Effective Strategies for Preventing Health Care Fraud," Senator Patrick Leahy joined with Senator Ted Kaufman (D-Del.) to introduce the Health Care Fraud Enforcement Act. The legislation is also cosponsored by Committee members Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y), and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). Leahy chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. Building on the fraud prevention efforts included in the Finance a… Continue Reading


Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing On Health Care Fraud

Leahy Chairs Hearing On Health Care Fraud WASHINGTON - The Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday held a hearing to examine federal efforts to combat health care fraud. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) scheduled the hearing as the Senate prepares to consider health care reform legislation. Testifying at the hearing Wednesday was Deputy Health and Human Services Secretary Bill Corr and Assistant Attorney General Tony West, who leads the Civil Division at the Department of Justice. L… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders And Welch Announce Nearly $69 Million To Launch Smart Grid Technology In Vermont

- The Vermont Congressional Delegation - Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D) - announced Tuesday morning that Vermont Transco, LLC, will receive $68,928,650 in federal support to launch Vermont's Smart Grid technology. The funds are part of $3.4 billion in Smart Grid grants across the nation that President Obama announced today - the largest awards made in a single day from this year's American Reinvestment and Recovery A… Continue Reading


Comment On Majority Leader Reid's Announcement That The Senate Health Insurance Reform Bill Will Include A Public Option

The Senate continues to make progress toward making reforms to help ensure quality affordable health care for all Americans. I welcome the Majority Leader's decision to include a public health insurance component in the reform bill that the Senate will consider. We all know that competition among private insurers has not driven down the costs that consumers are forced to pay. Instead more and more Americans are forced to make difficult decisions about their health care, in many cases foregoin… Continue Reading


Leahy Unveils Vermont Travel Info Kiosk In His Capitol Hill Office

(Friday, Oct. 23) - U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has unveiled a new tool to convince visitors to his Washington office to set their vacation sights on Vermont. He has added a touch screen information kiosk to his Capitol Hill office, just off the heavy foot traffic of the corridors of the Russell Senate Office Building. The user-friendly, easily navigable kiosk can also be found at Welcome Centers throughout Vermont and connects to the Official Vermont Tourism Site (http://www.vermontvacati… Continue Reading


On Report From The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund On Mass Rape And Sexual Assault In The Democratic Republic of The Congo

"This well documented, timely report, providing first-hand, graphic and traumatic accounts by victims of rape and other sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, adds to the volumes of evidence of the use of rape as a weapon to terrorize and brutalize women and girls and their families by armed groups, including militias, government soldiers, and even United Nations peacekeeping troops. The solution, ultimately, is an end to the armed conflict in eastern Congo, but that goal rema… Continue Reading


Leahy, Mikulski, 23 Senate Colleagues Continue Fight To End Gender Rating, Discriminatory Health Insurance Industry Practices That Deny Coverage To Women

- U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), a senior member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and 24 of her Senate colleagues today sent a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), HELP Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), and Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) encouraging them to maximize this historic opportunity to end punitive practices currently used by insurance companies to deny coverage to women. The letter urges the group of S… Continue Reading


Comment On The State Department And Foreign Operations, On Report From State Department On Possible Violations Of Laws of War in Sri Lanka

"The report eliminates any reasonable doubt that serious violations of the laws of war were committed by both the LTTE rebels and Sri Lankan Government forces. Civilians have paid, and continue to pay, a heavy price. If Sri Lanka is to build real peace based on reconciliation and justice, a full and independent investigation is needed, and those responsible must be held accountable." # # # # #… Continue Reading


In News Conference, Leahy Sums Up Long Effort To Pass Bill Strengthening Hate Crimes Law

Leahy Praises Passage of Bill to Strengthen Hate Crimes Law WASHINGTON - In a news conference in the U.S. Capitol on Friday, Vermont U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) hailed Thursday night's final passage of long-sought legislation to strengthen federal hate crime laws. Leahy is chief sponsor of the hate crimes legislation that is now headed to President Obama, who has said he will sign it. The hate crimes measure will broaden federal hate crimes law to include crimes based on gender, se… Continue Reading


Leahy Praises Support Plan For State Housing Agencies

(Thursday, Oct. 22) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) hailed a new Obama Administration initiative sought by Leahy that will free up some of the frozen liquidity of housing finance agencies like Vermont's Housing Finance Agency (VHFA). State and local housing finance agencies (HFAs) like VHFA expand access to affordable housing by helping low and middle income borrowers to buy homes. They work with participating lenders to provide affordable long term fixed rate home loans. The credit and housin… Continue Reading


Panel Approves Leahy-Authored Bill To Protect Crime Victims Fund

- The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved bipartisan legislation to preserve and enhance federal assistance to victims of crime. The Crime Victims Fund Preservation Act was introduced in June by Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). The legislation was reported unanimously by the Committee and will now be sent to the full Senate for consideration. The Crime Victims Fund Preservation Act will help ensure that crime victims receive essenti… Continue Reading


Leahy Praises Passage Of Federal Hate Crimes Legislation

The U.S. Senate today approved a provision to broaden federal hate crimes law to include crimes based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), offered the bipartisan Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act in July. The House has already passed the bill, and it will now head to the President's desk to be signed into law. The legislation was a long-time priority … Continue Reading


Reid, Leahy and Schumer Join Consumers Union President To Announce Amendment To Promote Fair Competition Within The Health Insurance Industry

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy and Democratic Conference Vice Chairman Charles Schumer held a press conference with Jim Guest of the Consumers Union today to announce that The Health Insurance Industry Antitrust Enforcement Act of 2009 will be offered as an amendment to health insurance reform legislation. The bill, which was first introduced in September by Chairman Leahy, promotes competition in the health insurance and medical malpractice… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Health Care Fraud Prevention Hearing Rescheduled For Oct. 28

The Senate Judiciary Committee has rescheduled a hearing to examine health care fraud prevention. The hearing will be held on October 28. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Wednesday representatives from the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services will testify. Deputy Health and Human Services Secretary Bill Corr and Assistant Attorney General Tony West, who leads the Civil Division at the Department of Justice, are scheduled to a… Continue Reading


Senate Set To Pass Historic Hate Crimes Legislation

Senator Leahy Supports Passage Of Historic Hate Crimes Legislation [WASHINGTON -- The Senate is expected to vote later this week on the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced an amendment to include the federal hate crimes provision in the authorization bill during Senate debate in July. He worked to ensure the provision was included in the final version of the legis… Continue Reading


Senate Unanimously Confirms District Court Judge

The Senate Wednesday unanimously confirmed Roberto A. Lange to serve as a U.S. District Court Judge for the District of South Dakota. Lange is just the third lower court nomination to be confirmed by the Senate this year. Ten judicial nominations remain pending before the full Senate. "The American Bar Association's Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary reported that its peer review of the President's nomination of Mr. Lange resulted in the highest rating possible, a unanimous rating of… Continue Reading


President Obama Signs Aid for Dairy Farmers

, October 21 - President Barack Obama today signed legislation to provide $350 million in emergency assistance for hard-pressed dairy farmers. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) sponsored an amendment that added the dairy funds to the Department of Agriculture appropriations bill. He joined the president at the White House for the Oval Office bill-signing ceremony. The measure provides $290 million for direct support to dairy farmers. Another $60 million will be used to purchase cheese and other dairy… Continue Reading

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