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


Leahy Announces Intent To Introduce Hate Crimes Amendment To DOD Authorization Bill

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday announced his intent to introduce the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act as a bipartisan amendment to the National Defense Authorization bill this week. Leahy joined with Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) earlier this year to introduce the legislation, which would broaden federal hate crimes law to include crimes based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. Kennedy has a been a long-time advocate of th… Continue Reading


Vermont Delegation Announces $10.3 Million In Recovery Funds To Create Jobs And Provide Affordable Housing In Vermont

- U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and U.S. Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) on Friday announced nearly $10.3 million in funding to the Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) to spur development of affordable housing in Vermont. The funding, made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), will allow the VHFA to provide sufficient equity funding to complete ongoing construction projects in Windsor, Colchester and Montpelier. The… Continue Reading


Vermont In Line For $17 Million For Weatherization

U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) today announced $6.7 million in federal grants for home weatherization projects in Vermont, with another $8.4 million to come later. The funds, secured in the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, will help weatherize more than 1,800 Vermont homes, cutting energy costs, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and creating green jobs across the state. The funds will be directed through the Vermont Office … Continue Reading


Leahy Hires Seasoned Policy Advisor

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Friday announced that he has tapped Tom Berry to be his next policy advisor on agriculture, conservation, energy and natural resource issues in Leahy's Montpelier office. Berry will replace Bob Paquin, who was appointed last week by Agriculture Secretary Vilsack as State Executive Director of USDA's Farm Service Agency for Vermont. Berry joins Leahy's staff with ten years of Senate experience already under his belt; he worked for Senator Jim Jeffo… Continue Reading


Comment On Inspector General Report On The President’s Surveillance Program

"The Inspector General today released a review of the Bush-Cheney administration's Terrorist Surveillance Program. I voted against the final version of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act of 2008 because adequate safeguards had been excluded from the bill. Those flaws needlessly risked the freedom that all Americans should have from unchecked government powers. However, I worked to include a provision to ensure that this review was included to provide some measure of a… Continue Reading


Leahy And Sanders Announce Federal Funds For Williamstown Sidewalk Project

- U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) report that Williamstown will be receiving $177,840 in federal highway funds to complete a new sidewalk project in the village. Leahy and Sanders secured the funding in a transportation appropriations bill signed into law earlier this year. The project will construct approximately 1740 feet of new concrete sidewalk and two pedestrian bridges along the west side of Vermont Route 14 in Williamstown. By connecting an existi… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sessions Announce Witness List For Sotomayor Hearing

(Thursday, July 9, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) Thursday announced the witness list for the confirmation hearing for Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. The confirmation hearing is scheduled to begin on July 13 at 10:00 a.m. The lists of witnesses invited by the Majority and Minority of the Judiciary Committee follow. A panel of witnesses from the American Bar Associati… Continue Reading


Committee Report Language, State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee, Senate Appropriations Committee

PEACE CORPS (INCLUDING TRANSFER OF FUNDS) Appropriations, 2009 ............................................. $340,000,000 Budget estimate, 2010 .......................................... $373,440,000 Committee recommendation .................................. $373,440,000 The Committee recommends $373,440,000 for the Peace Corps, which is equal to the budget request and $33,440,000 above the fiscal year 2009 level. The Committee strongly supports the mission of the Peace Corps, which ca… Continue Reading


On The U.S. Attorney Investigation U.S. Senate Floor

Today, House Judiciary Chairman Conyers and I received another letter from the White House Counsel Fred Fielding responding to duly authorized subpoenas with a blanket assertion of executive privilege. I had hoped the Judiciary Committees' subpoenas would be met with compliance. Instead, they have been met -- yet again -- with Nixonian stonewalling that reveals this White House's disdain for our system of checks and balances. This is more stonewalling from a White House that believes it can … Continue Reading


Senate Adopts Leahy Amendment To Make Critical Foreign Investment Program Permanent

The Senate Wednesday adopted an amendment sponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to make permanent the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center pilot program. The amendment was added to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act. Earlier this year, Leahy secured a six-month extension of the successful EB-5 Regional Center pilot program in the Omnibus Appropriations Act. He has introduced legislation in previous Congresses to make the program permanent. Since it was firs… Continue Reading


Leahy Recommends Vermont Judge Christina Reiss For Vermont’s U.S. District Court Vacancy

WEDNESDAY - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday recommended Vermont State Judge Christina Reiss of Essex Junction, Vt., to be the next judge on Vermont's U.S. District Court. If nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate, Reiss would be the first woman to serve on Vermont's federal district court. She would fill the vacancy created when Judge J. Garvan Murtha announced his intention to take senior status on Vermont's U.S. District Court, opening the first such vaca… Continue Reading


Statement On The Crisis In Honduras

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I want to speak briefly about the current political crisis in Honduras. Vermont and Honduras have had a long, close relationship through the Partners of the Americas, and many Vermonters regularly travel to Honduras to engage in health care and other humanitarian and development work in rural communities. Last week a lawfully elected President - Manuel Zelaya - was forcibly removed from office and flown to a neighboring country by the Honduran military. The mi… Continue Reading


FISA Bill Fails To Hold Administration Accountable For Illegal Wiretapping Program

(Tuesday, July 8, 2008) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today expressed his support for an amendment to the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 to strike provisions in the bill that would grant retroactive immunity to telephone companies that participated in the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program. Leahy is a cosponsor of an amendment to strike Title II of the bill, which would provide for the dismissal of lawsuits brought against the telephone companies, p… Continue Reading


Comment On The ABA’s Rating Of Judge Sonia Sotomayor

"The American Bar Association's unanimous, well-qualified rating of Judge Sotomayor is further evidence of the outstanding experience she will bring to the Supreme Court. The ABA's rating - an evaluation of integrity, professional competence, and judicial temperament - should eliminate the doubts of naysayers who have questioned Judge Sotomayor's disposition on the bench. The confidential, peer-review evaluations of these professional qualifications have resulted in the ABA's highest rat… Continue Reading


Sotomayor “Consensus Judge” On Criminal Justice Issues

Sen. Leahy Call Sotomayor A "Consensus Judge" At Event With Law Enforcement Leaders WASHINGTON - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Tuesday released the results of a comprehensive study of Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor's appellate decisions in criminal justice cases. At a press conference on Capitol Hill with leaders of the nation's premier law enforcement organizations, Leahy called Sotomayor both a consensus and moderate judge. "Based on a r… Continue Reading


Leahy Aide Confirmed To Air Force Post

The U.S. Senate has confirmed Daniel Ginsberg, an aide to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), as Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. Ginsberg has been a defense policy aide to Leahy since 1999. The Senate unanimously approved the nomination late Monday. "The President made another good choice in picking Daniel, and I'm pleased the Senate has acted promptly on his nomination," said Leahy. "Through Daniel's superb staff work we have been able to accomplish m… Continue Reading


Leahy And Business Leaders Announce Creation Of $1 M Vermont Technology Seed Capital Fund

BURLINGTON, Vt. - Members of Vermont's business community and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) gathered Monday at the new home to a start-up business to announce the creation of a $1 million seed capital fund that will offer businesses much-needed funding in this difficult economy. Leahy also welcomed two high-tech companies as new clients at the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET) - 89 North (, which hosted the event in Burlington, and Standards Technology Group … Continue Reading


The Leahy Letter - July 2, 2009

Accessible and Affordable Health CareFor All Americans One of the top issues facing Congress and the American people today is health care reform. Ensuring that no American goes without needed health care is a top priority for Senator Leahy and the Obama Administration. Senator Leahy has recorded a message to Vermonters on the importance of this challenge. You can view Senator Leahy's remarks on his YouTube channel here or read more about his thoughts on health care here. ________________… Continue Reading


Remarks at Vermont National Guard Groundbreaking Ethan Allen Firing Range

I am so proud to be with you today as we figuratively set the cornerstones for one of the cornerstone units of the Vermont National Guard. This $10 million facility, spanning almost 50,000 square feet, will serve as the headquarters for the 86 Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Mountain), the only a brigade in the entire Army with a mountain-fighting designation. This is the unit that has spent the last year preparing for a deployment to Afghanistan, and it only fitting that this durable brigad… Continue Reading


U.S. Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Names Robert Paquin Of Shelburne To Head USDA’s Farm Service Agency In Vermont

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack Thursday appointed Robert Paquin of Shelburne as State Executive Director of USDA's Farm Service Agency for Vermont. Paquin is a longtime policy aide to Vermont's senior U.S. Senator, Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who recommended Paquin for the post. Leahy also is the most senior member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry and a former chair of the panel, which oversees USDA. The Farm Service Agency administers farm commodity, … Continue Reading

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