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Press Releases

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

07.30.08

Leahy Urges Support For Reporters’ Shield Bill As Senate Prepares For Procedural Vote

(Wednesday, July 30, 2008) - The Senate is scheduled to take a critical vote this morning to decide if the body will proceed to debate on the Free Flow of Information Act, a bill that would establish a qualified federal reporters' shield law. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who chairs the Judiciary Committee that reported the bipartisan bill in October 2007, spoke on the Senate floor Wednesday morning, urging all Senators to support a full debate on the proposed legislation. Leahy has been pres… Continue Reading


07.29.08

Hearing On “Music And Radio In The 21st Century: Assuring Fair Rates And Rules Across Platforms”

Earlier in this Congress, I introduced S. 2500, the Performance Rights Act, with Senators Hatch, Feinstein and Corker. Musicians should be compensated fairly for the use of their work, whether it is transmitted by broadcast radio, Internet radio, satellite radio, or cable radio. The Performance Rights Act would codify that important right. Today's hearing focuses on the related and important topic of parity in the rate standards across those platforms. Senator Feinstein has been a leader on this… Continue Reading


07.28.08

On Inspector General And Office Of Professional Responsibility Report On Politicization At The Department Of Justice

"Today's report from the Inspector General and the Office of Professional Responsibility about their investigation into improper political influence in the hiring of attorneys for key career positions throughout the Department of Justice provides a close examination of another troubling chapter at the Department. The policies and attitudes of this administration encouraged politicization of the Department and permitted these excesses. It is now clear that these politically-rooted actions were … Continue Reading


07.28.08

Statement On S. 3297, “Advancing America’s Priorities Act”

Last week, I joined the Majority Leader in introducing S.3297, the "Advancing America's Priorities Act." The majority leader selected three dozen legislative items from the jurisdiction of seven Senate Committees, including eight Judiciary Committee bills, for this effort. These are all measures with bipartisan support and, we believe, the support of a strong bipartisan majority of the Senate. I have moved several such bills through the Judiciary Committee only to be stymied by objection once… Continue Reading


07.26.08

On The Warm In Winter And Cool In Summer Act Senate Floor

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I rise in support of S. 3186, the Warm in Winter and Cool in Summer Act. As an original cosponsor of this important legislation that nearly doubles funding for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, LIHEAP, I urge my colleagues to support the motion to invoke cloture. While we are currently in the middle of summer, every Vermonter knows that winter isn't far off. Families in cold-weather States, like Vermont, who were able to pay this past winter's bill, are alr… Continue Reading


07.26.08

On Final Passage Of The Housing And Economic Recovery Act Senate Floor

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, the sluggish national economy and the rising cost of housing is a one-two punch that is keeping affordable housing out of the reach of too many Vermont families. It is important that during these times of economic hardship we do more--not less--to help struggling families make ends meet. I am pleased that today, after months of delay, the Senate is set to act on final passage of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, H.R. 3221, a responsible bill to strengthen our econo… Continue Reading


07.25.08

Leahy Asks EPA Inspector General To Investigate Executive Privilege Claim And White House Interference

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday pressed the Inspector General's office at the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) to investigate the President's purported claims of executive privilege over documents and testimony related to the public health threats of global warming, and possibleWhite House interference with EPA decision-making. On Thursday, Leahy canceled a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee after EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson declined t… Continue Reading


07.24.08

On S. 3297, The Advancing America’s Priorities Act

Earlier this week, I joined the Majority Leader in the introduction of S.3297, the Advancing America's Priorities Act. The Majority Leader selected 35 legislative items from the jurisdiction of seven Senate Committees, including eight bills from that of the Senate Judiciary Committee, for this effort. These are all measures with bipartisan support and, we believe the support of a strong bipartisan majority of the Senate. I have moved several through the Judiciary Committee and several have al… Continue Reading


07.24.08

Leahy, Specter, Bayh, Voinovich Introduce Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Legislation

Leading advocates in the Senate today will introduce legislation to protect American innovation and address intellectual property rights enforcement. The Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act of 2008 will be introduced in the Senate by Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), and is co-sponsored by Sens. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), George Voinovich (R-Ohio). Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) are also cosponsors… Continue Reading


07.24.08

Leahy Cancels Hearing After EPA Administrator Declines To Testify

The Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee today canceled a hearing scheduled for July 30 at which the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was invited to present testimony about the EPA's refusal to provide Congress with documents related to the public health risks associated with global warming. In a letter to Sen. Patrick Leahy dated July 22, the EPA signaled that Johnson would decline the Committee's invitation to appear. Leahy and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), … Continue Reading


07.23.08

Exxon Oil Spill Victim Testifies At Senate Hearing

(Wednesday, July 23, 2008) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today held a hearing to examine the shield recent Supreme Court decisions have provided for corporate misconduct. The hearing featured a witness panel that included a fisherwoman from Alaska, whose business was crippled by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound. In a decision released by the Supreme Court in June, the damages assessed to Exxon by a jury were slashed, and the oil company is n… Continue Reading


07.23.08

Senators To Leavitt: Abandon Attempt To Undermine Women's Health In letter To HHS Secretary, 28 Senators Say Proposed Rule Would Limit Women's Family Planning Options, Access To Health Care Service

() - Twenty-eight U.S. Senators today wrote to Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt urging him to drop a draft regulation which could deny access to critical family planning options to millions of American women. The draft rule, which surfaced last week in news reports, aims to change the definition of abortion to include all contraceptives and therefore allow health care providers and corporations to refuse to provide family planning. The draft regulation could have the effect … Continue Reading


07.23.08

Leahy Announces $1.5 Million For New Public Transit Buses In Vermont

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced that public transit providers around Vermont will receive $1,556,689 in U.S. Department of Transportation grants to buy new buses and maintenance equipment. Leahy and former Senator Jim Jeffords (I-Vt.) secured the funding for these grants in earlier federal transportation budget bills. Leahy is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. "With spiking gas prices, more Vermonters are leaving their cars behind, and even more people want … Continue Reading


07.23.08

Comments Of Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On S. 3297, The Advancing America’s Priorities Act Press Conference, Capitol Hill July 23, 2008

Today we talk about pieces of legislation with broad bipartisan support that have moved through the Judiciary Committee and that have passed the House of Representatives, but that have been stalled on the Senate floor by Republican objection. Some of these bills have been incorporated by the Majority leader into the "Advancing America's Priorities Act," which combines 35 bills that span across seven Senate Committees into one bill. People are rightly worried about keeping their communities s… Continue Reading


07.23.08

Senate Passes Leahy Bill To Ensure Constitutional Appointment Of Patent Judges

The Senate Tuesday night unanimously approved a bill sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to ensure the constitutional appointment of administrative patent and trademark judges. The legislation will next be considered in the House of Representatives, where bipartisan companion legislation was introduced last month. The measure was quickly considered and approved by the Senate after Leahy introduced the bill this week with Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Arlen Spe… Continue Reading


07.22.08

Senate Confirms Two Judicial Nominations

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) praised the Senate Democratic majority's work in confirming judicial appointments Tuesday night, as the Senate reached a milestone with the confirmation of two nominees for lifetime appointments to the federal bench. In just three and a half years, Democrats have now matched the total number of President Bush's judicial appointments confirmed by Republicans in the more than four years in which they held the majority. With Tuesday's conf… Continue Reading


07.22.08

Senate Confirms Two Judicial Nominations

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) praised the Senate Democratic majority's work in confirming judicial appointments Tuesday night, as the Senate reached a milestone with the confirmation of two nominees for lifetime appointments to the federal bench. In just three and a half years, Democrats have now matched the total number of President Bush's judicial appointments confirmed by Republicans in the more than four years in which they held the majority. With Tuesday's conf… Continue Reading


07.22.08

Leahy Joins Democratic Senators In Introducing Legislation To Improve Voter Registration Access For Veterans

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) joined with Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), John Kerry (D-Mass.) and others today to introduce legislation to require the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide voter registration services to veterans in the department's care. The senators introduced the legislation after receiving a response from Veterans Affairs Secretary James B. Peake earlier this month, again denying the senators' request that Secretary Peake designate VA facilities as voter registration… Continue Reading


07.21.08

Reaction To Attorney General Mukasey’s Call For Congressional Action On Rules For Detainee Hearings

The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Boumediene v. Bush last month reaffirmed our core American values by concluding that detainees at Guantanamo have the right to bring habeas corpus claims in federal court. I applauded that decision because I have maintained from the beginning that the provisions of the Military Commission Act that purported to strip away those rights were unconstitutional and un-American. The Judiciary Committee has held a wide range of hearings on issues of detainee right… Continue Reading


07.17.08

Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Fiscal Year 2009 State And Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill

The Senate Appropriations Committee today approved Fiscal Year 2009 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations legislation that strengthens American diplomacy, advances international security, invests in clean energy, and promotes international economic development and global health. The legislation provides $36.62 billion in discretionary funding, which is $3.82 billion above the FY 2008 enacted level. In addition, $3.42 billion was provided as FY 2009 bridge funding in the recently enacted … Continue Reading

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