Press Room

Press Releases

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


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


Leahy, Senate Leaders Announce Amendment To Promote Fair Competition Within Health Insurance Industry

Leahy Announces Amendment To Promote Fair Competition Within Health Insurance Industry WASHINGTON - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday joined with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to announce that he will offer the Health Insurance Industry Antitrust Enforcement Act as an amendment to health insurance reform legislation. The bill, which Leahy first introduced in September, promotes competition in the health insurance and medical malpracti… Continue Reading


FACT SHEET: Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay

Summary: The Defense Department announced today plans to provide Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay to service members who had their enlistment extended or retirement suspended due to Stop Loss between Sept. 11, 2001 and Sept. 30, 2009. What is the Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay? Eligible personnel will receive a payment of $500 per month for each month (or any portion of a month) that the member was retained on active duty due to Stop Loss. Who is Eligible for the Retroactive Stop Loss S… Continue Reading


After Nearly Six Month Delay, Senate Confirms Vermont Judge To Chair Sentencing Commission

After a nearly six month delay, the U.S. Senate Wednesday night confirmed Vermont District Court Judge William Sessions to chair the U.S. Sentencing Commission. The Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, unanimously reported the nomination on May 7. "Judge Sessions is an extraordinary public servant," said Leahy. "He has twice previously been confirmed unanimously by the Senate to serve on the Sentencing Commission. He has served with distinction for 10 years… Continue Reading


Statement On S. 1776, the “Medicare Physician Fairness Act of 2009”

am proud to be a cosponsor of the bill we are considering today, the "Medicare Physician Fairness Act", introduced by Senator Stabenow. This bill would permanently end the scheduled reductions in Medicare and TRICARE payments that physicians face each year. This legislation is long overdue and an important step in making sure doctors will continue to serve Medicare patients and veterans in the years to come. This year marks the eighth year in a row that Congress will be forced to prevent sche… Continue Reading


Leahy, Kohl, Mikulski, Lemieux Introduce Bill To Improve Enforcement Of Elder Abuse Laws

Today Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI), Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Chairwoman of the Senate HELP Subcommittee on Retirement and Aging, and Senator George LeMieux (R-FL) introduced the Elder Abuse Victims Act, a bill that would improve the law enforcement community's ability to target and combat abuse and exploitation of senior citizens. A companion to the Elder Abuse Victim… Continue Reading


Leahy-Authored Open Government Provision Set To Become Law

Legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that will strengthen the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was approved by the Senate Tuesday, and is set to become law. Leahy introduced the OPEN FOIA Act earlier this year, and pushed for its inclusion in the 2010 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, which was passed by the Senate by a vote of 79-19. The House of Representatives has already passed the bill, clearing the way for President Obama to sign it into law. Leahy in… Continue Reading


Leahy's Extension Of Investor Visa Program, Used In Vermont To Create Hundreds Of Jobs, Clears Congress, Heads To President’s Desk

The U.S. Senate late Tuesday approved and sent to the President's desk a bill that includes Senator Patrick Leahy's extension of the "investor visa" program that has attracted millions of dollars in economic development to Vermont, creating hundreds of jobs. "This is a big win for our state," said Leahy. "This program has become an economic engine in Vermont, and we have proven it with the creation of hundreds of jobs. I want Vermont to stay on the cutting edge in harnessing these investments… Continue Reading


Comment On President Obama’s Radio Address On Health Insurance Industry Reform

"Last month, I introduced the Health Insurance Industry Antitrust Enforcement Act to repeal the unjustifiable immunity enjoyed by health insurers and medical malpractice insurers. Support is growing to repeal this exemption from our federal antitrust laws, and this week, the Judiciary Committee heard compelling testimony from the government's chief antitrust enforcer that should bolster this effort. "President Obama today renewed the call to end the status quo in the healt… Continue Reading


Letter To The Meeting Of The Vermont Library Trustee Association Annual Conference

Dear Friends, I appreciate this opportunity to report the latest developments on the process to reauthorize several sunsetted portions of the Patriot Act and to commend Vermont Library Association for all you do for Vermont. On September 22, 2009, I introduced the USA PATRIOT Act Sunset Extension Act (S.1692) with Senators Benjamin Cardin and Ted Kaufman. Senator Sanders soon joined as a cosponsor. As before, I wrote the bill with close attention to protecting constitutional rights and civil… Continue Reading


Vermont Delegation Secures $1.5 Million In Funding For The Northern Border Regional Commission

Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) today secured $1.5 million in federal funding for the Northern Border Regional Commission. The grant is the first time the four-state, economic development organization has received funding. The federal-state partnership will provide investment and support for the northernmost counties of Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and New York. Modeled after the highly successful Appalachian Regional Commission, the NBRC wil… Continue Reading


Judiciary Committee Reports Four District Court Nominations

(Thursday, October 15, 2009) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved four nominations to federal district courts in California. The nominations will now await consideration by the full Senate. The nominations of Jacqueline Nguyen to the Central District of California, Edward Chen to the Northern District of California, Dolly Gee to the Central District of California, and Richard Seeborg to the Northern District of California were first considered at a hearing on September 23. The f… Continue Reading


Judiciary Committee Reports Bipartisan Performance Rights Legislation

The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday reported bipartisan legislation that will give fair compensation to musical artists while protecting songwriters. The bill reported by the Committee responds to concerns from smaller commercial and noncommercial stations by providing a flat annual royalty option for unlimited use of music. Introduced in February by Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the Performance Rights Act will end an exemption that benefits tra… Continue Reading


Senators Welcome President Obama’s Support For Social Security Boost

, October 14 - Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today welcomed President Barack Obama's support for a one-time, $250 payment next year to more than 50 million seniors to keep Social Security benefits from shrinking. "Even as we seek to bring about recovery, we must act on behalf of those hardest hit by this recession," Obama said. "I want to compliment all the members of Congress who have been working to address these challenges, especially Senators Reid, Baucus, Sanders, a… Continue Reading


Leahy Schedules Health Care Fraud Prevention Hearing

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced that the Committee will hold a hearing on October 21 to examine health care fraud prevention. It will be the second Judiciary Committee hearing focused on health care related issues in just one week. Today, Leahy chaired a hearing examining legislation to repeal the federal antitrust exemption for health insurance and medical malpractice insurance companies. Leahy introduced the Health Insurance Antitrust Enforcemen… Continue Reading


Judiciary Committee Considers Repeal Of Health Insurance, Medical Malpractice Insurance Antitrust Exemption

The Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday held a hearing on legislation to repeal a federal antitrust exemption currently enjoyed by the health insurance and medical malpractice insurance industries. Legislation introduced by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) in September will repeal the exemption established in the 1945 McCarran-Ferguson Act. The Health Insurance Antitrust Enforcement Act was the focus of Wednesday's hearing. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) testified before the panel … Continue Reading


Reid, Varney To Testify At Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing On Health, Medical Malpractice Insurance Antitrust Exemption

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Tuesday that the Senate Majority Leader and the top antitrust official at the Department of Justice will testify at a hearing Wednesday that will focus on legislation to repeal a federal antitrust exemption for health insurance and medical malpractice insurance companies. Leahy announced that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney, who heads the Antitrust Division at the Justi… Continue Reading


Accepting Leahy’s Recommendation, President To Nominate Vermont Judge Christina Reiss For Vermont’s U.S. District Court Vacancy

The White House announced Friday afternoon that President Obama has accepted the recommendation of Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and intends to nominate Vermont State Judge Christina Reiss of Essex Junction, Vt., to be the next judge on Vermont's U.S. District Court. If 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. D… Continue Reading


Comment On The Nobel Peace Prize Awarded To President Obama

"It's a stunning announcement and it reflects well on America's ideals and the world's yearning for American leadership. "Little is possible without leadership. No one can force other nations to follow, but President Obama is reintroducing America to the rest of the world, and people of goodwill everywhere do have hope about working together for progress on some of the world's most daunting and dangerous problems." # # # # #… Continue Reading


30 Senators Sign Letter Urging Inclusion Of Public Option In Final Health Reform Legislation

30 U.S. Senators signed a letter today urging the inclusion of a public option in any health reform legislation that will be considered on the Senate floor. An additional 14 Senators at least have expressed support for the public option through a resolution, letter, or by voting for a strong public option during committee markups. The letter, which was circulated by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), was signed by Brown; John D. Rockefeller (D-WV); Russell D. Feingold (D-WI); Patrick J. Leahy (D-V… Continue Reading

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