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Press Releases

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

09.11.08

Leahy, Sanders Hail Senate Passage Of Bill To Reverse Narrow Interpretations Of Americans With Disabilities Act

The Senate late Thursday passed legislation, cosponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), that would rejuvenate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the face of several court decisions that have narrowed its definitions and coverage. In recent years the Supreme Court and several lower courts have issued decisions eroding the standards for determining who qualifies as individuals with disabilities. These narrow rulings ensure that the persons Congress i… Continue Reading


09.10.08

Leahy Amendment To Address Wartime Fraud Adopted By Senate Fraud Enforcement Measure Added To Defense Authorization Bill

(Wednesday, September 10, 2008) - The Senate today adopted an amendment introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to extend the amount of time for the federal government to prosecute wartime contracting fraud, including fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Senate adopted the Wartime Enforcement of Fraud Act (WEFA) as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. Leahy introduced the Wartime Enforcement of Fraud Act in April. The bipartisan legislation was reported by the Senate Judi… Continue Reading


09.10.08

Senate Judiciary Committee Looks At New Strategies To Combat Violent Crime

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) chaired a hearing Wednesday to examine the rise in violent crime in cities and towns across the country, and to explore new strategies to address the growing national problem. In March, Leahy chaired a Senate Judiciary Committee field hearing in Rutland,Vermont, a community that has developed and implemented effective programs to address a recent spike in drug-related violent crime. Community leaders and academics will provide testim… Continue Reading


08.28.08

Comments On The Department Of Justice’s New Policy Regarding The Corporate Attorney-Client Privilege

I am pleased that the Department of Justice has finally announced a significant and welcome change to its policy regarding requests for waiver of the corporate attorney-client privilege. For years, I have emphad the importance of the attorney-client privilege. I have said that the Department must take all necessary steps to correct the abuses documented earlier in this administration and to address lingering concerns. I am glad that at long last Judge Filip and others at the Department … Continue Reading


08.21.08

Attorney General To Postpone Signing Of New FBI Guidelines For National Security Investigations After Request By Leahy And Specter

(Thursday, August 21, 2008) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) Thursday released a letter they have received from the office of Attorney General Michael Mukasey, agreeing to their request that he postpone the signing of new guidelines for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to conduct national security investigations. The letter was in response to an August 18 letter from Leahy and Specter in which they asked for the postpo… Continue Reading


08.20.08

Leahy Announces $8.2 M. In Farm Bill Funds For Troy And Jay Wastewater Improvements . . . Improved System To Encourage Economic Growth And Protect Lake Champlain

U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday told members of the Troy and Jay selectboards and local business leaders assembled at the Jay Fire Department that more than $8.2 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development funding is on its way to the two communities to help with a new wastewater improvement project slated to begin in 2010. Leahy, a former chairman and the most senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, helped write the 2008 Farm Bill that funded elements of th… Continue Reading


08.19.08

Leahy, Specter Press White House For OLC Torture Documents

(Tuesday, August 19, 2008) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) today pressed the White House to respond to outstanding requests from members of Congress for information about legal analysis and advice related to detention and interrogation policies provided to the administration by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). The Judiciary Committee's jurisdiction includes oversight of the offices within the Department of Justice, including… Continue Reading


08.18.08

Leahy, Specter Push For Postponement Of Finalized Guidelines For FBI

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) today urged Attorney General Michael Mukasey to postpone approval of proposed new guidelines for Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conduct in national security investigations, and to allow for more time to consult with Congress and other interested parties on the planned changes. In a letter sent Monday, Leahy and Specter urged Mukasey to delay taking any additional action on the guidelines un… Continue Reading


08.18.08

Vermont Delegation Hails Plan To Open New Rural Health Resource Center At The White River Junction VA Hospital

The members of Vermont's Congressional Delegation - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) and Rep. Peter Welch (D) - welcomed the announcement Monday that the VA Medical Center in White River Junction has been selected to host the East Coast's Rural Health Resource Center. The Vermont lawmakers have pressed for steps to increase VA medical access in Vermont's rural areas.The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) plans to open the White River Junction Rural Health Resource Center on … Continue Reading


08.14.08

Leahy Files Supreme Court Brief On Behalf Of Vermont Musician Case To Be Argued Before High Court In November

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday filed a petition in the United States Supreme Court concerning a case the nation's top court will hear later this year involving Vermont resident Diana Levine. Leahy was joined by 17 members of Congress, including Vermont Senator Bernard Sanders and Vermont Congressman Peter Welch, in filing the petition, known as an amicus brief, on Thursday. On January 18, 2008, the Supreme Court granted review in Wyeth v. Diana Levine, a case in which a Vermont jury a… Continue Reading


08.14.08

Leahy Rebukes White House For Continued Failure To Comply With Congressional Subpoenas

In a letter sent Thursday to the White House, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday rebuffed the administration's efforts to stonewall congressional investigators. Responding to an August 7 letter from White House Counsel Fred Fielding, Leahy rejected the administration's efforts to "run out the clock" on subpoenas issued by the Senate and House Judiciary Committees to current and former White House officials, including Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former White … Continue Reading


08.12.08

On Comments Of Attorney General Michael Mukasey To The American Bar Association

"Attorney General Mukasey's blanket conclusions appear premature based on the facts and evidence that congressional investigators and the Inspector General have uncovered so far. The White House stonewalling continues, with aides refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas and testify about their role in the politicization of the Department of Justice. The Attorney General, the nation's top law enforcement officer, seems intent on insulating this administration from accountability. We mus… Continue Reading


08.12.08

Leahy Bill To Extend U.S. Parole Commission Becomes Law

A bill introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to extend the United States Parole Commission for three years was signed into law by the President today. The U.S. Parole Commission is charged with granting or denying parole for incarcerated prisoners under federal jurisdiction or the jurisdiction of the District of Columbia. The current Commission was originally constituted more than 20 years ago, and was slated to expire in 1992. Congress has acted four times to extend the Commission. Witho… Continue Reading


08.11.08

Leahy, Specter Press Mueller For Information About Improper FBI Access Of Reporters’ Phone Records

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) sent a letter Monday to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Robert Mueller pressing the Director to provide more information to Committee members about the misuse of so-called "exigent letters." Press accounts last week revealed that Mueller apologized to editors at The New York Times and The Washington Post for a 2004 breach of Department of Justice guidelines regarding subpoenas for r… Continue Reading


08.09.08

Work Funded By Leahy Will Zero In On The Most Serious Sources Of Phosphorus Runoff In The Missisquoi Bay Watershed

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy Saturday announced the go-ahead for a technical survey that will identify the most serious sources of phosphorus runoff into the border-spanning Missisquoi Bay watershed, to boost efforts to reduce phosphorus pollution in Lake Champlain and the Bay. Leahy aide Bob Paquin announced the news on Leahy's behalf at the 7th annual International Northern Lake Champlain Coalition public meeting here. Leahy secured funding for the survey, which is being launched by the Int… Continue Reading


08.07.08

On Administration’s Second Refusal To Provide Testimony From Joshua Bolten

The White House today responded to a July 31 letter sent by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) instructing White House Counsel Fred Fielding to advise the Committee when Joshua Bolten would comply with a congressional subpoena requiring testimony related to the firing of U.S. Attorneys. A ruling by District Court Judge John Bates last week rejected President Bush's claim that senior White House officials are not required to comply with congressional subpoenas. Today, Wh… Continue Reading


08.06.08

On Cyber Crime Legislation

"The coordinated effort by the U.S. Attorneys' office, the Justice Department's Criminal Division, the Secret Service and others shows what law enforcement can do when provided tools to combat cyber crime. The Senate has twice passed legislation to strengthen those tools to fight identity theft and protect the privacy of all Americans. We must provide law enforcement with the needed tools to safeguard that privacy. We cannot wait to enact legislation to combat cyber crime. When Congress retu… Continue Reading


08.01.08

Leahy Announces $1 Million In Grants For Local Drug Abuse Programs Across Vermont

Thirteen community coalitions across Vermont will receive continued federal support, totaling just over $1 million, for their efforts to combat drug abuse, according to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). The Drug-Free Communities grants from the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) run for a year from September 30 this year and will help community groups work to prevent and reduce drug, alcohol, and tobacco abuse among youths and to strengthen community anti-drug coalitions among community o… Continue Reading


08.01.08

On The Retirement Of General Richard A. Cody

Mr. LEAHY. I rise to commend GEN Richard A. Cody, the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, on his retirement. General Cody is one of the Nation's finest military officers, and, with a career that spans over 36 years in the Army, he leaves behind a stronger, more experienced, and more professional fighting force. Vermont is proud to call General Cody a native, and there is little doubt that his time growing up in our State capital, Montpelier, instilled in him a deep sense of loyalty and public servi… Continue Reading


08.01.08

Attorney General Asked To Assess Damage Done To Justice Department By Illegal, Politicized Hiring Practices

(Friday, August 1, 2008) - In the wake of reports that Justice Department officials used political and ideological screening tests to fill career positions, seven Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee today asked Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey to assess whether this illegal hiring practice has done long-term damage to the mission of the Department. The letter to Mukasey was signed by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (… Continue Reading

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