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Press Releases

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

07.09.08

Mukasey Testifies At Senate Judiciary Committee Oversight Hearing

(Wednesday, July 9, 2008) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) convened a hearing Wednesday morning where the Committee heard testimony from Attorney General Michael Mukasey related to oversight of the Department of Justice. The Attorney General last appeared before the panel on January 30. Under Leahy's chairmanship, the Judiciary Committee has held periodic hearings as part of its function in conducting oversight of the Department of Justice. Leahy's prepared opening … Continue Reading


07.08.08

CommentOn The Bingaman Amendment To The FISA Amendments Act Of 2008

I strongly oppose the immunity provisions contained in this bill, and I have supported every effort to strike them. But if we cannot eliminate these ill-advised provisions, then I agree that Senator Bingaman's amendment to delay a decision on immunity until after the Inspectors General have conducted their review of the warrantless surveillance program makes good sense. I worked hard to include the Inspectors General amendment as a part of this FISA bill. For that provision to have its full … Continue Reading


07.07.08

On Oil Prices And Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program Press Conference, Burlington

Welcome everyone. I'm pleased to be here with the rest of Vermont's Congressional Delegation, Senator Sanders and Congressman Welch, and we're glad to have with us representatives of the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association and of Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity, who will be available to answer questions. Vermonters have just spent a gorgeous Fourth of July weekend with their families and friends, and they've also just spent another unplanned portion of their family budgets at the… Continue Reading


07.07.08

On Oil Prices And Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program Press Conference, Burlington

Welcome everyone. I'm pleased to be here with the rest of Vermont's Congressional Delegation, Senator Sanders and Congressman Welch, and we're glad to have with us representatives of the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association and of Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity, who will be available to answer questions. Vermonters have just spent a gorgeous Fourth of July weekend with their families and friends, and they've also just spent another unplanned portion of their family budgets at the… Continue Reading


06.27.08

Senators Push Mukasey For Juvenile Justice Grant Application Information

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today led a bipartisan group of senators in sending a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, pushing for greater transparency of the policies related to the grant-making authority of the Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Leahy was joined by Sens. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.), and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). The letter follows recent reports in The Washington Post and… Continue Reading


06.27.08

Senate Passes Gregg-Leahy Provision In Supplemental Appropriations Bill Requiring Iraq To Match U.S. Foreign Assistance For Iraq On A Dollar-For-Dollar Basis Provision Will Ensure Equal Buy-In By Government Of Iraq In Rebuilding Efforts And Provide Greater Accountability For Investment By U.S. Taxpayers

Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) Friday announced that the Senate late Thursday night passed a supplemental appropriations bill that includes their provision that for the first time requires the Government of Iraq to match U.S. foreign assistance on a dollar-for-dollar basis. The provision excludes the matching requirement for programs to promote democracy, human rights, hu… Continue Reading


06.26.08

As Fuel Prices Continue To Skyrocket, Key Panel Okays Leahy Amendment Directing Bush Administration To Release $120 Million In Emergency Home Heating Relief

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday afternoon approved an amendment by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to direct the Bush Administration to release $120 million in emergency home heating assistance funds. Leahy, a senior member of the committee, added the amendment to the annual budget bill for the Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies. The bill now goes to the full Senate for action. The Leahy amendment would require the Bush Administration upon enactm… Continue Reading


06.26.08

Comment On The House Subcommittee Markup Of Performance Rights Legislation

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), reacted today to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property's markup of legislation to recognize the rights of musical performers. Last year, Leahy introduced legislation to end an exemption benefiting traditional, over-the-air broadcasters and to ensure that performing artists are compensated when their sound recordings are played on the radio. Representative Howard Berman (D-Calif.), who chair… Continue Reading


06.26.08

Judiciary Committee Reports Leahy Bill To Address Wartime Fraud

The Senate Judiciary Committee today reported critical legislation to extend the window for the federal government to prosecute wartime contracting fraud, including fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Wartime Enforcement of Fraud Act (WEFA) was introduced in April by Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Committee Member Charles Grassley (R-Iowa). The legislation would close a loophole in a World War II-era law that has allowed individuals and corporations to go unpunished for delivering… Continue Reading


06.26.08

Reaction On Supreme Court Decision In District of Columbia v. Heller

"In its decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court has recognized the personal right to bear arms, guaranteed in the Second Amendment of the Constitution, and expressly held for the first time that our Bill of Rights includes this right among its guarantees of individual liberty and freedom. That is a good thing. This opinion should usher in a new era in which the constitutionality of government regulations of firearms are reviewed against the backdrop of this important righ… Continue Reading


06.25.08

Leahy: FOIA Anniversary Time For Renewed Open Government Commitment

(Wednesday, June 25, 2008) - Open government advocate Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) urged Congress today to renew efforts to improve government transparency and strengthen the nation's open government laws in advance of the upcoming anniversary of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). July 4 will mark the 42nd anniversary of the signing of the Freedom of Information Act, a law that continues to bring transparency to actions of the federal government at a time when excessive government secrecy has… Continue Reading


06.25.08

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee On The Constitution “Laptop Searches And Other Violations Of Privacy Faced By Americans Returning From Overseas Travel”

I am glad Senator Feingold has convened this important hearing to examine intrusive practices by the Department of Homeland Security at our Nation's ports of entry. These practices affect the privacy interests of American citizens. Americans understand that it is the Federal Government's responsibility to ensure that anyone entering the United States complies with the law. There is no dispute about this basic principle. But Americans also want their government's policies to respect and pres… Continue Reading


06.25.08

Leahy Statement On FISA Legislation ?Chairman Will Support Efforts To Strike Immunity Provisions

Leahy Statement On FISA Legislation Chairman Will Support Efforts To Strike Immunity Provisions WASHINGTON (Wednesday, June 25, 2008) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) delivered the following remarks today as the Senate prepares to debate the FISA Amendments Act of 2008. Leahy said he intends to oppose the Senate's motion to proceed to the legislation, and that he will support efforts to strike provisions in the bill that fail to provide accountability for the Bus… Continue Reading


06.25.08

Reaction On The Supreme Court Ruling In Exxon v. Baker

More than a decade ago, the Exxon Valdez was run aground by a drunk captain, leading to one of the worst - and preventable - environmental disasters to reach American shores. A jury determined that Exxon Mobil knowingly and repeatedly allowed a relapsed alcoholic to operate a ship filled with oil through Prince William Sound. That jury found Exxon to be liable for $5 billion for its actions. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals cut those damages in half. For more than a decade, Exxon Mobil has… Continue Reading


06.24.08

Statement At Hearing On “From Nuremburg To Darfur: Accountability For Crimes Against Humanity”

I am very pleased that the Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law is convening today's hearing on the crucial issue of holding people accountable for crimes against humanity. I thank Senator Durbin for chairing it, and the witnesses for being here today. I was proud to work with Senator Durbin in creating the Human Rights and the Law Subcommittee, which is working on important and difficult legal issues that have increasingly been … Continue Reading


06.24.08

Opening Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy

The Senate tonight will vote on three pending judicial nominations, including two circuit court nominations to fill the final vacancies on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The three nominees from Michigan, Judge Helene White and Raymond Kethledge for the Court of Appeals, and Steven Murphy for the Eastern District of Michigan, provided testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee at a May 7 hearing, and were reported by the Committee on June 12. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) deli… Continue Reading


06.24.08

Senate Passes Leahy-Obama Sponsored Measure To Commemorate Freedom Summer

The Senate Tuesday night unanimously passed a resolution introduced by Sen. Barak Obama (D-Ill.) and co-sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to commemorate the 44th anniversary of the1964 deaths of three civil rights workers, a tragedy that sparked events across the country that changed the course of the civil rights movement. The summer of their deaths became known as "Freedom Summer." Leahy has worked in the Senate towards passage of the Emmett Till Unresolved Civil Rights Crime Act, a bi… Continue Reading


06.24.08

Opening Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy

The Senate tonight will vote on three pending judicial nominations, including two circuit court nominations to fill the final vacancies on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The three nominees from Michigan, Judge Helene White and Raymond Kethledge for the Court of Appeals, and Steven Murphy for the Eastern District of Michigan, provided testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee at a May 7 hearing, and were reported by the Committee on June 12. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) deli… Continue Reading


06.24.08

On Department Of Justice Intern And Honors Programs

"Today's troubling report from the Inspector General confirms what our oversight efforts in this Congress have uncovered about the politicization of hiring practices at the Department. It confirms our findings and our fears that the same senior Department officials involved with the firing of United States Attorneys were injecting improper political motives into the process of hiring young attorneys. I suspect further reports from the Inspector General will continue to shed light on the extent… Continue Reading


06.16.08

Leahy Provisions Holding Private Security Contractors And War Profiteers Accountable Under U.S. Law Added To Iraq Supplemental Appropriations Bill

Three measures sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to hold private security contractors and war profiteers accountable under U.S. law for the first time were approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday afternoon and included in the Senate version of the emergency supplemental spending bill for Iraq, Afghanistan, and key domestic programs. In response to the killings of 17 innocent civilians by Blackwater security guards in Iraq last September, a provision to close a jurisdictio… Continue Reading

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