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


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


Emergency Dairy Aid Approved by Congress

By a vote of 76 to 22, the Senate today passed and sent to President Obama legislation to provide $350 million in emergency assistance for hard-pressed dairy farmers. The House last night approved the same $121 billion agriculture spending bill for the 2010 budget year. The bill includes $290 million for direct support to dairy farmers using guidelines to be determined by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack under an expedited process. Another $60 million would be used to purchase cheese and other… Continue Reading


Judiciary Committee Approves USA PATRIOT Act Legislation

(Thursday, October 8, 2009) - At a meeting Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation to reauthorize expiring provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act and improve oversight of several tools used to gather intelligence. The Committee's bipartisan 11-8 vote advances the legislation to the full Senate for consideration. The USA PATRIOT Act Sunset Extension Act was introduced by Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and original cosponsors Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Ted Kaufman (D-Del.… Continue Reading


Leahy, Judiciary Committee Look At SCOTUS Rulings In Age Discrimination, Arbitration Cases

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday chaired a hearing in which the Committee examined two Supreme Court decisions that have made it more difficult for workers to take employers to court for civil rights violations and, once there, more difficult for victims to prove workplace discrimination. The hearing focused on Circuit City v. Adams, which extended the scope of the Federal Arbitration Act to cover employment contracts, and Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc., … Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders And Welch Huddle With Energy Secretary To Underscore Support For Vermont’s Smart Grid Application

- The Vermont Congressional Delegation - Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D) - Wednesday met with Energy Secretary Steven Chu to underscore their support for Vermont's application for "Smart Grid" investments under this year's economic recovery act. Meeting in Leahy's office in the U.S. Capitol, they discussed Vermont's work on several energy and "green economy" initiatives, in which Vermont is emerging as a model for the nation - policy areas… Continue Reading


Statement On The Bond-Leahy Amendment On Tactical Aircraft Retirement

Mr. President, I rise in support of the amendment offered by Senator Bond to temporarily suspend the retirement of tactical aircraft by the US Air Force. For months, Senator Bond and I as co-chairs of the Senate National Guard Caucus have repeatedly questioned Air Force and Department of Defense leadership what it was doing to address a looming shortfall in available aircraft for Air National Guard Units. The Air Force acknowledges this issue and I know has spent a great deal of time studying … Continue Reading


Comment On The Immigration And Customs Enforcement Report On Immigration Detention Overview And Recommendations

"I hope the Department of Homeland Security will work to implement the recommendations included in Dr. Schriro's report released today. In August, I urged the Obama administration to expand the use of secure, humane, cost-effective community-based programs for immigration detention. This report makes several constructive recommendations, including establishing nationwide legal orientation programs, new detention standards, pilot programs for community-based alternatives to detention, and stric… Continue Reading


Douglas, Leahy, Sanders And Welch Applaud First Broadband Funding To Reach Vermont Under Economic Recovery Act

U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Congressman Peter Welch and Governor Jim Douglas Tuesday welcomed the announcement by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, that Vermont has been awarded Vermont a $1.2 million broadband mapping grant. Vermont's grant is one of the first four American Recovery and Reinvestment Act broadband grants to reach the states for broadband mapping, aggregation and infrastruct… Continue Reading


Bicameral Legislation Will Protect Older Workers From Discrimination, Restore Civil Rights

Today, three Chairmen - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Congressman George Miller (D-CA), Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee - introduced landmark legislation that restores vital civil rights protections for older workers in the face of the Supreme Court's decision in Gross v. FBL Financial. In Gross, the Supreme Court rewrote civil ri… Continue Reading


Senate Confirms Perez To Key Justice Department Post

The Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly voted to confirm Thomas E. Perez to be Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice. The nomination has languished on the Senate calendar for more than four months. The final vote was 72-22. Perez was nominated by President Obama in March, and he appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 29. The Committee favorably reported the nomination to the full Senate on June 4 by a vote of 17-2. Senate Ju… Continue Reading


Comment On The Administration’s Views On S. 515, The Patent Reform Act

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is the lead sponsor of the Patent Reform Act of 2009, which was reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee in April. Leahy has worked to pass patent reform legislation for several Congresses. The bipartisan legislation is pending before the full Senate. "The administration's letter of support for the needed provisions in the Patent Reform Act reinforces the urgent need to enact this legislation. It has been more than 50 years since Congress passed meaningful ref… Continue Reading

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