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


Senate Panel Reports Leahy-Authored Bill To Modernize Satellite TV Services

The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved legislation to reauthorize the expiring statutory licenses that permit satellite providers to retransmit broadcast stations to consumers. The bipartisan Satellite Television Modernization Act was introduced last week by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). Leahy is the chairman of the Committee. The Satellite Television Modernization Act will modernize and simplify portions of the statutory licenses used by satellite television providers, while makin… Continue Reading


On The Administration’s Policy On The Use Of The State Secrets Privilege

I am pleased that the Attorney General is moving in the right direction to better control assertions of the state secrets privilege. The administration policies announced today bring a higher degree of transparency and accountability to a process previously shrouded in darkness. The Attorney General's announcement includes several concepts drawn from the States Secrets Protection Act (S.417). The new policy adopts the standard that the government can only assert the state secret privilege in … Continue Reading


Judiciary Committee Considers Expiring Patriot Act Provisions

The Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday held a hearing to consider provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act which are slated to expire on December 31. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy on Tuesday introduced legislation to extend the sunset on the expiring provisions, and to add checks and balances to the Patriot Act by increasing judicial review and reporting requirements. The USA PATRIOT Act was enacted in 2001, and was extended in 2006. Member statements, witness testimony and a live webcast are … Continue Reading


Vermont Receives $19.4 Million In Energy Efficiency, Weatherization And Renewable Energy Funding

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and U.S. Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) on Tuesday announced over $19 million in recovery funding for energy efficiency, weatherization and renewable energy programs in Vermont. The Department of Energy this week released the second half of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for two Vermont programs geared toward reducing the state's energy use and creating jobs. Vermont's State Energy Program received the r… Continue Reading


Leahy, Cardin, Kaufman Introduce Benchmark Legislation To Reauthorize Expiring PATRIOT Act Provisions

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday introduced legislation to address expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act, which are slated to sunset on December 31. The Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the expiring provisions of the Patriot Act on Wednesday, September 23. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), the chair of the Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security, and Senator Ted Kaufman (D-Del.), also a member of the Judiciary Committee, are cosponso… Continue Reading


Leahy Introduces Bill To Repeal Antitrust Exemption For Health, Medical Malpractice Insurance Companies

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday introduced legislation to eliminate a federal antitrust exemption for health insurance and medical malpractice insurance companies. As the Senate prepares to consider comprehensive health care reform legislation, Leahy introduced the Health Insurance Industry Antitrust Enforcement Act to repeal the antitrust exemption that was established in the 1945 McCarran-Ferguson Act. "A few industries have used their influence to obtain a… Continue Reading


Comment On FOIA Provisions In The Senate-Passed Intelligence Authorization Act

The Senate on September 16 unanimously passed S. 1494, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010. "I am very pleased that the Intelligence Authorization Act contains several improvements that I recommended to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). I am particularly pleased that we were able to reach an agreement to delete a broad and unnecessary exemption to FOIA's disclosure requirements for terrorist identity information. "No one would quibble with the notion that o… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Will Continue To Move Toward Vote On Reporter Shield Bill

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) expressed disappointment Thursday that the Committee was unable to report legislation that would establish a qualified privilege for journalists. The bipartisan Free Flow of Information Act has been on the Committee's executive agenda for five months, and despite weeks of debate and months of negotiations, Committee Republicans stonewalled consideration of amendments to the important legislation. "I am disappointed that the Committee wa… Continue Reading


Senate Confirms First Appellate Court Nominee

The Senate Thursday confirmed the first appellate court nomination of the 111th Congress, ending months of delay in the consideration of President Obama's lower court nominations. Judge Gerard Lynch was confirmed to serve on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The final vote was 94-3. Lynch first appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 12. The Senate confirmed his nomination more than three months after it was favorably reported to the Senate, on June 11. Senate Judiciary Com… Continue Reading


Comment On The ACORN Amendment

These videotapes that are the excuse for this amendment understandably have offended most who have heard about them, including me. I detest the stupidity and crassness that they depict. If people have acted improperly, they should be fired, and if they have acted illegally, they should be prosecuted, period. The Obama Administration has been equally critical. ACORN is not the reason for my vote. There is not even an ACORN office in my entire state. Nor, for that matter, is there any reason … Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Holds FBI Oversight Hearing

The Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday morning held an oversight hearing of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Director Robert Mueller testified before the panel. Testimony, member statements, and a webcast of the hearing are available online. Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.),Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee,Hearing On Oversight Of The Federal Bureau Of InvestigationSeptember 16, 2009 Today we hold our second hearing this Congress on oversight of the Federal Bureau of Inves… Continue Reading


Leahy Commemorates 15th Anniversary Of Violence Against Women Act

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday released the following statement in recognition of the 15th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, which was signed into law in September 1994. Leahy worked to reauthorize the law in 2000 and 2005. Earlier this year, Leahy introduced legislation to help address the needs of domestic violence victims by strengthening the Violence Against Women Act. The legislation, the Improving Assistance to Domestic and Sexual Violence… Continue Reading


Leahy Introduces Bill To Modernize Satellite Television Services

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday introduced legislation to reauthorize, modernize and simplify portions of the statutory license used by satellite television providers. The authorization for the license is set to expire on December 31. The bipartisan Satellite Television Modernization Act will reauthorize the expiring statutory licenses that permit satellite providers to retransmit broadcast stations to consumers. The bill will also modernize and simplify the licenses, while making adjus… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces Hearing To Review Expiring PATRIOT Act Provisions

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced today that the Committee will hold an oversight hearing to review expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act, which was first passed by Congress in 2001. The Act was reauthorized in 2006. Three provisions in the Act are slated to expire on December 31, 2009, including the authorizations for roving wiretaps, the "lone wolf" measure, and the business records provision, commonly referred to as the "library" provision. In March, … Continue Reading


Comment On The ACORN Amendment

"Congress should not compound the wrongful and stupid actions depicted on these videos by deciding to set political standards for federal grants. Federal agencies use a nonpartisan review process to award grants to the most competitive applicants. Just as I would be against banning other specific organizations on the right or on the left from applying for competitive grants, I believe it is harmful, even though popular, to approve an amendment like this." # # # # #… Continue Reading


Leahy Sets Judiciary Committee Hearing In St. Albans To Gauge Competition In The Northeast Dairy Market, In The Context Of The Ongoing Dairy Crisis

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is bringing a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to Vermont this weekend to examine the state of competition in the Northeast in the context of the dairy crisis that continues to squeeze dairy farms in Vermont and across the nation. Leahy, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has set the hearing for 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, at the St. Albans City Hall, 100 Main Street, in St. Albans, Vt. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will join Leahy for the hearing, which is ti… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces $12 M. In Federal Funds To Spur Job Growth And New Development Projects At Burlington International Airport

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. -- U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) joined Burlington Mayor Bob Kiss and officials from Burlington International Airport Friday afternoon at the airport to announce $12.75 million in Federal Aviation Administration airport improvement grants. Leahy, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, directly secured more than $1.5 million for the projects, with the rest provided through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act ("stimulus package") grants and competiti… Continue Reading


Leahy Praises Committee Progress On Media Shield Legislation

The Senate Judiciary Committee took a critical step forward in considering legislation to establish a federal media shield during a business meeting Thursday. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) made the first attempts to consider the Free Flow of Information Act in April. Over the last four months, Leahy, and the bill's lead sponsors, Senator s Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), have continued to work with media organizations and coalitions and the Obama administration to … Continue Reading


Comments Honoring Senator Edward Kennedy

Senator Leahy Honors Senator Edward Kennedy Mr LEAHY: Madam President, I think when I hear the Senator from Mississippi, before him, the Senator from Illinois, the Senator from California, the Senator from Massachusetts and others who have spoken, it brings back so many memories. The memory I have was on August 26th, when, early in the morning we heard the news about Senator Kennedy. Now, Marcelle and I knew the day was coming and that we would lose a close friend of over 35 years, but ou… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Reports Judicial Nominations, U.S. Attorneys

At its first business meeting since the confirmation of Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday reported six nominations, including two judicial nominations, to the full Senate for consideration. The nominations of Beverly Baldwin Martin to the Eleventh Circuit and Jeffrey Viken to the District of South Dakota were first considered at a hearing on July 29. Their nominations were reported by the Committee along with four U.S. Attorney nominees, i… Continue Reading

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