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Press Releases

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

02.28.08

Statement On Amending The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Executive Business Meeting

Even as we meet here this morning, the President once again is misusing his bully pulpit, as he speaks again about changing the FISA law. Once again, his purpose is not to help the Congress and the country reach consensus on a sensible law, but to tell the Congress to set aside its legislative process and to merely take the administration's dictation. The administration and some of its allies are intent on playing politics with this important issue, and once again they are showing they are not… Continue Reading


02.27.08

Statement On ''The False Claims Act Corrections Act Of 2007 (S. 2041): Strengthening The Government's Most Effective Tool Against Fraud For The 21st Century”

Nearly a century and half ago, President Abraham Lincoln pushed through the False Claims Act in order to combat rampant fraud and war profiteering during the Civil War. It is fitting that we hold this hearing on legislation to strengthen "Lincoln's Law" the same month we celebrate President Lincoln's birth. Today, again in the midst of war and facing reports of billions lost to fraud and waste in Iraq and Afghanistan, we are considering important new improvements to the False Claims Act - not… Continue Reading


02.27.08

Remarks On The Feingold-Reid-Leahy Legislation On The War In Iraq

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, the Senate once again is debating a bill by Senator Feingold, Senator Reid, myself and others to change course in Iraq. And once again, I urge the Senate to act. This is a war started under false pretenses, waged with incompetent political policymaking that disserved the bravery and sacrifice of our fighting men and women. This is a war that now slogs on - week after week, year after year -- with nothing but a "pause" on the horizon, and still no end in sight. The t… Continue Reading


02.26.08

Leahy, Sanders Again Push For Withdrawal Of U.S. Troops From Iraq

(Tuesday, Feb. 26) -- The U.S. Senate Tuesday will vote on legislation cosponsored by Vermont's two U.S. Senators to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) are original cosponsors of a bill introduced by Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wisc.) and Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that would cut off funding for the military mission in Iraq four months after passage, with exceptions for counterterrorism, troop training and other limited purposes. Leahy and S… Continue Reading


02.26.08

Statement On The “School Safety And Law Enforcement Improvement Act”

Since my last statement on the need for prompt congressional action to address incidents involving threatening conduct and, too often, deadly acts of violence at our schools and college campuses nationwide, the violent incidents have continued, with tragic results. In the week between February 8 and February 15, there were at least four incidents at schools and universities resulting in death or serious injury to victims of all ages. On February 8, a female student killed two other st… Continue Reading


02.25.08

Scare Tactics And Our Surveillance Bill

Nothing is more important to the American people than our safety and our freedom. As the chairmen of the House and Senate intelligence and judiciary committees, we have an enormous responsibility to protect both. Unfortunately, instead of working with Congress to achieve the best policies to keep our country safe, once again President Bush has resorted to scare tactics and political games. In November, the House passed legislation to give U.S. intelligence agencies strong tools to interce… Continue Reading


02.25.08

Scare Tactics And Our Surveillance Bill Op-Ed - The Washington Post

By Sens. Jay Rockefeller, Patrick Leahy, Silvestre Reyes and John Conyers Nothing is more important to the American people than our safety and our freedom. As the chairmen of the House and Senate intelligence and judiciary committees, we have an enormous responsibility to protect both. Unfortunately, instead of working with Congress to achieve the best policies to keep our country safe, once again President Bush has resorted to scare tactics and political games. In November, the House … Continue Reading


02.22.08

Delegation Announces $1.3 Million For Vermont Home Heating Assistance

BURLINGTON, February 22 - U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy and Congressman Peter Welch today announced the release of $40 million in home heating assistance. The latest round of emergency heating aid included $1.3 million for Vermont, where a new layer of snow was falling and the low temperature tonight was predicted to be around 17 degrees in Burlington. The White House is still sitting on another $120 million in emergency funds that President Bush has not released to states dur… Continue Reading


02.22.08

Senate And House Judiciary And Intelligence Committee Chairs Continue To Work On FISA, Administration And Congressional Republicans Refuse To Join

(Friday, Feb. 22, 2008) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.), and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas), released the following statement after committee staffs met for a second day to discuss Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) reform legislation. "Today, our staffs met again i… Continue Reading


02.21.08

Judicial Confirmation Hearing

Today the Committee is holding another hearing on judicial nominations. This is the second such hearing within two weeks. The Committee is pleased to welcome the senior Senator from Virginia who is joining us today. Senator Warner has always appreciated the importance of the judiciary and the significance of judicial nominees. I was pleased to work with Senator Warner when his support for Roger Gregory helped the Senate finally to confirm the first African American to serve on the Fourth Ci… Continue Reading


02.21.08

Senate And House Chairmen Continue Work On FISA Reform

(Thursday, Feb. 21, 2008) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.), and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas), released the following statement regarding their continued work to reach a compromise on Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) reform: "In what should have been a bip… Continue Reading


02.20.08

IRS Backs Down On Rules Change That Would Have Harmed Vermont’s Captive Insurance Industry

(WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and U.S. Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) announced Wednesday that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has dropped plans to change the way Vermont's captive insurance companies are taxed. Both Leahy and Welch sent letters asking the IRS to withdraw the proposed regulation. Leahy said, "IRS officials listened, and they were willing to pull back an overly broad rule change that did not make sense for self-insuring companies. Peter an… Continue Reading


02.19.08

The Resignation Of Cuban President Fidel Castro

"For years we have had a failed policy toward Cuba that is beneath a great and good nation like ours. Our policy is as much a relic of the past as is Cuba's communist regime. It has done nothing to defeat communism but has actually strengthened it there. Momentum has been building in recent years for our efforts to make sensible changes in our policy, and as Castro fades from the scene, that momentum will continue to build. I hope today's news brings Cuba closer to the release of prisoners of co… Continue Reading


02.18.08

Leahy Announces $1 M. For Vermont Drug Task Force

MONTPELIER, Vt. (Monday, Feb. 18) - Senator Patrick Leahy announced Monday that he has secured $1 million in new U.S. Justice Department funds that the Vermont Drug Task Force will use to combat increased drug activity in Vermont. Leahy made the announcement at the Montpelier Police Department, joined by Vermont Bureau of Criminal Investigation Commander Major Tom L'Esperance and other law enforcement officials.Like other states, Vermont in recent years has faced a marked increase in marijuana, … Continue Reading


02.15.08

Meaningful Patent Reform; Pass Legislation To Maintain America's Competitive Edge

During the course of our work in the Senate, we have often found ourselves on opposite sides of controversial legislation. While we agree to disagree on some questions that come before the Senate Judiciary Committee, we have long been close partners on intellectual property issues. For several years, modernizing the patent system has been at the front and center of our mutual legislative agenda. Meaningful patent reform is crucial to America's ability to maintain its competitive edge in th… Continue Reading


02.15.08

Meaningful Patent Reform; Pass Legislation To Maintain America's Competitive Edge Op-Ed - The Washington Times

By Patrick Leahy and Orrin Hatch, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES During the course of our work in the Senate, we have often found ourselves on opposite sides of controversial legislation. While we agree to disagree on some questions that come before the Senate Judiciary Committee, we have long been close partners on intellectual property issues. For several years, modernizing the patent system has been at the front and center of our mutual legislative agenda. Meaningful patent reform is crucia… Continue Reading


02.14.08

Leahy: FOIA Ombudsman Belongs At Archives, Not DOJ

(Thursday, Feb. 14, 2008) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday called for full funding of a key office authorized by newly enacted legislation establishing an independent ombudsman to resolve Freedom of Information Act disputes between FOIA requestors and the federal government. In his Fiscal Year 2009 budget proposal sent to Congress last week, President Bush proposed shifting the functions of the newly authorized Office of Government Information Services (OGIS… Continue Reading


02.13.08

“Examining The State Secrets Privilege: Protecting National Security While Preserving Accountability”

Today, the Judiciary Committee turns its attention to the state secrets privilege - a common law doctrine the government can claim in court to prevent evidence that could harm national security from being publicly revealed. I want to thank Senators Specter and Kennedy for their help in planning this hearing, and commend them for their work on legislation that would create uniform standards to guide courts in evaluating state secrets privilege claims. Over the past seven years, the Bush admin… Continue Reading


02.13.08

Passage Of The Intelligence Authorization Act Conference Report, Including A Provision Limiting The CIA To Interrogation Techniques Authorized In The Army Field Manual

The Senate Thursday voted to approve the Intelligence Authorization Act Conference Report, including a provision to limit the CIA to interrogation techniques authorized in the Army Field Manual. This Report contains a provision that reinforces the prohibition against our Government engaging in torture. It expressly prohibits interrogation techniques that are not authorized by the United States Army Field Manual. By passing this bill, we will not only respond to this administration's ambigu… Continue Reading


02.12.08

Stowe Elementary School

Stowe Elementary: Hello Senator, We are the Stowe Elementary School Student Council, and just like you, we were elected to our position. Sabrina would like to know who you would like to see as our new President? Sen Leahy: hi - i can see you all and i just left the Senate floor - Sabrina i am backing Barack Obama and i was just talking with him upstairsStowe Elementary: Gabriela would like to know how can the government help to stop global warming?Sen Leahy: Gabriela the govt can enter… Continue Reading

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