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


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee,

"The Inspector General credits the FBI for maintaining a higher standard in the interrogation of detainees. In a majority of circumstances, agents at the FBI appear to have adhered to a clear policy in the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, and in Iraq and Afghanistan. I still wish that Director Mueller had been more forthcoming when I asked him about these matters at our May 2004 hearing. Had he done so, he might have helped paved the way for Congress to investigate allegations of abu… Continue Reading


Leahy, Specter Send Letter To Attorney General About FBI-ATF Cooperation

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) Thursday sent a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey asking him to provide the Judiciary Committee with information about how he is mediating disputes between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), as reported May 10 in The Washington Post. The ATF was brought under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice under th… Continue Reading


By Veto-Proof Margins, Congress Sends To President A Farm Bill That Will Renew And Expand The MILC Safety Net For Dairy Farmers

The Vermont Congressional Delegation - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I), and Rep. Peter Welch (D) - Thursday hailed today's final congressional approval of a new 5-year Farm Bill that will extend and strengthen the safety net that dairy farmers rely on when milk prices plummet. The new charter for the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program includes a major breakthrough for dairy farmers. For the first time, dairy farmers' rising production costs will help trigger MILC progra… Continue Reading


Judiciary Committee Reports Nominee For Fourth Circuit

The Senate Judiciary Committee today unanimously voted to report the nomination of Steven Agee to fill a vacancy on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) expedited the consideration of the Agee nomination after the White House finally reversed course after years spent making contentious nominations to the Fourth Circuit bench, stalling progress in the Senate to fill vacancies in the Circuit. After years of delay, the President in March heeded the advice of Virgini… Continue Reading


Judiciary Committee Reports Bill To Increase Federal Judgeships

The Senate Judiciary Committee today reported a bill introduced by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to increase Federal judgeships and help reduce judicial backlogs in districts across the country. The bipartisan Federal Judgeship Act of 2008 was introduced by Leahy in March, and is cosponsored by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and more than a dozen other Senators. Congress has not passed a bill since 1990 to address the increasing needs of both c… Continue Reading


Vermont Highlights of 2008 Farm Bill

Renewal & Expansion Of MILC Program;More Funds For Lake Champlain Cleanup;Expanded Help For Vermont's Anti-Hunger Efforts;Another Big Boost For Vermont's Organic Sector DAIRY Senator Leahy led a bipartisan coalition in working for several months to secure renewal of and improvements to the basic safety net for dairy farmers, the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program. In the end the MILC program received one of the largest funding boosts of any commodity in the Farm Bill. In ad… Continue Reading


Leahy Ensures That Vermont Is A Big Winner In New Farm Bill – Major Boosts For State’s Dairy, Organic, Anti-Hunger And Lake Champlain Priorities

(Wednesday, May 14) -- Vermont's clout in agriculture policy again is paying big dividends as Congress races to finish work on a new bipartisan five-year Farm Bill. The House Wednesday passed the newly negotiated Farm Bill by a veto-proof vote of 318 to 106, and the Senate has set its vote on the bill for Thursday. The Senate is also expected to pass the bill with more than enough votes to override a threatened presidential veto. The new Farm Bill advances key Vermont agriculture, anti-hunge… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces Agreement On Privacy Provisions In Health IT Bill

(Wednesday, May 14, 2008) - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today announced a breakthrough in the impasse over privacy provisions in the Wired for Health Care Quality Act, a bill sponsored by Sens. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.) to help establish a national health information technology system. Leahy, a longtime advocate for personal privacy protections, had expressed concerns that the bill lacked adequate privacy protections for patients. Leahy has been working with Kennedy, En… Continue Reading


Leahy Schedules Judiciary Committee Hearing On The Right To Vote

(Tuesday, May 13, 2008) -Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has scheduled a hearing to examine the constitutional underpinnings of voting rights and to investigate obstacles that impede access to the ballot box for all Americans. Several states are currently considering policies that could erect barriers between eligible voters and their constitutional right to vote. Recent reports from the May 6 primary in Indiana, including reports that a nun who volunteered as a poll … Continue Reading


Hearing On “The Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program: Protecting our Nation’s Law Enforcement Officers”

I am pleased to convene today's hearing about the Bulletproof Vest Partnership grant program during National Police Week. I thank our witnesses for taking time during this week of important events and meaningful ceremonies to appear before this Committee and share their experiences with us, to help us better understand the importance of body armor for our peace officers. This week, law enforcement officers from around the country come to Washington to honor the men and women who have given the… Continue Reading


the Introduction Of A Bill To Reauthorize The Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Act

(Tuesday, May 13, 2008) - A bipartisan group of Senators today introduced key legislation to reauthorize the lifesaving Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program, a competitive grant program administered by the Department of Justice that provides matching funds to state and local law enforcement officers to purchase bulletproof and stab-resistant vests. Identical legislation was also introduced today in the House of Representatives. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) an… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces Witnesses For Hearing On Oil Prices

(Monday, May 12, 2008) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today announced the panel of witnesses for a hearing to examine the explosive rise in oil prices. Executives from five major oil companies - BP America, Shell, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Exxon - will testify at a May 21 hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The hearing will be held at 10:00 a.m. in room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. Non-credentialed members of the press should contact the… Continue Reading


The Passage Of A Resolution To Honor The Sacrifices Made By The Men And Women Who Serve As Law Enforcement Officers

(Friday, May 9, 2008) - Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy has invited a lieutenant with the Vermont State Police to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee at a hearing to be held Tuesday, May 13, on Capitol Hill. The hearing will focus on the importance of the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Act, a program authored by Leahy that has granted millions of dollars for law enforcement agencies across the country to buy lifesaving bulletproof vests for their officers. Lieutenant Michael Macarilla o… Continue Reading


President Signs Bill Establishing Quadricentennial Commission To Help Organize Commemoration Of Champlain’s Exploration

(Thursday, May 8) - President Bush Thursday signed into law legislation authored by the Vermont Congressional Delegation -- Sen. Patrick Leahy (D), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I), Rep. Peter Welch (D) -- and by their New York congressional counterparts, that will establish a commission to help organize next year's commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain's first voyage on Lake Champlain. Other sponsors of the commission legislation include Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. Chuc… Continue Reading


Leahy: Visa To Publicly Disclose Rules For Merchants

(Thursday, May 8, 2008) - Two years after the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing to examine the fees charged to merchants when they accept a credit or debit card transaction, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday announced that on May 15, Visa - one of the world's leading credit card companies - will post online the company's rules that apply to merchants who accept their cards. The Judiciary Committee, which Leahy currently chairs, held a hearing in 2006 to explore the effects of intercha… Continue Reading


The President’s Nomination Of Judge Glen E. Conrad To Serve On The Fourth Circuit Court Of Appeals

(Thursday, May 8, 2008) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) commended the President Thursday for heeding the recommendation of Virginia Senators John Warner (R) and Jim Webb (D) by sending to the Senate the nomination of Glen E. Conrad to fill the second Virginia vacancy on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The nomination comes after years of contentiousness and failed nominations for the Fourth Circuit, including those of Jim Haynes, Claude Allen and, most recently, … Continue Reading


Hearing On Judicial Nominations

(Wednesday, May 7, 2008) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) held a hearing today on three judicial nominations from Michigan, including two nominees to fill the final vacancies on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. It was the seventhnominations hearing of 2008, and the fifth for judicial nominations. Last week, the Committee held a hearing on the nomination of Steven Agee to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as two district court nominations. The Judiciary… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee To Examine Explosive Rise In Oil Prices

(Wednesday, May 7, 2008) - The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing later this month to examine the rising price of crude oil and its effect on gas prices across the country, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced today. In a hearing scheduled for May 21, the Judiciary Committee will examine how the price of crude oil - unrefined petroleum that is processed and used as gasoline to power vehicles, airplanes and farm equipment - affects the price consumers pay at gasoline stations acr… Continue Reading


The Introduction Of The “Runaway And Homeless Youth Protection Act

(Tuesday, May 6, 2008) - Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy today introduced legislation to reauthorize the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA), a critical Federal grant program established to help states and local communities address the needs of runaway and homeless youths in both urban and rural areas. One week after the Senate Judiciary Committee, which Leahy chairs, heard testimony from expert witnesses about the benefits of the RHYA, Leahy introduced the Runaway and Homeless Youth Protection… Continue Reading


Sen. McCain’s Speech On Judicial Nominations

"Senator McCain today chose to pander to those on the far right who prefer partisan fights designed to energize a political base during an election year. He ignored his own history in supporting filibusters against circuit court nominees, as well as his record of flip flops depending on which party holds the presidency. He ignores the progress we have made in repairing the damage Republicans did to the confirmation process and our efforts to reduce judicial vacancies after Republicans blocked … Continue Reading

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