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Press Releases

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


Leahy Secures Privacy Protections In E-Government Reauthorization

(Monday, September 29, 2008) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has secured key privacy protections in proposed legislation to reauthorize the E-Government Act. The E-Government Act became law in 2002 to streamline government information and promote inter-agency communication and communication between the government and citizens. The E-Government Reauthorization Act was considered and reported by the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on September 16. Leahy subsequently… Continue Reading


On The Continuing Resolution Senate Floor

MR. LEAHY. Mr. President, we are about to vote on the Continuing Resolution to enable the Federal Government to continue functioning until March 6, 2009. I had hoped, as I know Chairman Byrd and Senator Cochran had, that we would have been permitted to debate and vote on the individual appropriations bills that the Appropriations Committee has reported. That was not to be, due to President Bush's insistence that he would veto bills that exceed his arbitrary spending cap, and to certain … Continue Reading


Leahy Secures Five Month Extension For Critical Foreign Investment Program

(Saturday, September 27, 2008) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has secured an extension of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center pilot program in a continuing resolution approved by Congress to keep the government operating when the fiscal year ends on September 30. The five-month extension will become effective when the President signs the bill. Leahy has pushed for a five-year extension of the successful EB-5 Regional Center pilot program. In March, he introduced legislation to mak… Continue Reading


Major Victory On Home Energy Assistance

A big boost in federal home energy assistance was included in sweeping legislation the Senate passed 78-12 today and sent to President Bush. About twice as much is allotted for Vermont this winter compared to last. The stopgap spending bill includes a provision patterned after the "Warm in Winter Cool in Summer Act" introduced on June 24 by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Sanders' bill was cosponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and 51 other senators. Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) spo… Continue Reading


On The Passage Of The “Judicial Administration And Technical Amendments Act Of 2008”

Mr. President, today the Senate has passed the Judicial Administration and Technical Amendments Act of 2008, a bill to provide important assistance to the men and women who comprise our Federal judiciary system. I am pleased the Senate has given its unanimous support to this important legislation. I thank Senators Schumer and Sessions for moving this bill through the Senate. Four years ago, a similar bipartisan measure I introduced never moved out of Committee in a Republican Congress. I… Continue Reading


Senate Passes Leahy-Sponsored Orphan Works Bill

(Saturday, September 27, 2008) - The Senate Friday night unanimously passed bipartisan legislation to encourage the use of "orphan works," works that may be protected by copyright but whose owners cannot be identified or located. The legislation was introduced by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously reported the legislation in May. A Republican objection had stalled the Senate's consideration of the bill. The Shawn Bentley Orp… Continue Reading


Leahy-Authored Provisions To Address Wartime Fraud Set To Become Law

A provision authored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to suspend the statute of limitations for prosecuting wartime contracting fraud will become law when the President signs a continuing resolution that includes the fiscal year 2009 defense appropriations bill, which was passed by the Senate Saturday. The language, introduced by Leahy in April as the Wartime Enforcement of Fraud Act (WEFA), has received bipartisan support. The bill was reported by the Senate Jud… Continue Reading


Vermonters’ Provision To Double LIHEAP Funds Sent To President


On The Failure To Pass The “Juvenile Justice And Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act”

In July, the Senate Judiciary Committee reported the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act, an important bill designed to protect our communities and particularly our most precious asset, our children. I am disappointed that Republican objections continue to prevent this vital bipartisan legislation from passing the Senate this year. This bill seeks to not only keep our children safe and out of trouble, but also to help ensure they have the opportunity to become p… Continue Reading


On S. 1946, The “Public Corruption Prosecution Improvements Act of 2007”

More than a year ago, I introduced a bill aimed at restoring Americans' faith in their elected officials. The bipartisan Public Corruption Prosecutions Improvements Act would complement the accomplishments this Congress has made in passing important ethics and lobbying reforms by giving law enforcement additional tools and resources to root out corrupt conduct. Although the Judiciary Committee reported the bill last November, it has been stalled on the Senate floor for nearly a year. In the w… Continue Reading


Senate Confirms Ten Lifetime Judicial Appointments Democrats Confirm More Bush Nominees Than Republican Majority

The Senate Democratic majority reached a milestone today when the Senate confirmed 10 nominations for lifetime appointments to the Federal bench in Utah, California, Colorado, Florida, Virginia, Kansas, and Pennsylvania. Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy expedited the consideration of the nominations. The Democratic majority has now confirmed 168 Bush nominees - more judicial nominations than a Republican Senate majority confirmed in more than four years during the Bush administration… Continue Reading


Statement On The Introduction Of The State Justice Institute Reauthorization Act Of 2008 Senate Floor

Today I am pleased to introduce a bill to reauthorize the State Justice Institute (SJI). The SJI is a congressionally-chartered organization that was created in 1984 to assist state judiciaries across the Nation in improving the quality of justice their citizens find in their courts. Their mission is an admirable one, and over the years they have provided funding for a diverse range of projects to help state judiciaries carry out the critically important work they do for their citizens. T… Continue Reading


Senate Passes Bill To Provide Treatment For Mentally Ill Offenders

(Friday, September 26, 2008) - The Senate Friday unanimously passed legislation to give aid to state and local law enforcement to help address the needs of nonviolent mentally ill offenders. The Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act was introduced in 2007 by Sens. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Pete Domenici (R-N.M.). Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), an original co-sponsor with Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa), worked to have the bill approved by the Judiciar… Continue Reading


Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Legislation Passes Senate

The Senate today unanimously passed legislation designed to address intellectual property rights enforcement concerns and to protect American innovation and advancement. The legislation was introduced in July by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R-Pa.). The Judiciary Committee reported the measure earlier this month. After constant negotiations in the Senate, and with the House of Representatives and the administration, the bill was am… Continue Reading


On Nomination Of J. Patrick Rowan To Be Assistant Attorney General For National Security

Today, the Senate will confirm the nomination of J. Patrick Rowan to be Assistant Attorney General in charge of the National Security Division at the Department of Justice. We continue in our efforts to rebuild the Department of Justice after the scandals of the Gonzales era and the Bush Administration. We have already confirmed 35 executive nominations so far this Congress, including the confirmations of 12 U.S. Attorneys, seven U.S. Marshals, and a new Attorney General, Deputy Attorney Ge… Continue Reading


Leahy-Backed Grant Program Reauthorization To Address DNA Backlogs Passes Senate

(Thursday, September 25, 2008) - Legislation championed by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Joe Biden (D-Del.) to authorize grants for the Debbie Smith DNA Backlog Grant Program was passed unanimously by the Senate Thursday. Leahy and Biden have been longtime leaders in authoring legislation to provide resources to federal, state and local governments to combat crime in communities across the country. The Debbie Smith DNA Backlog Grant Program was author… Continue Reading


Senate Approves Leahy Bill To Help Runaway, Homeless Youth

The Senate late Thursday unanimously approved critical legislation to address problems facing runaway and homeless youths across the country. The legislation, introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) in May, will reauthorize key federal grant programs to provide states with grants to help the thousands of homeless young people nationwide. The Runaway and Homeless Youth Protection Act (RHYA) was unanimously reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee in May, but… Continue Reading


Judiciary Committee Reports Thirteen Nominations

The Senate Judiciary Committee reported 13 nominations today, including 10 nominations for lifetime appointments to the Federal bench. While Senate consideration of judicial nominations traditionally slows in the months leading up to a presidential election, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) chaired two rare confirmation hearings for the nominees this month, and worked to expedite the Committee's consideration of the nominations. The Democratic-controlled Senate is now poised to confirm more … Continue Reading


Senate Passes Leahy-Authored Bill To Extend Supreme Court Police Authority

A bill introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to extend the authority of the United States Supreme Court Police to protect court officials and justices off the Supreme Court grounds unanimously passed the Senate Thursday. The legislation will now be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration. Leahy introduced the legislation in the Senate in July, and the Judiciary Committee reported the measure on September 11. The current authorization is se… Continue Reading


Leahy-Authored Language Strikes Court Stripping Provisions In Bush Bailout Proposal

Language authored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to strike the Bush administration's plan to eliminate court review from its proposed bailout plan has been included in the Democratic counterproposal released by Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) today. The Bush administration's proposal unveiled Saturday includes a provision to eliminate any and all court review of decisions made by the Secretary of the Treasury related to the purchase mortgage r… Continue Reading

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