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


Comment On House Passage Of The Fraud Enforcement And Recovery Act, As Amended

The House of Representatives today approved the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act. The legislation was authored by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and was passed by the Senate on April 28. The legislation is supported by the White House, the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and several law enforcement organizations. The Senate must again approve the amended legislation before it is sent to the President for signature. … Continue Reading


The Leahy Letter - May 5, 2009

Delegation Introduces 'Greener Gardens Bill' Last week, Senator Leahy, Senator Sanders, and Representative Welch introduced legislation that would offer consumers a 25 percent tax credit for the purchase of lower-emissions yard equipment. By providing a financial incentive to purchase and operate clean, alternative power equipment, the Vermont Congressional Delegation is helping to protect Vermont's air and water and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Click here to read more about ho… Continue Reading


Comment On Ranking Member Jeff Sessions

"As I told Senator Sessions when I congratulated him on his new role as the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, I look forward to working with him. The Committee has a full legislative agenda, critical oversight responsibilities and a number of key nominations, and we will be considering an important nomination to the United States Supreme Court. Senator Sessions and I have worked together in the past on a number of matters and I look forward to working w… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee To Hold Law Enforcement Hearing During Police Week

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on May 12 to examine how law enforcement funding provided in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has been used to support local law enforcement efforts in communities across the country. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) scheduled the hearing to coincide with the National Police Week, which was established by Congress in 1962. Leahy worked to include nearly $4 billion for law enforcement programs in the econo… Continue Reading


Bat Disease Emergency Funds Sought

, May 5 - Citing "profound public health, environmental, and economic implications," the Vermont congressional delegation today asked the Obama administration for emergency funds to investigate the cause of mysterious bat deaths. "We ask for your help in providing immediate, emergency funding for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey for research, management, coordination, and outreach in order to provide an appropriate coordinated response to this deadly, newly emer… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces $1 Million Federal Appropriation For Burlington Technical Center Aviation Technology Program

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Monday that he had secured a $1 million NASA grant for the Burlington Technical Center's Aviation Technology Center during a press conference at the Aviation Technology Center at the Burlington International Airport. Leahy, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, secured the funds in the annual appropriations bill passed by the Congress signed into law by President Obama earlier this year. The Aviation Technology Program te… Continue Reading


Leahy Honored By Vermont Girls and Boys Clubs

ESSEX, Vt. (Saturday, May 2) - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Saturday was honored by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Vermont for the leadership role he has played in supporting clubs throughout the state and across the country. At the event on Saturday, Leahy announced a commitment from the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation to support Vermont clubs with more than $100,000 for equipment, camp scholarships and program supplies. In 2008 Leahy successfully appealed to the Boys and Girls Clubs America to r… Continue Reading


Free Press A Cornerstone Of Democracy

The Senate Thursday night unanimously adopted a resolution commemorating World Press Freedom Day, which will be celebrated around the world on Sunday, May 3. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) cosponsored the bipartisan resolution commemorating and honoring the principles of expression. Leahy is a longtime open government leader, and has supported enactment of a federal shield law. As Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Leahy has scheduled Committee consideration of th… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Announced Retirement Plans Of Associate Supreme Court Justice David Souter

"Justice Souter has served the Nation with distinction for nearly two decades on the Supreme Court. I have admired his commitment to justice, his admiration for the law, and his understanding of the impact of the Court's decisions on the daily lives of ordinary Americans. Throughout his career, he has been committed to the law and not to ideology. New Englanders treasure our strong sense of independence, and Justice Souter fits the independent Yankee mold. He has a first-rate legal mind. I … Continue Reading


Comment On The Department Of Justice Inspector General’s Audit And Report Of Investigation Concerning The Office Of Juvenile Justice And Delinquency Prevention

"The Inspector General's findings that the Director of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in the past administration engaged in abuses, ethical lapses and cronyism, and favored those with personal and political ties over those with the strongest merits for jobs and contracts, is consistent with what we have seen in so many parts of the Department of Justice under the past administration. The Department of Justice must enforce the law and advance justice for all Amer… Continue Reading


Comment On The Department Of Justice Inspector General’s Audit And Report Of Investigation Concerning The Office Of Juvenile Justice And Delinquency Prevention

"The Inspector General's findings that the Director of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in the past administration engaged in abuses, ethical lapses and cronyism, and favored those with personal and political ties over those with the strongest merits for jobs and contracts, is consistent with what we have seen in so many parts of the Department of Justice under the past administration. The Department of Justice must enforce the law and advance justi… Continue Reading


Statement At Hearing On “Restoring Fairness to Federal Sentencing: Addressing the Crack-Powder Disparity”

Today marks the 100th day of President Obama's administration, and already we have seen a response to the President's call for change. The Judiciary Committee today considers necessary changes and reforms in our Federal sentencing laws. Our hearing will examine the unequal and unfair penalties for crack and powder cocaine offenses. We will consider how best to make our drug laws more fair, more rational, and more consistent with the core values of justice. The Committee has examined … Continue Reading


Give Ingenuity Freer Rein

[On April 29, 2009, Business Week included this Op-Ed by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). Leahy wrote in support of the Patent Reform Act currently before Congress.] Ingenuity and innovation have been cornerstones of the American economy from the time Thomas Jefferson issued the first patent. The Patent Reform Act will preserve America's longstanding position at the pinnacle of innovation. It will establish a more efficient, streamlined patent system that will i… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing For Three Nominees

(Wednesday, April 29, 2009) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday considered three pending nominations, including two nominations for lifetime appointments to the federal bench. The hearing, announced last week by Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, included testimony from Judge Andre Davis, nominated to a fill a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and Thomas Perez, a nominee to be Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Ju… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders And Welch Introduce ‘Greener Gardens Bill’ Giving Consumers Tax Incentives For Choosing Lower-Emissions Yard Equipment

(Wednesday, April 29) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Wednesday introduced legislation to offer consumers a 25 percent tax credit toward the purchase of environmentally friendly lawn, garden, and forestry power equipment. In line with past tax credits that were successful in boosting consumer demand for environmentally friendly products like hybrid vehicles and energy efficient home appliances, the Vermont delegation… Continue Reading


Leahy Invites Bybee To Testify Before Senate Judiciary Committee

(Wednesday, April 29, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today sent a letter to Judge Jay S. Bybee inviting him to testify before the Committee in connection with his role in writing legal memoranda authorizing the use of harsh interrogation techniques while serving as the Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). Bybee was the head of OLC from October 2001 until March 2003, when he was confirmed to a lifetime appointment on the federa… Continue Reading


A Crucial Voting Rights Case Reaches The Supreme Court

[The following guest column by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) was originally published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on April 29, 2009. This morning, Leahy attended oral arguments at the Supreme Court in Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One v. Holder, a case involving Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.] Today the U.S. Supreme Court will consider a case challenging the constitutional authority of Congress to reauthorize Section 5 of th… Continue Reading


Statement On The Introduction Of The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act Of 2009

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, this is National Crime Victims' Rights Week--a time when communities in Vermont and across the Nation recognize the needs of crime victims, and work together to promote victims' rights and services. There is no more important time than now to renew our commitment to address the needs of crime victims and their families. Today, I am pleased to join Senator Kennedy, Senator Collins, and more than 30 other Senators from both sides of the aisle to reintroduce the Matt… Continue Reading


Comment On Senator Arlen Specter

Sen. Leahy Comments On Sen. Arlen Specter At a press conference earlier today on the Senate's passage of the bipartisan Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) made the following comments about the decision of Senator Arlen Specter to change political parties. Specter is the senior Senator from Pennsylvania. "Senator Specter called me this morning. He and I have been friends for 40 years. We first met when we were both young p… Continue Reading


Leahy-Authored Anti-Fraud Bill Overwhelmingly Passes Senate

(Tuesday, April 28, 2009) - The Senate Tuesday overwhelmingly passed legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to bolster existing tools and increase resources available to federal prosecutors to combat fraud. The Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act (FERA) will help both to protect Americans from fraud and recover taxpayers' money lost to fraud. Leahy introduced the bipartisan legislation on February 5. The Senate Judiciary Committee, which Leahy chairs, reported the measure … Continue Reading

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