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Press Releases

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


Remarks At The Economic Recovery Conference

Thank you all for coming to this timely conference at the beautiful and historic Latchis Theatre. We welcome this opportunity to offer Vermonters, Vermont businesses, and Vermont communities a chance to learn more about how they can take advantage of the recently passed federal economic recovery act. And the more rapidly and effectively that Vermont puts these resources to work, the better we will be able to keep Vermonters working today, and the better we will be able to lay the ground… Continue Reading


Vermont Health Centers Get $1.5 Million in Stimulus Funds

, March 27 - In another round of economic stimulus funds for Vermont, eight community health centers in the state will receive more than $1.5 million to expand services and create jobs. "This is one of the most significant steps forward that we have seen in decades in addressing the primary health care crisis in our country," Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said of the funds, part of $2 billion for Federally Qualified Health Centers included at his urging in the economic rec… Continue Reading


The Leahy Letter - March 27, 2009

Leahy To Host Second American Recovery And Reinvestment Act Workshop Senator Leahy, Governor Douglas and Vermont Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin will open Monday's free conference to help Vermonters get an early start in learning how to access the funds available in the recently enacted economic recovery act. This second conference was organized after more than 700 Vermonters attended the earlier March 6 conference in northern Vermont, also organized by Leahy and Douglas… Continue Reading


Statement On Senate Passage Of H.R. 1388, The “Serve America Act”

I am pleased that the Senate is moving forward to vote on final passage of the bipartisan "Serve America Act." Practical participation in the goals and ideals of our country through service is a cornerstone of our success as the world's most enduring democracy, and we must continue to work together to promote such volunteerism on a national level. Senator Kennedy has worked tirelessly to promote national service by authoring and passing the National and Community Service T… Continue Reading


Judiciary Committee Begins Work On Patent Reform Legislation, Mark Up To Continue Next Week

(Thursday, March 26, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said Thursday that backers of patent reform legislation are making progress to resolve key issues that would make the first significant changes to the nation's patent system in more than 50 years. Leahy and senior Committee member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced the Patent Reform Act At on March 3. On March 10, the Judiciary Committee heard testimony from stakeholders and interested p… Continue Reading


Judiciary Committee Reports Three Justice Department Nominees

(Thursday, March 26, 2009) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday voted to report three executive nominations to the Senate for consideration. The three nominees, Tony West to be Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division, Lanny A. Breuer to be Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, and Christine Anne Varney to be Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division, appeared before the Judiciary Committee at a hearing on March 10, 2009. Sen… Continue Reading


Judiciary Committee Hearing Noticed To Consider First Judicial Nomination

(Wednesday, March 25, 2009) - The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing April 1 to consider the first judicial nomination of the 111th Congress, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Wednesday. One executive nomination will also be considered on April 1. On March 17, President Obama nominated Indiana District Court Judge David Hamilton to fill a vacancy on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The nomination has the support of Indiana's two U.S. Senators, Richard … Continue Reading


Senate Confirms Kris To Lead National Security Division

(Wednesday, March 25, 2009) - The Senate Wednesday unanimously confirmed David Kris to be the Assistant Attorney General in the National Security Division at the Department of Justice. Kris is the fifth nominee to be confirmed for a leadership post at the Justice Department. The Senate has confirmed nominees to four of the Department's top leadership posts: Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., Deputy Attorney General David W. Ogden, Associate Attorney General Thomas J… Continue Reading


Mueller Testifies At Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing

(Wednesday, March 25, 2009) - The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Robert Mueller, testified Wednesday morning at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. The hearing was the first major oversight hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee in the 111th Congress. Chairman Patrick Leahy's opening statement follows. The hearing is webcast live online Opening Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing On "Oversight of the … Continue Reading


Leahy Introduces Juvenile Justice Reauthorization Bill

(Tuesday, March 24, 2009) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today introduced legislation to reauthorize expiring programs in the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA). The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act will authorize key programs designed to protect children and reduce juvenile crime. Leahy introduced legislation to reauthorize the JJDPA in the last Congress after months of research and debate, and the legislation was repor… Continue Reading


Leahy Joins Effort To Curb Excessive Interest Rates For Credit Cards

(Tuesday, March 24, 2009) - With the looming economic recession affecting more American families, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts held a hearing Tuesday to examine "Abusive Credit Card Practices and Bankruptcy." Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who chairs the full Judiciary Committee, is a cosponsor of legislative proposals to curb abusive lending practices from the nation's credit card companies. "At a time when corporate executive… Continue Reading


Senate Confirms Kagan To Be Solicitor General

(Thursday, March 19, 2009) - The Senate Thursday evening confirmed Elena Kagan to be the Solicitor General of the United States by a vote of 61-31. Kagan is the first woman to be confirmed to the post. Kagan is the fourth nominee confirmed to a high-ranking position at the Department of Justice. Her nomination was reported by the Judiciary Committee on March 5. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) gave the following remarks as the Senate closed deb… Continue Reading


Comment On FOIA Guidelines Issued By The Department Of Justice

The Justice Department today issued new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) guidelines for federal agencies. In a letter sent to Attorney General Holder on February 23, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) offered several suggestions to guide the drafting of the new FOIA rules. Earlier this week, Leahy joined with Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) to introduce the OPEN FOIA Act, which would require Congress to openly and clearly state its intention … Continue Reading


Statement On The Nomination Of Elena Kagan To Be Solicitor General Of The United States

In the course of the Senate's debate on the nomination of Elena Kagan to be Solicitor General of the United States, Republican Senators have wrongly suggested that Dean Kagan has not been forthcoming and responsive to questions from the Members of this Committee. They say she has not provided sufficient information to evaluate her nomination. This suggestion is wrong. It applies a double standard to Dean Kagan's historic nomination that the Republicans did not apply when sup… Continue Reading


Statement On The Introduction Of The Sunshine In The Courtroom Act Of 2009

This week, the Nation celebrates the fifth annual Sunshine Week - a time when open government advocates raise their voices to renew the call for open and transparent government. Our democracy works best when citizens know what their government is doing. There is no more appropriate time to recommit ourselves to defending the public's right to know. Today, I am pleased to join Senators Grassley and Schumer to reintroduce the Sunshine in the Courtroom Act of 2009. This b… Continue Reading


Senate Begins Debate On Kagan Nomination

(Thursday, March 19, 2009) - The Senate opened debate Thursday on the nomination of Elena Kagan to be the Solicitor General of the United States. If confirmed, Kagan would become the first woman to serve as Solicitor General of the United States. Kagan appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 10, and her nomination was reported to the full Senate for consideration on March 5. Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) spoke on the Senate f… Continue Reading


Leahy Urges Attorney General To Extend Deadline For State Compliance With Sex Offender Registry Act

(Thursday, March 19, 2009) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking the Justice Department to provide an extension to states and jurisdictions struggling to comply with the provisions of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). The Act was included as part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, which was signed into law in 2006. Under the provisions of SORNA, states and other jurisdictions … Continue Reading


Judiciary Committee Reports Johnsen Nomination

(Thursday, March 19, 2009) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday ordered the nomination of Dawn Johnsen to be the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel to be reported to the full Senate for consideration. Johnsen testified before the Committee on February 25. Johnsen's nomination is now one of three Department of Justice nominations pending on the Senate's executive calendar. Also awaiting votes in the Senate are the nominations of Elena Kagan… Continue Reading


Encouraging Progress On Patent Reform

(Thursday, March 19, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday said that advocates for patent reform are making progress in considering legislation that would bring the first significant reforms to the nation's patent system in more than 50 years. On March 3, Leahy and former Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced the Patent Reform Act of 2009. Leahy and Hatch have introduced patent reform legislation in each of the last three C… Continue Reading


Statement In Opposition To An Obama Administration Proposal Concerning Private Insurance And Veterans Health Care

The Obama Administration is considering a budget trimming proposal that would include billing private health insurance companies for treating the service-connected conditions of veterans. I am disappointed that the Administration has let this bad idea slip through the door and into the budget plan. I do not expect this to make it into the budget that Congress will consider, and I will oppose it if an effort is made to include it. The Obama Administration will soon propose … Continue Reading

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