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


Statement Of Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Introduction Of S. Res. 728, “National Mentoring Month”

I am honored to join Senator Kennedy and others to introduce S.Res. 728, which designates January 2009 as National Mentoring Month. Mentoring a child is a uniquely rewarding experience for both the mentor and the child. Research continues to support that building these positive relationships helps keep children off of drugs, in school and off the streets, and out of trouble. This month, I brought the Senate Judiciary Committee to St. Albans, Vermont, for a field hearing about "Community-Bas… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Other Senators Insist That Blagojevich Resign

U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders of Vermont today called for the resignation of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich one day after he was arrested and accused of putting President-elect Barack Obama's former United States Senate seat up for sale. The Vermont senators signed a letter also warning Blagojevich not to exercise his power to name Obama's Senate successor, saying that could trigger a provision in the U.S. Constitution that lets the Senate refuse to seat a member. T… Continue Reading


No Double Standard For Eric Holder

No Double Standard For Eric Holder WASHINGTON- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday sent a letter to Committee Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) regarding confirmation proceedings for Eric Holder, President-elect Barack Obama's designee to be the next Attorney General. Leahy has scheduled confirmation hearings on Holder's nomination to begin on January 8. Press reports from mid-November also suggested that Holder would be the President-elect's pick to … Continue Reading


Leahy Announces Hearing Schedule For Attorney General Confirmation Proceedings

- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday announced that confirmation proceedings for Eric Holder, President-elect Barack Obama's designee to be Attorney General, will begin January 8, 2009. President-elect Obama announced his intention to nominate Holder to the top position in the Justice Department on Dec. ,1 after weeks of reports concerning that likelihood. Following a Monday meeting with Holder, Leahy announced his intention to begin hearings in early Januar… Continue Reading


Statement Hearing On Promoting Health, Preventing Chronic Disease And Fighting Hunger, Assessment Of USDA Food Assistance And Child Nutrition Programs In The Economic Downturn December 8, 2008

Sen. Leahy Statement Before Agriculture Committee I would like to thank the Chairman and Ranking Member for holding this hearing today so that we can all have the chance to learn more about how well equipped the Department of Agriculture is to assist the American people in preventing chronic disease and fighting hunger during our current economic crisis. I would also like to welcome back my fellow committee members and I hope everyone, especially our friends at USDA, is prepared to work… Continue Reading


Following Meeting With Attorney General Designate Eric Holder December 8, 2008

"Eric Holder is a superb match for the talents that Americans need at the helm of the Department of Justice. After meeting with Mr. Holder today, I am impressed with the extensive prosecutorial background and experience he will bring to the Department. He understands the importance of rebuilding the public's trust in our justice system, and restoring morale among the Department's staff. Mr. Holder and I discussed the importance of supporting our state and local law enforcement agencies and of… Continue Reading


President-elect Barack Obama's Choice Of Retired General Eric K. Shinseki To Be Secretary Of Veterans Affairs

In choosing retired General Eric Shinseki to be Secretary of Veterans Affairs, President-elect Obama has made another impressive choice for his Cabinet. He is a straight shooter and a truth talker. General Shinseki has tremendous character and honesty, deep experience and a clear vision. Throughout a stellar career, especially in his time as the Army's Chief of Staff, his words and deeds reflected an overwhelming care about soldiers and all of our military service members. It was a sad m… Continue Reading


Brattleboro Union High School Band To March In Inauguration Parade

BURLINGTON, December 5 - The Brattleboro Union High School Band has been invited by the Presidential Inaugural Committee to march down Pennsylvania Avenue in the parade after President-elect Barack Obama is sworn into office, the Vermont congressional delegation announced today. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) wrote a joint letter to the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee urging it to include the Brattleboro band in the parade a… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, Hearing On “Community-Based Solutions To Drug-Related Crime In Rural America” St. Albans, Vermont

Today the Senate Judiciary Committee returns to Vermont to hear from the people of St. Albans about this community's efforts to combat the persistent problems of drug-related crime in rural America. Once again, Vermont's civic-minded, all-hands-on-deck experience in dealing with drug-related crime in rural areas is helping to advance a dialogue about this problem that can be useful to rural communities across the nation. Drug-related crime is not just a big-city issue. As we heard in Rut… Continue Reading


New Treaty Should Prompt New Administration To Review U.S. Policy On Cluster Munitions

"If you had them on your land, if your children faced them, you'd ban them for sure." Those are the words of an Afghan boy who lost both legs after picking up an errant U.S. cluster munition in a public park. It is estimated that nearly 100,000 civilians have been maimed or killed by cluster bombs, which scatter hundreds of deadly munitions over a wide area. During the past 50 years, vast areas of arable land have been turned into death traps by unexploded duds that remain lethal long a… Continue Reading


New Treaty Should Prompt New Administration To Review U.S. Policy On Cluster Munitions

"If you had them on your land, if your children faced them, you'd ban them for sure." Those are the words of an Afghan boy who lost both legs after picking up an errant U.S. cluster munition in a public park. It is estimated that nearly 100,000 civilians have been maimed or killed by cluster bombs, which scatter hundreds of deadly munitions over a wide area. During the past 50 years, vast areas of arable land have been turned into death traps by unexploded duds that remain lethal long afte… Continue Reading


Comments On President-Elect Obama’s Announcement Of Cabinet Nominations

President-elect Obama has honored his commitment to reach across the aisle and nominate members to his cabinet that reflect a diverse and experienced range of views. His decision to ask Defense Secretary Gates to remain in the Pentagon at this crucial time in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as his appointment of General Jones to serve as National Security Advisor, are sensible choices that will contribute steadiness and seasoned experience to the new President's team. I have known Se… Continue Reading


Vermont Delegation Seeks To Stimulate Economy With Transportation Waiver

- In order to stimulate the economy and meet pressing infrastructure needs, the Vermont congressional delegation is seeking to waive the state and local match requirement for all federally-funded highway, transit and rail projects through September 2009. The move would give Vermont and other states facing tight budgets a much-needed boost to improve roads and bridges, support public transit agencies and upgrade rail lines at no additional cost to the federal government. Transportation o… Continue Reading


Leahy Praises FDIC Decision To Give Full Deposit Insurance To Lawyers’ Trust Accounts

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday praised a decision by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to protect the Interest on Lawyers' Trust Accounts program (IOLTA), which helps support legal services for those in need. The rule, which was approved on November 21, provides full deposit insurance coverage to lawyers' trust accounts under the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program (TLGP). Earlier this month, Leahy joined with 17 Senators, including Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), to ur… Continue Reading


Leahy, Conyers Press Mukasey For Details Of Gonzales Legal Fees

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Congressman John Conyers (D-Mich.), chairs of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees, sent a letter Monday to Attorney General Michael Mukasey urging him to disclose the details of a Department of Justice agreement to pay a private attorney to represent former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in connection with his involvement in the politicized hiring practices of the Justice Department during his tenure from 2005 to 2007. A report released in June by t… Continue Reading


Colchester High School

CHShistory (11:52:19 AM): Thank you for taking the time to meet with our class. What is the senate doing today? SenPatrickLeahy (11:57:54 AM): Hi - I'm back from the Senate and with you now. Great to be with all of you. [and please excuse any typing mistakes, Ms McGuire knows i do my own typing! CHShistory (11:58:10 AM): Sadie: What immediate changes do you expect with the new administration? SenPatrickLeahy (11:59:12 AM): Sadie i think it will be a far more open Administr… Continue Reading


Statement On Reports That Eric Holder, Jr., May Be Nominated To Be Attorney General

Eric Holder would make an outstanding and historic nominee to serve as Attorney General, if President-elect Obama were to choose to nominate him. Mr. Holder would be the first African American to serve as Attorney General, the highest-ranking law enforcement officer in the country. Over the last eight years, political manipulation and influence from partisan political operatives in the White House have undercut the Department of Justice in its mission, severely undermined the morale of the ca… Continue Reading


Statement on Hearing: “Helping Families Save Their Homes: The Role Of Bankruptcy Law”

I thank Senator Durbin for chairing today's hearing. This hearing is about the important issue of providing relief to struggling homeowners. It is a matter that Senator Durbin, Senator Specter and I all thought worthy of another hearing this week. Everyone acknowledges that homeownership is a fundamental part of the American dream and that the housing crisis has contributed enormously to the current economic downturn. Homeownership is a primary source of financial well-being for fami… Continue Reading


Statement On Agreement To Protect Forests And Wildlife In Sumatra

Mr. President, I want to take a moment to call attention to the Government of Indonesia's recent action to preserve the endangered rain forests and ecosystems of Sumatra. On October 10, 2008, the Indonesian Government, in cooperation with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), announced an agreement between the 10 provincial governors of Sumatra to protect biodiversity on the world's sixth largest island. Although long overdue, this is an important first step towards conservation of a unique habita… Continue Reading


Statement On Millenium Challenge Corporation

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, as Chairman of the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee, I want to take a moment to speak about the budget of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, MCC. The fiscal year 2009 State and Foreign Operations bill, reported by the Appropriations Committee on July 18, 2008, recommends $254 million for the MCC. Since this is substantially less than the $2 billion requested by the President, it was predictable that the Senate committee's action would cause concerns amon… Continue Reading

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