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Press Releases

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


Updated Witness List For Holder Confirmation Hearing

An updated witness list for the confirmation hearing on the designation of Eric H. Holder Jr., to be Attorney General of the United States was released today. The hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 15, 2009, at 9:30 a.m. in the historic Senate Caucus Room, room 325 of the Russell Senate Office Building. Witness List The Honorable John W. Warner, Former United States Senator from Virginia The Honorable Eleanor Holmes Norton, Congresswoman from the District of Columbia Panel I… Continue Reading


Comments On The Report By The Inspector General And The Office Of Professional Responsibility On Allegations Of Politicized Hiring

IG/OPR Report From The Dept. of Justice On Improper Personel Actions "Today's report confirms some of our worst fears about the Bush administration's political corruption of the Justice Department. Not only did senior Republican appointees violate the law in hiring based on politics in the Civil Rights Division, they also lied about it when called to explain themselves to Congress. "I am particularly disturbed about the findings that a senior Justice Department appointee, Bradley Sch… Continue Reading


Holder Nomination Has Bipartisan Support

(Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) was joined by former Senator Republican Senator John Danforth and Former Republican Congressman Asa Hutchinson in a conference call with reporters Tuesday morning to discuss the broad, bipartisan support for Eric H. Holder, Jr.'s nomination to be Attorney General of the United States. Danforth and Hutchinson have both endorsed Holder's nomination, and have joined a growing list of former Republican offic… Continue Reading


Leahy Presses 3 Priorities For Smaller States And Rural Areas In Stimulus Package

(MONDAY, Jan. 12) - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is pressing for rural flexibility in the forthcoming economic stimulus package to make sure it suitably addresses the infrastructure needs of smaller states and rural communities. In a letter to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii), Leahy - one of the panel's most senior members -- urges three steps to shape the plan to help meet rural America's needs: 1) Allow the pass-through of some infrastructure f… Continue Reading


Congressional Delegation Nominates 19 Vermont Students To Service Academies

, January 9 - Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch today announced the names of 19 students they nominated to the U.S. service academies. Applicants to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy must be nominated by a member of Congress. Those accepted by the service academies will be notified early this year. Leahy said, "Our country's service academies provide outstanding a… Continue Reading


Former Republican Officials Endorse Holder’s Nomination

(Friday, Jan. 9, 2009) - Former Republican officials are expressing their strong support for the nomination of Eric Holder to be the next Attorney General of the United States. In a series of letters released Friday by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Judge Louis Freeh, a former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, former Attorney General William Barr, and others, endorse Holder's long career in public service, and urge his confirmation as the nation… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces Witnesses For Holder Confirmation Hearing

(Friday, Jan. 9, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday announced witnesses who will testify at the confirmation hearing on the designation of Eric H. Holder Jr., to be Attorney General of the United States. The hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 15, 2009, at 9:30 a.m. in the historic Senate Caucus Room, room 325 of the Russell Senate Office Building. Witness List The Honorable John W. Warner, Former United States Senator from Virginia The Honorable El… Continue Reading


Leahy Presses For Early Action On Fair Pay Bill

(Friday, Jan. 9, 2009) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is among the Senate leaders who on Thursday introduced the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, legislation to ensure equal pay for women and minorities in the workforce. The Senate is expected to consider the legislation -- cosponsored by 54 Senators in all, and one of the first bills introduced in the new session -- later this month. "Equal pay for equal work should be a given in this country," said Leahy. "Unfortunately, the rea… Continue Reading


Leahy Chairs Hearing On Law Enforcement Assistance

- The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday held a hearing to examine proposals to provide resources for underfunded law enforcement programs in the economic stimulus package. Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who also serves as a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has requested funding in the stimulus package for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), the Byrne grant program and other initiatives that assist state and local law enforcement agencies by providing r… Continue Reading


Comments On Eric Holder To Be Attorney General of The United States

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today joined leaders of national law enforcement organizations at a press conference on Capitol Hill in support of the designation of Eric Holder to be the next Attorney General of the United States. Holder's designation was announced on December 1, 2008, and hearings on the nomination are scheduled for January 15, 2009. Holder's nomination has received wide support from law enforcement organizations, civil rights groups, crime v… Continue Reading


Statement On S. Res. 10 and the Situation in Gaza

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, S. Res. 10, the resolution that was adopted today reaffirming U.S. support for Israel, is factually accurate. No one here doubts our commitment to Israel's security, or Israel's right to defend itself from Hamas rocket attacks. But the resolution, unfortunately, presents an incomplete response to the situation in Gaza. With so much at stake for the United States, for Israel and for the world, we owe the American people and all concerned a clear-eyed, forthr… Continue Reading


Leahy Introduces Bill to Provide Rural Law Enforcement Assistance

(Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009) - On the first day of the new Congressional session, Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy introduced legislation designed to help rural communities in Vermont and across the country address crime problems in our neighborhoods and on our streets. The Rural Law Enforcement Assistance Act, which Leahy introduced Tuesday, aims to help local law enforcement agencies address crime problems that are expected to grow worse with the mounting economic downturn. The Leahy-authored bill … Continue Reading


Comment On Eric Holder

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment at a press conference held by Committee members Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) Wednesday on the nomination of Eric Holder to be the next Attorney General. Cardin and Whitehouse were joined by representatives from the civil rights community, which has urged swift confirmation of the nomination.] "We need the new Attorney General to be a person of experience and independence. Eric Ho… Continue Reading


Comment On The Passing of Peter Freyne

Marcelle and I have lost a good friend, and Vermont has lost its own version of the legendary Mike Royko. Though Peter was born in the age of manual typewriters, in recent years he took to blogs like a 20-year-old. Flatlander reporters sought him out first when they wanted to understand our state. He brought insight to some of the biggest stories of our time here in Vermont - the civil unions debate, the Dean campaign, the Jeffords switch and the war in Iraq. He was courageous in his fight wit… Continue Reading


Leahy Raises MILC, Organic, Rural Broadband Issues in Meeting with USDA Nominee Vilsack

(WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7) -- Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday raised several issues that are front and center to Vermont's farmers and rural communities in a meeting with Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack (D), President-elect Obama's nominee to head the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Vilsack visited Leahy in advance of next week's Senate Agriculture Committee confirmation hearings on his nomination. Leahy is the panel's most senior senator of either party and is a former chairman of the committee. With mil… Continue Reading


Letter To President Bush Asking To Declare Major Disaster In Vermont Due To The December 11th Ice Storm

See attached PDF of letter.… Continue Reading


Leahy, Cornyn Introduce Anti-Public Corruption Legislation

(Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), also a member of the Committee, Tuesday introduced the Public Corruption Prosecution Improvements Act (PCPIA), legislation designed to provide new tools to help prosecutors identify, investigate and prosecute corrupt criminal conduct by public officials. Leahy and Cornyn first introduced the bipartisan legislation during the last Congress, and the Judiciary Co… Continue Reading


Introduction of the

I am proud to cosponsor the "District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2009" to end the unfair treatment of District of Columbia residents and give them voting representation in the House of Representatives. For over 200 hundred years, the residents of th District of Columbia have been denied a voting Member representing their views in Congress. That is wrong, and I hope the Senate will consider this important issue early this year to remedy the disenfranchisement that residents of our Nat… Continue Reading


Comprehensive Immigration Reform

As we begin the 111th Congress, we will try, once again, to enact comprehensive immigration reforms that have eluded us in the past several years. With an administration that understands the critical necessity of meaningful reform, and that understands the policy failures of the last eight years, I am hopeful that the new Congress can finally enact legislation consistent with our history as a Nation of immigrants. The Majority leader has included immigration reform as among the legislative prio… Continue Reading


Leahy Panel To Hear Testimony From Burlington Police Chief

(Monday, Jan. 5, 2009)- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has invited Burlington Police Chief Michael E. Schirling to testify at a hearing Jan. 8 on Capitol Hill to examine how federal grant programs strengthen local law enforcement efforts to combat crime. Leahy has proposed including funding for critical federal grant programs including the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), the Byrne grant program, the Rural Drug Enforcement Assistance grants and other law … Continue Reading

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