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Press Releases

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


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


Leahy Introduces Bill To Simplify Court Deadline Calculation

(Wednesday, March 18, 2009) - Responding to proposed amendments to the court deadline calculations that have been approved by the Judiciary Conference of the United States, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday introduced legislation to lengthen deadlines for court proceedings in certain federal statutes. Leahy introduced the Statutory Time Periods Amendments Act of 2009 with Committee Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R-Pa.). The Chairman and Ranking Member o… Continue Reading


Vermont Delegation Announces Release Of Economic Recovery Act Funds For Senior Nutrition Assistance

(WEDNESDAY, March 18, 2009) -- Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch Wednesday announced that the federal Department of Health and Human Services is releasing funds to Vermont for senior nutrition programs under the recently enacted economic recovery plan. The economic crisis, combined with the growing number of older Americans and the rising cost of food, has led to increased demand for senior services across the country. Vermont will rece… Continue Reading


Leahy Secures $1 Million More For Vermont Drug Task Force

(WEDNESDAY, March 18) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced that the Vermont Drug Task Force -- which arrested 16 people Tuesday in a drug sweep in St. Albans -- will receive $1 million in new federal grant funding through the Edward Byrne Discretionary Grant program. Leahy secured the funding in the appropriations bill passed by the Congress signed into law last week by President Obama. The funding will allow the Task Force to increase efforts to combat th… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Considers Report On Forensic Science Standards

(Wednesday, March 18, 2009) - The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing Wednesday to examine a recent report from the National Academy of Sciences on forensic science. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) scheduled the hearing following the February 18 release of the report, which found that many forensic disciplines lack the standards necessary to ensure scientific reliability in court. Judge Harry T. Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia … Continue Reading


Leahy, Cornyn Celebrate Sunshine Week With FOIA Legislation

(Tuesday, March 17, 2009) - Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) on Tuesday partnered again to introduced legislation to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act, the nation's foremost federal law that protects the public's right to know what their government is doing. This week marks the fifth annual Sunshine Week, a national observance of the importance of open government and the freedom of information. The OPEN FOIA Act introduced by Leahy an… Continue Reading


Comment On President Obama’s First Judicial Nomination

"After the partisan and divisive approach that President Bush took with judicial nominations, I appreciate President Obama's seriousness in making his selection, and his constructive engagement with both Senator Lugar and Senator Bayh, the Republican and Democratic home state Senators. The President is doing his part to remove these matters from partisan politics, and that's a healthy change for the nation and for all three branches of government." # # # # #… Continue Reading


Second Vermont Conference Set And Registration Opens For Workshops On Tapping The Newly Enacted Stimulus Plan

(TUESDAY, March 17) - Sen. Patrick Leahy says online registration has opened for the second statewide conference in Vermont on the newly enacted economic recovery package, which will be held Monday, March 30, in Brattleboro. Leahy and Gov. James Douglas again will host the Vermont conference and workshops on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), where free workshops will give Vermont families, businesses and towns an early start in learning how the stimulus pla… Continue Reading


Leahy Opens “Sunshine Week” With FOIA Speech At American University

(Monday, March 16, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) delivered the keynote address Monday at the Second Annual Freedom of Information (FOI) Day Celebration at American University Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C. Leahy, a longtime advocate of government transparency and of strengthening the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), was also awarded the Robert Vaughn FOIA Legend Award at Monday's conference. March 16 is the first day of th… Continue Reading


Leahy Secures Nearly $3 Million For New Addison County Transit Facility

(FRIDAY, March 13) -- U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has secured $2,850,000 for Addison County Transit Resources (ACTR) to build a new maintenance and administrative facility in Middlebury. Leahy included the funding for the project in the newly enacted annual appropriations bill for several government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Transportation. Leahy is a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, which handled the Senate's work in writing the bill,… Continue Reading


Leahy, Grassley Press Senate Leadership To Consider Anti-Fraud Legislation

(Thursday, March 12, 2009) - Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) Thursday sent a letter to the Majority and Minority Leaders urging Senate consideration of the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009, which was reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee March 5. Leahy is the Chairman of the Committee, and Grassley is a senior member. "We write to request that you schedule Senate consideration of the Leahy-Grassley Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Ac… Continue Reading


Senate Confirms Perrelli To Be Associate Attorney General At Justice

(Thursday, March 12, 2009) - The Senate Thursday overwhelmingly confirmed Thomas Perrelli to the number three position at the Department of Justice by a vote of 72-20. Perrelli's nomination to be the Associate Attorney General was first announced on January 5, and he appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 10. His nomination was reported by the Committee by a vote of 17-1 on March 5. Earlier today, the Senate confirmed the nomination of David Og… Continue Reading


Statement On The Fiscal Year 2009 State And Foreign Operations Appropriations Conference Report

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, the Fiscal Year 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act, which President Obama signed yesterday, contains $36.6 billion in discretionary budget authority for the Department of State and Foreign Operations, which is the same amount approved by the Appropriations Committee in July 2008. This represents a $1.6 billion decrease from former President Bush's budget request of $38.2 billion. I repeat - this legislation is $1.6 billion below what former President… Continue Reading


Senate Confirms Deputy Attorney General Nominee

(Thursday, March 12, 2009) - The U.S. Senate today confirmed David Ogden to be the Deputy Attorney General of the United States, the second highest-ranking position in the Department of Justice. After two days of debate, the Senate voted 65-28 to confirm the nominee. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) moved quickly to schedule a hearing and Committee vote on the nomination. Deputy Attorney General Ogden testified before the Committee on February 5. T… Continue Reading


Judiciary Committee Reports Leahy-Cornyn Anti-Public Corruption Bill

(Thursday, March 12, 2009) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday voted to report The Public Corruption Prosecution Improvements Act , legislation to give prosecutors expanded tools to identify, investigate and prosecute public officials who have committed criminal corruption. The legislation was introduced by Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), also a member of the Committee, on Jan. 6. The Public Corruption Prosecution Impro… Continue Reading


Vermont Receives $38 M. For Energy Efficiency Programs

(THURSDAY, March 12) - More than $38 million in weatherization and energy efficiency funding was released to Vermont Thursday as part of the newly enacted economic recovery bill, Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch announced. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act included nearly $8 billion in state and local efficiency funding, designed to create 87,000 jobs nationwide and save families hundreds of dollars per year on their energy bill… Continue Reading


As Joblessness Rises, Leahy Announces More Than $1 Million In Economic Recovery Funds For Children And Crime Victims In Vermont

(THURSDAY, March 12) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Thursday that Vermont will receive more than $1 million in federal grants to provide key services for victims of crime and to protect children against online predators. Leahy secured the funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which was signed into law Feb. 17. Vermont will receive $541,000 in assistance programs to aid victims of crimes that include assault, fraud, elder abuse, domestic a… Continue Reading


FY 2009 Omnibus Bill Includes Leahy-Feinstein Provision To Prohibit Sale Or Transfer Of Most U.S. Cluster Munitions

(THURSDAY, March 12) -- U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) Thursday announced that the Fiscal Year 2009 omnibus appropriations bill includes a provision they authored to prohibit the sale or transfer of cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians. The omnibus bill was signed into law by President Obama on Wednesday. The provision was included as part of the State Department and Foreign Operations section of the Omnibus Appropr… Continue Reading

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