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


Vermont Congressional Delegation Commends Obama Administration For Prompt Release Of First Funds To Vermont Under The Economic Recovery Act

(FRIDAY, Feb. 27, 2009) -- Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch Friday praised the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for its swift action in releasing the first official funding to Vermont under the newly enacted economic recovery act. Four grants for community development and to improve the availability of affordable housing, totaling $14.4 million, are the first Vermont grants to flow to Vermont under the American Recovery a… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces Witnesses For Commission Hearing

(Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has announced three witnesses for a hearing scheduled Wednesday, March 4, on "Getting to the Truth Through a Nonpartisan Commission of Inquiry." Leahy has proposed establishing a nonpartisan commission to examine past national security policies. Leahy has invited three witnesses to testify at the hearing: Thomas Pickering, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Retired Vice Admiral Le… Continue Reading


Comment On President Obama’s Budget Outline For The Department Of Justice

"The Obama administration has already shown a commitment to reinvigorating law enforcement in our country. The President's support of funding in the recovery package for critical programs like the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) is echoed in the budget overview released today. "I am also encouraged by the commitment to provide funding for the FBI to investigate and prosecute mortgage fraud and white collar crime. The federal government must devote the necessary resources in… Continue Reading


Leahy And Sanders Announce Merit Commission To Screen Candidates For Federal Judgeships In Vermont

(THURSDAY, Feb. 26, 2009) -- U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Thursday announced the formation of a Vermont Judicial Selection Commission to screen candidates for federal judicial vacancies in Vermont. The nine-member, nonpartisan panel consists of three commissioners named by Leahy, three by Sanders, and three by the Vermont Bar Association. U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) will also have input during the selection process. The commission will receive… Continue Reading


Judiciary Committee Reports Deputy Attorney General Nominee

(Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday reported the nomination of David W. Ogden to be the Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice. The vote on the nomination for the number two position at the Department was 14-5. Two additional nominations for high ranking positions were held over at the request of Committee Republicans. On February 5, Leahy chaired a hearing on Ogden's nomination. Ogden is currently a partner at WilmerHale law firm in Washin… Continue Reading


Statement On Human Rights In Kenya

Mr. President, during the past year, I and other Senators have urged the Government of Kenya to effectively address reports of egregious misconduct by its police and military forces, including torture and summary executions. The Mount Elgon killings, culminating in the slaughter of some 200 people by the police and army soldiers in 2008, were particularly appalling, yet the government has yet to conduct a credible, transparent, thorough investigation. We now have the report of the United … Continue Reading


Leahy And Douglas Set March 6th Conference To Ramp Up Vermont’s Readiness To Invest Stimulus Bill’s Resources In Strengthening State’s Economy

(WEDNESDAY, Feb. 25) - U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Vermont Gov. James Douglas (R) will host a free conference to help Vermont families, businesses and towns learn how the newly enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) will help strengthen Vermont's economy. The conference and workshops will convene on Friday, March 6th, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Champlain College in Burlington. The Vermont Procurement and Technical Assistance Center and the Vermont Small Business Dev… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Considers Nominees For OLC, National Security Division At Justice Department

(Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2009) - Two nominees for key positions in the Department of Justice appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday afternoon. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) chaired a hearing to consider the nomination of Dawn Johnsen to be the Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Legal Counsel, and the nomination of David Kris to be the Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division at the Department. The hearing is webcast live online, and witne… Continue Reading


Leahy Urges Passage Of DC Voting Rights Bill

(Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday urged the Senate to pass a bill to provide voting rights in the U.S. House of Representatives to the District of Columbia. The capital city's lone voice in Congress, a single delegate in the House of Representatives, is not currently permitted to vote. Under the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2009, of which Leahy is a cosponsor, the District's delegate would be elevated to a … Continue Reading


Leahy Schedules Hearing On Commission Of Inquiry

Sen. Leahy Sets Hearing On His Proposal For A Commission Of Inquiry WASHINGTON (Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Wednesday that the Committee will hold a hearing to explore ideas on how best to establish a commission to examine past national security policies. Leahy first discussed a non-partisan commission of inquiry in a speech at Georgetown University on Feb. 9. In a statement delivered on the Senate Floor Wednesday, … Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Examines Satellite Television Reauthorization

(Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) held a hearing today to examine provisions in the expiring Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act (SHVERA). The hearing on "Ensuring Television Carriage in the Digital Age" previewed some of the concerns of television networks, satellite providers and broadcasters. Five witnesses testified at Wednesday's hearing: Vermont State Senator Robert M. Hartwell (D-Bennington); Charles Ergen,… Continue Reading


Comment On President Obama’s First Address To A Joint Meeting Of Congress

This was straight talk from a leader whose confidence in America is convincing, and contagious. President Obama inherited the most difficult economic crisis of modern times. He does not gloss over the problems we face or duck responsibility for beginning to fix them. The public is disappointed by the Republican boycott of the President's economic recovery plan. They know something that I also learned long ago -- we make more headway by working together. As difficult as this will … Continue Reading


Comment On The Nomination Of John Morton To Be Assistant Secretary For Immigration And Customs Enforcement

"John Morton has had a long career in public service, and his experience in dealing with immigration issues makes him a strong nominee to head the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office. There is a long list of pending or lingering issues at ICE that need sensible and workable solutions. For instance, I have been deeply concerned about preventable deaths in immigration detention facilities. Mr. Morton's prosecutorial experience and experience in human rights issues should be assets … Continue Reading


Vermont State Senator To Testify Wednesday Before Leahy Panel In Washington

(Monday, Feb. 23, 2009) - Vermont State Senator Robert M. Hartwell (D-Bennington) will travel to Washington, D.C., Wednesday to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, a panel chaired by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy. The hearing, entitled "Ensuring Television Carriage in the Digital Age," will focus on the Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act (SHVERA), which is slated to expire this year. During the Senate's consideration of the SHVERA in 2004, Leahy secured a … Continue Reading


Leahy Recommends Longtime Aide Robert Paquin To Head USDA’s Farm Service Agency In Vermont

(THURSDAY, Feb. 19) - U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has recommended longtime policy aide Robert Paquin of Shelburne to serve as State Executive Director of the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Farm Service Agency for Vermont. The Farm Service Agency administers farm commodity, crop insurance, credit, environmental conservation and emergency assistance programs for farmers. In a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Leahy said, "Bob Paquin … Continue Reading


Comment On The National Academy of Sciences Study On Forensic Science

"As a former prosecutor, I have always found it important to make sure that prosecutors and investigators have all the tools they need to catch and convict criminals. We also have an obligation to justice, and to ensure that the justice system does not falsely convict the innocent. Proper and effective use of forensic technology helps law enforcement and prosecutors to achieve both of these goals. To do this, use of forensic evidence in the criminal justice system must be based on good… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces Witness List For Satellite TV Hearing

(Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Committee Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced witnesses who will testify at a hearing on Wednesday, February 25, on "Ensuring Television Carriage in the Digital Age." The hearing will examine the Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act, which is slated to expire at the end of 2009. Leahy and others are expected to introduce legislation to reauthorize SHVERA later this year. The Copyright Office has issued recommendation… Continue Reading


Leahy Urges Citizens To Nominate Hero For The 2009 Above & Beyond Citizen Honors

, February 17, 2009- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation announced that the nominations period for the Above & Beyond Citizen Honors closes on Friday, February 20, 2009. Nominations must be received by then in order to be considered for 2009. Citizens may submit an eligible nominee by completing the online form, Above & Beyond Citizen Honors recipients represent the values of courage, sacrifice and self… Continue Reading


Comment On Vermont’s Stake In The Economic Recovery Package That President Obama Is Signing Tuesday In Denver

"This will soften the blows that Vermont's economy and budget are taking as the economic crisis spreads, and it also plants the seeds for economic recovery. The bill gives the Governor and the Legislature flexibility along with funding in dealing with the state's budget deficit. "Vermont had a front row seat in Congress as this bill was written, and this plan is a good match for the jobs Vermonters need today and tomorrow. The tax reductions for working families and for businesses will h… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing Scheduled For OLC, National Security Assistant Attorney General Nominees

(Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Tuesday noticed a hearing to consider nominations for two key leadership positions at the Department of Justice. The Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on February 25, at 2:00 p.m., to consider the nominations of Dawn Johnsen to be the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, and David Kris to be the Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division. The Senate has… Continue Reading

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