Press Room

Press Releases

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


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


Leahy-Backed Health Privacy Provisions Included Recovery Package

(Friday, Feb. 13, 2009) - Health information privacy protections championed by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) have been included in the economic recovery and investment package negotiated by Congress this week. Leahy has been a strong proponent of safeguarding Americans' privacy in health care reform proposals, and worked with congressional leaders to secure the provisions. The House of Representatives passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Friday afternoon, and the Senate is sche… Continue Reading


Economic Recovery Plan Will Create And Sustain Jobs In Vermont And Relieve The State’s Budget Deficit

(FRIDAY, Feb. 13) - The U.S. Senate late Friday is expected to join the U.S. House of Representatives in passing and sending to President Obama's desk an economic recovery package that includes investments throughout Vermont's economy. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) released an updated analysis of Vermont's stake in the final version of the bill. Leahy said the plan addresses Vermont's economic and budget needs that have worsened as the economic crisis spreads. "Vermont had a seat at the ta… Continue Reading


Leahy Praises Law Enforcement Funding In Recovery Package

(Friday, Feb. 13, 2009) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Friday praised the inclusion of nearly $4 billion for law enforcement programs in the economic recovery and investment package negotiated by Congressional leaders this week. The House of Representatives approved the package Friday afternoon, and the Senate is expected to vote on the measure Friday evening. Leahy is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Earlie… Continue Reading


Senators Leahy And Feinstein Introduce Bill To Reduce Cluster Munitions’ Danger To Innocent Civilians

(THURSDAY, Feb. 12) -- U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) this week introduced legislation to restrict the use or deployment of dangerous cluster munitions. Leahy, who has worked for years to protect civilians from cluster munitions, said: "Anyone who has seen the devastation cluster munitions cause over wide areas understands the unacceptable harm they cause to civilians. Any weapon, whether cluster munitions, landmines, or even poison gas, has some m… Continue Reading


Leahy Introduces Bill To Provide Equality Under Immigration Law

(Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday introduced legislation to allow American citizens to sponsor same-sex "permanent partners" applying for legal residency in the United States. The Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) would amend provisions in U.S. immigration law that bar Americans in same-sex relationships from using the family immigration system and sponsoring their partners. Under current law, an American citizen is permitte… Continue Reading


“Importance Of The Economic Recovery Plan”

Sen. Leahy On Importance Of Economic Recovery Plan Mr. President, I rise today in strong support of the economic recovery plan because the American people and their communities need it to create jobs, help stabilize the economy, and protect those who have been most hurt by the current global economic and financial crises. For the American people watching this process, the resistance this economic recovery plan has met from many on the other side of the aisle must be more than a lit… Continue Reading


Rutland Middle School

Senator Leahy had his first online chat using Skype, which is an online tool for making video calls and instant messaging. Senator Leahy was able to see and hear the students in the Rutland Middle School eighth-grade class, and the entire eighth-grade class (180 students and 10 faculty) was able to see and hear Senator Leahy's answers on a big screen set up in the auditorium. The students asked several questions, with the topics ranging from the Senator's appearance in the most recent Batman m… Continue Reading


Statement On The Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act

MR. LEAHY. I am pleased to join with my friend from California, Senator Feinstein, in introducing the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act of 2009. This is a slightly revised version of a bill of the same name which we introduced in 2007. Since December 3, 2008, when the Convention on Cluster Munitions opened for signature in Dublin, 96 countries have signed the treaty including Great Britain, Germany, Canada, Norway, Australia and other allies of the United States. The treaty i… Continue Reading


Leahy, Specter, Feingold, Kennedy Introduce State Secrets Legislation

(Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009) - Leading members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have joined together to introduce the State Secrets Protection Act, a bill that provides guidance to federal courts considering cases in which the government has asserted the state secrets privilege. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), and Committee Member Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) joined with former Committee Chairman and Member Edward Kennedy (D-Ma.) t… Continue Reading


Leahy Chairs Fraud Enforcement Hearing

(Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) chaired a hearing Wednesday morning on "The Need for Increased Fraud Enforcement in the Wake of the Economic Downturn." The Federal Bureau of Investigation has reported a100 percent increase since 2005 in the number of fraud investigations it has opened. The Treasury Department reports that more than 60,000 cases alleging mortgage fraud were filed in 2008. On February 5, Leahy and Senator Chuck Grass… Continue Reading


Statement On The Introduction Of The Artist-Museum Partnership Act

Mr. President, today we reintroduce the "Artist-Museum Partnership Act," and once again, I am pleased to be joined in this effort by my good friend Senator Bennett from Utah. This bipartisan legislation would enable our country to keep cherished art works in the United States and to preserve them in our public institutions. At the same time, this legislation will erase an inequity in our tax code that currently serves as a disincentive for artists to donate their works to m… Continue Reading


Leahy Cites Vermont Investments In Senate-Passed Economic Recovery Package

(Tuesday, Feb. 10) - The U.S. Senate Tuesday passed an economic recovery package that includes investments throughout Vermont's economy. The bill now will be reconciled with a similar bill passed by the House. "Nobody believes this bill is perfect, and many believe it is not large enough," said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). "But one thing is certain: Vermont's needs have been taken directly into account in writing this plan. It includes investments that will make a timel… Continue Reading

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