Press Room

Press Releases

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


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


Reaction On Announcement Of Justice Department Designees

"The experienced picks announced today will fill key leadership posts at the Department of Justice when the United States faces many serious challenges. I am encouraged by President-elect Obama's choices of excellent lawyers with deep experience at the Department to help Eric H. Holder Jr, his choice to serve as Attorney General of the United States, right the ship. They will be a strong team. I am pleased that President-elect Obama's pick for the number two spot at the Department, David Ogden,… Continue Reading


National Law Enforcement Groups Back Holder Nomination

- A wide range of national law enforcement organizations have endorsed Eric Holder's nomination to be the next Attorney General of the United States, urging the Senate to confirm Holder to the nation's top law enforcement post. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday released nearly a dozen additional letters endorsing the nomination, including letters from the National Sheriffs' Association and National Troopers Association. Leahy also released letters in sup… Continue Reading


Comments On Chief Justice Roberts’ Year-End Report On The Federal Judiciary

"In his year-end report, Chief Justice Roberts highlights the essential role of the federal judiciary, the cost containment measures the judiciary has adopted, and the issue of judicial compensation. "Our judiciary is the envy of the world, and it is a source of America's strength and stability. The branches of our federal government act as checks upon each other but also rely on each other, and I have always believed that Congress needs to take seriously the issues facing the federal judiciar… Continue Reading


Leahy Focuses On Anti-Crime Funding Needs By Law Enforcement Agencies In The Stimulus Package As He Sets First Judiciary Committee Hearing In The New Congress

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today set a hearing for Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009, to examine proposals to provide resources for underfunded law enforcement programs in the economic stimulus package. The stimulus package is being drafted by lawmakers in advance of the 111th Congress. The hearing will be the first Judiciary Committee hearing of the new Congress. Leahy, who also serves as a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has requested funding in the s… Continue Reading


Holder Nomination Receives Broad Support

President-elect Barack Obama's pick to be the next Attorney General of the United States is receiving broad, bipartisan support from law enforcement officers, organizations, and advocates across the country. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Monday released letters from more than four dozen individuals and organizations that support the nomination of Eric H. Holder Jr. to be Attorney General of the United States, including support from law enforcement, crime vic… Continue Reading


Law Enforcement, Crime Victims Advocates, Civil Rights Organizations And Republican Officials Urge Confirmation Of Eric H. Holder Jr. As Attorney General Of The United States

Holder Nomination Receives Broad Support Law Enforcement, Crime Victims Advocates, Civil Rights Organizations And Republican OfficialsUrge Confirmation Of Eric H. Holder Jr. As Attorney General Of The United States WASHINGTON (Monday, Dec. 22, 2008) - President-elect Barack Obama's pick to be the next Attorney General of the United States is receiving broad, bipartisan support from law enforcement officers, organizations, and advocates across the country. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman P… Continue Reading


Vermont Wins Emergency Food And Shelter Assistance

BURLINGTON- At a time of growing demands, Vermont emergency food and shelter programs were awarded $329,767 to help feed and shelter the hungry and homeless, Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch announced. Vermont's total of $339,767 includes $21,141 for Caledonia County; $83,603 for ChittendenCounty; $24,251 for Orleans County; $46,480 for Rutland County; $39,171 for WashingtonCounty; and $115,121 for a state set-aside committee. Leahy said,… Continue Reading


Leahy Releases His Stimulus Package Priorities As Drafting Process Begins To Take Shape

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday released his suggestions to President-elect Barack Obama for elements of a major stimulus package to help jump-start the ailing economy. Leahy said he suggested economic stimulus priorities that he believes can go farthest in reawakening the U.S. economy, creating jobs here at home and assisting states like Vermont that are struggling with slackening revenue and difficult budget cuts. Leahy's suggestions come as the process of writing a stimulus … Continue Reading


Reaction to President-elect Obama’s Choice Of Congressman Ray LaHood (R-Ill.) To Be Secretary Of Transportation

"I applaud President-elect Obama's selection of Congressman Ray LaHood to be the next Transportation Secretary. This is a choice that not only will play very well in Peoria but also on Capitol Hill and across the country. "Over the years I have enjoyed working with Ray LaHood on a variety of important agriculture and law enforcement issues. He was a key ally in our efforts to pass the Innocence Protection Act, which improves access to DNA testing that can help exonerate or convict those ac… Continue Reading


Leahy Calls On Fed Chief To Help Spur Lending For Affordable Housing

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Herb Kohl (D- Wisc.) are leading 19 senators in urging Federal Reserve Chairman Benjamin Bernanke to use funds at his disposal to increase the availability of loans through the state Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs) for low- and middle-income first-time homebuyers and refinancing borrowers. While lending programs at the Vermont Housing Finance Agency continue to operate, across the country many HFAs have had to limit, or in some states even halt, the… Continue Reading


Holder Hearing Rescheduled

In an effort to accommodate Senate Republicans, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has postponed the confirmation hearing for Eric H. Holder Jr., to be the Attorney General of the United States for more than 30 days from today, January 15, 2009. "The Committee has not yet received the names of other designees for high-ranking Department of Justice officials that we had anticipated and more time is now available to the Judiciary Committee. Therefore, to accommodate the… Continue Reading

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