Press Room

Press Releases

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


Statement On Reports That Eric Holder, Jr., May Be Nominated To Be Attorney General

Eric Holder would make an outstanding and historic nominee to serve as Attorney General, if President-elect Obama were to choose to nominate him. Mr. Holder would be the first African American to serve as Attorney General, the highest-ranking law enforcement officer in the country. Over the last eight years, political manipulation and influence from partisan political operatives in the White House have undercut the Department of Justice in its mission, severely undermined the morale of the ca… Continue Reading


Statement on Hearing: “Helping Families Save Their Homes: The Role Of Bankruptcy Law”

I thank Senator Durbin for chairing today's hearing. This hearing is about the important issue of providing relief to struggling homeowners. It is a matter that Senator Durbin, Senator Specter and I all thought worthy of another hearing this week. Everyone acknowledges that homeownership is a fundamental part of the American dream and that the housing crisis has contributed enormously to the current economic downturn. Homeownership is a primary source of financial well-being for fami… Continue Reading


Statement On Agreement To Protect Forests And Wildlife In Sumatra

Mr. President, I want to take a moment to call attention to the Government of Indonesia's recent action to preserve the endangered rain forests and ecosystems of Sumatra. On October 10, 2008, the Indonesian Government, in cooperation with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), announced an agreement between the 10 provincial governors of Sumatra to protect biodiversity on the world's sixth largest island. Although long overdue, this is an important first step towards conservation of a unique habita… Continue Reading


Statement On Millenium Challenge Corporation

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, as Chairman of the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee, I want to take a moment to speak about the budget of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, MCC. The fiscal year 2009 State and Foreign Operations bill, reported by the Appropriations Committee on July 18, 2008, recommends $254 million for the MCC. Since this is substantially less than the $2 billion requested by the President, it was predictable that the Senate committee's action would cause concerns amon… Continue Reading


Leahy Presses Mukasey For Answers To Justice Department Witness Questions Hundreds Of Hearing Questions Remain Unanswered

(Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2008) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) sent a letter Wednesday to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, urging the Justice Department to respond to hundreds of hearing questions that remain unanswered by Department witnesses who have testified before the Committee. Several questions date back over one year. Witnesses who testify before the Senate panel are often asked written questions by Committee members. Witness responses to questions submitte… Continue Reading


Leahy To File Committee Report In U.S. Attorney Firing Scandal Committee Report Will Accompany Rove, Bolten Contempt Citations

released a report to accompany resolutions of contempt approved last year by the Senate Judiciary Committee as part of an investigation into the improper firing of nine U.S. Attorneys. In December 2007, a bipartisan majority of the Committee voted to report to the Senate contempt citations for former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove and White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten for their failure to provide documents and testimony to the Committee in connection with the investigation i… Continue Reading


On News Reports That Eric Holder, Jr. Will Be Nominated To Be Attorney General By President-Elect Barack Obama

"The nomination of an attorney general is a President's to make. The next Attorney General will confront many continuing challenges, and can do much to restore our commitment to the rule of law and public confidence in federal law enforcement. I have known Eric Holder for many years. He has served as a prosecutor, judge and high ranking law enforcement official. He would make an outstanding nominee, and should have the support of Senators from both sides of the aisle if President-elect Obama … Continue Reading


Leahy Postpones Return Of Subpoena For OLC Documents Justice Department Offers To Provide OLC Documents

(Monday, Nov. 17, 2008) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday postponed the return date of a Committee-issued subpoena for documents from the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel. The subpoena, which was served on Attorney General Michael Mukasey, commanded the Attorney General to provide the legal advice issued by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) concerning the administration's national security policies related to terrorism. In a le… Continue Reading


On State’s Plan For Leahy-Sanders Funding To Meet The Needs Of Vermonters And Communities Stricken By The Foreclosure Crisis

U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Monday urged the State of Vermont to use the $19 million in federal funds the two senators secured for the state in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008 to ensure that Vermonters stricken by foreclosure are not left homeless and that communities have access to much-needed community development funding. Leahy and Sanders coauthored legislation in April that ensured Vermont, and other small states with relatively lowe… Continue Reading


Remarks For Presentation Of The Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award To Aminatou Haidar

Thank you for that kind introduction. I also want to thank Ethel, Kerry and the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights for inviting me to speak here today. It is an honor to stand in for my good friend Senator Ted Kennedy, who has been, and continues to be, such an eloquent force for human rights in this country and around the world. Whether he is reminding us of our moral obligation to provide a safe haven for Iraqi refugees, leading the fight in Congress against aparth… Continue Reading


Every Consumer Has A Stake In Vermonter’s Election-Eve Day In Court

When Vermonter Diana Levine has her day in the highest court in the land today, every American consumer will have a stake in the outcome. Like an escalating number of the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions in recent years, this case reaches into the lives of ordinary Americans in profound ways. Largely unknown yet to most Americans, those decisions are reshaping our constitutional rights to privacy, free speech and full access to justice. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a series of he… Continue Reading


Every Consumer Has A Stake In Vermonter’s Election-Eve Day In Court

When Vermonter Diana Levine has her day in the highest court in the land today, every American consumer will have a stake in the outcome. Like an escalating number of the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions in recent years, this case reaches into the lives of ordinary Americans in profound ways. Largely unknown yet to most Americans, those decisions are reshaping our constitutional rights to privacy, free speech and full access to justice. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a series of hearings… Continue Reading


Statement On Agreement To Protect Online Privacy And Free Speech

I applaud the historic agreement reached among some our Nation's leading Internet companies and human rights organizations to work together to resist government censorship of information on the Internet. Online privacy is a human right and the Global Network Initiative will help advance privacy and freedom of expression on the Internet around the world. Over the last decade, the Internet has become a vital tool to protect and ensure the rights and basic freedoms not only of Americans, but … Continue Reading


Attorney General Must Work Without Partisanship

In much the same way that our financial system is suffering a crisis of confidence, our Justice Department - the flagship of our system of justice - also faces a difficult road to rebuild trust after a crisis of leadership and conscience. The infusion of politics into the Justice Department and an abdication of responsibility by its leaders have dealt a severe blow, squandering the public's trust in a system that is supposed to apply our laws without fear or favor. Investigations by Con… Continue Reading


Leahy Issues Subpoena For OLC Documents Leahy Schedules November 18 Deadline To Receive Documents, Testimony From Attorney General Mukasey

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued a subpoena Tuesday compelling Attorney General Michael Mukasey to provide testimony and related documents to the Senate Judiciary Committee about legal analysis and advice from the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) related to the Bush administration's terrorism policies, including detention and interrogation policies and practices. Leahy and other Judiciary Committee members have sought information related to the… Continue Reading


On Signing Of Legislation To Extend The Bulletproof Vest Partnership

On Wednesday, the President signed a bill to reauthorize a life-saving grant program to help law enforcement agencies purchase bulletproof vests for officers. The Bulletproof Vest Partnership Program was first authored by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) in 1998. In May, Leahy chaired a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee about the importance of the program, which has provided over $234 million in federal grants for state and local law enforcement agencies to purchase bulletproof ve… Continue Reading


Leahy Again Presses White House For Torture Documents

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) sent a letter Wednesday to the White House again pressing for disclosure of White House and Justice Department documents and materials related to the government's use of torture, including the technique known as waterboarding. A press account in The Washington Postrevealed the existence of two previously undisclosed White House memoranda to the CIA from 2003 and 2004. Neither the Senate Judiciary Committee nor the Senate Select Committe… Continue Reading


$38.7 Million In Home Energy Funds For Vermont Released Today

BURLINGTON, October 16 - The Vermont congressional delegation announced today thatVermont's share of federal funding for home heating assistance this winter will be $38.7 million. The total is $3.7 million more than was projected for Vermont even after Congress doubled funds for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Last year, Vermont received $17 million in federal funds and the state contributed $6.3 million. The extra assistance at a time of rising home heating bills was bas… Continue Reading


U.S. Launches $1 M. Leahy-Led Ad Effort Aimed At Canadian Visitors In Advance Of New U.S. Border Crossing Requirements Next June

With tourism from Canada on the rise in recent years, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Tuesday that the U.S. State Department will launch a $1 million English and French public relations campaign in Quebec and its neighboring Atlantic Canadian provinces to raise awareness of new U.S. border crossing requirements set to begin next June. Leahy, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, secured the funding in a budget bill enacted earlier this year. Leahy chartered the o… Continue Reading


Statement On The President’s Signing Of S.3325, The Prioritizing Resources And Organization Of Intellectual Property Act Of 2008

President Bush today signed into law the Prioritizing Resources and Organization of Intellectual Property (PRO-IP) Act. The bill was introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) For more information about the legislation, which unanimously passed the Senate in September, click here. "The intellectual property enforcement legislation that President Bush signed into law today is among the most important bills I have championed. At a time of financial and economic … Continue Reading

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