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


Bill To Deny Safe Haven To War Criminals Who Exploit Child Soldiers Sent To President

Legislation that would make it a crime to recruit or use child soldiers was sent to the President for his signature today, following final passage of the measure by the Senate. The bipartisan bill, which the President is expected to sign, was authored by Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). The Child Soldiers Accountability Act would give the federal government the authority to prosecute, deport or deny admission to an individual who recruited or used child soldiers under the… Continue Reading


Vermont Congressional Delegation Announces Disaster Declaration In Addison, Caledonia, Essex, Lamoille, Orange, Washington And Windsor Counties From July And August Storms

MONTPELIER, Vt. (Friday, Sept. 12) - U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) announced Friday that President Bush has declared seven counties federal disaster areas following severe storms and flooding that ravaged the state between July 21 and August 12, 2008. The declaration, which the Vermont Congressional Delegation and Governor Jim Douglas (R-Vt.) requested, will enable state and local governments, as well as private non-profit organi… Continue Reading


Durbin-Leahy Bill To Help Guard And Reserve Members Facing Bankruptcy Headed To Senate Floor Bill Cuts Red Tape For Returning Service Members

A bill to help National Guard and Reserve members who are struggling financially to receive bankruptcy assistance upon returning from deployment was voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, clearing the way for its consideration by the full Senate. The National Guard and Reservist Debt Relief Act, introduced by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and cosponsored by Judiciary Committee Chairman and National Guard Caucus Co-chair Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), will exempt service members from th… Continue Reading


Vermont Rivers Bill Passes Senate Committee

A Senate panel today approved legislation that could lead to designating the Missisquoi and Trout rivers as "Wild and Scenic." The measure introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and cosponsored by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, of which Sanders is a member. The legislation would direct the U.S. Department of the Interior to study the two northernVermont rivers as the first step toward adding them to the National Wild an… Continue Reading


Judiciary Panel Reports Leahy Bill To Extend Supreme Court Police Authority

(Thursday, Sept. 11, 2008) - A bill to extend the authority of the U.S. Supreme Court Police to protect justices and court officials when outside the Supreme Court grounds was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee today. It will now head to the Senate for consideration. The legislation was introduced in July by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). Without congressional action, the authority of the Supreme Court Police to protect court officials off the Supreme Cou… Continue Reading


Judiciary Committee Reports Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Legislation

The Senate Judiciary Committee today reported legislation to address intellectual property rights enforcement and protect American innovation. The Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act was approved by the Committee in a 14-4 vote. The legislation was introduced in July by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), and is cosponsored by Judiciary Committee members Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Sheldon Whitehouse … Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders Hail Senate Passage Of Bill To Reverse Narrow Interpretations Of Americans With Disabilities Act

The Senate late Thursday passed legislation, cosponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), that would rejuvenate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the face of several court decisions that have narrowed its definitions and coverage. In recent years the Supreme Court and several lower courts have issued decisions eroding the standards for determining who qualifies as individuals with disabilities. These narrow rulings ensure that the persons Congress i… Continue Reading


Leahy Amendment To Address Wartime Fraud Adopted By Senate Fraud Enforcement Measure Added To Defense Authorization Bill

(Wednesday, September 10, 2008) - The Senate today adopted an amendment introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to extend the amount of time for the federal government to prosecute wartime contracting fraud, including fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Senate adopted the Wartime Enforcement of Fraud Act (WEFA) as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. Leahy introduced the Wartime Enforcement of Fraud Act in April. The bipartisan legislation was reported by the Senate Judi… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Looks At New Strategies To Combat Violent Crime

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) chaired a hearing Wednesday to examine the rise in violent crime in cities and towns across the country, and to explore new strategies to address the growing national problem. In March, Leahy chaired a Senate Judiciary Committee field hearing in Rutland,Vermont, a community that has developed and implemented effective programs to address a recent spike in drug-related violent crime. Community leaders and academics will provide testim… Continue Reading


Comments On The Department Of Justice’s New Policy Regarding The Corporate Attorney-Client Privilege

I am pleased that the Department of Justice has finally announced a significant and welcome change to its policy regarding requests for waiver of the corporate attorney-client privilege. For years, I have emphad the importance of the attorney-client privilege. I have said that the Department must take all necessary steps to correct the abuses documented earlier in this administration and to address lingering concerns. I am glad that at long last Judge Filip and others at the Department … Continue Reading


Attorney General To Postpone Signing Of New FBI Guidelines For National Security Investigations After Request By Leahy And Specter

(Thursday, August 21, 2008) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) Thursday released a letter they have received from the office of Attorney General Michael Mukasey, agreeing to their request that he postpone the signing of new guidelines for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to conduct national security investigations. The letter was in response to an August 18 letter from Leahy and Specter in which they asked for the postpo… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces $8.2 M. In Farm Bill Funds For Troy And Jay Wastewater Improvements . . . Improved System To Encourage Economic Growth And Protect Lake Champlain

U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday told members of the Troy and Jay selectboards and local business leaders assembled at the Jay Fire Department that more than $8.2 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development funding is on its way to the two communities to help with a new wastewater improvement project slated to begin in 2010. Leahy, a former chairman and the most senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, helped write the 2008 Farm Bill that funded elements of th… Continue Reading


Leahy, Specter Press White House For OLC Torture Documents

(Tuesday, August 19, 2008) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) today pressed the White House to respond to outstanding requests from members of Congress for information about legal analysis and advice related to detention and interrogation policies provided to the administration by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). The Judiciary Committee's jurisdiction includes oversight of the offices within the Department of Justice, including… Continue Reading


Leahy, Specter Push For Postponement Of Finalized Guidelines For FBI

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) today urged Attorney General Michael Mukasey to postpone approval of proposed new guidelines for Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conduct in national security investigations, and to allow for more time to consult with Congress and other interested parties on the planned changes. In a letter sent Monday, Leahy and Specter urged Mukasey to delay taking any additional action on the guidelines un… Continue Reading


Vermont Delegation Hails Plan To Open New Rural Health Resource Center At The White River Junction VA Hospital

The members of Vermont's Congressional Delegation - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) and Rep. Peter Welch (D) - welcomed the announcement Monday that the VA Medical Center in White River Junction has been selected to host the East Coast's Rural Health Resource Center. The Vermont lawmakers have pressed for steps to increase VA medical access in Vermont's rural areas.The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) plans to open the White River Junction Rural Health Resource Center on … Continue Reading


Leahy Files Supreme Court Brief On Behalf Of Vermont Musician Case To Be Argued Before High Court In November

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday filed a petition in the United States Supreme Court concerning a case the nation's top court will hear later this year involving Vermont resident Diana Levine. Leahy was joined by 17 members of Congress, including Vermont Senator Bernard Sanders and Vermont Congressman Peter Welch, in filing the petition, known as an amicus brief, on Thursday. On January 18, 2008, the Supreme Court granted review in Wyeth v. Diana Levine, a case in which a Vermont jury a… Continue Reading


Leahy Rebukes White House For Continued Failure To Comply With Congressional Subpoenas

In a letter sent Thursday to the White House, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday rebuffed the administration's efforts to stonewall congressional investigators. Responding to an August 7 letter from White House Counsel Fred Fielding, Leahy rejected the administration's efforts to "run out the clock" on subpoenas issued by the Senate and House Judiciary Committees to current and former White House officials, including Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former White … Continue Reading


On Comments Of Attorney General Michael Mukasey To The American Bar Association

"Attorney General Mukasey's blanket conclusions appear premature based on the facts and evidence that congressional investigators and the Inspector General have uncovered so far. The White House stonewalling continues, with aides refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas and testify about their role in the politicization of the Department of Justice. The Attorney General, the nation's top law enforcement officer, seems intent on insulating this administration from accountability. We mus… Continue Reading


Leahy Bill To Extend U.S. Parole Commission Becomes Law

A bill introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to extend the United States Parole Commission for three years was signed into law by the President today. The U.S. Parole Commission is charged with granting or denying parole for incarcerated prisoners under federal jurisdiction or the jurisdiction of the District of Columbia. The current Commission was originally constituted more than 20 years ago, and was slated to expire in 1992. Congress has acted four times to extend the Commission. Witho… Continue Reading


Leahy, Specter Press Mueller For Information About Improper FBI Access Of Reporters’ Phone Records

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) sent a letter Monday to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Robert Mueller pressing the Director to provide more information to Committee members about the misuse of so-called "exigent letters." Press accounts last week revealed that Mueller apologized to editors at The New York Times and The Washington Post for a 2004 breach of Department of Justice guidelines regarding subpoenas for r… Continue Reading

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