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Press Releases

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


Leahy Announces Agreement On Privacy Provisions In Health IT Bill

(Wednesday, May 14, 2008) - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today announced a breakthrough in the impasse over privacy provisions in the Wired for Health Care Quality Act, a bill sponsored by Sens. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.) to help establish a national health information technology system. Leahy, a longtime advocate for personal privacy protections, had expressed concerns that the bill lacked adequate privacy protections for patients. Leahy has been working with Kennedy, En… Continue Reading


Leahy Schedules Judiciary Committee Hearing On The Right To Vote

(Tuesday, May 13, 2008) -Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has scheduled a hearing to examine the constitutional underpinnings of voting rights and to investigate obstacles that impede access to the ballot box for all Americans. Several states are currently considering policies that could erect barriers between eligible voters and their constitutional right to vote. Recent reports from the May 6 primary in Indiana, including reports that a nun who volunteered as a poll … Continue Reading


Hearing On “The Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program: Protecting our Nation’s Law Enforcement Officers”

I am pleased to convene today's hearing about the Bulletproof Vest Partnership grant program during National Police Week. I thank our witnesses for taking time during this week of important events and meaningful ceremonies to appear before this Committee and share their experiences with us, to help us better understand the importance of body armor for our peace officers. This week, law enforcement officers from around the country come to Washington to honor the men and women who have given the… Continue Reading


the Introduction Of A Bill To Reauthorize The Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Act

(Tuesday, May 13, 2008) - A bipartisan group of Senators today introduced key legislation to reauthorize the lifesaving Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program, a competitive grant program administered by the Department of Justice that provides matching funds to state and local law enforcement officers to purchase bulletproof and stab-resistant vests. Identical legislation was also introduced today in the House of Representatives. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) an… Continue Reading


Leahy Announces Witnesses For Hearing On Oil Prices

(Monday, May 12, 2008) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today announced the panel of witnesses for a hearing to examine the explosive rise in oil prices. Executives from five major oil companies - BP America, Shell, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Exxon - will testify at a May 21 hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The hearing will be held at 10:00 a.m. in room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. Non-credentialed members of the press should contact the… Continue Reading


The Passage Of A Resolution To Honor The Sacrifices Made By The Men And Women Who Serve As Law Enforcement Officers

(Friday, May 9, 2008) - Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy has invited a lieutenant with the Vermont State Police to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee at a hearing to be held Tuesday, May 13, on Capitol Hill. The hearing will focus on the importance of the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Act, a program authored by Leahy that has granted millions of dollars for law enforcement agencies across the country to buy lifesaving bulletproof vests for their officers. Lieutenant Michael Macarilla o… Continue Reading


President Signs Bill Establishing Quadricentennial Commission To Help Organize Commemoration Of Champlain’s Exploration

(Thursday, May 8) - President Bush Thursday signed into law legislation authored by the Vermont Congressional Delegation -- Sen. Patrick Leahy (D), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I), Rep. Peter Welch (D) -- and by their New York congressional counterparts, that will establish a commission to help organize next year's commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain's first voyage on Lake Champlain. Other sponsors of the commission legislation include Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. Chuc… Continue Reading


Leahy: Visa To Publicly Disclose Rules For Merchants

(Thursday, May 8, 2008) - Two years after the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing to examine the fees charged to merchants when they accept a credit or debit card transaction, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday announced that on May 15, Visa - one of the world's leading credit card companies - will post online the company's rules that apply to merchants who accept their cards. The Judiciary Committee, which Leahy currently chairs, held a hearing in 2006 to explore the effects of intercha… Continue Reading


The President’s Nomination Of Judge Glen E. Conrad To Serve On The Fourth Circuit Court Of Appeals

(Thursday, May 8, 2008) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) commended the President Thursday for heeding the recommendation of Virginia Senators John Warner (R) and Jim Webb (D) by sending to the Senate the nomination of Glen E. Conrad to fill the second Virginia vacancy on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The nomination comes after years of contentiousness and failed nominations for the Fourth Circuit, including those of Jim Haynes, Claude Allen and, most recently, … Continue Reading


Hearing On Judicial Nominations

(Wednesday, May 7, 2008) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) held a hearing today on three judicial nominations from Michigan, including two nominees to fill the final vacancies on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. It was the seventhnominations hearing of 2008, and the fifth for judicial nominations. Last week, the Committee held a hearing on the nomination of Steven Agee to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as two district court nominations. The Judiciary… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee To Examine Explosive Rise In Oil Prices

(Wednesday, May 7, 2008) - The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing later this month to examine the rising price of crude oil and its effect on gas prices across the country, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced today. In a hearing scheduled for May 21, the Judiciary Committee will examine how the price of crude oil - unrefined petroleum that is processed and used as gasoline to power vehicles, airplanes and farm equipment - affects the price consumers pay at gasoline stations acr… Continue Reading


The Introduction Of The “Runaway And Homeless Youth Protection Act

(Tuesday, May 6, 2008) - Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy today introduced legislation to reauthorize the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA), a critical Federal grant program established to help states and local communities address the needs of runaway and homeless youths in both urban and rural areas. One week after the Senate Judiciary Committee, which Leahy chairs, heard testimony from expert witnesses about the benefits of the RHYA, Leahy introduced the Runaway and Homeless Youth Protection… Continue Reading


Sen. McCain’s Speech On Judicial Nominations

"Senator McCain today chose to pander to those on the far right who prefer partisan fights designed to energize a political base during an election year. He ignored his own history in supporting filibusters against circuit court nominees, as well as his record of flip flops depending on which party holds the presidency. He ignores the progress we have made in repairing the damage Republicans did to the confirmation process and our efforts to reduce judicial vacancies after Republicans blocked … Continue Reading


Senators Announce Additional Funding For National Center on PTSD

, May 2 - U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Chairman of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, and Senator Bernard Sanders (I-VT), a member of the Committee, announced today that Veterans Affairs Secretary James Peake has allocated an additional $2 million to the National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, headquartered at the VA Medical Center in White River Junction, Vermont. This decision follows months of communication between Secretary Peake and Senators Akaka and Sanders, including… Continue Reading


Vermont Delegation Wins MILC Program Expansion In Farm Bill Negotiations

(Friday, May 2) -- The Vermont Congressional Delegation - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I), and Rep. Peter Welch (D) -- scored a major win for Vermont dairy farmers after Midnight Friday when congressional negotiators agreed to extend and dramatically strengthen the safety net that protects dairy producers when milk prices plummet. Conferees from the Senate and House agriculture committees early Friday morning agreed by voice vote to Leahy's proposal to renew and expand the Milk … Continue Reading


Hearing on Judicial Nominations

(Thursday, May 1, 2008) - The Senate Judiciary Committee today held a hearing today for three judicial nominations, including a nominee to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The hearing was the sixth nominations hearing of the session, and the fourth for judicial nominations. The Senate this year has confirmed five judicial nominations, including one to fill the final vacancy on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Three nominations are pending on the Senate's executive calendar. On Wednesday, … Continue Reading


Vermont’s Congressional Delegation Presses FTC To Use Its New Mandate To Police Oil Price Gouging

(Wednesday, April 30) - The Vermont Congressional Delegation - U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) - Wednesday asked the Federal Trade Commission to use new authority Congress has given the agency to protect consumers from price gouging as gasoline prices continue to escalate. Leahy, Sanders and Welch cite a new mandate to protect consumers from oil price manipulation, added by Congress in an energy policy bill enacted last Decemb… Continue Reading


Hearing On

I thank Senator Feingold for holding this important hearing. To paraphrase James Madison, if men were angels we would need no laws. We are not angels, and our government needs laws to guide its actions. But laws that are created, defined, or interpreted in secret might as well not exist. Secret law is not a check on the government; when law is kept secret, the rule of law suffers. This administration has, for years, set out to shield itself from constraint and accountability by employing un… Continue Reading


The Consideration Of A Senate Resolution

(Wednesday, April 30, 2008) - The Senate tonight unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that John McCain, a U.S. Senator from Arizona currently serving his fourth term in the Senate, is eligible to run for President of the United States. McCain is the presumptive Republican nominee for the presidency. McCain was born on a U.S. military base in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936 to American citizens. In February, The New York Times published a report calling … Continue Reading


Leahy Notices Hearing For Two Circuit Nominees

(Wednesday, April 30, 2008) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today noticed a hearing for three judicial nominees, including two circuit court nominees to fill the final vacancies on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The hearing will be held Wednesday, May 7. The Committee will consider the nominations of Judge Helene White and Raymond Kethledge to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the nomination of Steven Murphy for a seat in the Eastern District of Michigan.… Continue Reading

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