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Press Releases

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

12.22.16

‘The Year Closes On A High Note For Vermont’s Transportation Future’ -- Leahy-Authored Bill To Facilitate Preclearance Travel Operations In Canada Is Signed Into Law

BURLINGTON (THURSDAY, Dec. 22, 2016) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) was joined Thursday by federal and state officials, representatives of Amtrak, Porter Airlines and local chamber of commerce officials at the Burlington International Airport to mark the enactment of the Promoting Travel, Commerce, and National Security Act. The legislation, unanimously passed by the U.S. Senate in the last day of this year's session, was signed into law by President Obama on December 16th. Leahy penned the … Continue Reading


12.20.16

Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On POTUS Announcement Banning Drilling in Parts of Atlantic and Arctic Oceans

"The President clearly listened to the countless voices of coastal residents who oppose the unnecessary risk that drilling poses to their way of life and to the coastal economies that depend on healthy oceans and pristine beaches. I agree with the President that these risks, as well as those posed to the wildlife and marine life that call these oceans home, should not be jeopardized to enable multi-billion dollar corporations to benefit from risky offshore drilling activities. I applaud Preside… Continue Reading


12.17.16

Patrick And Marcelle Leahy Pay Respects To John Glenn At Memorial Service In Columbus

COLUMBUS (SATURDAY, Dec. 17, 2016) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and his wife Marcelle Leahy on Saturday attended the memorial service here for the late former Senator John Glenn (D-Ohio). The Leahys and Glenns enjoyed an especially close bond of friendship in the United States Senate. The Leahys traveled to Columbus with Vice President Biden and Jill Biden, aboard the Vice President's plane. "We met when John and I came to the Senate. Our friendship crystalized in an instant, and it blos… Continue Reading


12.16.16

Leahy Bill To Improve Criminal Justice System Signed Into Law

(FRIDAY, December 16, 2016) - Legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to help ensure that the criminal justice system functions fairly was signed into law on Friday by President Obama. The Justice for All Reauthorization Act aims to reduce the rape kit backlog by supporting grant programs that fund forensic testing. The bill, introduced by Leahy and Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), also renews the Innocence Protection Act, a landmark Leahy law which includes the Kirk Bloodsworth Po… Continue Reading


12.16.16

Grassley, Leahy Comment on U.S. Copyright Office Report Examining the Legal Framework of Software-Enabled Consumer Products

The U.S. Copyright Office released an analysis of how copyright law applies to software-enabled consumer products, which are becoming increasingly prevalent in the lives of American consumers. The report was prompted by a 2015 request from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). The senators issued the following statement: "In everything from Fitbit to farm equipment, we've seen a sweeping expansion of smart technology in recent ye… Continue Reading


12.16.16

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Appointment of Debo P. Adegbile to Serve as a Commissioner On the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

"I applaud President Obama's wise appointment today of Debo P. Adegbile to serve as a Commissioner on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Debo brings a strong, independent and knowledgeable voice to the Commission. He has devoted much of his career to fighting for the civil rights of all Americans. Debo has also twice argued before the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act. "At a time when religious and racial minorities feel afraid and threatened, and when America… Continue Reading


12.13.16

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy Ranking Member, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Republican Staff Report on Planned Parenthood and Fetal Tissue Donation

Over a year after Republicans began pouring taxpayer dollars into five separate congressional investigations, there has been no credible finding - including in the Republican Staff Report issued today - that Planned Parenthood broke the law. While we do not know the total cost to taxpayers for these five duplicative Republican-led investigations, we do know that just one of the House investigations alone has cost the American people more than $1.5 million. It is important to understand these … Continue Reading


12.13.16

SENATORS CALL FOR NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE OF RUSSIAN TAMPERING IN U.S. ELECTION, REQUEST CONFIRMATION OF JUSTICE DEPT. INVESTIGATION

(TUESDAY, Dec. 13, 2016) - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Al Franken (D-MN), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Gary Peters (D-MI), Bob Casey (D-PA), Tom Udall (D-NM), and Ed Markey (D-MA) today called for a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) to determine the extent of Russian intervention in the 2016 United States presidential election, accompanied by an unclassified summary of its key judgments by January 20th, 2017. An NIE is the formal, authoritative assessmen… Continue Reading


12.12.16

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), On the FY17 Continuing Resolution

Today, the Senate will vote to put the government on autopilot for the next four and a half months. Coupled with the continuing resolution we are currently under, that's seven months of Fiscal Year 2017 priorities funded - or not - under the terms of the Fiscal Year 2016 omnibus bill. Freezing in place an earlier year's priorities - ignoring the many hearings, and the committee work, and the debates, and the oversight that the Appropriations Committees have invested in genuine, full-year fundi… Continue Reading


12.12.16

Senators Cardin, Feinstein, Leahy Call for Independent Nonpartisan Commission to Investigate Russian Interference in Election

U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) called Monday for the creation of an independent, nonpartisan commission to comprehensively investigate alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election. The commission would fully investigate alleged Russian cyberattacks on U.S. political entities and election infrastructure, seek to identify those responsible, and recommend a response as well as actions the U.S. can take to defend itself in the future. … Continue Reading


12.10.16

Leahy 'Preclearance' Bill To Ease Vt.-Canada Rail & Air Travel Clears Congress Saturday Morning

Leahy-Authored Bill To Facilitate Preclearance Operations In Canada Passes Senate, Headed to President's Desk Legislation Needed To Facilitate Passenger Air And Rail Service Between Vermont And Canada, And Other Travel Destinations [BREAKING] WASHINGTON (SATURDAY, Dec. 10, 2016) - The Senate Saturdayunanimously passed long-awaited legislation authored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to facilitate travel and commerce between the United States and Canada, the largest U.S. trading partner. Passage… Continue Reading


12.09.16

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On U.S. Policy On Cuba

The election of Donald Trump as our next President has ignited a rash of speculation about the future of U.S. policy toward Cuba. What we know is that President-elect Trump has said contradictory things about President Obama's decision to resume diplomatic relations with Cuba, as he has about some other issues. Among other things, he has tweeted that he plans to reverse the Obama administration's regulatory changes relaxing restrictions on U.S. engagement with Cuba unless the Cuban governmen… Continue Reading


12.08.16

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, Floor remarks on extending the EB-5 Regional Center program without reforms

I once again come to the floor, joined by Senator Grassley, to share my frustration with the EB-5 Regional Center program. Senator Grassley and I have been working for years to improve this flawed program, which is set to expire tomorrow. But once again Republican congressional leadership has rejected our bipartisan reforms and the program will be extended in the continuing resolution. Time and again, Republican leadership has caved behind closed doors to narrow corporate interests. I believ… Continue Reading


12.08.16

Comment Of Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), On The House Judiciary Proposal To Reform The Copyright Office

"We have been working together for the last year on a legislative proposal to modernize the U.S. Copyright Office in order to better fulfill its mission in a rapidly changing digital environment. Based on our extensive consultation with a broad range of stakeholders, we believe the Copyright Office should have more independence, accountability, and authority to make decisions in areas such as IT, budget, and staffing. Our draft Senate proposal would achieve these important goals. Now that our… Continue Reading


12.07.16

Fleming Elementary School

On December 7, 2016, Senator Leahy conducted an online chat with the fifth graders of Fleming Elementary School. After having just finished their unit on government, Senator Leahy was quite impressed with the students' interest in the Constitution. He especially enjoyed answering their questions about the role of the three branches of government.… Continue Reading


12.07.16

Leahy, Franken & Leading Democratic Senators Again Call On Wells Fargo To End Use Of Forced Arbitration So That Consumers Can Seek Justice In Court

(Wednesday, December 7, 2016) - Democratic Senators led by Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Banking Committee Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) are again pressing Wells Fargo to end the use of forced arbitration clauses and allow customers whose names were used to open fraudulent accounts to seek justice in court. The Senators reiterated their call after Wells Fargo refused to commit to end its use of forced arbitration in customer service agreements in a letter… Continue Reading


12.07.16

Senator Patrick Leahy Remarks News Conference With Cuban Entrepreneurs Russell Senate Office Building

I want to thank the representatives of the Cuban private business community who are here. This is an all too rare opportunity for Members of Congress and the news media to hear directly from people like you, and we greatly appreciate you coming all this way. Since President Obama and President Raul Castro re-established diplomatic relations we have seen what many would describe as remarkable changes between the United States and Cuba. Critics of the new opening continually say that the only … Continue Reading


12.06.16

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee Statement On Voting Rights

An editorial this morning in The New York Times is entitled, "Why the Lies About Voting Fraud?" That is a question that many of us who have been fighting for the right to vote have been asking for decades. Ten years ago this Congress reauthorized the Voting Rights Act. During the course of many Senate and House Judiciary Committee hearings we fought against the false narrative that in-person voting fraud was at all common in our country. The evidence clearly and irrefutably shows that it is … Continue Reading


12.06.16

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee Statement Following Final Passage of the Justice for All Reauthorization Act

For more than six years, I have championed the reauthorization of the Justice for All Act to ensure our criminal justice system lives up to our national pledge of "liberty and justice for all." As a former prosecutor, I am committed to ensuring our criminal justice system has integrity and the confidence of the public it serves. From my time on the front lines as a State's Attorney in Vermont, in Chittenden County, and through the past 15 years I have served as Chairman or Ranking member of th… Continue Reading


12.06.16

Under Leahy’s Initiative, Bipartisan Leaders Of The Senate Judiciary Committee Urge Senators To Address Rising Prescription Drug Prices

(TUESDAY, Dec. 6, 2016) - Senate Judiciary Committee members led by Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) are calling on all senators to support a bipartisan amendment to benefit consumers and deter pharmaceutical companies from blocking cheaper generic alternatives from entering the marketplace. Leahy, joined by other leading members of the panel, filed an updated version of their bipartisan Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act as an amendment to the 21st Cen… Continue Reading

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