Press Room

Press Releases

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

12.02.16

Leahy Bill To Improve Criminal Justice System To Be Signed Into Law

(FRIDAY, Dec. 2, 2016) - Legislation long championed by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to help ensure that the criminal justice system functions fairly now goes to the White House for signature after the Senate overwhelmingly passed the bill late Thursday. The Justice for All Reauthorization Act aims to reduce the rape kit backlog by supporting grant programs that fund forensic testing. The bill, coauthored by Leahy and Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), also renews the Innocence Protection Act, a… Continue Reading


12.01.16

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Dakota Access Pipeline

I share the concerns of many of my fellow Vermonters for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Lakota Nation and their supporters who oppose the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Marcelle and I also are troubled by the recent news reports of how they are being treated by some government officials and law enforcement agents. I firmly believe that the construction of this pipeline should be suspended indefinitely pending approval by the Standing Rock Tribal Leaders. We must also pay ser… Continue Reading


12.01.16

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

Each morning in this chamber we pledge allegiance to our flag, and we end by declaring that we are "one Nation under God with liberty and justice for all." It is not enough to say the words. It is our obligation to bring meaning to this promise. Today I hope the Congress will finally take an important step forward by passing the bipartisan Justice for All Reauthorization Act. I have long championed the Justice for All Act to make our justice system more fair. Our bill will strengthen indige… Continue Reading


11.30.16

Senate Floor Remarks of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), On the Duplicity of the Double Standard

For months - no, for years - in the lead up to the November 8th election, congressional Republicans spent countless taxpayer dollars to air their unsubstantiated concerns about corruption at the highest levels of our government. The Clinton Foundation must be dissolved, they said. Every action, every meeting, every activity of the Clinton Foundation should be revealed, they said. We cannot allow such a foundation to run so close to the Oval Office, they said. It is ironic - sadly ironic, mad… Continue Reading


11.29.16

House Approves Bill Championed By Leahy To Improve Criminal Justice System

(TUESDAY, November 29, 2016) - The House on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved legislation long championed by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to help ensure that the criminal justice system functions fairly. The Justice for All Reauthorization Act supports critical grant programs which provide funding for forensic testing, including rape kits. The House-passed measure closely mirrors legislation coauthored by Leahy and Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), which passed the Senate in June. On Tuesday, Le… Continue Reading


11.29.16

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Fiscal Year 2017 Appropriations

Mr. President, for the past two years the Republican Party has enjoyed solid majorities in both the House and Senate. They control the schedule and the process. They can decide which legislation to call up for debate, and frankly for all intents and purposes, they can decide whether anything gets done around here. A good example is the nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. If he had been treated like other Supreme Court nominees throughout the entire history of this country, he … Continue Reading


11.29.16

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Committee on the Judiciary On Senate Passage of S. 2944, Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2016

Today, the Senate reiterates its commitment to our nation's law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other first responders. Forty years ago, we created the Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program (PSOB) to support first responders who made the ultimate sacrifice. We have now passed legislation to make much needed improvements to the claims adjudication process, which for too long has been plagued by red tape and delays. Today's legislation builds upon my past efforts to improve the PSOB … Continue Reading


11.26.16

Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy To The Death Of Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro will be remembered as an ideologue who liberated the Cuban people from a corrupt dictatorship only to replace it with a family dynasty that maintained its grip on power through fear and repression. While the Cuban people for the first time enjoyed universal access to basic health care and literacy, Castro's failed economic policies, compounded by the U.S. embargo, left the country impoverished. For 55 years, the mere mention of Fidel Castro has incited fiercely emotional react… Continue Reading


11.22.16

Leahy Comment On The Upcoming Deployment Of The Vermont Air National Guard

(TUESDAY, Nov. 22, 2016) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following statement related to the announced deployment of the 158th Fighter Wing to the Central Command Area of Operations. Leahy, co-chair of the Senate National Guard Caucus said: "The brave men and women of the Vermont Air National Guard once again are answering the call. Our country knows that when you call in the Green Mountain Boys, you're calling in the best. Their outstanding reputation has been earned through skil… Continue Reading


11.21.16

Thanksgiving: A Time For Reflection And Renewed Commitment

In our family, as in homes across Vermont and the nation, this Thanksgiving will be a time of especially deep and emotional reflection. After a bitterly contested election that tested our civility and fanned the flames of intolerance, we now move into a period that may further test our national character and our institutions. We already are ending a year in which a majority of senators have broken not only with precedent, but with the sworn obligation to uphold our constitutional responsibi… Continue Reading


11.18.16

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Reports Of Senator Jeff Sessions’ Nomination To Be The Attorney General Of The United States

"The Attorney General serves as the chief law enforcement officer in the country. The Attorney General must be independent and fair. The Attorney General must be deeply committed to the rule of law and must ensure that all people are treated equally before the law. This means that he or she is also the chief protector of civil rights and civil liberties for everyone in our Nation. That has never been more important than in this moment, when hate crimes have spiked across the country, especia… Continue Reading


11.16.16

BREAKING: Leahy To Serve As Vice Chairman Of Senate Appropriations Committee

"The results of this election have reshaped the policymaking landscape in Washington and show the need for checks and balances, now that one party controls the White House as well as both houses of Congress. There are many challenges ahead. Against this new backdrop, I have decided that I will best be able to represent Vermonters' voices, and reflect Vermont values and ideals, as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee. "I do not come to this decision lightly. Both the Ap… Continue Reading


10.31.16

Leahy Leads Bipartisan Group of Senators Urging DoD To Restore Guard Bonuses

Senate National Guard Caucus Co-Chair Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), with Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca.) and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Ca.), is leading a bipartisan group of 30 senators in asking U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter to restore bonuses and benefits incorrectly awarded to National Guard soldiers through no fault of their own. The Department has sought to recoup the wrongly awarded benefits after an audit found that due to faulty paperwork, mistakes by recruiters, and at least one case o… Continue Reading


10.28.16

With Calls By Some To Intimidate Voters At The Polls, Leahy & Schumer Press DOJ To Protect Americans’ Right To Vote

The upcoming presidential election is the first since 1965 in which Americans will not have the full protections of the Voting Rights Act. Concerned by reports of voter intimidation throughout the country, Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Friday urged the Justice Department to ensure that Americans do not face intimidation at the polls. "All Americans - regardless of party affiliation - deserve free and fair elections," the senators wrote in a letter to Attorney Gen… Continue Reading


10.27.16

Leahy Comments On The Alarming Calls By Some Republicans For Permanent Obstruction Of Judicial Nominees, Incl. SCOTUS

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Alarming And Unprecedented Calls By Some Senate Republicans For Permanent Obstruction Of Judicial Nominees October 27, 2016 "Eight months ago Republican senators attempted to justify their unprecedented obstruction of a Supreme Court nominee by claiming that the American people needed to be heard through the election. Now that we are on the eve of that democratic moment, some at last are making clear … Continue Reading


10.27.16

Leahy Comments On FCC’s Adoption Today Of Privacy Rules, & Announcement Of Rulemaking On Forced Consumer Arbitration

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The FCC's Adoption Of Privacy Rules For Broadband Providers And Announcement Of Rulemaking On Forced Consumer Arbitration October 27, 2016 [The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday adopted a final order establishing rules for the use of consumer information by broadband service providers. For the first time there will be clear and meaningful regulations requiring express consumer consent be… Continue Reading


10.26.16

Leahy Presses Administration To Take On Opioid Distributors

Leahy Presses Administration To Take On Opioid Distributors (WEDNESDAY, Oct. 26, 2016) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is urging the Department of Justice to increase enforcement efforts in order to keep addictive painkillers from entering communities in Vermont and across the nation. Leahy's push comes just days after the Washington Post reported that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) scaled back efforts to pursue drug companies who were flooding communities with powerful and highly a… Continue Reading


10.24.16

Comment On Proposed Merger Of AT&T And Time Warner

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Proposed Merger of AT&T and Time Warner October 24, 2016 "Millions of Americans rely on AT&T for their satellite or cable television, as well as their wireless telephone service and broadband Internet access. And millions of Americans use Time Warner's entertainment and news content. This proposed massive consolidation of distribution and content raises potentially serious questions about comp… Continue Reading


10.20.16

Vice President Biden's "Cancer Moonshot" Visit To VT/UVM/Medical Center

Senator Leahy invited Vice President Biden to UVM/UVM Medical Center to discuss Vermont's work on cancer research, in conjunction with President Obama's Cancer Moonshot initiative. Biden chairs the Cancer Moonshot Task Force and presented the Task Force's recommendations to President Obama this week (on Monday, Oct. 17). Webcast coverage of Friday's event at UVM begins at 10 a.m. Friday and can be viewed at this LINK: Cancer Moonshot Event N e w s B a c k g r o u n d e r Vermont And UVM Hav… Continue Reading


10.14.16

Comment On The Passing Of Father Michael Cronogue, Of St. Michael's College

Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), On the Passing of Father Michael Cronogue, S.S.E., Of St. Michael's College October 14, 2016 "Like everyone in the St. Michael's community, I was shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Father Mike. Teacher, advisor, friend, confidant - there is no way to measure his impact on the lives he touched, in the St. Michael's community and beyond. Marcelle and I join countless others in sending prayers to Father Mike's family in this difficult … Continue Reading

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