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Press Releases

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

06.03.16

Leahy And Vermont Law Enforcement Leaders Herald The Importance To Vermont Of Leahy’s Newly Renewed Bulletproof Vest Program

BURLINGTON, Vt. - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), joined by leaders from Vermont law enforcement organizations, on Friday heralded the importance to Vermont of the renewal two weeks ago of Leahy's Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program. President Obama signed the Leahy bill into law on May 16, capping years of work by Leahy to renew the program's earlier charter after it expired in 2012. Since 1999, the matching grant program has leveraged $412 million in federal funds to help purchase mor… Continue Reading


06.02.16

Leahy, On Justice In Honduras, And The U.S. Contribution To The Support Mission Against Corruption And Impunity In Honduras (MACCIH)

Following is the reaction of Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., ranking member, State Department and Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, to the announcement that the U.S. Government will contribute $5.2 million as an initial contribution to the Support Mission against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH): "This is an important first step in putting MACCIH on a solid financial footing. It is also a strong endorsement of MACCIH's director, Juan Jimenez Mayo… Continue Reading


06.01.16

Leahy Joins Democratic Senators In Calling On U.S. Soccer Federation To Provide Equal Pay For Women Athletes

(WEDNESDAY, June 1, 2016) - Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy (D) Wednesday joined with leading Democratic senators in calling for equal treatment including equal pay for women athletes. In a letter to Sunil Gulati, president of the U.S. Soccer Federation, Leahy and 30 Democratic Senators note that the U.S. Women's National Team "has been a source of tremendous national pride," inspiring young and experienced athletes alike. Yet according to an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) compla… Continue Reading


05.27.16

Leahy Joins Legislation To Improve Safety Of Rail Transport Of Oil And Petroleum Products

(FRIDAY, May 27, 2016) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) cosponsored legislation to improve the safety of rail transport of oil and petroleum products, creating critical protections for human life and the environment across the country. Leahy joined the legislation as concerns about the oil being transported along the shores of Lake Champlain, and the threat it may pose to the lake and to area residents, grow in Vermont. The Hazardous Materials Rail Transportation Safety Improvement Act of 2015… Continue Reading


05.27.16

Senate Passes Leahy Bill To Encourage The Humanitarian Work Of American Innovators

(Friday, May 27, 2016) - The Senate this week passed legislation introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to encourage and reward the use of patented technology to address humanitarian needs. The Patents for Humanity Program Improvement Act, which Leahy has championed for several years, supports an award program at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that recognizes patent holders who use their technology to improve the health and quality of life in impoverished nations. The legislation i… Continue Reading


05.27.16

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Senate Passage of the Patents for Humanity Program Improvement Act, S.1402

Today, the Senate passed legislation to strengthen an important humanitarian innovation prize created by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). Since 2012, the Patents for Humanity Award has recognized selected patent holders who use their inventions to address humanitarian needs. The legislation the Senate passed today will strengthen the award program and encourage innovators to continue using their work for humanitarian goals. The innovations that are recognized by the Patents for Hum… Continue Reading


05.26.16

Leahy, Co-Chair Of Senate’s National Guard Caucus, Joins Senator Shaheen In Introducing Legislation to Assist Small Businesses Led By National Guard and Reservists

(THURSDAY, May 26, 2016) -- U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), lead Democrat of the Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship, Thursday introduced legislation to improve access to Small Business Administration (SBA) programs for members of the National Guard and Reserves. The Military Reservists Economic Injury Disaster Loan (MREIDL), a direct loan program that provides emergency assistance to Guard/Reserve entrepreneurs experiencing hardship due to deployment, and Repayment Def… Continue Reading


05.26.16

Key Senate Panel Clears Bill With Leahy-Led Provisions To Expedite U.S.-Canada Travel And Commerce

(THURSDAY, May 26, 2016) - The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday approved an annual spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and with it key provisions authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to increase national security and facilitate travel and commerce between the United States and Canada. Preclearance arrangements are especially important to Vermont, which hopes to restore "Montrealer" passenger train service linking Vermont to Canada in the coming years, … Continue Reading


05.25.16

Technology Companies & Privacy Advocates Urge Senate Judiciary Committee To Support Digital

(Wednesday, May 25, 2016) - One month after the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in favor of bipartisan legislation to protect the texts, photographs and other information Americans store in the cloud, technology companies and privacy advocates are urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to quickly take up and pass the House-passed bill so that it can become law. The measure, to update the three-decade-old Electronic Communications Privacy Act, would ensure that Americans' online … Continue Reading


05.25.16

If Republicans Followed Bipartisan History, Senate Would Be Confirming Supreme Court Nominee TODAY

(Wednesday, May 25, 2016) - The Senate should be voting today to confirm Chief Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, based on recent timelines for considering Supreme Court nominees. Instead, Senate Republicans have refused to even give Garland a hearing. For more than 40 years, the Senate has held a confirmation vote on Supreme Court nominees on average 70 days after their formal nomination. As of today, Garland has been pending for 70 days. But instead of scheduling a hearing and a … Continue Reading


05.25.16

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

Nearly 150 years ago, Congress determined that a fully functioning Supreme Court should consist of nine justices. For more than one hundred days, however, the Supreme Court has been unable to operate at full strength as a result of unprecedented obstruction by Senate Republicans. Under Republican leadership, the Senate is on track to be in session for the fewest days since 1956. Senate Republicans simply refuse to do their jobs. And if Senate Republican leadership has its way, this seat on t… Continue Reading


05.23.16

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act of 2016

Soon the Senate will vote on legislation to reauthorize key elements of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act. I supported this important law when it was first enacted nearly 10 years ago, and I am proud to be a cosponsor of this reauthorization bill. Both the original legislation and the reauthorization bill we are voting on today bear the name of Adam Walsh, a young boy who was abducted and murdered nearly 35 years ago. Since that tragic day, Adam's father, John, has been a determ… Continue Reading


05.23.16

Free Registration Deadline Nears For Leahy’s 20th Annual Women’s Economic Opportunity Conference

The May 27 registration deadline is nearing for Vermont's June 4 Annual Women's Economic Opportunity Conference, presented by U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy. The gathering at Vermont Technical College in Randolph Center - featuring two dozen practical workshops, and keynote speaker U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch - marks the 20th anniversary of the event. The conference is open to all, and there are no charges for registration or lunch (child care is now filled to capacity). But advance regi… Continue Reading


05.23.16

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The President’s Announcement Of His Decision To Lift Arms Sales Embargo On Vietnam

[Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is the ranking member of the State Department's budget committee -- the State Department and Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee - and author of the Leahy Law). The President invited Leahy to accompany him on this week's historic visit to Vietnam, but Leahy had commitments at this weekend's UVM Commencement activities, and declined.] "Lifting the ban on arms sales to Vietnam further demonstrates that the United States is a reliable par… Continue Reading


05.20.16

EPA Adm. Gina McCarthy Joins Leahy And Welch In Vermont To Announce $400,000 In Brownfields Grants To Assess Sites For Possible Contamination Before They Are Developed

BURLINGTON, Vt. (FRIDAY, May 20, 2016) -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy Friday joined Senator Patrick Leahy and Congressman Peter Welch in Vermont to announce Brownfields Assessment Grants of $400,000 each to the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC) and the Windham Regional Commission (WRC). The grants will support the assessment of brownfields sites, the redevelopment of which is complicated by the possible presence of environmental c… Continue Reading


05.19.16

Senate Passes Bipartisan Emergency Response Co-Authored By Leahy, For The Emerging Zika Crisis

(THURSDAY, May 19, 2016) - In a vote of 68 to 30, the Senate Thursday afternoon approved an emergency appropriation to combat the ongoing Zika crisis. The bipartisan compromise, co-authored by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., broke a legislative stalemate that has delayed Senate action on the Zika threat for three and a half months. Most of the $1.1 billion in emergency funding in the Senate bill would be used to counter Zika in the United States. A portion, $258 million, will be used to combat … Continue Reading


05.18.16

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, Final Passage of S. 2840, the POLICE Act of 2016

This week is National Police Week, and many of us have paused to thank our Nation's law enforcement officers for their important work. But it is not enough for us to simply pay tribute to these men and women. We must also provide them with the training and the resources they need to remain safe while they protect our communities. That is why I pushed for years to enact legislation to reauthorize the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program, which President Obama signed into law on Monday. … Continue Reading


05.18.16

Continuing Leahy’s Current String Of Bipartisan Successes, Senate Passes Bill By Leahy And Cornyn To Help Local Law Enforcement and Medical Agencies Train And Better Prepare For Active Shooter Situations

(WEDNESDAY, May 18, 2016) -- The Senate Wednesday unanimously passed the POLICE Act, a bipartisan bill by U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) to allow law enforcement officers in Vermont and across the country to use federal grant funds to train and better prepare for active shooter situations. The bill's approval comes in the midst of National Police Week and just two days after President Obama signed Leahy's legislation reauthorizing Leahy's lifesaving and time-teste… Continue Reading


05.18.16

At Public Meeting, Former Colleagues & Legal Experts Describe Chief Judge Garland as a Committed Jurist, Devoted Public Servant

(Wednesday, May 18, 2016) - At a public meeting Wednesday led by Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over judicial nominations including nominations to the Supreme Court, former colleagues of Chief Judge Merrick Garland described the Supreme Court nominee as a dedicated jurist whose strong character and exemplary career in public service deserved broad bipartisan support. Donna Bucella, who worked with Garland as a prosecutor during the Oklahoma City bom… Continue Reading


05.18.16

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, Public Meeting to Discuss Qualifications of Merrick Garland To Serve on the Supreme Court of the United States

This morning, Chairman Grassley convened a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing. The glaring omission from that hearing was Chief Judge Merrick Garland. It has been more than two months since he was nominated to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. If not for unprecedented Republican obstruction, Judge Garland would have already had a public hearing, and we would be poised to report him out of Committee. Instead, his record is being smeared by outside groups, while Senate Republ… Continue Reading

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