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

02.19.16

Remarks of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) New England First Amendment Coalition Stephen Hamblett First Amendment Award

Thank you, Mike, for that gracious introduction. And you know, it's just so fitting that the Freedom of Information award now will carry your name. You are absolutely fearless, relentless . . . and merciless - and I mean that in a GOOD way, Mike -- in digging for information. Your dad was one of my professors at St. Michael's College. I remember his insistence on thoroughness and accuracy. He would be proud of his son who embraced and built on those values. Thanks also to the New England F… Continue Reading


02.18.16

Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy To The White House Announcement That President Obama Will Travel To Cuba In Late March

"I wholeheartedly support this decision, long believing that President Obama should visit Cuba as part of the work of normalizing relations between our two countries. No one can convey as effectively as he can why a policy of openness is in the interests of the people of both countries. I have no doubt that he personally, and the message he will deliver, will be received with immense warmth and enthusiasm by the Cuban people. "The President's visit will serve as a powerful symbol of the dyna… Continue Reading


02.18.16

In Lead Up To Vermont Cider Week Leahy Joins Local Cider Makers To Celebrate CIDER Act Passage

BURLINGTON (THURSDAY, Feb. 18, 2016) - Thanks to new legislation passed by Congress, the growing hard cider market in Vermont is poised to get even bigger. On Thursday, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Citizen Cider got a jump start on Vermont Cider Week, touting the recent passage of the CIDER Act - Cider Investment and Development through Excise Tax Reduction Act - which updated federal tax law to make it easier for cider makers to put new, value-added products on the market. The bill langua… Continue Reading


02.16.16

Leahy Announces $15.8 Million In Vergennes-Based Contracts For UTC Aerospace Systems For Smarter Helicopter Maintenance

VERGENNES (TUESDAY, Feb. 16, 2016) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Tuesday that UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS) received $15.8 million in funding for health usage monitoring systems (HUMS) for Department of the Navy helicopters built in Vermont. The HUMS are part of the U.S. military's ongoing effort to provide more accurate diagnostics of aircraft component conditions, which improves overall readiness while lowering costs. The two contracts are split between the U.S. Navy's fleet of MH-… Continue Reading


02.16.16

Senator Leahy in USA Today: Stakes Are Too High For A Year-Long Vacancy At The Supreme Court

(Tuesday, February 16, 2016) -An extended Supreme Court vacancy brought on by Republican obstruction could have a devastating impact on Americans seeking justice, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) wrote in USA Today. "Every single American is affected by the Supreme Court of the United States. And as we have seen demonstrated through recent Supreme Court rulings decided by a narrow 5-4 margin, every vote on the Supreme Court counts. Make no mistake - a single vacan… Continue Reading


02.13.16

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Death Of Justice Scalia

"I am saddened to learn of Justice Antonin Scalia's untimely passing. Although I often did not agree with his legal opinions, no one doubted his commitment or his brilliance. I hope that no one will use this sad news to suggest that the President or the Senate should not perform its constitutional duty. The American people deserve to have a fully functioning Supreme Court. The Supreme Court of the United States is too important to our democracy for it to be understaffed for partisan reasons… Continue Reading


02.11.16

Leahy: Senate Republicans Should Not Block Judicial Nominees

(Thursday, February 11, 2016) - Following today's confirmation vote on Leonard Strand to fill a judicial emergency vacancy in the Federal District Court in the Northern District of Iowa, there are still 17 judicial nominees pending on the Senate floor. Each nominee was approved by the Judiciary Committee by voice vote and should be confirmed without further delay, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said. "There is an urgent need for the Senate to confirm highly qu… Continue Reading


02.11.16

Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the “Fair Day in Court for Kids Act of 2016”

[Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is cosponsoring Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) "Fair Day in Court for Kids Act of 2016," which was introduced today. The bill ensures due process for children and vulnerable individuals in immigration proceedings by providing for the appointment of counsel, ensuring the availability of legal orientation programs, and creating a case management pilot project to increase appearance rates in immigration court. Last m… Continue Reading


02.11.16

Leahy & Collins Unveil Bipartisan Legislation to Combat Illegal Straw Purchasing and Firearms Trafficking

(THURSDAY, Feb. 11, 2016) - Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced legislation on Thursday to combat the practice of straw purchasing and illegal trafficking in firearms. The Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2016 responds to calls from law enforcement officials for more effective tools to investigate and deter straw purchasers and gun traffickers. Currently, there is no law that explicitly makes straw purchasin… Continue Reading


02.11.16

Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Leahy-Backed Comprehensive Legislation To Combat Opioid & Heroin Abuse

(THURSDAY, Feb. 11, 2016) - Legislation approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday to respond to the nation's opioid crisis now contains important provisions to support rural communities, which Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) successfully fought to include. The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) provides for a community-based response to heroin and opioid addiction; an approach that Vermont has employed and that Leahy highlighted at a field hearing in Rutland in 2014. As am… Continue Reading


02.11.16

Remarks of Senator Patrick Leahy United States Institute of Peace “Workshop on Leveraging U.S. Security Assistance to Prevent and Redress Human Rights Violations”

Thank you Nancy and Tom, and thanks to the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Department of State for hosting this discussion. I also want to recognize USIP for the important and active role it is playing in efforts to prevent and resolve conflicts overseas. There is really no other U.S. government entity that can bring together the Departments of State and Defense, USAID, and other Federal agencies, as well as nongovernmental organizations, to develop, coordinate, and implement strategies to p… Continue Reading


02.10.16

Leahy Calls On USDA To Raise Minimum Broadband Speeds For Rural Vermont And Rural America

(WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10, 2016) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Wednesday sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, asking him to use his existing authority to raise the minimum broadband speed that determines funding eligibility for the Farm Bill broadband loan program. Leahy's letter follows his successful inclusion of report language in the Fiscal Year 2016 Agriculture Appropriations bill directing USDA to implement the broadband provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill, including the author… Continue Reading


02.09.16

The Newton School

On February 9, 2015, Senator Leahy held an online chat with the third, fourth and fifth grade social studies classes of the Newton School. The Senator was quite impressed by the students' questions, specifically about their interest in his role as U.S. Senator for Vermont. The Senator was also impressed by the efforts of the students' teacher, Mr. Walker, to create the "Society Game" in which students learn about real life situations facing the world today.… Continue Reading


02.09.16

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Proposal, Released Today

Stepping Up Efforts To Counter The Opioid/Heroin Epidemic I welcome the President's proposal to invest more than $1 billion to combat the nationwide opioid and heroin epidemic. His proposal reflects the range of challenges and needs that Vermont faces. Overdose deaths, particularly among young people, are dramatically rising, and communities across the country are struggling to address this corrosive threat. This epidemic is a national emergency, it is a public health crisis in Vermont, and … Continue Reading


02.09.16

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

Today we will vote on the nomination of Rebecca Ebinger to fill a judicial vacancy in the Federal District Court in the Southern District of Iowa. Ms. Ebinger is a highly qualified nominee who has devoted her legal career to public service. Since 2012, she has served as a district judge in Iowa State court. Prior to joining the bench, Judge Ebinger served as a prosecutor at the Federal and state levels in Iowa, including in the U.S. Attorney's Offices for the Southern and Northern Districts … Continue Reading


02.08.16

Leahy Introduces Bipartisan Legislation To Support The Vermont Arts

(Monday, February 8, 2016) - Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced bipartisan legislation Monday to support nonprofit arts organizations in obtaining visas for visiting foreign artists. Currently, nonprofit arts organizations such as the Vermont Symphony Orchestra have to wait months while visa applications for their visiting foreign artists are processed. A nonprofit can pay a fee to speed up this lengthy process, but the cost is often out of reach for many organizations. The Arts… Continue Reading


02.05.16

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Recent Regulatory Changes Related To Cuba

Mr. President, last week the administration took another step in unraveling the web of onerous, misguided, and self-defeating restrictions on the ability of American citizens to travel to Cuba and to interact with the people of Cuba. Effective as of January 27, the Departments of Treasury and Commerce published revised regulations that end certain payment and financing restrictions, allow for more authorized exports to Cuba in a variety of sectors, and expand authorized travel categories and al… Continue Reading


02.04.16

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Need For More Action To Combat Opioid Addiction

Today I had planned to be in the Senate Judiciary Committee debating and pushing for passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, or CARA. Unfortunately, the markup was postponed but I am hopeful that next week we will make progress on this important bill. The need for this legislation and Senator Shaheen's emergency supplemental appropriations bill is nothing short of urgent. States like Vermont and New Hampshire have been deeply affected by this wave of addiction. The media has… Continue Reading


02.04.16

Leahy Unveils Legislation To Restore The Rights Of Americans From Forced Arbitration

(Thursday, February 4, 2016) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced new legislation Thursday to restore the rights of Americans who too often are forced into mandatory arbitration in civil rights cases, employment disputes, and other lawsuits. Leahy was joined by Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.), who is the lead cosponsor of the legislation. "When Americans sign cell phone agreements, rent an apartment, or accept a contract for a job, most of us focus on the service we are about to receive or … Continue Reading


02.03.16

Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) On the House Judiciary Committee’s Plans to Consider the Bipartisan Email Privacy Act

"This year marks the 30th anniversary of the enactment of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. Technology has dramatically changed in the three decades since that landmark legislation became law, and we have fought to pass bipartisan legislation that brings privacy protections for the digital world in line with those in the physical world. "It is good news that the House Judiciary Committee will finally take up the popular and bipartisan Email Privacy Act, companion legislation to the b… Continue Reading

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