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

05.12.16

Judiciary Committee Approves Leahy-Authored Bills To Improve Criminal Justice System, Support Police In Active Shooter Situations

(THURSDAY, May 12, 2016) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved two bipartisan bills coauthored by Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to support law enforcement and improve the criminal justice system. The panel's action comes just two days after the House of Representatives approved another Leahy bill to reauthorize his Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program another five years. The POLICE Act approved by the Judiciary Committee Thursday is bipartisan legislation that allows… Continue Reading


05.12.16

A Key Win Thursday As Leahy Leads Fight To Preserve Investment Incentive Program for NEK, Franklin, Lamoille Counties

(THURSDAY, May 12, 2016) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday applauded the Senate's action to advance a key spending bill that provides critical funding for the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC), a program that has delivered more than $2.8 million in federal grants to Vermont's Northeast Kingdom and $3.4 million in total to Vermont. With Leahy's leadership earlier in the debate, the Senate blocked a move by a Republican senator to strike all funding for the program and others like… Continue Reading


05.11.16

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Need To Schedule A Confirmation Hearing For Chief Judge Merrick Garland, Nominee To Be Associate Justice Of The Supreme Court Of The United States

"Today Chairman Grassley noticed a confirmation hearing for judicial nominations to take place in the Judiciary Committee next week. Missing from the list of nominees called to testify is Chief Judge Garland, who this week submitted to the Committee an updated questionnaire for his nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States. That was an important next step in the confirmation process. Despite the Republicans' obstruction up to this point, there is more than enough time for Senators … Continue Reading


05.11.16

Capping Years Of Work To Overcome Congressional Obstruction, Leahy’s Bill To Renew His Lifesaving Bulletproof Vest Grant Program Passes House; President Will Sign It

(WEDNESDAY, May 11, 2016) - The long-expired Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is finally being extended after years of delay. The House passed the bill Tuesday night, months after the Senate passed it last year. On Tuesday night the House of Representatives unanimously approved Leahy's bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the matching grant program, which has issued more than 1.2 million lifesaving vests to state and local law enforcement o… Continue Reading


05.10.16

Senate Republicans Have Not Confirmed A Single Judicial Nominee In Over A Month

(Tuesday, May 10, 2016) - Senate Republicans, who are refusing to hold a hearing and a vote for Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, once again blocked from confirmation 11 federal district court nominees who would fill vacancies in courts throughout the country. Partisan obstruction of the federal judiciary has led to an increase in judicial vacancies, which today stand at 81-sharply up from 43 when Republicans took control of the Senate last year. To address this looming vacancy crisis, S… Continue Reading


05.10.16

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Questionnaire Submitted by Chief Judge Merrick Garland, Nominee To Be Associate Justice Of The Supreme Court Of The United States

"Chief Judge Garland has provided the Senate Judiciary Committee an updated questionnaire. He has done his part, and now it is time for the Senate Judiciary Committee to do its job by promptly reviewing the nominee's record and scheduling a public confirmation hearing. I and my staff have begun reviewing Chief Judge Garland's materials, and I expect Committee Republicans to do the same. "A nominee to the highest court in the land deserves a full, fair, and public hearing, as the Senate has d… Continue Reading


05.10.16

Ahead of Expiration, Leahy Calls For Reforms to FISA Amendments Act

(Tuesday, May 10, 2016) -The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on the FISA Amendments Act (FAA). Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has long worked to add greater transparency and oversight to the surveillance authorities under the FAA, and he included transparency reforms in the bipartisan USA FREEDOM Act that was signed into law last year. Member statements, witness testimony, and a webcast of today's hearing are available online. Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), … Continue Reading


05.06.16

Leahy, Sanders, Welch And Shumlin Welcome U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx To Vermont

As Major Grant Goes Forward To Improve Rail Service Across Vermont's Western Corridor BURLINGTON, Vt. (FRIDAY, May 6, 2016) - U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, Federal Railroad Administrator Sarah E. Feinberg, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Governor Peter Shumlin Friday gathered in front of Union Station in Burlington to celebrate progress made to restore passenger rail service to the iconic stop by Lake Champlain and improve freight service a… Continue Reading


05.02.16

Today In Burlington, Leahy And Booker Host Discussion On Criminal Justice Reform

BURLINGTON, Vt. (MONDAY, May 2, 2016) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday was joined by Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in Burlington to host a roundtable discussion on their efforts to pass criminal justice reform. Leahy and Booker are at the core of a bipartisan movement on Capitol Hill to forge and enact long-overdue reforms of the criminal justice system. Their efforts led in part to the announcement last week of new cosponsors to the bipartisan Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, which… Continue Reading


05.02.16

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy, D-VT A Conversation on Criminal Justice Reform: New Approaches for Vermont and the Nation

Good afternoon, and thank you for joining us today for this important conversation. I am proud to welcome my friend Senator Booker here to discuss criminal justice reform and to hear about what is working right here in Vermont. Thanks also to our panelists and guests. Many of you labor every day to strengthen our communities, lessen our reliance on jails, and support those who are reentering society. Criminal justice reform is not a new conversation in Vermont. We are marking the 20th anniversa… Continue Reading


05.01.16

Remarks of Mrs. Marcelle Leahy At Lund’s 125th Birthday Bash Waterworks, Winooski, Vermont

Good evening. Patrick and I are delighted to be here with you all tonight. I am honored and proud to serve as the Honorary Chair for this celebration of the 125 years of help and support Lund has given to women, children, and families across Vermont. One hundred and twenty-five years. Lund has been helping Vermont families longer than any of us in this room have had the honor of supporting it. The original founders of the Home for Friendless Women - including Elizabeth Lund, by whose name we … Continue Reading


04.28.16

Leahy Urges Senate Republicans To Pass Bipartisan Criminal Justice Legislation This Year

(THURSDAY, April 28, 2016) - Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a former prosecutor, on Thursday called on Senate Republican leaders to bring to the floor the bipartisan Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, a bill to reduce some mandatory minimum sentences and apply those changes retroactively to inmates currently serving unfair sentences. Leahy's comments came at a bipartisan news conference announcing new cosponsors of the legislation, which was introduced last… Continue Reading


04.28.16

Lyndon Institute

Senator Leahy conducted an online chat with 11th and 12th graders from the Lyndon Institute of the Northeast Kingdom. He was impressed with the students' breadth of knowledge, and appreciates their drive to become further involved in their government, especially through voting. The Senator also enjoyed discussing what led him to become a lawyer, and about the ways in which conversations with Vermonters have inspired him to draft legislation.… Continue Reading


04.27.16

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) On House Passage of the Bipartisan Email Privacy Act April 27, 2016

"Today's 419-0 House vote for the Email Privacy Act is an historic step toward updating our privacy laws for the digital age. It should go without saying that law enforcement agents should have to get a warrant to read Americans' emails or retrieve their sensitive information from the cloud - yet that is not what our statutes currently require. It is long past time to reassure the American people that their online communications are protected from warrantless searches. The Email Privacy Act d… Continue Reading


04.27.16

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

Yesterday I had the honor of speaking at an event hosted by the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate on this body's role in considering Supreme Court nominees. The Institute is a wonderful organization "dedicated to educating the public about the important role of the Senate in our government." My friend Ted Kennedy loved the Senate and worked hard every day here to improve the lives of the people of Massachusetts and the people of America. I thank Vicki Kennedy for all of… Continue Reading


04.27.16

Remarks of Senator Patrick Leahy On Continuing Education for the Federal Workforce Through the truED Program at Champlain College U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Alan Campbell Auditorium

Thank you, Acting Director Colbert, for your warm introduction, and to President Laackman for inviting me here today. I am pleased to see here many leaders and professionals who have dedicated their lives to public service, and who are committed to meeting the critical talent and development needs of the federal workforce. Like many of you, I have spent my career in public service, and during that time I have also experienced the revolution in access to information. And while that is for t… Continue Reading


04.26.16

Leahy, Sanders and Welch Joint Statement On Rutland Vermont Welcoming 100 Syrian Refugees

"We are proud that the State of Vermont and the City of Rutland are welcoming civilian refugees who have fled the relentless violence in Syria, sometimes with just the clothes on their backs. We appreciate the leadership of Mayor Louras and Rutland's business and community leaders who are not only doing the right thing by helping those in need but also making it clear that it is good for the region to welcome hardworking newcomers into the community. Struggling families, fleeing peril and motiv… Continue Reading


04.26.16

Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Federal District Court Decision Upholding North Carolina’s Restrictive Voting Law

[On Monday, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina upheld North Carolina's sweeping voting law, which the State enacted following the Supreme Court's 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder, which weakened the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965. North Carolina's restrictive voting law includes a strict photo ID requirement, reduces the number of days for early voting, eliminates same-day registration and voting, prohibits citizens from casting ballots outside their pr… Continue Reading


04.26.16

Senate Republicans Continue Blocking Consensus Judicial Nominees

(Tuesday, April 26, 2016) - Senate Republicans, who are refusing to hold a hearing and a vote for Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, are also refusing to vote on 20 lower court nominees who are waiting to serve on courts around the country. On Tuesday, Republicans blocked the confirmation of 11 federal district court nominees-including nominees with Republican support. "There is no good reason that judicial nominees praised by Republican Senators should be blocked by Republican leadership… Continue Reading


04.26.16

In Remarks At Kennedy Institute Event, Leahy Calls On Republicans To Restore Senate Tradition And Consider SCOTUS Nominee

(Tuesday, April 26, 2016) - Speaking at an event hosted by the Kennedy Institute Tuesday, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) called for a return to Senate tradition when it comes to considering Supreme Court nominees. Leahy noted that during the entire 47-year career of the late Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), and going back to 1916, no pending Supreme Court nominee has been denied a hearing and a vote. Today, however, Senate Republicans are creating new history … Continue Reading

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