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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Supplemental Funding to Combat the Zika Virus U.S. Senate Floor

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I want to speak in support of the Blunt-Murray-Graham-Leahy amendment, which provides $1.1 billion in emergency funding to combat the Zika virus. The map of the United States beside me beside me shows the Centers for Disease Control's estimate of the range of the two types of mosquito that may spread Zika. As you can see, this public health emergency is not in some far-off land. It could easily end up in the backyards of tens of millions of Americans. Before I dis… Continue Reading


Senate Democrats To Host Public Meeting TOMORROW To Hear From Those Who Know Chief Judge Garland

(Tuesday, May 17, 2016) - Senate Republicans continue to refuse to do their job and consider Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, leaving the High Court with just eight justices. The result is a Supreme Court that cannot operate at full strength, unable to resolve important cases affecting millions of Americans. In an editorial Tuesday, the New York Times wrote "Every day that passes without a ninth justice undermines the Supreme Court's ability to function, and leaves millions of American… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education

Today is the 62nd anniversary of the Supreme Court's landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education, which reaffirmed our Nation's commitment to justice and equality by ending racial segregation in our public schools. The unanimous Court overruled one of its worst precedents in Plessy v. Ferguson and held that "in the field of public education, the doctrine of 'separate but equal' has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal." For generations the Brown v. Board deci… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Dems To Meet THIS WEEK To Discuss Chief Judge Garland’s Qualifications To Serve On The Supreme Court

(Monday, May 16, 2016) - While Senate Republicans continue their unprecedented obstruction of granting Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland a hearing and a vote, Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats will meet this week for a public meeting to hear from some of those who know the nominee personally and can speak to his lengthy public service career. During the meeting, on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. in Dirksen 562, Senators will ask invited speakers who know Garland about his qualifications to serv… Continue Reading


Senate Republicans Allow Confirmation Vote On Single Judicial Nominee While Holding Up Dozens More

(Monday, May 16, 2016) - While Senate Republicans finally allowed a vote on the nomination of Paula Xinis to fill a judicial emergency vacancy in Maryland, dozens of judicial nominees-including a Supreme Court nominee-are being held up due to partisan obstruction. As a result, Americans are finding it more difficult to seek justice in our courts, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said Monday. "Because of Republican obstruction, our independent judiciary is struggl… Continue Reading


Continuing The String Of Bipartisan Wins Under Leahy’s M.O. Of Building Coalitions, President Today Signs Leahy-Authored Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program

Continuing The String Of Bipartisan Wins Under Leahy's M.O. Of Building Coalitions, President Today Signs Leahy-Authored Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program WASHINGTON (MONDAY, May 16, 2016) - At a White House ceremony awarding 13 law enforcement officers the Medal of Valor, the nation's highest honor for law enforcement officers, President Obama Monday announced he has signed Senator Patrick Leahy's (D-Vt.) legislation reauthorizing his lifesaving Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Prog… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Supreme Court’s Decisions In Zubik v. Burwell and Spokeo v. Robbins

[On Monday, the eight justices of the Supreme Court were unable to come to a final decision on the merits in two separate cases. In Zubik v. Burwell, involving an administrative accommodation to the contraception mandate of the Affordable Care Act for religiously affiliated nonprofits, the Court remanded the case to the lower courts for further consideration, explicitly expressing "no view on the merits of the cases." In Spokeo v. Robbins, the Court failed to reach the key question in the case… Continue Reading


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


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


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

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