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

09.24.15

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) After Pope Francis’s Address Before A Joint Meeting Of Congress

Emotions in the chamber were close to the surface for many, many in the room, including me. Beyond the history that was made by the fact that he is the first Pope to address the Congress, he brought a message that is substantively relevant, here and now. He touched on a wide variety of compelling issues that have lingered, for far too long, on Congress's back burner. At the heart of his message, he appeals to the best in each of us, invoking the simple and eloquent guidance of the Golden R… Continue Reading


09.24.15

Statement by Senator Patrick Leahy On The Detention of Human Rights Defenders in Azerbaijan

Mr. President, last year I expressed my grave concern about the Government of Azerbaijan's harassment and imprisonment of human rights defenders, journalists, and other civil society activists. Since then, the state of human rights in Azerbaijan has further deteriorated amid condemnation from President Obama and officials of other governments, as well as the European Union and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. I, too, wish to reiterate my dismay at the mistreatment of thes… Continue Reading


09.24.15

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy Another Political Ploy: The Costly Impact of Shutting Down Our Government Over Planned Parenthood

Here we are again: with just six days until the Federal Government has to close its doors, we find ourselves faced with another manufactured crisis. Two years ago, it was defunding the Affordable Care Act. Congress has voted nearly 60 times on that so far, all of which failed. In the meantime, more than 17 million Americans who had no health insurance have obtained health insurance. Four years ago, it was the same issue Republicans are pushing today: defunding an organization that provides h… Continue Reading


09.24.15

BROWN LEADS NINE SENATORS IN BILL TO STRIKE CADILLAC HEALTH TAX WHILE DEMANDING THAT REPEAL DOESN’T INCREASE THE DEFICIT

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and nine of his Senate colleagues introduced legislation today to improve the health law by repealing the so-called "Cadillac tax." The bill also includes a "Sense of the Senate" clause demanding that any repeal be offset so it does not increase the federal deficit or negatively affect the health insurance coverage that 9.9 million Americans have received because of the health law. U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Jeanne S… Continue Reading


09.24.15

Personal Reflections On The Pope’s Historic Visit

Pope Francis's visit this week to Washington, including his address to a Joint Meeting of Congress, will make history. And for many Americans, including me, it stirs memories from an earlier chapter. Like millions of others, Catholic or not, I appreciate Pope Francis's energetic message of compassion and justice for the poor, tolerance for the faiths and beliefs of others, sound stewardship of our planet, and peaceful co-existence in our troubled world. In the discussions that are leading to… Continue Reading


09.22.15

Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., Ranking Member, Senate State Department And Foreign Operations Subcommittee And Author Of The ‘Leahy Law’) On News Reports On The Sexual Abuse Of Afghan Boys By Members Of Afghan Security Forces

"I was outraged by the press reports of sexual abuse of Afghan boys by members of Afghan security forces who have received training and other assistance from the United States. Rape is a crime under any circumstances, and egregiously so when minors are the victims. The Leahy Law prohibits aid to foreign security forces that violate human rights, and the Department of Defense has a responsibility to vigorously apply the law, including encouraging U.S. personnel who witness such abuse to immedia… Continue Reading


09.22.15

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Defunding Women’s Health Services and The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36)

We are about a week away from the deadline to keep the federal government open. Our national highway system will soon run out of money. The nominations of 16 consensus judicial nominees with bipartisan support are languishing on the Senate floor. And there is still strong support in the Senate for passing meaningful immigration reform. Those are just a few of the pressing issues that the Senate should have been working on this month. Instead, Senate Republicans wasted two weeks on political… Continue Reading


09.22.15

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Defunding Women’s Health Services and The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36)

We are about a week away from the deadline to keep the federal government open. Our national highway system will soon run out of money. The nominations of 16 consensus judicial nominees with bipartisan support are languishing on the Senate floor. And there is still strong support in the Senate for passing meaningful immigration reform. Those are just a few of the pressing issues that the Senate should have been working on this month. Instead, Senate Republicans wasted two weeks on political… Continue Reading


09.22.15

Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Extension Of The Dairy Margin Protection Program Deadline

[The United States Department of Agriculture Tuesday extended the signup deadline for the Dairy Margin Protection Program, a voluntary program created in the 2014 Farm Bill as a risk management tool for participating farmers when the margin -- the difference between the price of milk and a national average for feed costs -- falls below the coverage levels selected by individual farmers. Leahy, the senior-most member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and a conferee on the 2014 Farm Bill, was p… Continue Reading


09.22.15

Vermont to Receive $3.2 Million Grant to Protect Children from Lead Poisoning

The Vermont Housing & Conservation Board announced that Vermont will receive a $3.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) to continue the State's Lead Hazard Reduction Program. The funds will be used to control lead paint hazards in the homes of low-income families and to raise awareness about this common and dangerous toxin still found in the majority of Vermont homes. Program Director Ron Rupp said, "Lead poisoning remains the number one… Continue Reading


09.21.15

Leahy Joins In Filing "Friend Of Court" Brief To Support FCC's NET NEUTRALITY Rules

Leahy Joins 27 Lawmakers In Filing Court Brief To Support FCC's Net Neutrality Rules WASHINGTON (MONDAY, Sept. 21, 2015) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday joined 27 other members of Congress in filing a brief with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the Open Internet rules adopted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) earlier this year. The rules are the subject of a legal challenge brought by the United States Telecom Association. Leahy, the senior Democrat on the S… Continue Reading


09.18.15

Senators Ask U.S. Chamber of Commerce Board Member Companies About The Chamber's Climate Denial Efforts

(FRIDAY, Sept. 18, 2015) -- Today, United States Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Tom Udall (D-NM), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Al Franken (D-MN), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), and Ed Markey (D-MA) sent letters to the CEOs of all 108 member companies of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Board of Directors asking about their positions on the Chamber's efforts to undermin… Continue Reading


09.18.15

Leahy, Burr, Shaheen And Collins Head Bipartisan Letter, Signed By A Majority Of Senate’s Members, Pressing For Permanent Authorization And Strong Investment In The Nation’s Premier Land And Water Conservation Program

(FRIDAY, Sept. 18, 2015) - With the expiration of the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) fast approaching, a bipartisan coalition of 53 senators led by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), and Susan Collins (R-ME) is calling on Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Reid to permanently reauthorize and adequately fund the nation's premier federal conservation program, now in its 50th year. "Investments in LWCF support public land … Continue Reading


09.18.15

Giving voice to the disadvantaged

(Leahy for several years has led in Congress in pressing for justice reforms such as his bill with Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., to curb mandatory minimum sentencing.) http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/sep/17/theodore-mccarrick-patrick-leahy-pope-francis-supp/ (published today in The Washington Times) By Theodore McCarrick and Patrick Leahy When Pope Francis comes to Washington this month, he will give a voice to the many disadvantaged, poor and incarcerated individuals who often struggle to… Continue Reading


09.18.15

Senator Patrick Leahy & Cardinal McCarrick Today, On Eve Of Pope's Visit, Underscore The Pope's Call For Justice Reform

(Leahy for several years has led in Congress in pressing for justice reforms such as his bill with Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., to curb mandatory minimum sentencing.) http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/sep/17/theodore-mccarrick-patrick-leahy-pope-francis-supp/ (published today in The Washington Times) Giving voice to the disadvantaged Pope Francis embraces the cause of criminal justice reform By Theodore McCarrick and Patrick Leahy When Pope Francis comes to Washington this month, he wil… Continue Reading


09.17.15

On Constitution Day, Leahy Urges Senate Republicans To Uphold Responsibility Of Advice & Consent

(Thursday, September 17, 2015) - The Senate has a unique constitutional responsibility of advice and consent when it comes to confirming nominees, yet so far this year the Republican majority has failed to uphold this critical role. After the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday unanimously approved 3 district court nominees, who now join 13 other judicial nominees pending on the floor, Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) called on Senate Republicans to set politics aside and schedule confir… Continue Reading


09.17.15

Leahy Joins In Introducing Bill To Prevent Punishing Federal Workers In The Event Of A Government Shutdown Threatened By Some In Congress

(THURSDAY, Sept. 17, 2015) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has joined in introducing legislation to prevent using federal workers as pawns if some in Congress have their way in forcing a government shutdown over their efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides crucial health care to women in Vermont and across the country. Leahy said: "Federal workers play vital everyday roles in every state including Vermont, where more than 4,000 dedicated workers protect our borders and streets, … Continue Reading


09.17.15

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Anniversary of the Constitutional Convention

Today, we celebrate the 228th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution of the United States. Some elected officials talk about their love of "the Constitution and the Bill of Rights". That specific phrasing is interesting in that it somehow implies that the "Constitution" does not itself include the Bill of Rights, which of course it does. But it contains much more than those original ten amendments. Each year, I remind Americans that we must celebrate not just the original Constitutio… Continue Reading


09.16.15

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Need to End Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric and Pass Immigration Reform September 16, 2015

The United States has a proud and unique history as a nation of immigrants. Ever since our founding, we have been a beacon of hope for those seeking opportunity. Generation after generation, our nation has greatly benefited from the entrepreneurial spirit that these newcomers bring with them. That is as true today as it was 200 years ago. Our nation's history with immigration has not always been a story of acceptance. Newcomers have often faced resistance, isolation, discrimination and even … Continue Reading


09.16.15

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

Last week, I spoke about Senate Republicans' virtual shutdown of the judicial nominations process since they took over the majority. Their refusal to respond to the urgent needs of our independent Third Branch is threatening to harm our justice system and rob the judiciary of outstanding public servants. One glaring example of this harm is the unnecessary delay of Judge Luis Felipe Restrepo, who was nominated last year to fill an emergency vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Cir… Continue Reading

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