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Press Releases

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

10.08.15

Leahy: More Than $3 Million Headed To Vermont To Boost Law Enforcement And Criminal Justice Programs

(THURSDAY, Oct. 8, 2015) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday announced that more than $3 million in U.S. Department of Justice grants will be coming to Vermont to support programs aimed at reducing crime, tackling heroin abuse, and protecting Vermont's local and state law enforcement officers. The funding, included in Fiscal Year 2015 appropriations legislation, includes $70,977 to help 23 local police and sheriff departments to buy 196 new bulletproof vests for their officers. Leahy, ra… Continue Reading


10.08.15

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Introduction of Bipartisan Sentencing Reform Legislation in the House

[Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Thursday after House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.) announced an agreement on bipartisan criminal justice reform legislation. The announcement comes one week after a bipartisan group of Senators including Leahy introduced the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 to reduce the impact of some mandatory minimum sentences and ap… Continue Reading


10.07.15

Graham And Leahy Introduce Bipartisan Emergency Funding Bill To Strengthen U.S. Response To The Syrian Refugee Crisis

(WEDNESDAY, Oct. 7, 2015) -- In a bipartisan effort to enable a stronger U.S. role in helping to address the Syrian refugee crisis, the leaders of the State Department's budget committee in the Senate, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), have co-authored and introduced the Middle East Refugee Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act. Graham chairs the State Department and Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee and Leahy is the panel's Ran… Continue Reading


10.07.15

Green Mountain Union H.S.

Senator Leahy held his first online chat of the 2015-2016 school year with the 10th and 11th graders from the Green Mountain Union High School of Chester, Vt. These students were part of the Youth and Teachers Transforming Schools Together (YATST) program, which encourages student participation in decisions regarding school change. Senator Leahy was very impressed by all of the students' questions, especially with regards to college affordability, gun control and workforce development in Vermont… Continue Reading


10.07.15

Leahy: Vermont Nets Federal Funds To Invest Nearly $650,000 In Local Foods Infrastructure

(WEDNESDAY, October 7, 2015) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) says Vermont farmers markets and other outlets will receive five federal grants totaling $581,745 to support local and regional food systems. The grants are part of $42.4 million granted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to states and local organizations throughout the country. Leahy, the most senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and of … Continue Reading


10.06.15

Don’t Squander The Bipartisan Commitment To Conserve America’s Special Natural Places

Imagine a successful and popular program that saves our special natural places, such as parks, recreation areas, wildlife refuges and forests. Imagine further that this is accomplished not with tax dollars but with royalties paid by companies that extract oil or minerals from our public lands. What's not to love about a program like that? Now imagine that some in Congress want to kill or weaken that program. In fact, its charter just expired on Oct. 1. For 50 years, a bipartisan commitment … Continue Reading


10.05.15

Republican Obstruction Threatens Confirmation Of Consensus Nominees

(Monday, October 5, 2015) - Under Republican control, the Senate this year is on pace to confirm the fewest number of judges in more than a half century. If Republicans continue their obstruction, most of the 16 nominees on the executive calendar will not be confirmed before the end of the year. "If the Majority Leader continues with his obstruction, and if home state Senators cannot persuade him to schedule a vote for their nominees soon, then it is unlikely that even highly qualified nomine… Continue Reading


10.05.15

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Announcement Of The Completion Of Negotiations On The Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Deal

"The negotiators of the Trans-Pacific Partnership now have announced that they have reached an agreement. While the full details of that agreement have not yet been outlined, I intend to review it closely. For years I have been frustrated at both the selective secrecy of negotiations, and the insistence on depriving the Senate of its constitutional role to review agreements and the laws that implement them. Despite the passage of the fast-track rules earlier this year that I opposed, I hope t… Continue Reading


10.02.15

Senators Call On Trade Ambassador to Defend American Sugar, Dairy Producers in TPP Negotiations

With negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) ongoing, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today led a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman pointing to the importance of strong trade outcomes for American sugar and dairy producers. The letter was signed by Senators Bennet, Brown, Gillibrand, Heitkamp, Klobuchar, and Leahy, members of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Regarding dairy, the Senat… Continue Reading


10.02.15

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Life of Doug Kendall

This past weekend, I learned of the untimely passing of Doug Kendall, founder of the Constitutional Accountability Center. Doug was a true visionary who helped transform how the American public views our Constitution. Despite a recent movement to interpret our founding charter in a cramped manner that too often leaves our most vulnerable populations unprotected, Doug was able to serve as a forceful counterweight and guardian of an inclusive, progressive, and faithful understanding of our Natio… Continue Reading


10.01.15

Leahy Backs Bipartisan Legislation To Address The Nation’s Exploding Prison Population This Year

(THURSDAY, Oct. 1, 2015) - Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a former prosecutor, on Thursday joined in introducing the bipartisan Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 to reduce some mandatory sentences and apply those changes retroactively to inmates currently serving unfair sentences. Leahy, as chairman of the Judiciary Committee last Congress, led hearings on the nation's exploding prison population and advocated for comprehensive criminal justice refo… Continue Reading


09.30.15

Leahy: Senate Republicans Must End Virtual Shutdown of Judicial Confirmations

(Wednesday, September 30, 2015) - The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday held its first judicial confirmation hearing since July, hearing the testimony of four long-pending nominees including two who would fill emergency vacancies. While Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) welcomed the overdue progress to considering these nominees, he urged Senate Republican leaders to address the growing backlog of judicial nominees pending on the floor. "I appreciate Chairman Grassley's efforts to sc… Continue Reading


09.29.15

Leahy & Grassley Press DHS To Enact Policy On Cell Phone Monitoring Technology

(Tuesday, September 29, 2015) -Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) joined together Tuesday to press the Department of Homeland Security to safeguard Americans' privacy when it comes to the use of cell-site simulators, also known as "Stingrays." Senators Grassley and Leahy have long raised concerns regarding the surveillance tool. While the devices can help law enforcement in identifying the location of suspects, they can unknowing… Continue Reading


09.29.15

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

This month, the Senate passed a resolution recognizing Hispanic Heritage Month and celebrating Hispanic Americans as dedicated public servants in the highest levels of government. These great Americans include a Supreme Court justice, 3 U.S. Senators, 34 members of the House of Representatives, and 3 members of the President's Cabinet. I commend the U.S. Senate for passing this resolution celebrating Hispanic heritage, but we should be doing much more than approving a resolution. We should be… Continue Reading


09.28.15

Leahy-Authored Program Grants $1.4 Million To Fight Heroin in Vermont

(MONDAY, Sept. 28, 2015) - To help combat the opioid crisis that grips the Green Mountain State and other states and regions, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday announced a $1.4 million federal grant to the Vermont State Police for additional troopers dedicated to heroin and opioid trafficking enforcement. The grant is one of six awarded across the nation through the new Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Anti-Heroin Task Force (AHTF) Program. Leahy, the senior-most member of the Ap… Continue Reading


09.25.15

Statement by Senator Patrick Leahy On Ending the Scourge of Landmines in Mozambique

Mr. President, last week marked an important milestone in the campaign to rid the world of anti-personnel landmines. On September 17th Mozambique, where two decades ago an estimated 200,000 unexploded landmines were left over from a brutal 15-year civil war, became the first country with large-scale mine contamination to have all known minefields cleared. While accidents due to unknown mines and other unexploded ordnance in Mozambique will occasionally occur in the future as they still do in E… Continue Reading


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

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