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Press Releases

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

12.11.15

Four Years After Irene, Renewal In Waterbury

This past August, we marked the four year anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene. Memories of communities besieged by flood waters, houses knocked from their foundations and families forever changed are still fresh for each of us, and for so many other Vermonters. But just as Vermont rebuilt from the historic 1927 floods, Vermonters have pulled together to build back stronger, smarter and better after Irene. This has required new and creative thinking, and significant collaboration between commun… Continue Reading


12.11.15

Leahy Welcomes Long-Delayed SEC Draft Rule On Oil And Mining Transparency

(FRIDAY, Dec. 11, 2015) -- U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday welcomed action by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to propose a rule on a long-delayed extractive industries transparency provision of the Wall Street reform law enacted in 2010. The transparency provision was authored by Leahy and became Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Leahy as a conferee worked closely with former Senator Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) and Senator Ben Cardin … Continue Reading


12.10.15

NEW ENGLAND SENATORS CALL FOR FEDERAL FUNDING TO SUPPORT CONTE REFUGE & CONNECTICUT RIVER WATERSHED

Today, U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called on the U.S. Department of the Interior to provide federal funding to support the protection of the diverse plant, fish, and wildlife species in the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge. In a letter to Secretary Sally Jewell of the Department of the Interior, the senators urged the… Continue Reading


12.10.15

Senate Judiciary Committee Adopts Leahy Amendment Confirming That The U.S. “Must Not Bar Individuals…Based On Their Religion”

(THURSDAY, December 10, 2015) - The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved an amendment authored by Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) confirming that "the United States must not bar individuals from entering into the United States based on their religion." Leahy's amendment was adopted by a vote of 16-4. Consideration of his amendment came after some made demands earlier this week to shut the nation's borders to all Muslims. Leahy spoke out against this hateful rhetoric earlier th… Continue Reading


12.10.15

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee On Consideration of the S.1318, Nuclear Terrorism Conventions Implementation and Safety of Maritime Navigation Act

Given recent events, Americans are concerned about protecting the country against terrorism. I am glad that the Committee was able to hear from the FBI Director yesterday, and I hope that Congress will ensure that law enforcement has the tools and resources necessary to fight terrorism. Unfortunately, the bill that we will be marking up today is not the answer. I agree with Chairman Grassley that we must protect against nuclear terrorism. That is why Senator Lee and I worked in a bicameral wa… Continue Reading


12.09.15

Opening Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy -- SJC Oversight Hearing With FBI Director Comey

(Wednesday, December 9, 2015) - Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is attending an oversight hearing this morning of the Federal Bureau of Investigation with Director James Comey. Testimony, member statements, and a webcast of the hearing are available online. Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing On Oversight Of The Federal Bureau Of Investigation December 9, 2015 The Federal Bureau of Investigation is … Continue Reading


12.08.15

Vermont Delegation Calls for More Public Scrutiny, Meetings in Vermont on Decommissioning Regulations

, Dec. 8 - The Vermont congressional delegation - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) and Rep. Peter Welch (D) - announced Tuesday that they have called upon the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to improve public input on proposed changes to nuclear plant decommissioning regulations. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who serves on the Senate energy and environment committees, led the effort which urged the NRC to hold public meetings in each state where a nuclear power plant is currently bein… Continue Reading


12.08.15

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On the Conference Report to the Every Student Succeeds Act

Today the Senate will approve landmark legislation to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. Since 2001, the failed policies of No Child Left Behind have unfairly burdened students, families, educators and administrators by holding students accountable for snap-shot academic progress. The overwhelming support in Congress for these reforms will reverse the one-size-fits-all approach to education that did not work for Vermont and so many schools across the nation. This… Continue Reading


12.08.15

At Hearing on Merger of Two Largest U.S. Beer Companies, Leahy Emphasizes Importance of Level Playing Field for Craft Brewers to Compete

(Tuesday, December 8, 2015) - During a hearing Tuesday of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights to consider the proposed merger of beer companies AB-InBev and SAB Miller, Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) emphasized the importance of a level playing field so that craft brewers can compete. Noting concern that the large brewing companies can use their power over distributors to squeeze out smaller craft brewers, Leahy called on the… Continue Reading


12.07.15

Leahy Statement On America's History of Religious Tolerance and Respect for Personal Freedoms

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Committee On The Judiciary, On Religious Tolerance and Respect for Personal Freedoms December 7, 2015 [NOTE: Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) will be joined by faith leaders Tuesday at 11:30am in the Capitol for a press conference on the need to support refugees fleeing persecution and violence throughout the world.] "I am appalled that some are espousing the hate-filled view that a country as gr… Continue Reading


12.07.15

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

Today, we will vote on the nomination of Travis McDonough to be a Federal district judge in the Eastern District of Tennessee. He was nominated over a year ago, and his nomination was voted out of the Judiciary Committee by unanimous voice vote nearly five months ago. Despite having the support of his home state Republican Senators, Mr. McDonough's nomination has nevertheless been held up by Republican leadership for no good reason. I will further note that while Mr. McDonough's vote is long … Continue Reading


12.04.15

Days Before Program Expires, Leahy & Grassley Urge Support For Legislation To Reform & Extend Job-Creating Foreign Investment Program

(Friday, December 4, 2015) - The job-creating immigrant investor visa program, known as the EB-5 Regional Center program, is set to expire in just one week if Congress does not move to reauthorize it. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) are urging Congressional leaders to support a bipartisan, bicameral proposal that would provide much-needed reforms to the program and reauthorize it for four years. "The EB-5 program is not wo… Continue Reading


12.04.15

In Late-Night Vote, Senate Passes Five-Year Transportation Funding Package

(FRIDAY, Dec. 4, 2015) - On the eve of an expiration deadline, the Senate Thursday night passed legislation to fund America's transportation and highway programs, bringing stability to help Vermont plan critical infrastructure projects for the next five years. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) voted for The Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), which authorizes $305 billion in federal surface transportation funding over the next five years. The legislation is now on the President… Continue Reading


12.04.15

Welch, Leahy, Sanders Challenge FDA on New FDA Cheese Standard

Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) are leading a bicameral, bipartisan coalition in Congress challenging a new U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standard that could ban many age-old recipes for raw milk cheese and severely harm artisan cheese producers in Vermont. In a December 3rd letter sent to FDA Deputy Commissioner Michael Taylor, the lawmakers express their concerns about FDA's non-toxigenic E. coli standard for raw milk cheeses, and … Continue Reading


12.03.15

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Supporting The Highway Trust Fund

Vermonters take great pride in our historic downtowns and small communities. In our cities and towns, we have a culture of getting things done - and finding a way to accomplish our shared goals. That is why, like many Vermonters, I have been frustrated with the back-to-back short term patches to keep our highway trust fund afloat. I have consistently advocated for a long-term solution that will give States the ability to move forward with building and repairing roads, bridges, and byways; to pro… Continue Reading


12.02.15

Leahy Urges Senate To Protect Vermont Businesses From Trade Secret Theft

(WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2, 2015) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday held a hearing on the impact of trade secret theft on American businesses. At the hearing, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) noted that Vermont businesses rely on trade secrets to protect their intellectual property and emphasized the importance of those protections. "In Vermont, trade secrets protect the specialized knowledge of woodworkers and artisans who have been crafting heirloom products for generations. They protect the … Continue Reading


12.01.15

Leahy Urges Action As COLA Deadline Approaches For Seniors, Veterans

(TUESDAY, Dec. 01, 2015) -- With one month to go until seniors and veterans face a rare zero Cost-Of-Living Adjustment (COLA), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and other senators Tuesday urged action on the Senate Floor to pass the SAVE Benefits Act. Cosponsored by Leahy, the bill would boost Social Security and veterans benefits by ending tax subsidies for multi-million dollar corporate bonuses. If Congress does not act, seniors and veterans will face a zero COLA on January 1st. The Seniors and V… Continue Reading


12.01.15

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Recognizing Past Crimes Against Humanity in Indonesia

Mr. President, the realignment toward Asia has focused our attention on partnerships with countries in the region. We share political, economic, security, and humanitarian interests, creating complex and multi-dimensional relationships. But our commitment to the protection and promotion of human rights must continue to be a foundation for our relations with these countries, as with others around the world. We must continue to advocate for open societies where dialogue and dissent are encourag… Continue Reading


11.23.15

With Gratitude In Our Hearts, Let’s Resolve To End Hunger

This week we gather with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving and rekindle some of the most important relationships in our lives. All of us in this great and good land have things to be thankful for. Some of us will give special thanks for good health or good fortune over the past year. We are always grateful when we can spend time with our loved ones. As we express thanks for the bounty that we enjoy, it can be easy to take for granted the comfortable shelter and the full tables th… Continue Reading


11.20.15

Our Enemy Is ISIS, Not Refugees Fleeing ISIS

Last Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to make it almost impossible for people from Syria and Iraq, fleeing the brutality of ISIS and Bashar al-Assad, to find refuge in the United States. It is worth reflecting on what this means for our country. Just a few weeks ago the world came together, stunned and heartbroken over the image of a three-year-old Syrian child's lifeless body washed up on a Turkish beach. His tragic death focused our attention on the desperate plight of so m… Continue Reading

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