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

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


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

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