Press Room

Press Releases

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


Remarks of Mrs. Marcelle Leahy At Lund’s 125th Birthday Bash Waterworks, Winooski, Vermont

Good evening. Patrick and I are delighted to be here with you all tonight. I am honored and proud to serve as the Honorary Chair for this celebration of the 125 years of help and support Lund has given to women, children, and families across Vermont. One hundred and twenty-five years. Lund has been helping Vermont families longer than any of us in this room have had the honor of supporting it. The original founders of the Home for Friendless Women - including Elizabeth Lund, by whose name we … Continue Reading


Leahy Urges Senate Republicans To Pass Bipartisan Criminal Justice Legislation This Year

(THURSDAY, April 28, 2016) - Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a former prosecutor, on Thursday called on Senate Republican leaders to bring to the floor the bipartisan Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, a bill to reduce some mandatory minimum sentences and apply those changes retroactively to inmates currently serving unfair sentences. Leahy's comments came at a bipartisan news conference announcing new cosponsors of the legislation, which was introduced last… Continue Reading


Lyndon Institute

Senator Leahy conducted an online chat with 11th and 12th graders from the Lyndon Institute of the Northeast Kingdom. He was impressed with the students' breadth of knowledge, and appreciates their drive to become further involved in their government, especially through voting. The Senator also enjoyed discussing what led him to become a lawyer, and about the ways in which conversations with Vermonters have inspired him to draft legislation.… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) On House Passage of the Bipartisan Email Privacy Act April 27, 2016

"Today's 419-0 House vote for the Email Privacy Act is an historic step toward updating our privacy laws for the digital age. It should go without saying that law enforcement agents should have to get a warrant to read Americans' emails or retrieve their sensitive information from the cloud - yet that is not what our statutes currently require. It is long past time to reassure the American people that their online communications are protected from warrantless searches. The Email Privacy Act d… Continue Reading


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

Yesterday I had the honor of speaking at an event hosted by the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate on this body's role in considering Supreme Court nominees. The Institute is a wonderful organization "dedicated to educating the public about the important role of the Senate in our government." My friend Ted Kennedy loved the Senate and worked hard every day here to improve the lives of the people of Massachusetts and the people of America. I thank Vicki Kennedy for all of… Continue Reading


Remarks of Senator Patrick Leahy On Continuing Education for the Federal Workforce Through the truED Program at Champlain College U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Alan Campbell Auditorium

Thank you, Acting Director Colbert, for your warm introduction, and to President Laackman for inviting me here today. I am pleased to see here many leaders and professionals who have dedicated their lives to public service, and who are committed to meeting the critical talent and development needs of the federal workforce. Like many of you, I have spent my career in public service, and during that time I have also experienced the revolution in access to information. And while that is for t… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders and Welch Joint Statement On Rutland Vermont Welcoming 100 Syrian Refugees

"We are proud that the State of Vermont and the City of Rutland are welcoming civilian refugees who have fled the relentless violence in Syria, sometimes with just the clothes on their backs. We appreciate the leadership of Mayor Louras and Rutland's business and community leaders who are not only doing the right thing by helping those in need but also making it clear that it is good for the region to welcome hardworking newcomers into the community. Struggling families, fleeing peril and motiv… Continue Reading


Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Federal District Court Decision Upholding North Carolina’s Restrictive Voting Law

[On Monday, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina upheld North Carolina's sweeping voting law, which the State enacted following the Supreme Court's 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder, which weakened the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965. North Carolina's restrictive voting law includes a strict photo ID requirement, reduces the number of days for early voting, eliminates same-day registration and voting, prohibits citizens from casting ballots outside their pr… Continue Reading


Senate Republicans Continue Blocking Consensus Judicial Nominees

(Tuesday, April 26, 2016) - Senate Republicans, who are refusing to hold a hearing and a vote for Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, are also refusing to vote on 20 lower court nominees who are waiting to serve on courts around the country. On Tuesday, Republicans blocked the confirmation of 11 federal district court nominees-including nominees with Republican support. "There is no good reason that judicial nominees praised by Republican Senators should be blocked by Republican leadership… Continue Reading


In Remarks At Kennedy Institute Event, Leahy Calls On Republicans To Restore Senate Tradition And Consider SCOTUS Nominee

(Tuesday, April 26, 2016) - Speaking at an event hosted by the Kennedy Institute Tuesday, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) called for a return to Senate tradition when it comes to considering Supreme Court nominees. Leahy noted that during the entire 47-year career of the late Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), and going back to 1916, no pending Supreme Court nominee has been denied a hearing and a vote. Today, however, Senate Republicans are creating new history … Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, Remarks at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute Event: The U.S. Senate’s Role in Confirming Supreme Court Justices

Good morning. I thank the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for inviting me, and to Vicki for being with us today. The Kennedy name is synonymous with public service. Ted Kennedy dedicated his life to serving the people of Massachusetts and the people of America - especially the disempowered and disadvantaged. He was an inspiration to us all. These days, we certainly could use some more of Senator Kennedy's commitment to the Constitution. I hope this event will remind us what it means to be… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Commemorating Earth Day

Last Friday marked the 46th annual Earth Day, and we cannot ignore that we are at a crossroads in time. Human-caused climate change is accelerating with each passing year, and is now taking a severe toll on our planet. We see it in our scorched farmlands and burnt forests in the West, and in the flood ravaged river valleys and super-storm battered coastlines in the East. Climate change is not a hoax and we must act now to protect our future and our future generations. Earth Day is an opportunit… Continue Reading


Paris Agreement Signing On Earth Day Honors The Meaning And The Goals Of Earth Day

(FRIDAY, April 22, 2016) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) this week joined 143 congressional colleagues in voicing strong support for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Paris Agreement ahead of its signing Friday by Secretary John Kerry. Under President Obama's leadership and with the strong support of congressional Democrats, the United States rallied more than one hundred nations in support of the historic agreement last De… Continue Reading


In Wake Of PFOA Contamination, Leahy, Sanders And Welch Call For Stricter Federal Regulations

(Friday, April 22, 2015) - As tests for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) contaminating drinking water in North Bennington, Bennington and Pownal continue this week, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) pressed two congressional committees, charged with finalizing legislation to regulate toxic chemicals, for stricter federal rules and deference to strong state protections already in place in Vermont and across the country. The Vermont … Continue Reading


Cornyn, Leahy, Grassley, Franken, Hatch, Coons Introduce Bill to Aid Response Training to Active Shooters

U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Al Franken (D-MN), Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Chris Coons (D-DE) issued the following statements after introducing the Protecting Our Lives by Initiating COPS Expansion (POLICE) Act of 2016, which will allow law enforcement and medical personnel across the country to use federal grant funds to train and better prepare for active shooter situations, including training civilians how to respond if confronted by an active sho… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Nomination Hearing of Dr. Carla Hayden to be Librarian of Congress

For a young student or a lifelong learner, a library can be an exciting place. I realized this at the age of four, when I received my first library card at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier, Vermont. Some of my fondest memories as a child were at the library, where everyone fit in and possibilities were limitless. Today, the Rules Committee considers the nomination of Dr. Carla Hayden to lead the Library of Congress, one of the largest libraries in the world. Dr. Hayden brings direc… Continue Reading


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

Today, this Committee is holding its first nominations hearing since January. Since that time, judicial vacancies have risen across the Nation and nominations to fill empty judgeships have piled up in this Committee. In addition to the five judicial nominees on this hearing, there are 27 other judicial nominees that are waiting for a hearing - including Chief Judge Garland to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. If we followed the timing that the last 14 Supreme Court nominees received, we … Continue Reading


House Judiciary Committee Overwhelmingly Approves Leahy-Authored Bill To Reauthorize Lifesaving Bulletproof Vest Grant Program

(Wednesday, April 20, 2016) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Wednesday hailed the House Judiciary Committee for overwhelmingly approving his legislation to reauthorize the lifesaving Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program, a federal grant program whose charter has long been expired and needs to be renewed. Following the committee's action on Wednesday, Leahy called for the full House to quickly pass the bill so that it can be sent to the President for signature. The Senate passed the bip… Continue Reading


Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy On Senate Passage Of The Energy Policy Modernization Act

(WEDNESDAY, April 20, 2016) - The Senate Wednesday passed legislation in a vote of 85 to 12 to modernize U.S. energy policy, address emerging challenges from climate change to cyber threats, update the nation's energy infrastructure, and permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) voted for the Energy Policy Modernization Act, the first broad bipartisan energy legislation since 2007, which covers a wide array of issues from efficiency to in… Continue Reading


Vermont EPSCoR Wins $20 Million Award From National Science Foundation To Study and Promote Resiliency in Lake Champlain Basin

What makes some parts of the Lake Champlain basin and its watersheds resilient in the face of extreme weather events, increasingly common as climate change warms Vermont, while other parts fail to recover and rebound? A $20 million award from the National Science Foundation to Vermont EPSCoR will help answer that question, providing much needed information to decision-makers as they govern the basin and develop policies that reach far into the future. The award, one of the largest in Vermont… Continue Reading

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