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Press Releases

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

11.10.15

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

After finally scheduling a few confirmation votes on Federal judges last month, Senate Republicans have reverted back to holding up the confirmation process for no good reason. The American people and the entire Federal justice system depend on the members of this body to fulfill our constitutional duty of providing advice and consent on judicial nominees. This Senatorial duty is one we cannot neglect. However, that is exactly what has happened since Senate Republicans took over the majority … Continue Reading


11.06.15

Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) To The President’s Decision On The Keystone XL Pipeline

This has been a long time coming, but the President has made the right decision. Taking either a long view or a short one, this misguided project is not in the national interest of the United States. Keystone XL represents the energy past. This inherently dirty tar sands project would be a wasteful diversion from the cleaner and more sustainable energy future and energy security that we want for ourselves and our children. It has no place in the energy future and the energy economy that we … Continue Reading


11.04.15

Sanders, Merkley, Leahy Introduce Bill to Ban New Drilling on Public Land

WASHINGTON, Nov. 4 - Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced legislation today to help accelerate the transition to clean energy by ending all new federal leases for oil, gas or coal extraction on public lands and waters. "Worry less about your campaign contributions and worry more about your children and grandchildren," Sanders told Republicans who continue to deny the science on climate change. "We are taking on the Koch brothers and… Continue Reading


11.04.15

Leahy, Franken Press Arbitration Agencies For Answers Following NYT Report Highlighting Harmful Impact Of Forced Arbitration On Consumers

(Wednesday, November 4, 2015) - Following a three-part investigation series by the New York Times highlighting the impact on consumers and workers of forced arbitration clauses that prevent individuals from seeking justice in court, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) are calling on the leading providers of arbitration services to address concerns about the use of such agreements. "We have grave concerns that forced arbitration thrust… Continue Reading


11.04.15

Leahy Joins Effort To Block Expansion Of Unwanted Robocalls

(WEDNESDAY, Nov. 4, 2015) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday joined Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and others in introducing The HANGUP Act, which would repeal changes to the federal statute that limits automated telephone calls to consumers without their consent. Recent changes exempted robocalls made for federal debt collection from the consent requirements of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). In June, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took steps to clarify consume… Continue Reading


11.03.15

Leahy Leads Bipartisan Group of 13 Senators In Introducing Resolution On Political Oppression By Government Of The Maldives

(TUESDAY, November 3, 2015) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday led a bipartisan coalition of 13 senators in calling on the Government of the Maldives to release former President Mohamed Nasheed and all other political prisoners in the country. The bipartisan bill expresses the sense of Congress that the Government of the Maldives should guarantee due process for all the people of the Maldives and respect their human rights. Leahy is the senior most member of the Senate Appropriations Comm… Continue Reading


11.03.15

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy on Senator Chuck Grassley Casting His 12,000th Vote

I've had the privilege of serving with several hundred Senators in this body over the years I have been here. And Senator Grassley has been a very special friend during that time. He has represented the voices of Iowans for nearly three and a half decades. I think we have been friends for that three and a half decades. When I think of Senator Grassley - 12,000 votes, hundreds of hearings, countless Tweets, and probably four dozen sweater vests later - he's the same, down to earth Iowa farmer… Continue Reading


11.02.15

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Passing Of Barbara Snelling

"Like her late husband, Barbara loved Vermont. She brought that spirit to every office she held, working to make life better for families and communities in Chittenden County and across our state. "Marcelle and I join all Vermonters in offering our appreciation and best wishes to her entire family and their friends and to all who knew or worked with her." # # # #… Continue Reading


11.01.15

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Sen ate Judiciary Committee On the Need to Pass the Arbitration Fairness Act

[The New York Times recently released a three-part investigative series highlighting the impact on consumers and workers of forced arbitration clauses. These agreements, often included in the fine print of employment contracts or consumer receipts, require individuals to waive their right to sue in court or their ability to pursue complaints against the corporation in a class action. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has long raised concerns about the practice of forced arbitration, including in he… Continue Reading


10.30.15

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Committee On The Judiciary, On the Need to Close the Detention Facility at Guantanamo Bay

"The detention facility at Guantanamo is a stain on our national reputation and it should be closed. The Administration should continue expediting the transfer of the 52 cleared detainees, and accelerate the Periodic Review Board process to determine if additional detainees can be transferred. Members of Congress must also reject bumper-sticker politics and remove the onerous and unnecessary restrictions contained in this year's National Defense Authorization Act that stand in the way of final… Continue Reading


10.30.15

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

Republicans continue to object to requests for unanimous consent on basic things we should be able to do in a bipartisan manner here in the Senate. In addition to my request about gender discrimination, Republicans have previously objected to unanimous consent requests to allow votes on noncontroversial judicial nominees with bipartisan support to fill vacancies in our Federal judiciary. These requests are not remotely controversial, and yet, the Republicans continue to obstruct for obstructio… Continue Reading


10.30.15

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), On The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015

For months, Democrats have called on Republican leaders in both the Senate and the House to work with us to avert the economic crisis that default would have wrought on this country. With our backs against the wall, congressional leaders and the White House have reached an agreement to not only raise the debt ceiling - ensuring that our government can pay its bills - but to limit the devastating impacts of sequestration for the next two years. This agreement is far from perfect. This deal uses… Continue Reading


10.29.15

Leahy & Grassley Press Treasury, IRS on the Use of Cell Phone Tracking Technology

(Thursday, October 29, 2015) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) are once again pressing a top cabinet official about a government agency's use of cell-site simulator technology, which can sweep up the cell phone signals of innocent Americans. Following news reports that the Internal Revenue Service is using cell-site simulators, or "Stingrays," the Senators sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Lew on Thursday seeking information… Continue Reading


10.29.15

Senate Republicans Block Leahy Resolution Calling For Equal Pay For Female Soccer Athletes

(Thursday, October 29, 2015) - Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked a commonsense resolution authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) calling on the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to eliminate gender discrimination between male and female athletes. Leahy first introduced the resolution in July, after the United States women's soccer team was awarded just $2 million after beating Japan in the Women's World Cup championship. By comparison, the 2014 Men'… Continue Reading


10.27.15

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee On the Library of Congress’s Anti-Circumvention Rulemaking

[The Library of Congress Tuesday released the results of its triennial review to establish exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's (DMCA) prohibition on circumventing technological measures that control access to copyrighted works. The exemptions announced today cover a range of activities, from repairing farm equipment to using motion pictures in film studies classes. Among the exemptions granted are those that allow "unlocking" of wireless telephones and other wireless devices to… Continue Reading


10.27.15

Save The Bats

Bats have not always had a 'good press.' They can seem scary, especially at Halloween time, and they have not been adequately understood, let alone appreciated. Today our bat populations are being decimated by the spread of a deadly fungus that causes "white nose syndrome." An essential ingredient in saving America's bats is in better understanding them and the key roles they play in agriculture and in the ecosystem. Vermont's conservation ethic is deeply instilled in me, as it is in other V… Continue Reading


10.27.15

[BREAKING] Leahy Comments On The Milestone Of His 15,000th Vote In The U.S. Senate --

[As the dean of the Senate (its most senior member) Vermont's U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D) Tuesday morning passed a U.S. Senate milestone when he cast his 15,000th vote. Only five senators in history have cast more votes. The vote occurred during a series of votes late this morning during Senate debate on the cybersecurity bill. According to the nonpartisan website GovTrack, Leahy has sponsored more bipartisan bills than any other current member of this Senate: Sixty-one percent of his bil… Continue Reading


10.26.15

Leahy, Sanders, Welch, Shumlin Announce $10 Million Federal Grant

(MONDAY, Oct. 26, 2015) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Gov. Peter Shumlin Monday announced a $10 million federal grant from the Department of Transportation to improve rail service along the state's Western Corridor. The improvements will remove the final hurdle for restoring passenger service between Rutland and Burlington. In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders, Welch and Shumlin -- who have vigorously supported this rail… Continue Reading


10.26.15

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

Today, we will vote on the nomination of Lawrence Vilardo to be a Federal district judge in the Western District of New York in Buffalo. He was first nominated in February and his nomination was voted out of the Judiciary Committee by unanimous voice vote over five months ago on May 6. There is no reason why this highly-qualified nominee should have waited so long for a vote. Despite having one of the busiest caseloads in the country, with more criminal cases than Washington, D.C., Boston, or… Continue Reading


10.26.15

Leahy: Government Transparency Will Take a Step Back Under Cyber Bill

(Monday, October 26, 2015) - The cybersecurity legislation pending on the Senate floor includes an unnecessary provision that would weaken the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the government's premier transparency law. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a champion of government transparency, is calling on all Senators to support his amendment to remove this provision and to support the overall mission of FOIA. "For nearly half a century, FOIA has translated our great American values of openness … Continue Reading

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