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

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


10.23.15

Leahy, Sanders, Welch: $17 Million To Be Released To Vermont For Families Seeking Home Heating Assistance

(FRIDAY, Oct. 23, 2015) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) -- who have long championed the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) -- Friday announced $17 million in funds to assist Vermonters seeking help to meet their home heating needs this winter, only days after the first snowfall of the season. In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said: "LIHEAP is a lifeline to more than 25,000 Vermonters who need energy… Continue Reading


10.22.15

Leahy & Grassley Call For Copyright Study

(Thursday, October 22, 2015) - In order to help the public navigate a world in which software makes virtually everything function, from refrigerators to tractors, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) joined together Thursday to request the Copyright Office undertake a comprehensive study of the role copyright law plays in defining how software-enabled products can be used. "This is a complex field, and how we interact with software… Continue Reading


10.22.15

Leahy: Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Historic Bipartisan Legislation To Reform Criminal Justice System

(THURSDAY, Oct. 22, 2015) - In a long-awaited breakthrough for federal sentencing reform, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved bipartisan legislation to reduce some mandatory sentences and apply those changes retroactively to inmates currently serving unfair sentences. Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a former prosecutor who has long advocated for reform, praised the committee's work. "I would like to see an end to all mandatory minimums, but the reforms in this bill repr… Continue Reading


10.21.15

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, Regarding the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 October 21, 2015

It seems as though every week, the American people learn of yet another data breach in which Americans' sensitive, private information has been stolen by cybercriminals or foreign governments. This is a critical national security problem that deserves action by Congress. But our actions must be thoughtful and responsible, and we must recognize that strengthening our Nation's cybersecurity is a complex endeavor with no single solution. According to security researchers and technologists, the m… Continue Reading


10.21.15

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On President Obama’s Steps To Address Opiate and Heroin Abuse

"I applaud President Obama and Director Botticelli for taking important steps to curb addiction to powerful prescription opioids and heroin. The plan unveiled today, with commitments from such a wide array of public and private partners, represents a thoughtful, comprehensive approach to break the cycle of addiction. It also reflects how devastating opioid addiction has become. Communities across the country have seen the over-prescription of opioids result in a wave of debilitating addiction, t… Continue Reading


10.21.15

NEWS BACKGROUNDER: Even After Benghazi Attack, House Leaders Continued To Block Embassy Security Funds

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., and then-chairman of the State Department's budget committee - the State Department and Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee), pushed for more embassy security funding than House Republicans were willing to provide - both before and after the Benghazi attack. Leahy said: "House Republicans have wasted millions of taxpayer dollars on a partisan exercise. For that, and for blaming the Administration for failing to protect our diplomats, w… Continue Reading


10.21.15

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Department of Homeland Security’s Policy Regarding the Use Of Cell-Site Simulators

[The Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday issued new guidelines governing the use of cell-site simulators. The announcement comes weeks after Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), joined by Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), pressed DHS to safeguard Americans' privacy when it comes to the use of these devices, which can sweep up the cell phone signals of unknowing and innocent Americans.] "The Department of Homeland Security's new policy on cell-sit… Continue Reading


10.21.15

REMARKS OF SENATOR PATRICK LEAHY CATO SURVEILLANCE CONFERENCE

Good afternoon. Two years ago - at a Cato conference on NSA surveillance - Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner announced our introduction of the original USA FREEDOM Act. It is great to be with you, two years later, to celebrate the enactment of the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015, and the end of the NSA's bulk collection of American's phone records. The USA FREEDOM Act marks the first major reform of surveillance laws in decades. This sort of reform does not come quickly, or easily. But Republicans and… Continue Reading


10.20.15

Leahy: Senate Must Pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Not Partisan Legislation

(Tuesday, October 20, 2015) - The Senate is poised to cast a procedural vote Tuesday on partisan immigration legislation that would harm communities and is staunchly opposed by law enforcement. A broad range of groups representing domestic violence victims, housing and low-income advocates, mayors, faith and civil rights leaders, labor groups, and immigrant rights organizations also oppose the bill. Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) urged Republican leaders Tuesda… Continue Reading


10.20.15

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, on the “Stop Sanctuary Cities Policies and Protect Americans Act,” S.2146

For the first time in more than two years, the Senate is turning its attention to an issue related to our broken immigration system. But in stark contrast to the comprehensive, hopeful legislation last reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee, the majority is simply scheduling a show vote today on a divisive, partisan proposal that has not even been considered in the Judiciary Committee. What a difference a change in leadership makes. There are few topics more fundamental to who we are as a… Continue Reading


10.19.15

At SJC Hearing, Leahy Urges Senators To Support Criminal Justice Reform

(Monday, October 19, 2015) - The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing today on the bipartisan Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015, a bill to reduce some mandatory sentences and reform the criminal justice system. Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a former prosecutor who has long advocated for comprehensive criminal justice reform, urged all Senators to support the legislation, noting that "The problems facing our criminal justice system simply cannot continue to go unad… Continue Reading


10.15.15

Feinstein & Leahy Call On Chinese Leaders To Release Nobel Laureate Liu Xia And His Wife

Feinstein, Leahy Call for Release of Chinese Nobel Laureate, Wife Five-year anniversary of Liu Xia's arrest (THURSDAY, Oct. 15, 2015) -- Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today released the following statement marking the five-year anniversary of the arrest of Liu Xia, the wife of Chinese democracy activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo: "This week marks the five-year anniversary that Liu Xia was placed under house arrest in China. She has … Continue Reading


10.09.15

Joined By Vermont Victims’ Advocates, Leahy Announces $8.7 Million For State’s Crime Victims And Victims Of Domestic And Sexual Assault

BURLINGTON, Vt. (FRIDAY, Oct. 9, 2015) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a former prosecutor and longtime champion for crime victims and victims of domestic violence, Friday announced that Vermont will receive more than $8.7 million from the U.S. Department of Justice to support victims of crime and enhance programs that serve survivors of domestic and sexual violence. The funding includes a three-fold increase to the Vermont Center for Crime Victims Services (VCCVS), which will receive $4.8 mil… Continue Reading


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

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