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Press Releases

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

05.05.15

St. Johnsbury Academy

On May 5, 2015, Senator Leahy held an online chat with St. Johnsbury Academy's AP Government and Microeconomics classes. He was impressed by the students' questions regarding his role on the Judiciary Committee, as well as their discussion on the impact of the filibuster and cloture procedures in the U.S. Senate. Senator Leahy especially enjoyed hearing the students' aspirations to become leaders in Congress.… Continue Reading


04.30.15

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Raising The Federal Minimum Wage

Vermont is among only 22 States in the Nation with a minimum wage higher than that of the federal minimum wage. The Green Mountain State has long recognized the importance of paying workers a fair and livable wage, and it is past time for Congress to catch up with the daily struggles of working American families. That is why I today I am proud to join as a cosponsor of Senator Murray's Raise the Wage Act, to increase the federal minimum wage to $12 by 2020. The Raise the Wage Act will help … Continue Reading


04.30.15

Leahy, Coons, Ernst bill would strengthen State Partnership Program

Today, U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) introduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorize and strengthen the National Guard State Partnership Program (SPP). The State Partnership Program Enhancement Act of 2015, which has a corresponding bill in the House of Representatives, will permanently codify the SPP into law, increase transparency and oversight, and address deficits in funding, coordination, and reporting. "This bill will improve the Progr… Continue Reading


04.30.15

Leahy Leads Introduction Of Strong Legislation To Protect Consumer Information And Prevent Data Breaches

(Thursday, April 30, 2015) -Vermonters and all American consumers are now facing constant threats of their personal information being hacked. At the same time that cyber attacks and data breaches are increasing in number and scope, so too is the amount of information consumers share with the corporations who are the target of these breaches. In order to protect consumers and prompt corporations to do more to protect their customers, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt… Continue Reading


04.30.15

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the House Judiciary Committee’s Approval of the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015

[Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Thursday after the House Judiciary Committee approved the bipartisan, bicameral USA FREEDOM Act to end the NSA's dragnet surveillance of Americans' phone records. Leahy is the lead Democratic coauthor of the legislation in the Senate, which he introduced with Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) on Tuesday.] "I applaud the House Judiciary Committee for taking an historic step today to protect Americans' … Continue Reading


04.30.15

Stowe Student Council

On April 29, 2015, Senator Leahy held an online chat with the Stowe Elementary Student Council fourth and fifth graders for his eleventh year. He is always impressed by Stowe's students, and especially enjoyed discussing their observations regarding the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone. He was also impressed by their questions about human rights and the issue of the Washington Redskins changing their name.… Continue Reading


04.29.15

Leahy Introduces Bipartisan Bill To Protect VT Businesses From Patent Abuse

(WEDNESDAY, April 29, 2015) -- Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) joined with a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to introduce legislation to protect Vermont businesses and innovators who too often become the victims of so-called "patent trolls." The introduction comes after 18 months of negotiations led by Leahy and other Senate members to craft a comprehensive bill that deters abusive conduct while preserving the strength of America's patent system. Patent t… Continue Reading


04.29.15

25 Years Later, Forest Conservation Programs Still Help Keep Our Working Forests Thriving And Working

Twenty-five years ago, the Senate's 1990 Leahy-Lugar Farm Bill authorized the creation of three pivotal forestry programs that today are a resounding success. The Forest Legacy, Forest Stewardship and Urban and Cooperative Forestry Programs help private and state forest landowners keep their forests healthy. That in turn supports tens of thousands of jobs, benefiting rural and urban communities across the nation. This week we joined in a celebration in the Capitol Visitors Center marking this… Continue Reading


04.29.15

At-A-Glance Summary Of Forest Legacy, Forest Stewardship And Urban And Community Forestry Program Activities In Vermont

Vermont Highlights At-A-Glance Summary Of Forest Legacy, Forest Stewardship And Urban And Community Forestry Program Activities In Vermont This year marks the 25th anniversary of key community forest conservation programs, enacted in the 1990 Farm Bill through the efforts of then-Chairman Patrick Leahy of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. Over the past 25 years the State and Private Forest Cooperative Forestry Programs have helped Vermont accomplish a wide range of … Continue Reading


04.28.15

Bipartisan Coalition Led By Senators Lee and Leahy Introduce Legislation To Ban Bulk Collection Under Section 215

(Tuesday, April 28, 2015) -- Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Tuesday introduced legislation to restore Americans' eroded privacy rights by ending the government's dragnet collection of phone records under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act. An identical bill was introduced in the House on Tuesday, and lawmakers from across the political spectrum called on Congressional leaders to take up the measure ahead of a key deadline for exp… Continue Reading


04.28.15

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Introduction of the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015

Almost two years ago, Vermonters and the American people learned for the first time the shocking details of the National Security Agency's dragnet collection program. Relying on a deeply flawed interpretation of Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, the NSA has been indiscriminately sweeping up Americans' private telephone records for years. It is long past time to end this bulk collection program. Americans have made clear that they will not tolerate such intrusion into their private lives. The … Continue Reading


04.28.15

FOLLOWING FBI ADMISSION OF USING FLAWED, INVALID FORENSIC EVIDENCE FOR PROSECUTIONS, SENATORS URGE DOJ AND FBI TO CORRECT INJUSTICES, REVIEW AND STRENGTHEN FORENSIC SCIENCE EVIDENCE STANDARDS

() Today, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Gary C. Peters (D-Mich.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.), and Al Franken (D-Minn.) urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) to redouble efforts to complete its investigation and review of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) process of hair-sample analysis. In a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI Director James Comey, the senators … Continue Reading


04.28.15

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, Hearing on Oversight of the Department of Homeland Security

I welcome Secretary Jeh Johnson back to the Judiciary Committee as part of our ongoing oversight of the Department of Homeland Security. Over the past 16 months, Secretary Johnson has demonstrated sound leadership over the Department and the 240,000 men and women who work tirelessly to keep this country safe. I thank them all for their dedication. As a Vermonter, I know that the Department's work goes beyond terrorism and cybersecurity to providing disaster relief to devastated communities, m… Continue Reading


04.28.15

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Supreme Court’s Oral Arguments for the Marriage Equality Cases

This morning, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the marriage equality cases. The legal principle at stake is whether the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution protects marriages between individuals of the same sex. But at heart, these cases represent something more fundamental. They are about the right of every American to marry the person they love and to have their relationships treated with the respect and dignity to which every American is entitled. I am proud th… Continue Reading


04.24.15

Leahy Leads Bicameral Coalition of Lawmakers Urging FDA to Swiftly Adopt Proposed Rule to Protect Consumers of Generic Drugs

(Friday, April 24, 2015) - Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and senior Democratic leaders on the Senate and House Committees charged with overseeing the nation's policies on health, consumer rights, budget, aging and veterans' affairs today urged the Food and Drug Administration to support consumers by adopting meaningful safety rules for labeling on generic drugs. The effort by 47 Senate and House lawmakers comes as the FDA closes out its public comment period on… Continue Reading


04.23.15

Leahy Calls On Senators To Support Lynch’s Historic Nomination To Be The Nation’s Top Law Enforcement Officer

(Thursday, April 23, 2015) - After an extended and partisan delay, the Senate is poised on Thursday to confirm the nomination of Loretta Lynch to serve as the next Attorney General of the United States. Speaking on the Senate floor Thursday, Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) praised the nominee's sterling career as a Federal prosecutor and urged all Senators to support her historic nomination to be the first African American woman to lead the Department of Justice. "Ms. L… Continue Reading


04.23.15

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee On the Nomination of Loretta Lynch to be the Attorney General of the United States

For almost two months, I have been returning to the Senate floor to urge the Majority Leader to schedule the confirmation vote for our next Attorney General. Yesterday afternoon we were finally able to get an agreement that was long overdue. But this morning we are not voting to confirm Loretta Lynch to be the next Attorney General of the United States. Instead, this morning the Senate is voting on whether to invoke cloture with regard to this top law enforcement position. For those not fami… Continue Reading


04.22.15

Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Senate Republicans’ Vote Against Legislation to Protect Runaway and Homeless Youth

The Leahy-Collins Amendment to the anti-trafficking bill was narrowly defeated Wednesday afternoon, in Senate vote of 56 to 43 - four votes short of the 60 votes needed for passage of the Leahy-Collins Amendment.] "The bill that I introduced with Senator Collins to reauthorize the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act was the amendment we offered today to the trafficking bill that is before the Senate. It would fill the prevention void in the anti-trafficking legislation, by helping runaway and homel… Continue Reading


04.22.15

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee On Consideration of Amendment 290, The Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act to S. 178

Shortly, we will vote on two amendments related to preventing human trafficking by supporting runaway and homeless youth. Senator Cornyn's amendment pays lip service to this effort, but it is not a meaningful alternative to the comprehensive amendment Senator Collins and I will offer. Our amendment, # 290, the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act, has the support of 30 bipartisan cosponsors who understand that no effort to end human trafficking can be complete without addres… Continue Reading


04.22.15

Leahy Urges Senators To Support All Trafficking Survivors

(Wednesday, April 22, 2015) - In a floor speech Wednesday, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) called on lawmakers to listen to trafficking survivors and victims' advocates who believe that prevention is the most effective method to combat the scourge of human trafficking. While Leahy said he would support the bipartisan compromise to overcome an impasse on trafficking legislation, he urged Senators to work together to protect the most vulnerable children from falli… Continue Reading

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