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


Leahy And Other Judiciary Committee Democrats Urge Panel To Prevent Politicization Of The Justice Department Under Trump

(TUESDAY, Jan. 10, 2017) -- With Senator Jeff Sessions's (R-AL) confirmation hearing underway, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have written to Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) requesting that the Committee serve as a bulwark against any politicization of the U.S. Department of Justice during the Trump administration. In their letter, the senators cite both the targeting of attorneys within the Department based on their previous advocacy and recent actions taken by the Trump … Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), On Senator Dianne Feinstein Becoming Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee convenes for the first time in the 115th Congress and we mark an historic moment in the Committee's 200 year history. Last week, Senator Dianne Feinstein was named the Committee's ranking member, the first time in American history that a woman has served in this capacity. It is striking that 352 members have served on the Committee, and only six of those -- all Democrats-- have been women. Three of those six women are proudly serving on this important Com… Continue Reading


Jeff Sessions Was Too Extreme For Republicans In 1986. Is He Too Extreme For Republicans Now?

This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee will meet in a legendary room that has been the site of such historic events as the Watergate hearings, and Senator John Kennedy's presidential campaign announcement. This ornate room has since been named for my friend, the late Senator Ted Kennedy, and more recently senators have met in this room for the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Attorney General Eric Holder. As senators prepare to gather in the Kennedy Cau… Continue Reading


As New Congress Opens, Leahy Joins Klobuchar And Others To Introduce Legislation To Lower Prescription Drug Prices For Seniors

(THURSDAY, Jan. 5, 2017) -- At the start of the new Congress, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has joined Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and others in introducing legislation to lower prescription drug prices for seniors. The lawmakers have introduced the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act, which would allow Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs. Current law only allows for bargaining by pharmaceutical companies and bans Medicare from doing so. The legislation woul… Continue Reading



Today, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, released the following statement in response to reports that President-elect Trump will ask Congress to pay for the border wall: "A troubling pattern is quickly emerging, with the fuzzy talk about killing the Affordable Care Act, and now with 'the wall.' It's jump first, and make real plans later, if ever. That may be the way Mr. Trump ran his businesses but it's not how we should treat American … Continue Reading


Further Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Senator Jeff Sessions’ Nomination To Be The Attorney General Of The United States

"I have made clear the issues that especially concern me as the Senate considers Senator Sessions' nomination to be Attorney General of the United States. The Attorney General serves as the chief law enforcement officer in the country. The Attorney General must be independent and fair. The Attorney General must be deeply committed to the rule of law and must ensure that all people are treated equally before the law. This means that he or she is also the chief protector of civil rights and ci… Continue Reading


Senators Cardin, Feinstein, Leahy, Carper, Klobuchar Introduce Legislation to Create Independent Nonpartisan Commission to Investigate Russian Interference in Election

U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) introduced legislation Wednesday to create an independent, nonpartisan commission to comprehensively investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election. The commission would fully investigate Russian cyberattacks on U.S. political entities and election infrastructure and any other attempts by the Russian government to influence U.S. elections, seek to identify… Continue Reading


Leahy Names Two Aides To Be His Staff Director, And Chief Counsel/Deputy Staff Director, On The Appropriations Committee

(WEDNESDAY, Jan. 4, 2016) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday named two skilled and seasoned staff experts who will serve as top aides as he assumes the post of the Democratic leader on the Senate Appropriations Committee. Leahy has named Charles Kieffer as the committee's minority Staff Director. Kieffer has more than 38 years of experience in the appropriations process, including 16 years of service with the Senate Appropriations Committee, 16 years with the Office of Management and Bu… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Updated Information About Malware Reported By Burlington Electric Department

Burlington Electric should be commended for acting on the notice from federal homeland security officials, as they were asked to do. Based on the additional information that has come to light since The Washington Post's breaking news story on New Year's Eve weekend, it appears that the Vermont utility followed proper procedures in investigating the incident and reporting what they found. I am grateful that the initial news report was inaccurate and that the affected laptop of a Vermont utility… Continue Reading


Leahy Reaction On Russian Hacking Of A Vermont Electric Utility

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Russian Hacking Friday, December 30, 2016 State-sponsored Russian hacking is a serious threat, and the attempts to penetrate the electric grid through a Vermont utility are the latest example. My staff and I were briefed by Vermont State Police Colonel Matthew Birmingham this evening. This is beyond hackers having electronic joy rides - this is now about trying to access utilities to potentially manipulate the grid and shut it down in the middle of winter.… Continue Reading


Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt) To The United States Abstention In The UN Security Council On The Resolution On Israeli Settlements

"Ever since Oslo, Republican and Democratic administrations have opposed Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank as an obstacle to peace. That was not a throwaway line, but nevertheless, year after year the expansion of settlements into disputed territory continued and even accelerated as if the policy of the United States, and UN resolutions, didn't matter. "Throughout these years, U.S. military aid to Israel has increased, even as prospects for a two state solution, which Israeli l… Continue Reading


‘The Year Closes On A High Note For Vermont’s Transportation Future’ -- Leahy-Authored Bill To Facilitate Preclearance Travel Operations In Canada Is Signed Into Law

BURLINGTON (THURSDAY, Dec. 22, 2016) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) was joined Thursday by federal and state officials, representatives of Amtrak, Porter Airlines and local chamber of commerce officials at the Burlington International Airport to mark the enactment of the Promoting Travel, Commerce, and National Security Act. The legislation, unanimously passed by the U.S. Senate in the last day of this year's session, was signed into law by President Obama on December 16th. Leahy penned the … Continue Reading


Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On POTUS Announcement Banning Drilling in Parts of Atlantic and Arctic Oceans

"The President clearly listened to the countless voices of coastal residents who oppose the unnecessary risk that drilling poses to their way of life and to the coastal economies that depend on healthy oceans and pristine beaches. I agree with the President that these risks, as well as those posed to the wildlife and marine life that call these oceans home, should not be jeopardized to enable multi-billion dollar corporations to benefit from risky offshore drilling activities. I applaud Preside… Continue Reading


Patrick And Marcelle Leahy Pay Respects To John Glenn At Memorial Service In Columbus

COLUMBUS (SATURDAY, Dec. 17, 2016) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and his wife Marcelle Leahy on Saturday attended the memorial service here for the late former Senator John Glenn (D-Ohio). The Leahys and Glenns enjoyed an especially close bond of friendship in the United States Senate. The Leahys traveled to Columbus with Vice President Biden and Jill Biden, aboard the Vice President's plane. "We met when John and I came to the Senate. Our friendship crystalized in an instant, and it blos… Continue Reading


Leahy Bill To Improve Criminal Justice System Signed Into Law

(FRIDAY, December 16, 2016) - Legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to help ensure that the criminal justice system functions fairly was signed into law on Friday by President Obama. The Justice for All Reauthorization Act aims to reduce the rape kit backlog by supporting grant programs that fund forensic testing. The bill, introduced by Leahy and Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), also renews the Innocence Protection Act, a landmark Leahy law which includes the Kirk Bloodsworth Po… Continue Reading


Grassley, Leahy Comment on U.S. Copyright Office Report Examining the Legal Framework of Software-Enabled Consumer Products

The U.S. Copyright Office released an analysis of how copyright law applies to software-enabled consumer products, which are becoming increasingly prevalent in the lives of American consumers. The report was prompted by a 2015 request from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). The senators issued the following statement: "In everything from Fitbit to farm equipment, we've seen a sweeping expansion of smart technology in recent ye… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Appointment of Debo P. Adegbile to Serve as a Commissioner On the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

"I applaud President Obama's wise appointment today of Debo P. Adegbile to serve as a Commissioner on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Debo brings a strong, independent and knowledgeable voice to the Commission. He has devoted much of his career to fighting for the civil rights of all Americans. Debo has also twice argued before the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act. "At a time when religious and racial minorities feel afraid and threatened, and when America… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy Ranking Member, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Republican Staff Report on Planned Parenthood and Fetal Tissue Donation

Over a year after Republicans began pouring taxpayer dollars into five separate congressional investigations, there has been no credible finding - including in the Republican Staff Report issued today - that Planned Parenthood broke the law. While we do not know the total cost to taxpayers for these five duplicative Republican-led investigations, we do know that just one of the House investigations alone has cost the American people more than $1.5 million. It is important to understand these … Continue Reading



(TUESDAY, Dec. 13, 2016) - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Al Franken (D-MN), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Gary Peters (D-MI), Bob Casey (D-PA), Tom Udall (D-NM), and Ed Markey (D-MA) today called for a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) to determine the extent of Russian intervention in the 2016 United States presidential election, accompanied by an unclassified summary of its key judgments by January 20th, 2017. An NIE is the formal, authoritative assessmen… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), On the FY17 Continuing Resolution

Today, the Senate will vote to put the government on autopilot for the next four and a half months. Coupled with the continuing resolution we are currently under, that's seven months of Fiscal Year 2017 priorities funded - or not - under the terms of the Fiscal Year 2016 omnibus bill. Freezing in place an earlier year's priorities - ignoring the many hearings, and the committee work, and the debates, and the oversight that the Appropriations Committees have invested in genuine, full-year fundi… Continue Reading

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