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Press Releases

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


Comment Of Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), On The House Judiciary Proposal To Reform The Copyright Office

"We have been working together for the last year on a legislative proposal to modernize the U.S. Copyright Office in order to better fulfill its mission in a rapidly changing digital environment. Based on our extensive consultation with a broad range of stakeholders, we believe the Copyright Office should have more independence, accountability, and authority to make decisions in areas such as IT, budget, and staffing. Our draft Senate proposal would achieve these important goals. Now that our… Continue Reading


Fleming Elementary School

On December 7, 2016, Senator Leahy conducted an online chat with the fifth graders of Fleming Elementary School. After having just finished their unit on government, Senator Leahy was quite impressed with the students' interest in the Constitution. He especially enjoyed answering their questions about the role of the three branches of government.… Continue Reading


Leahy, Franken & Leading Democratic Senators Again Call On Wells Fargo To End Use Of Forced Arbitration So That Consumers Can Seek Justice In Court

(Wednesday, December 7, 2016) - Democratic Senators led by Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Banking Committee Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) are again pressing Wells Fargo to end the use of forced arbitration clauses and allow customers whose names were used to open fraudulent accounts to seek justice in court. The Senators reiterated their call after Wells Fargo refused to commit to end its use of forced arbitration in customer service agreements in a letter… Continue Reading


Senator Patrick Leahy Remarks News Conference With Cuban Entrepreneurs Russell Senate Office Building

I want to thank the representatives of the Cuban private business community who are here. This is an all too rare opportunity for Members of Congress and the news media to hear directly from people like you, and we greatly appreciate you coming all this way. Since President Obama and President Raul Castro re-established diplomatic relations we have seen what many would describe as remarkable changes between the United States and Cuba. Critics of the new opening continually say that the only … Continue Reading


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

An editorial this morning in The New York Times is entitled, "Why the Lies About Voting Fraud?" That is a question that many of us who have been fighting for the right to vote have been asking for decades. Ten years ago this Congress reauthorized the Voting Rights Act. During the course of many Senate and House Judiciary Committee hearings we fought against the false narrative that in-person voting fraud was at all common in our country. The evidence clearly and irrefutably shows that it is … Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee Statement Following Final Passage of the Justice for All Reauthorization Act

For more than six years, I have championed the reauthorization of the Justice for All Act to ensure our criminal justice system lives up to our national pledge of "liberty and justice for all." As a former prosecutor, I am committed to ensuring our criminal justice system has integrity and the confidence of the public it serves. From my time on the front lines as a State's Attorney in Vermont, in Chittenden County, and through the past 15 years I have served as Chairman or Ranking member of th… Continue Reading


Under Leahy’s Initiative, Bipartisan Leaders Of The Senate Judiciary Committee Urge Senators To Address Rising Prescription Drug Prices

(TUESDAY, Dec. 6, 2016) - Senate Judiciary Committee members led by Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) are calling on all senators to support a bipartisan amendment to benefit consumers and deter pharmaceutical companies from blocking cheaper generic alternatives from entering the marketplace. Leahy, joined by other leading members of the panel, filed an updated version of their bipartisan Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act as an amendment to the 21st Cen… Continue Reading


Leahy Bill To Improve Criminal Justice System To Be Signed Into Law

(FRIDAY, Dec. 2, 2016) - Legislation long championed by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to help ensure that the criminal justice system functions fairly now goes to the White House for signature after the Senate overwhelmingly passed the bill late Thursday. The Justice for All Reauthorization Act aims to reduce the rape kit backlog by supporting grant programs that fund forensic testing. The bill, coauthored by Leahy and Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), also renews the Innocence Protection Act, a… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Dakota Access Pipeline

I share the concerns of many of my fellow Vermonters for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Lakota Nation and their supporters who oppose the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Marcelle and I also are troubled by the recent news reports of how they are being treated by some government officials and law enforcement agents. I firmly believe that the construction of this pipeline should be suspended indefinitely pending approval by the Standing Rock Tribal Leaders. We must also pay ser… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, Urging Final Passage of the Justice for All Reauthorization Act

Each morning in this chamber we pledge allegiance to our flag, and we end by declaring that we are "one Nation under God with liberty and justice for all." It is not enough to say the words. It is our obligation to bring meaning to this promise. Today I hope the Congress will finally take an important step forward by passing the bipartisan Justice for All Reauthorization Act. I have long championed the Justice for All Act to make our justice system more fair. Our bill will strengthen indige… Continue Reading


Senate Floor Remarks of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), On the Duplicity of the Double Standard

For months - no, for years - in the lead up to the November 8th election, congressional Republicans spent countless taxpayer dollars to air their unsubstantiated concerns about corruption at the highest levels of our government. The Clinton Foundation must be dissolved, they said. Every action, every meeting, every activity of the Clinton Foundation should be revealed, they said. We cannot allow such a foundation to run so close to the Oval Office, they said. It is ironic - sadly ironic, mad… Continue Reading


House Approves Bill Championed By Leahy To Improve Criminal Justice System

(TUESDAY, November 29, 2016) - The House on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved legislation long championed by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to help ensure that the criminal justice system functions fairly. The Justice for All Reauthorization Act supports critical grant programs which provide funding for forensic testing, including rape kits. The House-passed measure closely mirrors legislation coauthored by Leahy and Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), which passed the Senate in June. On Tuesday, Le… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Fiscal Year 2017 Appropriations

Mr. President, for the past two years the Republican Party has enjoyed solid majorities in both the House and Senate. They control the schedule and the process. They can decide which legislation to call up for debate, and frankly for all intents and purposes, they can decide whether anything gets done around here. A good example is the nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. If he had been treated like other Supreme Court nominees throughout the entire history of this country, he … Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Committee on the Judiciary On Senate Passage of S. 2944, Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2016

Today, the Senate reiterates its commitment to our nation's law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other first responders. Forty years ago, we created the Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program (PSOB) to support first responders who made the ultimate sacrifice. We have now passed legislation to make much needed improvements to the claims adjudication process, which for too long has been plagued by red tape and delays. Today's legislation builds upon my past efforts to improve the PSOB … Continue Reading


Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy To The Death Of Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro will be remembered as an ideologue who liberated the Cuban people from a corrupt dictatorship only to replace it with a family dynasty that maintained its grip on power through fear and repression. While the Cuban people for the first time enjoyed universal access to basic health care and literacy, Castro's failed economic policies, compounded by the U.S. embargo, left the country impoverished. For 55 years, the mere mention of Fidel Castro has incited fiercely emotional react… Continue Reading


Leahy Comment On The Upcoming Deployment Of The Vermont Air National Guard

(TUESDAY, Nov. 22, 2016) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following statement related to the announced deployment of the 158th Fighter Wing to the Central Command Area of Operations. Leahy, co-chair of the Senate National Guard Caucus said: "The brave men and women of the Vermont Air National Guard once again are answering the call. Our country knows that when you call in the Green Mountain Boys, you're calling in the best. Their outstanding reputation has been earned through skil… Continue Reading


Thanksgiving: A Time For Reflection And Renewed Commitment

In our family, as in homes across Vermont and the nation, this Thanksgiving will be a time of especially deep and emotional reflection. After a bitterly contested election that tested our civility and fanned the flames of intolerance, we now move into a period that may further test our national character and our institutions. We already are ending a year in which a majority of senators have broken not only with precedent, but with the sworn obligation to uphold our constitutional responsibi… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Reports Of Senator Jeff Sessions’ Nomination To Be The 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 civil liberties for everyone in our Nation. That has never been more important than in this moment, when hate crimes have spiked across the country, especia… Continue Reading


BREAKING: Leahy To Serve As Vice Chairman Of Senate Appropriations Committee

"The results of this election have reshaped the policymaking landscape in Washington and show the need for checks and balances, now that one party controls the White House as well as both houses of Congress. There are many challenges ahead. Against this new backdrop, I have decided that I will best be able to represent Vermonters' voices, and reflect Vermont values and ideals, as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee. "I do not come to this decision lightly. Both the Ap… Continue Reading


Leahy Leads Bipartisan Group of Senators Urging DoD To Restore Guard Bonuses

Senate National Guard Caucus Co-Chair Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), with Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca.) and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Ca.), is leading a bipartisan group of 30 senators in asking U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter to restore bonuses and benefits incorrectly awarded to National Guard soldiers through no fault of their own. The Department has sought to recoup the wrongly awarded benefits after an audit found that due to faulty paperwork, mistakes by recruiters, and at least one case o… Continue Reading

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