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Press Releases

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

03.10.15

The Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act

(Tuesday, March 10, 2015) - The Senate Tuesday morning began debate on legislation approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee to combat human trafficking and sexual exploitation, a form of modern day slavery that affects thousands of people every day. In a floor statement Tuesday, Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said any legislation the Senate approves must include key protections for runaway and homeless youth who are among the most vulnerable to human trafficking. "H… Continue Reading


03.09.15

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, on the Confirmation of Michelle Lee to Serve as Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office and Daniel Marti to Serve as Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator

I welcome the Senate's action today to confirm two well-regarded practitioners to important leadership positions charged with protecting and promoting intellectual property. Michelle Lee, who is nominated to serve as the Director of the Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), will be the first woman and first Asian Pacific American to hold this position. She is also the daughter of immigrants who moved to this country and contributed to the growth of Silicon Valley through her father's career as… Continue Reading


03.09.15

Days After Selma Anniversary, Leahy Calls On Senate To Restore the Voting Rights Act & Confirm AG Nominee Loretta Lynch

(Monday, March 9, 2015) - Days after a bipartisan group of lawmakers traveled to Selma, Alabama to honor the 50th anniversary of the historic civil rights march that gave way to the Voting Rights Act, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) took to the floor Monday to urge Congress to restore that landmark law and to confirm Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch. "In commemorating the bravery of these foot soldiers for justice, we are reminded of what we can accomplish … Continue Reading


03.06.15

In Lead-Up to Senate Debate On Anti-Trafficking Legislation, Support Builds For Efforts To Protect Runaway & Homeless Youth From Human Traffickers

(Friday, March 6, 2015) -As the Senate prepares to consider legislation to combat human trafficking as soon as next week, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is urging lawmakers to support meaningful legislation to prevent vulnerable youth from becoming targets of trafficking and sexual exploitation. The push also comes as bipartisan support is rallying behind the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act (S. 262), a bill Leahy coauthored with Sena… Continue Reading


03.04.15

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Attack On Mark Lippert, U.S. Ambassador To South Korea; Ambassador Lippert Is A Former Foreign Policy Aide To Senator Leahy

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Attack On Mark Lippert, U.S. Ambassador To South Korea; Ambassador Lippert Is A Former Foreign Policy Aide To Senator Leahy "Marcelle and I are heartsick about news reports about the senseless attack on Mark. Our prayers are with him and with Robyn, Sejun and their families. He is as devoted a public servant as they come, a great credit to both of our countries." # # # # #… Continue Reading


03.04.15

Leahy Again Urges Senate Vote For AG Nominee Loretta Lynch

(Wednesday, March 4, 2015) - Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) took to the floor on Wednesday for a second time this week to call for a confirmation vote for Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch. Lynch's nomination was reported on a bipartisan vote by the Judiciary Committee last week. Her nomination has been pending longer than those of the five previous Attorneys General. Speaking on the Senate floor Wednesday, Leahy highlighted Lynch's record as the United S… Continue Reading


03.04.15

Leahy, Sanders, Welch Announce $1.5 M In Affordable Housing Grants For Vermont’s Local NeighborWorks Organizations

(WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced $1.5 million in grants to revitalize communities and support access to affordable housing across Vermont. The announcement marks the first round of 2015 federal grants awarded by NeighborWorks America. Leahy said: "Vermont's NeighborWorks affiliates are on the front lines of creating jobs and stabilizing our communities by investing in affordabl… Continue Reading


03.04.15

Leahy Highlights Need For Whistleblower Protections At SJC Hearing

(Wednesday, March 4, 2015) - The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing entitled, "Whistleblower Retaliation at the FBI: Improving Protections and Oversight." Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has long worked to ensure the protection of whistleblowers through bipartisan legislation and oversight. Senator Leahy's opening statement at today's hearing is below. Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on "Whistleblower Retaliatio… Continue Reading


03.03.15

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy After Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Address Before A Joint Meeting Of Congress

I watched the Prime Minister's speech on television and also will review it more fully later. I have long supported U.S. aid to ensure Israel's ability to defend itself. I have had many private meetings with Israeli leaders over the years. And I have long supported Israeli-Palestinian negotiations toward a peace settlement that would help ensure Israel's security. I agree with the President, the Prime Minister and many others that a nuclear Iran would be a danger to Israel, to the region, an… Continue Reading


03.02.15

Leahy Calls On Senate To Confirm Historic Nominee For Attorney General

(Monday, March 2, 2015) - This week marks the 50th anniversary of the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, an historic moment in the civil rights movement that prompted bipartisan action in Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act. In a floor statement Monday, Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) urged Senators to come together in that same spirit and confirm Loretta Lynch to be the next attorney general of the United States. Once confirmed, Lynch will be the first African Ame… Continue Reading


03.02.15

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Senator Barbara Mikulski’s Announcement That She Will Retire From The Senate After Her Current Term

Senator Mikulski is a great credit to the Senate and to the State of Maryland. She has done a superb job in chairing and in serving as Ranking Member of the Appropriations Committee in a difficult environment. The Dean of women senators, she is widely respected on Capitol Hill, and far beyond. She is a dynamo for the Marylanders whom she represents so well in the legislative process. I have also enjoyed working with her on such projects as the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Lilly Ledbette… Continue Reading


02.27.15

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On House Leaders’ Refusal To Support A “Clean” Year-Long Homeland Security Budget Bill, Without Political Policy Riders

"The House's refusal to pass a clean homeland security budget bill is beyond irresponsible. It is foolhardy, and it is wasteful. It shows no understanding of how this continuing uncertainty is affecting the daily lives of these hard-working DHS workers who protect us every day, in so many ways. Vermont has more than 2500 dedicated federal homeland security workers who are affected by this. This extends the uncertainty they face about meeting their next mortgage payments and paying their fami… Continue Reading


02.26.15

SJC Unanimously Approves Nominee To Lead Patent & Trademark Office

(Thursday, February 26, 2015) - The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday unanimously approved the nomination of Michelle Lee to serve as the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) urged the Senate to quickly confirm the nominee, who has been pending since last year. "This position has been vacant for more than two years, which is far too long for an office that is so imp… Continue Reading


02.26.15

Leahy: Senate Must Support All Victims Of Human Trafficking

(Thursday, February 26, 2015) -The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday advanced legislation to combat human trafficking, two days after the panel heard compelling testimony on the need to pass meaningful legislation to prevent vulnerable youth from becoming targets of trafficking and sexual exploitation. However, the measures approved today fall short of protecting the runaway and homeless youth who are among the most vulnerable to human trafficking. Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), … Continue Reading


02.26.15

Leading Democratic Senators Praise FCC’s Adoption Of Net Neutrality Rules

(Thursday, February 26, 2015) - Democratic Senators Patrick Leahy (Vt.), Ron Wyden (Ore.), Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), Maria Cantwell (Wash.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Tom Udall (N.M.), Al Franken (Minn.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Ed Markey (Mass.), and Cory Booker (N.J.) issued a joint comment Thursday following a vote by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on updated open Internet rules. The new rules, which apply to all domestic broadband providers, prevent b… Continue Reading


02.26.15

[BREAKING] Leahy REAX To FCC Vote Approving The NET NEUTRALITY RULE –

"Today's FCC vote shows that Vermont commonsense can win the day, even in Washington. Over the last year Vermonters have spoken loudly and clearly. They do not want to be stuck in Internet slow lanes or to cope with new online tolls. Vermonters expect an Internet that remains equal and open to all. As Cabot Orton of the Vermont Country Store testified at the hearing I held in Burlington last July, Vermont small businesses are not looking for special treatment online, they are simply looking … Continue Reading


02.26.15

After Extended Delay, Judiciary Committee Approves Attorney General Nominee Lynch

(THURSDAY, Feb. 26, 2015) - A bipartisan majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved the nomination of Loretta Lynch to be the 83rd Attorney General of the United States. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the committee's Ranking Member, said the Senate must quickly confirm Lynch to serve as the nation's chief law enforcement officer. "Anyone who watched the Judiciary Committee hearings four weeks ago learned that Loretta Lynch is a well-respected prosecutor who has earned the … Continue Reading


02.26.15

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, Executive Business Meeting

This week, the Judiciary Committee held a powerful hearing outlining the importance of passing legislation that will help eradicate the scourge of human trafficking in this country. I commend Chairman Grassley and Senator Feinstein for holding the hearing. Members on both sides of the aisle made clear their commitment to passing meaningful legislation - not only to help existing victims of human trafficking, but also to help protect in the future those who all too often fall prey to human traf… Continue Reading


02.25.15

Ahead Of Committee Vote, Leahy Calls For SJC To Support AG Nominee Lynch

(Wednesday, February 25, 2015) - Tomorrow (Thursday), the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider the nomination of Loretta Lynch to be the 83rd Attorney General of the United States. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the committee's Ranking Member, said both the Committee and the full Senate must vote to confirm her without further delay. "Anyone who watched the Judiciary Committee hearing four weeks ago learned that Loretta Lynch is a superb prosecutor who has earned the respect and admiration… Continue Reading


02.25.15

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On the Introduction of the Farm to School Act of 2015

Five years ago, the President signed into law the Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act. This law has made improvements to our school lunch program by making healthy food choices a reality for students nationwide. One of the best ways to help students make healthy choices is to teach them about their food and how it is grown. That is why I championed the inclusion of funding for a farm-to-school grant program, which was included in the Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act. The program has had tremend… Continue Reading

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