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

12.12.14

Leahy: Unprecedented New Focus On Heroin And Opioid Addiction In Budget Bill Awaiting Final Action Friday Or Saturday

(FRIDAY, Dec. 12, 2014) - A new program proposed by U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to combat the vexing problems associated with heroin and opioid addiction affecting Vermont and the nation, as well as new funding to address the epidemic, is included in the comprehensive federal budget bill. The House of Representatives passed the bill late Thursday night and the Senate is expected to vote on it Friday or Saturday. Leahy was instrumental in securing the funding for the new program, initiat… Continue Reading


12.11.14

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Omnibus Appropriations Bill

Mr. President, after nine months of hearings and briefings, and many long days and nights of negotiations, this past weekend the Appropriations Committee completed work on the fiscal year 2015 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act. Earlier this year, many of us came to the floor to praise Chairwoman Mikulski for her heroic effort to pass the fiscal year 2014 Omnibus. While many in Washington thought that feat could not be repeated two years in a row, she proved them wrong. … Continue Reading


12.11.14

Judiciary Committee Sends Three Judicial Nominees To Full Senate

(Thursday, December 11, 2014) - The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday unanimously approved three judicial nominees who now go to the full Senate for consideration. Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) urged the Senate to take up and pass all pending nominations before the end of the year. "It is imperative for the Senate to continue to work on nominations. With cooperation there is still time to confirm these non-controversial nominees before we adjourn for the year," Leahy said. The district … Continue Reading


12.11.14

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Passage of H.R. 1447, the Death in Custody Reporting Act of 2013

Today Senators have finally come together to pass the Death in Custody Reporting Act, which will provide important transparency to law enforcement efforts and our prison system. At a time when our Nation is having an important conversation about police encounters that result in the loss of life, we know that hundreds of police-related deaths are unaccounted for in federal statistics. The Death in Custody Reporting Act will require that state and Federal law enforcement officials report deaths … Continue Reading


12.10.14

Leahy Announces Key Win For Lake Champlain In Federal Budget Bill

(WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10, 2014) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced that key funding for Lake Champlain has been included in the comprehensive budget package that will be considered by Congress later this week, as the clock runs out on the congressional session. Leahy is the most senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and played a key role in negotiating several parts of the final federal budget bill, which was unveiled Tuesday night. At Leahy's urging, the final appro… Continue Reading


12.10.14

With Adjournment Now Only Hours Away, Leahy Calls On House To Pass FOIA Improvement Act

(Wednesday, December 10, 2014) -- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) called on the House to pass the bipartisan FOIA Improvement Act that the Senate unanimously approved earlier this week before adjourning for the year. "This legislation is all about government transparency. If House Republicans want this administration to be more accountable, then they must put it on the suspension calendar without delay. Let's get it done," Leahy said. "With the sun about to set on this… Continue Reading


12.10.14

Leahy Hails Historic Funding Levels For Crime Victims

(Wednesday, December 10, 2014) -Legislation to fund the government through next year includes a substantial increase for critical victims' support programs championed by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy. Under the Omnibus Appropriations Bill agreement struck between House and Senate negotiators, the Crime Victims Fund, which provides support for crime victims and their families, will be able to reach more victims of crime thanks to a raise in the fund's cap. The fund is financed by criminal fines… Continue Reading


12.10.14

Judiciary Committee Chairman Leahy Chairs Confirmation Hearing With Intellectual Property Nominees

(Wednesday, December 10, 2014) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is chairing a confirmation hearing this morning for Michelle Lee, nominated to serve as the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and Daniel Marti, nominated to serve as Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC). Testimony, member statements, and a webcast of the hearing are available online. Statement Of Se… Continue Reading


12.10.14

Vermont Wins $33 Million for Pre-K, Delegation and Governor Announce

, Dec. 10 - Vermont was awarded $7.3 million in what is expected to be a $33.4 million, four-year federal grant for pre-kindergarten programs at public schools and Head Start agencies throughout the state. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) announced the grant today. Sanders, a member of the Senate education committee, worked with the U.S. Department of Education, the congressional delegation and the Shumlin administratio… Continue Reading


12.09.14

Leahy Speaks On Release Of Senate’s Historic Report On Torture

(Tuesday, December 9, 2014) - The summary of a thoroughly researched Congressional report on the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) use of torture during the Bush administration finally makes details of the program public to policymakers and all Americans who had previously been misled, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said in a lengthy floor speech on Tuesday. Leahy, who as chairman of the Judiciary Committee presided over several of the many hearings that collected d… Continue Reading


12.09.14

Leahy Statement On The State of Civil Rights

(Tuesday, December 9, 2014) - The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights is currently holding a hearing on "The State of Civil and Human Rights in the United States." Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) helped to pass the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which was enacted in 2009 and broadened federal hate crimes law to include crimes based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. He is t… Continue Reading


12.09.14

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Senate Consideration of Trafficking Legislation

I could not be a stronger supporter of efforts to prevent human trafficking. But we must offer comprehensive solutions that provide meaningful and reliable resources to support these survivors. Just this Congress, I have led the reauthorization of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act - widely recognized as this country's most important tool in combatting human trafficking. The law reasserted the United States as a global leader in fighting trafficking by strengthening tools available to prose… Continue Reading


12.08.14

Senate Monday Night Passes Leahy’s FOIA Improvement Act

(Monday, December 8, 2014) -- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) hailed the Senate's passage late Monday of historic legislation that strengthens the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the nation's premier open government law. The FOIA Improvement Act of 2014, which was approved unanimously by the Judiciary Committee last month, requires Federal agencies to operate under a "presumption of openness" when considering the release of governme… Continue Reading


12.08.14

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, Unanimous Consent Request Seeking Passage of S. 2520 The FOIA Improvement Act of 2014

The Freedom of Information Act is one of our Nation's most important laws. For nearly 50 years, FOIA has given Americans a way to access government information, ensuring their right to know what their government doing. Today, the Senate is poised to build on that important legacy with passage of the Leahy-Cornyn FOIA Improvement Act. The FOIA Improvement Act will codify what the President laid out in his historic executive order in 2009. It will require Federal agencies to adopt a "Presumpti… Continue Reading


12.08.14

Leahy & Cornyn Urge Senate To Pass FOIA Improvement Act TODAY

(Monday, December 8, 2014) -- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) urged Senators Monday to pass historic legislation that strengthens the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the nation's premier open government law. The FOIA Improvement Act of 2014, which was approved unanimously by the Judiciary Committee last month, requires Federal agencies to operate under a "presumption of openness" when considering the release of government informatio… Continue Reading


12.05.14

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, Urging Passage of H.R. 1447, the Death in Custody Reporting Act of 2013

I have long worked to pass legislation to bring additional transparency and accountability to the government. I do so again today by calling on all Senators to support the Death in Custody Reporting Act, a bill that has moved multiple times through the Senate Judiciary Committee and should pass the Senate without further delay. This is about an open and fair government. The Death in Custody Reporting Act requires that local and Federal law enforcement officials report deaths that occur while p… Continue Reading


12.05.14

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee On Passage of H.R. 5108, To Establish the Law School Clinic Certification Program of the United States Patent and Trademark Office

Today, the Senate has acted to ensure that law school students can gain valuable experience providing legal assistance to inventors before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This legislation is a clear win-win: students will gain tangible, hands-on experience in a vital area of the law, and inventors and small businesses will receive valuable legal assistance with their patent and trademark applications. By promoting innovation and helping creators turn their inventions in… Continue Reading


12.05.14

Leahy: Vermont Nets $250,000 For Low-Income Housing Improvements

(THURSDAY, Dec. 4, 2014) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday joined in announcing $250,000 in awards to four organizations across Vermont to improve housing conditions for low-income rural residents. Two of the grants were given preference because of the Leahy-led Rural Economic Area Partnership (REAP) Zone in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom -- a USDA Rural Development Designation recognizing the unique rural nature of a region that prioritizes the region's grant applications. Thanks in part … Continue Reading


12.05.14

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Supporting Government Transparency And Urging Passage of The FOIA Improvement Act of 2014

The Freedom of Information Act is one of our Nation's most important laws. James Madison said the people "must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives." For nearly 50 years, FOIA has given Americans a way to access government information ensuring their right to know what their government doing. The FOIA Improvement Act advances this fundamental democratic principle. It is why I urge all Senators to support the FOIA Improvement Act of 2014, without delay. This legislation builds on what … Continue Reading


12.04.14

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Expiring Authorization for the Bulk Records Collection Program Under Section 215 of FISA

[The current FISA court authorization for the government to engage in the bulk collection of phone records under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act expires on Friday. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is the author of the bipartisan USA FREEDOM Act of 2014, which would end this dragnet collection of Americans' phone records.] "Last month, Senate Republicans filibustered the USA FREEDOM Act of 2014, which would have ended the NSA's bulk collection of innocent American… Continue Reading

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