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


Leahy: Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Reauthorization Bill Further Delays Needed Rules And Does Not Go Far Enough To Protect Farmers And Small Businesses

(FRIDAY, April 15, 2016) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) - a leading member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and earlier a conferee on the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 - Thursday voted against the CFTC reauthorization bill, which the committee passed on a partisan vote. Leahy's amendment to strike unneeded FOIA exemptions, cosponsored by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), was accepted as part of the Manager's Package to amend the bill, before passage. Foll… Continue Reading


Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On State And Federal EB-5 Enforcement Actions In Vermont

[Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has worked to reform the EB-5 Regional Center program for years. His EB-5 amendment to Comprehensive Immigration Reform passed the Senate in 2013, but the House of Representatives failed to allow a vote on the bill. He also requested that the Government Accountability Office audit the program and pressed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to do what it can to improve the program administratively. Then last year he co-authored a broad, bipartisan reform bi… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Legislation to Empower Survivors of Sexual Assault Introduced by Shaheen, Blumenthal & Leahy

**The Sexual Assault Survivors' Rights Act was authored by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen with the input of Amanda Nguyen, a survivor of sexual assault** **Legislative breakthrough occurs during Sexual Assault Awareness Month** ** petition calling on Congress to act, now has over 90,000 signatures** (Washington, DC)-Legislation to establish basic rights for survivors of sexual assault has cleared a key hurdle in Congress. This morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation intr… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Federal Bureau of Investigation Whistleblower Protection Enhancements Act of 2016

Senator Grassley and I both believe that whistleblowers play an essential role in providing transparency and accountability in the Federal government. That is why we worked closely together to author the FBI Whistleblower Protection Enhancements Act being considered today. This legislation will help protect FBI employees who report wrongdoing at the agency and shields them from unjust retaliation. Our bipartisan legislation is long overdue. We have heard of numerous instances in which FBI em… Continue Reading


SJC Ranking Member Leahy Calls On Chairman Grassley To Send SCOTUS Nominee Committee Questionnaire & Schedule Confirmation Hearing THIS MONTH

(Thursday, April 14, 2016) - Chief Judge Merrick Garland was nominated nearly one month ago to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court. On Thursday, Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) called on committee Republicans to support a full and fair process for the nominee. And consistent with committee tradition, Leahy also urged Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to join him in sending the nominee a committee questionnaire and to schedule a confirmation hearing this month. "Chief J… Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Advances FBI Whistleblower Protection Bill

The Senate Judiciary Committee today advanced a bill introduced by Chairman Chuck Grassley and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy to improve the process for FBI employees who report fraud, waste or misconduct. The bipartisan FBI Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act establishes key FBI whistleblower safeguards similar to the protections already in place at other federal law enforcement and civil service agencies. It also improves efficiency, oversight, and independence in the investigation and adj… Continue Reading


Ending Tax Breaks For Corporate Wrongdoing

Vermonters, like millions of Americans across the country, are preparing for another tax deadline. Middle class families work hard all year and, come Tax Day, many of us question whether our tax system is fair. And no wonder. Billion-dollar corporations routinely write off their most egregious misconduct as nothing more than the cost of doing business, saving millions of dollars. And, in some cases, padding the wallets of wealthy CEOs. This is not only unfair to hardworking families who str… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) On the House Judiciary Committee Approving the Bipartisan Email Privacy Act

"Last year we partnered with Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers to protect Americans' privacy in the USA FREEDOM Act, and now we applaud them for their leadership in moving the Email Privacy Act through the House Judiciary Committee. This bill has unprecedented support from all corners of Congress and for good reason: It ensures that the same privacy protections that apply to documents stored in our homes extend to our emails, photos, and information stored in the cloud. These crit… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, Hearing on “The Distortion of EB-5 Targeted Employment Areas: Time to End the Abuse” April 13, 2016

It is not often that all four leaders of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees sit in the same room, on the same side of an issue. But that is what you are seeing today. Chairman Grassley, Chairman Goodlatte, Ranking Member Conyers and I are committed to bringing much-needed reforms to the EB-5 Regional Center program. This program was designed to bring jobs to underserved areas, but in reality it has become an unintended boon for some of the wealthiest business districts in the country. Th… Continue Reading


Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Passing Of Former Vermont Supreme Court Chief Justice Frederic Allen

"Marcelle and I were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former Vermont Supreme Court Chief Justice Fred Allen. Fred was a World War II veteran, a noted trial lawyer and a guiding force on Vermont's highest court for 12 years. He dedicated his life to public service and to our Green Mountain State and its people, and he leaves behind an enduring legacy. Our thoughts and prayers are with Karen and their two sons. " # # # # #… Continue Reading


Threat To Indonesia's Orangutans

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, a December 16, 1997, New York Times article entitled "Asia's Forest Fires, Scant Mercy for Orangutans'' described the widespread illegal logging and slash and burn agriculture that posed an existential threat to the orangutan, one of the world's only four species of great apes. It was after reading that article and speaking to scientists who had devoted their lives to saving the orangutan from extinction that I started a program in the foreign aid budget to help protect… Continue Reading


On Equal Pay Day, Leahy Calls For End To Discrimination Affecting American Women In The Workforce

(TUESDAY, April 12, 2016) - Hardworking women in Vermont and across the country face persistent gender discrimination with every paycheck, a glaring problem that Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said everyone from business leaders to Congress must address in order to ensure equal opportunity for all workers. In Equal Pay Day remarks Tuesday morning on the Senate Floor, Leahy said: "The United States is often looked to as a leader in the global landscape, setting the gold standard for others. Unf… Continue Reading


Senator Patrick Leahy On A Tribute to Maurice Geiger

Mr. President, I rise to recognize Maurice Geiger, known by family and friends as Maury, an extraordinary individual who, although a long-time resident of Conway, New Hampshire with his wife Nancy is deserving of the title of honorary Vermonter. Maury Geiger's lengthy career began in the U.S. Navy back in the 1950s, from where he went on to Georgetown Law School and jobs at the Bureau of Prisons and the Department of Justice. He later served as a county prosecutor in New Hampshire, founded th… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Unstoppable Bob Gray

Mr. President, I rise to pay tribute to an extraordinary Vermonter, Robert Hawkes Gray. Bob, as he is known to family and friends, grew up in Putney where his parents worked at the Putney School, his father Edward in charge of buildings and grounds and his mother Mabel ran the kitchen. Ed's ability to fix anything, and Mabel's cooking and way of keeping order, are remembered vividly and fondly to this day by thousands of Putney graduates. Bob attended Putney where he learned to ski cross coun… Continue Reading


Senate Finally Acts to Confirm First Judicial Nominee In Two Months, But Dozens More Await Action—Including SCOTUS Nominee

(Monday, April 11, 2016) - After previously blocking his nomination, Senate Republicans today are finally allowing the confirmation of Waverly Crenshaw, an African-American nominee who will fill a judicial emergency vacancy on the district court for the Middle District of Tennessee. However, 19 more judicial nominees are awaiting Senate action on the floor and dozens more are pending in the Judiciary Committee-including D.C. Circuit Chief Judge Merrick Garland, President Obama's nominee to fill… Continue Reading


Merrick Garland Waits As Senate Obstructionists Outsource Their Work To Moneyed Interest Groups

Senate Republicans are creating a toxic dynamic that ensures outside interest groups have the floor to themselves. Rather than rolling up their sleeves and considering Chief Judge Merrick Garland's record for themselves, Republicans have outsourced their job to moneyed interest groups whose only goal is to smear the nominee's admirable record of public service. These outside groups are not accountable to the American people. Nor do they have the American people's interest in mind. They are priv… Continue Reading


Camel’s Hump Middle School

On April 7, 2016, Senator Leahy held an online chat with the seventh graders of Camel's Hump Middle School. The Senator was impressed by the students' questions, especially their interest in his work in Cuba and about the upcoming election. He also enjoyed discussing his reasons for wanting to become a Senator, and about his favorite things to do when he is home in Vermont.… Continue Reading


Republican Obstruction Threatens Confirmation Of Consensus Nominees

(Thursday, April 7, 2016) - While Senate Republicans refuse to consider a Supreme Court nominee this year they are also blocking dozens of lower court nominees from being confirmed. The pattern of obstruction is leading to the least productive record for approving judicial nominees in more than half a century. The Senate Judiciary Committee has not held a confirmation hearing for lower court nominees since January, and the full Senate has not voted to confirm a single judicial nominee since Fe… Continue Reading


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

Mr. Chairman, today I hope we will finally vote to report out three judicial nominees who have been on the agenda for nearly two months. Committee members want to continue to discuss how this Committee should function - but that cannot be used as an excuse to further delay action on lower court nominees or legislation. We have not had a hearing for a single judicial nominee since January. It is now April. There are 29 judicial nominees waiting for a hearing, including 3 circuit court nomine… Continue Reading


America’s next president must continue Obama’s progress on clean energy

So much of America's future is at stake in the 2016 presidential election. But let's focus for a moment on just one area - energy and the environment - where the Obama administration has made startling progress that could be reversed if either of the GOP front-runners becomes president. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, arguably President Obama's best Cabinet appointment, has been leading a quiet revolution in clean-energy technology. Innovation is transforming this industry, costs are plummeting … Continue Reading

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