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Press Releases

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


Statement On The UN Summit On The Global Refugee Crisis

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The UN Summit On The Global Refugee Crisis September 20, 2016 "With the exception of climate change, no issue more urgently requires collective action by the world's governments than the calamity facing tens of millions refugees and internally displaced people. The protracted conflicts in Syria and South Sudan alone have uprooted millions. Tens of thousands of Central American children have braved the journey north seeking safety in our own country. "Syri… Continue Reading


Leahy column marking 5th anniv. of Leahy-Smith patent reforms

A Modern Patent System Helps Energize Vermont's Economy, And The Nation's By Patrick Leahy Five years ago, in front of an audience of school-aged inventors, President Obama signed into law the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act. That law contained the most extensive reforms of the U.S. patent system in 60 years, creating the foundation for an innovative patent system for the 21st Century. As we commemorate this legislative feat, six years in the making, it is important to reflect on how the Ameri… Continue Reading


Senate Republicans Have Not Confirmed A Single Judicial Nominee In More Than Two Months

Senate Republicans have not allowed the confirmation of a single judicial nomination since July while at the same time refusing to give Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland a hearing or a vote. On Thursday, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy said that Republicans should confirm the backlog of judicial nominees, including Chief Judge Garland, before leaving town for another recess. "The Republican leadership should not schedule recess until we confirm Chief Judge Garland … Continue Reading


Leahy Calls For Senate Action On Bipartisan Reforms To Protect Older Americans From Workplace Discrimination

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is urging the top leaders of the Senate Health Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee to take up his bipartisan bill to protect older Americans from workplace discrimination. Leahy, in a bipartisan letter with Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), noted that the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act (POWADA) would restore critical workplace protections for older Americans that were stripped away following the 2009 Supreme Court's decision in Gros… Continue Reading


Leahy Joins In Introducing Bill To Overhaul VA Health System Appeal Process

Leahy And 9 Other Senators Introduce Bill To Overhaul The Veterans Health System Appeal Process (WEDNESDAY, Sept. 14, 2016) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) is among ten senators who this week introduced legislation to reform the appeals process for veterans benefits. The bill is sponsored by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and cosponsored by Leahy and Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT), Angus King (I-ME), Tom Udall (D-NM), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Joe Manchi… Continue Reading


Statement On the Pending Nominees to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Pending Nominees to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims September 13, 2016 For two years, President Obama's five eminently qualified nominees to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims have been awaiting a vote. This Court has been referred to as the "keeper of the nation's conscience" and "the People's Court." It was created by Congress approximately 160 years ago and embodies the constitutional principle tha… Continue Reading


Leahy Guest Column About Constitution Day

Constitution Day: Protecting Our Democracy By Patrick Leahy When the Framers signed the United States Constitution, they created a federal system of government with three co-equal branches, designed to work cooperatively but also designed to serve as checks and balances. As we celebrate the 229th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution, Americans across this great nation take time to reflect on its enduring legacy and the many challenges that our constitutional system of government face… Continue Reading


Senator Leahy Welcomes Bipartisan House Bill To Reform Foreign Investment Program (EB-5)

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Need To Reform The EB-5 Program September 12, 2016 [Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Monday after House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.) introduced legislation to reform and reauthorize the EB-5 Regional Center program, which is currently authorized through September. The legislation, H.R. 59… Continue Reading


Grassley, Leahy to Senate Leadership: Reform Investor Visa Program Now or Let it Expire

Grassley, Leahy to Senate Leadership: Reform Investor Visa Program Now or Let it Expire WASHINGTON - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy are calling on Senate leadership to reform the flawed EB-5 foreign investor visa program or allow it to expire. The program, which allows foreign nationals to invest $1 million (or $500,000 in rural or high unemployment areas) in a commercial enterprise in exchange for green cards and U.S. citizenship, has been b… Continue Reading


Schatz, Nelzon, Leahy, other Senators Press Speaker Ryan for vote on Zika funding

SCHATZ, NELSON, LEAHY, OTHER SENATORS PRESS SPEAKER RYAN FOR VOTE ON ZIKA FUNDING WASHINGTON (FRIDAY, Sept. 9, 2016) - U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai'i) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) today sent a letter signed by 27 Senate colleagues to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) urging him to bring the $1.1 billion Zika funding legislation passed by the Senate to the House floor for a vote. As of today, there are more than 18,000 cases of Zika reported in the United States and its territories. "Zika is … Continue Reading


Housing Is Not A Political Issue; It’s A Moral Issue

Housing Is Not A Political Issue; It's A Moral Issue … A Report On HUD Sec. Julián Castro's Visit To Vermont by Patrick Leahy Last week President Obama's chief housing officer, Secretary Julián Castro of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), accepted my invitation to visit Vermont. In his first visit to the Green Mountain State since he took office in 2014, he remarked how surprised he was "to see so much green." In fact our uniquely rural nature is why … Continue Reading


Leahy's Message On The Anniversary Of 9/11

[Following Is Senator Patrick Leahy's Message On The 15th Anniversary Of 9/11] Rekindling The Common Spirit That United Us After 9/11 It is hard to believe that 15 years ago this Sunday the Twin Towers fell, smoke from the Pentagon could be seen from miles away, and a plane went down in a Pennsylvania field. For those who lived through that horrible day, the memory still feels fresh. Of course, this is especially true for those who lost loved ones. This weekend, Americans across the country w… Continue Reading


176 Days After Judge Garland Was Nominated To The Supreme Court, Senator Leahy Addresses The Senate About Continuing Republican Obstruction Of The Nomination

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Chief Judge Merrick Garland's Supreme Court Nomination September 8, 2016 Next month, on the first Monday in October, the Supreme Court will begin its new term. The question before this chamber is whether there should continue to be an empty seat on the dais when it convenes. For seven months, the Court has been missing a justice and because of that vacancy, it has been repeatedly unable to serve as the f… Continue Reading


Leahy Comment After Meeting With Supreme Court Nominee Chief Judge Merrick Garland

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, After Meeting With Supreme Court Nominee Chief Judge Merrick Garland September 8, 2016 [Senate Republicans' unprecedented blockade of Chief Judge Merrick Garland's nomination has made him the longest pending Supreme Court nominee in the history of the United States. On Thursday, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) met with Chief Judge Garland to reiterate his support for the nomine… Continue Reading


Obama, In Laos, Visits Prosthetics Clinic Funded By The Leahy War Victims Fund

President Obama Tuesday visited a prosthetics clinic in Laos that is funded by the Leahy War Victims Fund (LWVF). Leahy created the War Victims Fund in 1989 as part of his crusade against landmines and to enable innocent war victims rebuild their lives. The Senate renamed the program for Leahy several years later. During his visit to Laos the President pledged to boost support for the efforts Leahy has led for several years to help remove cluster munitions and other unexploded ordnance (UXO) dro… Continue Reading


Leahy Calls On Senate Republicans To Confirm Chief Judge Garland Before New Supreme Court Term Next Month

Senate Republicans' unprecedented blockade of Chief Judge Merrick Garland's nomination has made him the longest pending Supreme Court nominee in the history of the United States. As the Senate returns after an extended break scheduled by the Republican leadership, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said Senate Republicans must finally give Garland a hearing and a vote so that the Supreme Court can fulfill its constitutional role for the American people. "The Sen… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Judicial Nominations

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Judicial Nominations September 6, 2016 Throughout August, I heard from Vermonters all around my home state about the issues that are important to them. Whether it was at scheduled events or just in conversations around town, Vermonters asked me about the Supreme Court - and why the Senate has failed to act on the nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland. The Senate is returning from the longest reces… Continue Reading


Obama, In Laos, Pledges Boost In Ongoing Leahy-Led Effort To Remove Unexploded Ordnance From The Vietnam War

President Obama, visiting Laos on Tuesday, announced a significant increase in funding for clearing unexploded U.S. ordnance (UXO) from the Vietnam War, which continues to kill and maim civilians in Laos, many of them children. The action builds upon several years of efforts led by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to help remedy these legacy threats in Laos, Vietnam and other earlier conflict zones. Leahy spoke Tuesday of the significance of the President's commitment: "During more than four dec… Continue Reading


Leahy Requests Answers From Patent and Trademark Office About Potential Time And Attendance Abuse

Responding to an Inspector General report outlining potential time and attendance abuse and resulting government waste by patent examiners at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) are seeking information about how the agency protects against time and attendance abuse. "The PTO plays an essential function in our economy, promoting innovation and supporting our Nation's economic growth," Lea… Continue Reading


Leahy Hosts U.S. HUD Secretary Castro To Announce Vermont One Of First States In Nation To Receive $3 million From National Housing Trust Fund For Affordable Housing

BURLINGTON, Vt. (THURSDAY, Sept. 1, 2016) - Underscoring Vermont's success in leveraging federal resources and partnerships to improve access to affordable housing in Vermont's rural communities, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday hosted a public roundtable discussion with community leaders and U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Julián Castro. After the roundtable discussion, Leahy and Castro took part in the opening of a new 40-unit affordable housing cooperative … Continue Reading

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