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Press Releases

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

10.28.14

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Impasse Between FairPoint And Its Workers

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Impasse Between FairPoint And Its Workers Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014 "Thousands of Vermonters rely on FairPoint for their businesses, residential and emergency services. These are essential connections for real people, and I encourage all parties involved in the negotiations to return to the bargaining table and work in good faith to resolve the remaining differences. Vermonters expect both sides of the table to be respectful and to remain focused on the … Continue Reading


10.23.14

Judiciary Chairman Leahy Presses Leading Broadband Providers To Fight Against Internet Fast Lanes

(Thursday, October 23, 2014) - Following a letter to Comcast sent earlier this week, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Thursday continued his call for leading broadband providers to take a stand against fast lanes on the Internet. In letters sent to AT&T, Verizon, Time Warner Cable, and Charter Communications, Leahy pressed for concrete commitments that the companies will not enter into paid prioritization agreements to charge websites for priority access over the… Continue Reading


10.22.14

U.S. Energy Department Awards $3 Million in Solar Energy Grants to Vermont Companies

BURLINGTON, Vt., Oct. 22 - Vermont's congressional delegation - Sens. Patrick Leahy (D) and Bernie Sanders (I) and Rep. Peter Welch (D) - announced today that the U.S. Department of Energy awarded more than $3 million in grants to two Vermont companies to help make solar energy more affordable and accessible. "These Vermont companies are on the forefront of reducing the cost of solar energy, a crucial element in helping transform our energy system away from fossil fuels and into renewable energ… Continue Reading


10.22.14

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Decision in the Blackwater Trial

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Wednesday after the verdict was handed down in the Blackwater trial. A jury found one Blackwater security guard guilty of first-degree murder and three other guards guilty of voluntary manslaughter. Leahy is the author of the Civilian Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (CEJA), a bill he introduced in July that would close a gap in current law and ensure that government employees and contractors working overse… Continue Reading


10.20.14

Senator Patrick Leahy Urges Comcast to Take a Stand Against Internet “Fast Lanes”

(Monday, October 20, 2014) -As the Federal Communications Commission continues its consideration of updated open Internet rules, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Monday urged the nation's largest cable and Internet provider to set the example by pledging that it will not enter into any paid prioritization agreements through which websites could be charged for priority access over the Internet. Preventing the creation of such "fast lanes" is critical to meaningful net… Continue Reading


10.20.14

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The IBM-Global Foundries Announcement

"Vermont has always had a special relationship with IBM. While this marks a new chapter for the plant, I appreciate that Global Foundries recognizes that the most valuable asset they are acquiring is the talented workforce in Essex. These are some of the most highly skilled workers in the entire nation, and I remain committed to working with them and the new ownership to keep an active and vibrant plant as part of Vermont's economic landscape." # # # # # [Senator Leahy and Governor Shumlin … Continue Reading


10.17.14

Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, on the Announcement by Google Concerning Websites Dedicated to Online Piracy

[Google announced today that it will update the tools it uses to address the problem of illegitimate websites dedicated to infringing activity, by demoting such sites in its search results and removing more terms from autocomplete. Senator Leahy has long called for such action to reduce the prevalence of websites dedicated to infringement, which remain a serious problem for America's artists, creators and consumers.] "I welcome Google's announcement that it will improve its efforts to address… Continue Reading


10.16.14

Leahy, Sanders, Welch: With Cold Weather Around The Corner, Vermont Receives $17.2 M. In Home Heating Assistance

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) -- who have long championed the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) -- Thursday announced $17,252,695 in federal home heating assistance to Vermont. The new funding, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is part of a nationwide release of $3.05 billion in LIHEAP funds to help struggling families heat their homes. The new funds represent about 90 percent of the fundi… Continue Reading


10.16.14

SJC Chairman Leahy, Senate Democrats Press DHS Against Expansion of Family Detention System

A group of leading Democratic Senators on Thursday pressed Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on recent plans to expand the immigration detention system, notably the decision to construct a massive new immigration detention facility at the southern border, and urged the administration to ensure the physical safety and due process rights of women and children seeking asylum in the United States. The new detention facility in Dilley, Texas, slated for opening in the coming months, will be th… Continue Reading


10.16.14

Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, on the Nomination Of Michelle Lee to be Undersecretary Of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

[President Obama announced on Thursday his intent to nominate Michelle Lee to serve as Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The USPTO plays a vital role in protecting and promoting our nation's intellectual property. If confirmed, Ms. Lee would be the first woman and first Asian Pacific American to serve as Director of the office.] "I congratulate Michelle Lee on her nomination. During her tenure as Deputy… Continue Reading


10.15.14

Leahy, Sanders, Welch: $629,966 In Grants To Support Efficient And Renewable Energy In Vermont

(WEDNESDAY, Oct. 15, 2014) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) have announced $629,966 in grants to support efficient and renewable energy initiatives in the Green Mountain State. The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy as part of $5 million in funding to 13 states to advance innovative approaches for local clean energy development through the State Energy Program. The program aims to reduce energy bills for … Continue Reading


10.15.14

Leahy Announces more than $2.4 Million In Support Of Law Enforcement, Substance Abuse Prevention

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced Vermont law enforcement agencies and related justice programs received grants totaling more than $2.4 million from the U.S. Department of Justice. The grant awards were included in Fiscal Year 2014 spending and will support local and state efforts to reduce crime and tackle the state's substance abuse problems. Among the grant awards is funding provided through the Leahy-authored Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program. Leahy, chair of the Se… Continue Reading


10.10.14

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Senate Consideration of the USA FREEDOM Act

"This week, leading technology executives stated unequivocally that meaningful surveillance reform is needed to prevent further damage to the American economy, and a diverse group of civil libertarians also called for real oversight of domestic surveillance authorities. These calls for action are loud and clear and cannot be ignored. When the Senate returns next month, it must swiftly take up and pass the USA FREEDOM Act. There is no excuse for inaction, as the important reforms in this bipar… Continue Reading


10.09.14

Judiciary Committee Chairman Leahy On SCOTUS Decision Allowing N. Carolina To Implement Sweeping Voting Changes Weeks Before The Election --

[The Supreme Court voted late Wednesday to allow North Carolina to implement all of the provisions contained in its sweeping, omnibus voting law the State passed on the heels of the Supreme Court's 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder, which effectively eliminated preclearance requirements for changes in voting laws within covered jurisdictions. A Fourth Circuit panel last week decided that two of the law's provisions - the prohibition on counting any out-of-precinct ballots and the elimina… Continue Reading


10.09.14

Leahy, Wicker, Rubio Lead Bipartisan Call Urging President To Speak Out On Hong Kong

U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Senate President Pro Tempore, Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Senate Republican Deputy Whip, and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., today led a bipartisan group of 21 Senators in calling on President Obama to speak out publicly in support of the people of Hong Kong and their right to full democracy. In their letter to the President, the Senators urge the Administration to "take demonstrable, meaningful steps to help ensure that Beijing maintains its commitments to the people of Hon… Continue Reading


10.09.14

Leahy Announces More than $5M to Support Crime Victims in Vermont, Including $3.6 M to Boost Services for Domestic and Sexual Assault Survivors

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday announced that five Vermont organizations have been awarded more than $5 million in federal grants to support victims of crime in Vermont. The funding from the U.S. Department of Justice includes seven grants from the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) totaling $3.6 million. The grants will help strengthen services for victims of domestic and sexual violence, including programs in Vermont's most rural regions. Three grants from the Office for Victims… Continue Reading


10.08.14

Voter ID Laws Put Price on Voting and Hurt Turnout, GAO Finds

, Oct. 8 - State laws that make voters show IDs at polling places have put a price on ballot access and eroded turnout - especially among African Americans, young people and recently-registered voters - a non-partisan congressional watchdog concluded. The Government Accountability Office report also found scant evidence of voter fraud that the new laws that ostensibly are designed to discourage. The report was requested by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Richard Durbin (… Continue Reading


10.07.14

Leahy, Wicker Statement on Hong Kong’s Ongoing Pro-Democracy Demonstrations

U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Senate President Pro Tempore, and Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Senate Republican Deputy Whip, today issued the following joint statement regarding the ongoing pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong: "We condemn the violent attacks against peaceful demonstrators in Hong Kong. We are dismayed that Hong Kong authorities have not taken necessary steps to protect peaceful protesters from these cowardly attacks by individuals who seek to deny their right of peaceful … Continue Reading


10.06.14

Senator Patrick Leahy On SCOTUS Decision Not To Consider Pending Cases On Same-Sex Marriage

[The Supreme Court on Monday decided not to hear any of the five pending cases on same-sex marriage. The Court's decision effectively upholds the lower court decisions that struck down same-sex marriage bans in Indiana, Wisconsin, Utah, Virginia and Oklahoma. Couples in those states can now marry. Furthermore, several additional states are bound by these lower court rulings and same-sex couples in Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina will also be able to… Continue Reading


10.03.14

Leahy, Sanders, Welch: $278,631 Farm Bill Grant – A Third Larger Than Last Year -- Will Support VT Specialty Crops

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Friday announced a $278,631 federal grant under the new Farm Bill to support specialty crops in Vermont. The grant will support maple producers, organic specialty crop farmers and herb growers among others and is a 33 percent increase in investment in specialty crops in Vermont from the previous year. In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said: "This investment will leverage a wide ra… Continue Reading

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