Press Room

Press Releases

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

05.07.15

Leahy Hosts The Tenth Annual ‘Taste Of Vermont’

(FRIDAY, May 8, 2015) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday night hosted the 10 annual "Taste of Vermont" on Capitol Hill, organized by the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Vermont Convention Bureau and the Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation. This year's exhibition drew 64 Vermont vendors to the Nation's Capital who shared their quality products with hundreds of invited guests. In the ten years since Leahy launched the exhibition of Vermont products, the annual even… Continue Reading


05.07.15

Leahy, Lee REAX On Circuit Court Ruling On NSA’s Phone Surveillance Program

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) On Circuit Court Ruling On The NSA's Telephone Surveillance Program May 7, 2015 [Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) issued the following comment Thursday after a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals found that the National Security Agency's (NSA) bulk collection of Americans' phone records goes beyond what is authorized under Section 215 … Continue Reading


05.07.15

Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing On Bipartisan PATENT Act By Senators Grassley And Leahy

Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing On Bipartisan PATENT Act By Senators Grassley And Leahy WASHINGTON (THURSDAY, May 7, 2015)-The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing this morning on the recently introduced PATENT Act (S. 1137), a bipartisan bill to protect businesses and innovators who are being improperly targeted by patent trolls. As chairman of the Judiciary Committee last Congress, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) led bipartisan negotiations to craft a comprehensive and balan… Continue Reading


05.06.15

Senate Unanimously Passes Leahy Bill To Renew Lifesaving Bulletproof Vest Grant Program

(WEDNESDAY, May 6, 2015) - The Senate on late Wednesday unanimously approved Senator Patrick Leahy's (D-Vt.) legislation to reauthorize the lifesaving Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program, which has helped Vermont law enforcement officers purchase nearly 4400 bulletproof vests. Leahy's bill would extend for five years the matching grant program that helps members of law enforcement purchase lifesaving bulletproof vests. The program has helped 13,000 state and local law enforcement agenci… Continue Reading


05.06.15

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Death Of Former House Speaker Jim Wright

Jim Wright mastered the legislative process to accomplish good and significant things that have made life better for generations of Americans. For instance, his legacy includes the substantial infrastructure investments made possible by the 'pay as you go' interstate highway system funding mechanism that he forged through legislative skill, a clear vision for the future, and sheer determination. That and other achievements helped to transform the nation and our economy. His contributions also… Continue Reading


05.06.15

Opening Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy -- SJC Hearing On Freedom Of Information Act

(Wednesday, May 6, 2015) - The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing entitled, "Ensuring an Informed Citizenry: Examining the Administration's Efforts to Improve Open Government." Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has long worked to improve government openness and transparency, and was inducted into the FOIA Hall of Fame in 1996 for his work. This year, Leahy again partnered with Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) to coauthor the bipartisan FOIA Improvement Act, which the Judiciary Com… Continue Reading


05.06.15

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Senate Passage of the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program Reauthorization Act of 2015

This week, the Senate is poised to pass the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program Reauthorization Act of 2015. The law enforcement community is unified in its support of this program because it quite simply saves lives. To date, this program has provided more than 13,000 state and local law enforcement agencies with nearly 1.2 million bulletproof vests, including nearly 4,400 to officers in Vermont. Senator Graham and I have been working to address any and all concerns that certain Repu… Continue Reading


05.05.15

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Adoption of The Budget Conference Report

"A budget is about setting priorities, and the Republican budget passed today places the rich over the poor, the powerful over the more vulnerable, and corporations over hardworking families. The real responsibility will lie when Congress exercises its power of the purse to fund programs to which Republicans have proposed devastatingly drastic cuts. I will be fighting to ensure those programs the new Senate Majority is intent on attacking are protected. Vermonters deserve a government that is … Continue Reading


05.05.15

In Letter to the President, Leahy, Feinstein & Durbin Reiterate Call To Move Detainees Out Of Guantanamo Bay

(Tuesday, May 5, 2015) -With just 20 months left in President Obama's time in office, Democratic Senators Patrick Leahy (Vt.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), and Dick Durbin (Ill.) are urging him to take further steps to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. "Although onerous restrictions imposed by Congress have hindered efforts to close the detention facility, we urge you to immediately take meaningful action in order to end this unfortunate chapter in our nation's history before … Continue Reading


05.05.15

Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) To The President’s Announcement Of His Intention To Nominate Gen. Joseph Dunford To Be The Next Chairman Of The Joint Chiefs Of Staff

"The President already is being credited with making a wise choice. General Dunford is a skilled leader, admired by the men and women who served under him, and known for his respect and care for the civilians caught in the middle of conflict. I have spoken with General Dunford about pressing security issues, about meeting the needs of those who serve, and about the sacrifices of families who support our men and women in uniform. We have also talked about Vermont and our alma mater, St. Michae… Continue Reading


05.05.15

St. Johnsbury Academy

On May 5, 2015, Senator Leahy held an online chat with St. Johnsbury Academy's AP Government and Microeconomics classes. He was impressed by the students' questions regarding his role on the Judiciary Committee, as well as their discussion on the impact of the filibuster and cloture procedures in the U.S. Senate. Senator Leahy especially enjoyed hearing the students' aspirations to become leaders in Congress.… Continue Reading


04.30.15

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Raising The Federal Minimum Wage

Vermont is among only 22 States in the Nation with a minimum wage higher than that of the federal minimum wage. The Green Mountain State has long recognized the importance of paying workers a fair and livable wage, and it is past time for Congress to catch up with the daily struggles of working American families. That is why I today I am proud to join as a cosponsor of Senator Murray's Raise the Wage Act, to increase the federal minimum wage to $12 by 2020. The Raise the Wage Act will help … Continue Reading


04.30.15

Leahy, Coons, Ernst bill would strengthen State Partnership Program

Today, U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) introduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorize and strengthen the National Guard State Partnership Program (SPP). The State Partnership Program Enhancement Act of 2015, which has a corresponding bill in the House of Representatives, will permanently codify the SPP into law, increase transparency and oversight, and address deficits in funding, coordination, and reporting. "This bill will improve the Progr… Continue Reading


04.30.15

Leahy Leads Introduction Of Strong Legislation To Protect Consumer Information And Prevent Data Breaches

(Thursday, April 30, 2015) -Vermonters and all American consumers are now facing constant threats of their personal information being hacked. At the same time that cyber attacks and data breaches are increasing in number and scope, so too is the amount of information consumers share with the corporations who are the target of these breaches. In order to protect consumers and prompt corporations to do more to protect their customers, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt… Continue Reading


04.30.15

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the House Judiciary Committee’s Approval of the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015

[Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Thursday after the House Judiciary Committee approved the bipartisan, bicameral USA FREEDOM Act to end the NSA's dragnet surveillance of Americans' phone records. Leahy is the lead Democratic coauthor of the legislation in the Senate, which he introduced with Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) on Tuesday.] "I applaud the House Judiciary Committee for taking an historic step today to protect Americans' … Continue Reading


04.30.15

Stowe Student Council

On April 29, 2015, Senator Leahy held an online chat with the Stowe Elementary Student Council fourth and fifth graders for his eleventh year. He is always impressed by Stowe's students, and especially enjoyed discussing their observations regarding the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone. He was also impressed by their questions about human rights and the issue of the Washington Redskins changing their name.… Continue Reading


04.29.15

Leahy Introduces Bipartisan Bill To Protect VT Businesses From Patent Abuse

(WEDNESDAY, April 29, 2015) -- Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) joined with a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to introduce legislation to protect Vermont businesses and innovators who too often become the victims of so-called "patent trolls." The introduction comes after 18 months of negotiations led by Leahy and other Senate members to craft a comprehensive bill that deters abusive conduct while preserving the strength of America's patent system. Patent t… Continue Reading


04.29.15

25 Years Later, Forest Conservation Programs Still Help Keep Our Working Forests Thriving And Working

Twenty-five years ago, the Senate's 1990 Leahy-Lugar Farm Bill authorized the creation of three pivotal forestry programs that today are a resounding success. The Forest Legacy, Forest Stewardship and Urban and Cooperative Forestry Programs help private and state forest landowners keep their forests healthy. That in turn supports tens of thousands of jobs, benefiting rural and urban communities across the nation. This week we joined in a celebration in the Capitol Visitors Center marking this… Continue Reading


04.29.15

At-A-Glance Summary Of Forest Legacy, Forest Stewardship And Urban And Community Forestry Program Activities In Vermont

Vermont Highlights At-A-Glance Summary Of Forest Legacy, Forest Stewardship And Urban And Community Forestry Program Activities In Vermont This year marks the 25th anniversary of key community forest conservation programs, enacted in the 1990 Farm Bill through the efforts of then-Chairman Patrick Leahy of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. Over the past 25 years the State and Private Forest Cooperative Forestry Programs have helped Vermont accomplish a wide range of … Continue Reading


04.28.15

Bipartisan Coalition Led By Senators Lee and Leahy Introduce Legislation To Ban Bulk Collection Under Section 215

(Tuesday, April 28, 2015) -- Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Tuesday introduced legislation to restore Americans' eroded privacy rights by ending the government's dragnet collection of phone records under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act. An identical bill was introduced in the House on Tuesday, and lawmakers from across the political spectrum called on Congressional leaders to take up the measure ahead of a key deadline for exp… Continue Reading

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