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Press Releases

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

04.14.15

After Months of Delay, Senate Republicans Finally Allow For a Vote on First Judicial Nominee of the 114th Congress

(Monday, April 13, 2015) - The Senate on Monday unanimously approved the confirmation of a long-pending judicial nominee to fill an emergency vacancy in Texas, marking the first time the Republican majority has allowed a vote on a judicial nominee in the 114th Congress. Judge Alfred Bennett is the first Federal judge confirmed by the Senate this year, by an overwhelming vote of 95-0. Despite having the support of both Texas Senators and receiving unanimous support from the Judiciary Committee,… Continue Reading


04.09.15

Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) To The State Department’s Recommendation To Remove Cuba From 'State Sponsors Of Terrorism' List

"This would be another long-overdue and courageous step toward ending a failed policy and toward normalizing relations with Cuba. We have many differences with the Cuban government. But it makes no sense, and it devalues the list of state sponsors of international terrorism, to include a country that hundreds of thousands of Americans visit annually, whose government our friends and allies engage with regularly to their benefit, and that poses no security threat to the United States." # # # #… Continue Reading


04.07.15

Leahy, Sanders, Welch Announce Availability of $4.5 Million in Northern Border Grants

(TUESDAY, April 07, 2014) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Tuesday announced the Northern Border Regional Commission (NRBC) will begin accepting applications for the next round of grants to encourage economic development and job creation along the Northeast border. The Commission has approximately $4.5 million in federal funding to award to projects in five northern counties in Vermont, and certain counties in New Hampshire a… Continue Reading


04.02.15

Leahy: VT Nets $93,000 To Help SNAP Participants Buy VT Produce

(THURSDAY, April 2, 2015) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced a $93,000 grant to help participants of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) buy more local produce in Vermont. The grant is part of $31.5 million in Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grants announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The SNAP program in Vermont is called 3SquaresVT. This comes just days after Leahy announced a $9 million grant from the USDA Food & Nutrition … Continue Reading


04.01.15

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Listing Of The Northern Long-Eared Bat As A Threatened Species

I have closely followed and done what I can to address the outbreak of White Nose Syndrome (WNS) since its early discovery in bat hibernacula in Vermont and New York. All of us as Vermonters are deeply affected by the devastating toll this disease has taken on bat populations, including the Northern Long-Eared bat (NLEB). Bats are integral elements of our forest ecosystems and also generate billions of dollars of value each year for American agriculture. That is why I have long worked for ade… Continue Reading


03.27.15

Leahy Joins Marshfield Resident Diana Levine And Other Patient Advocates In Urging FDA To Protect Consumers Of Generic Drugs

(FRIDAY, March 27, 2015) - Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday led a coalition of 28 lawmakers in a letter urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to support consumers by adopting meaningful safety rules for labeling on generic drugs. The letter comes as Marshfield, Vt., resident Diana Levine and other patient advocates testified at a day-long FDA hearing in Silver Spring, Maryland, in support of a proposed FDA rule that would ensure that generic ma… Continue Reading


03.26.15

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Judicial Confirmations

We are now three months into the new Congress with Republicans in the majority. The Republican reign thus far has been defined by an attempt to shut down the Department of Homeland Security; a refusal to even allow a floor vote on an eminently qualified nominee for Attorney General; and the decision to inject a partisan abortion fight in what is otherwise an uncontroversial bill to build on our efforts to combat human trafficking. On top of all of this, the Senate Republican Leadership has bee… Continue Reading


03.26.15

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Nomination of Loretta Lynch to Serve as Attorney General of the United States

One great responsibility that distinguishes the United States Senate is our constitutional role of advice and consent. We have a solemn duty to consider nominees for positions of great importance to the Nation, some of which are lifetime appointments. Every day that the nomination of Loretta Lynch to be the next Attorney General awaits a floor vote is another day the Senate fails to function as it should. The Attorney General is our Nation's top law enforcement official. The position is crit… Continue Reading


03.26.15

Senate Judiciary Committee Overwhelmingly Approves Leahy-Authored Bill To Reauthorize Lifesaving Bulletproof Vest Grant Program

(THURSDAY, March 26, 2015) - The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday overwhelmingly approved legislation authored by Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to reauthorize the lifesaving Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program, a federal grant program whose charter has expired and needs to be renewed. Leahy, who coauthored the original law establishing the matching grant program, hailed the Committee's action Thursday and called for the Senate to quickly take up and pass the measure. "I have… Continue Reading


03.26.15

Remarks of Senator Patrick Leahy “Leahy Law” Workshop On Accountability And Prevention United States Institute of Peace

Thank you Nancy and Tom, and thanks to the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Department of State for sponsoring this discussion. Twenty-one years ago when I wrote what has since become known as the Leahy Law, I don't think anyone expected that it would attract so much attention - not just in this country but around the world. Back then, as many of you know, there were provisions in the Foreign Assistance Act that cut off aid to countries when there was a "consistent pattern of gross violation… Continue Reading


03.24.15

Leahy And Grassley Step Up Pressure On Justice Department For Details On Use of Cell Phone Tracking Technology

(TUESDAY, March 24, 2015) - Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) are stepping up their push for answers from top Obama administration officials on the use of cell-site simulators, which can sweep up the cell phone signals of innocent Americans without their knowledge. Their new letter is a continuation of their work together examining privacy implications and concerns raised by law enforcement agencies' use of new technologies. Grassley chairs the Senate Judiciary Committ… Continue Reading


03.24.15

Judiciary Committee THIS WEEK To Start Consideration Of Leahy Bill To Reauthorize Lifesaving Bulletproof Vest Grant Program

(TUESDAY, March 24, 2015) - The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday will take the first step to advance Senator Patrick Leahy's (D-Vt.) legislation to reauthorize the lifesaving Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program, which has helped Vermont law enforcement officers purchase more than 4000 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… Continue Reading


03.24.15

Jericho Elementary School

On March 24, 2015, Senator Leahy held an online chat with Jericho Elementary School's 4th grade. He was impressed by the youngsters' interest in how a bill becomes a law and about his process for identifying key priorities for Vermonters. He especially enjoyed talking to them about his inspiration to become a Senator and on tactics for remaining hopeful even during distressful political times.… Continue Reading


03.23.15

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Nomination of Loretta Lynch to Serve as Attorney General of the United States

Loretta Lynch, the nominee to be our next Attorney General, has now been awaiting a vote on the Senate floor for 25 days. I have spoken many times about her historic nomination; her inspiring family; and her passion for the highest callings of public service. Last week, a distinguished group of bipartisan law enforcement officials came together to call for the confirmation of Loretta Lynch. These individuals have dedicated the better part of their careers to protecting the American people, a… Continue Reading


03.20.15

Leahy: Vermont Nets $9 M For Innovative Pilot Program Pairing SNAP With Jobs Training

(FRIDAY, March 20, 2015) -- Vermont will be among the first states in the country to pilot a program designed to help Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-eligible (3SquaresVT) participants find new jobs and develop new skills for the workforce, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Friday. The State of Vermont community partners across Vermont are being awarded $9 million in competitive federal grants to fund the pilot program and evaluate the results, so the best approaches can later b… Continue Reading


03.19.15

Feinstein, Leahy Introduce Bill To Ensure Consumers Are Informed About BPA In Food Packaging

C Feinstein, Leahy Introduce Bill To Ensure Consumers Are Informed About BPA In Food Packaging Washington-Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today introduced the BPA in Food Packaging Right to Know Act to ensure consumers know whether the chemical Bisphenol-A is used in food packaging. The bill would require food packaged with BPA to have a label that reads as follows: "This food packaging contains BPA, an endocrine-disrupting… Continue Reading


03.19.15

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Pending Trafficking Legislation

Earlier today, Senator Cornyn suggested that we make the funds collected from traffickers "subject" to the appropriations process to get around this impasse, but that does not solve the problem. The pending legislation came out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, an authorizing committee that does not appropriate funds. We should be telling appropriators that we believe services to trafficking victims are important by authorizing funds. As the most senior member of that Appropriations Committee … Continue Reading


03.19.15

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Consideration of the Committee Reported Substitute to S. 178

An important debate occurred yesterday on the Senate floor between two of the cosponsors of the bill we are considering. It was what many would call a "C-SPAN Moment," a focused and memorable discussion of a significant issue now before the Senate. It was an honest discussion about what is at stake in the debate we are having right now. The core question is how we are going to support the survivors of what we all agree is a heinous and deplorable crime. Late yesterday, Senator Feinstein arti… Continue Reading


03.19.15

Leahy: The Senate Should Not Put Limits On What Health Services Trafficking Victims Can Seek

(Thursday, March 19, 2015) - Pending legislation in the Senate to combat human trafficking would impose limitations on the health services available to trafficking survivors, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) underscored Thursday. In a floor statement, he urged Senate Republicans to drop this restriction and work across the aisle to pass legislation to combat the scourge of human trafficking. "These are children who have been bought and sold like animals. They h… Continue Reading


03.19.15

Bellows Free Academy Middle School

On March 19, 2015, Senator Leahy held an online chat with the 8th graders of Bellows Free Academy Middle School. He was impressed by the classroom's engagement on the Constitution and its effect on building legislation in the U.S. Senate. He also enjoyed discussing how his experience as Vermont's State Attorney has helped him as a Senator serving Vermonters.… Continue Reading

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