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


Joint Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders And Congressman Peter Welch On The Air Force’s Announcement About F-35A Stationing At Burlington International Airport

[(MONDAY, April 4, 2016) -- The Secretary of the Air Force on Monday announced that the new F-35A Lightning II fighter will be stationed at Burlington in the Summer of 2019, several months earlier than expected. Vermont's congressional delegation - Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch - issued the following joint statement after the announcement.] "According to the Air Force, their decision to slightly advance the timetable for basing in Burlington was driv… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee On Senate Passage of S.1890, The Defend Trade Secrets Act

Today, the Senate is voting on legislation that will provide a valuable tool to protect against trade secret theft. This legislation is supported by businesses from diverse sectors of our economy, including companies large and small. In Vermont, trade secrets protect the specialized knowledge of woodworkers who have made heirloom products for generations, and cutting-edge start-ups that are shaping the future of plastics, software, and green technology. Trade secrets protect the recipes for Ve… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Supreme Court’s Decision In Evenwel v. Abbott

[In a line of cases beginning with Reynolds v. Sims in 1964, the Supreme Court established the "one person, one vote" principle, which provides that electoral districts need to have roughly equal populations so that no person's vote is worth more than another's. In Evenwel v. Abbott this term, the Court considered what metric should be used to count electoral district population consistent with "one person, one vote." Today, the Supreme Court unanimously decided 8-0 that every individual, ev… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch File Brief To DC Circuit Court Supporting Clean Power Plan

(FRIDAY, April 1, 2016) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Friday joined 205 other current and former members of Congress in filing an amicus brief supporting the Clean Power Plan (CPP), which would protect public health and create jobs by setting the first-ever carbon pollution standards for power plants, the nation's largest source of greenhouse gasses. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is conside… Continue Reading


Senator Patrick Leahy Responds To Prime Minister Netanyahu About The Worldwide Application Of The ‘Leahy Law’

"The Prime Minister of Israel knows - and it should go without saying - that the United States does not provide weapons or other aid to Hamas or any other terrorist group, and that no nation more strongly condemns and works to eradicate terrorism worldwide than does the United States. There are multiple laws prohibiting such aid to Hamas and other such groups, and one reason Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. military aid is to help defend against terrorist attacks. "The congressional let… Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders, Welch Announce Availability of $1.7 Million in Vermont Northern Border Grants

(WEDNESDAY, March 30, 2016) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) will begin accepting applications for the next round of grants to encourage economic development and job creation along the norther border of Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. The Commission has approximately $1.7 million in federal funding to award to projects in Franklin, Lamoille, Caledon… Continue Reading


Leahy In The Oklahoman: Merrick Garland Is The Right Pick For This Moment In History

WEDNESDAY, March 30, 2016) - The American people continue to call on Senate Republicans to do their jobs and give Supreme Court nominee Chief Judge Merrick Garland a prompt hearing and a vote. On Wednesday, Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) took to the pages of The Oklahoman to praise Garland as "a unifying choice, bringing together Democrats and Republicans." "In these highly charged moments, we must temper our partisan impulses and listen to each other, looking for a w… Continue Reading


Sanders, Welch, Leahy to NIH and HHS: Act Now on Drug Affordability

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), joined by nine House and Senate colleagues this week, are urging the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health to step in to lower the cost of a prostate cancer drug, Xtandi, developed with the help of taxpayer dollars, which costs four times more in the United States than in other major countries. "When Americans pay for research that results in a safe and effective drug, a… Continue Reading


Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) To The President’s Announcement Of Additional Steps To Address The Opioid And Heroin Addiction Crisis Tuesday, March 29, 2016

"Communities in Vermont and across the country are struggling with addiction to opioids, a public health crisis that now claims more than 80 lives each day. Vermont has pursued an innovative all-hands-on-deck approach, but all states struggle to marshal the needed resources to get ahead of addiction. That is why I have worked to secure additional federal support for Medication-Assisted Treatment and for state anti-heroin drug task forces. I'm gratified that Vermont is an early beneficiary of … Continue Reading


Leahy, Sanders And Welch Commend The Social Security Administration For New Steps To Treat Same-Sex Couples Fairly

(THURSDAY, March 24, 2016) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Thursday commended the Social Security Administration for addressing errors in the treatment of social security beneficiaries in same-sex marriages. In a letter led by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Representative Mark Tokano (D-Calif.) last year, the Vermont delegation and 118 of their colleagues urged Acting Commissioner of Social Security Carolyn W. Colvin … Continue Reading


Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The President’s Address To The Cuban People

[Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is part of the President's U.S. delegation in Cuba. Leahy is the ranking member of the State Department and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee and for a decade has worked behind the scenes to change the failed 50-year-old U.S. policy on Cuba.] "It was a powerful speech, and I was privileged to be in the hall where it was given. It received applause from both Cubans and U.S. citizens. "There was criticism of actions by the Cuban government and acknowled… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Terror Attacks In Brussels

[Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is in Havana with the President's delegation. Leahy, ranking member of the Senate's State Department and Foreign Operations appropriations panel, was briefed on the attacks by White House officials.] "This was a horrendous act. Our hearts and prayers are with the victims and their families. All Americans are united in compassion and solidarity with the people of Brussels. This sadness and revulsion extends to ordinary people we have encountered this morning on th… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On General Mills’ Announcement, As Start Of VT’s GMO Label Law Looms, That It Will Voluntarily Label Its Products For Their GMO Content

[Following are the comments of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a leader in derailing a Senate bill this week that would have nullified Vermont's GMO labeling law. Leahy is a leading member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and a former chairman of the panel. He joined this week with Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) in introducing legislation to institute a national GMO labeling standard.] "General Mills has joined Campbell Soup, another industry leader, in saying yes to disclosure. I applaud thei… Continue Reading


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

Mr. Chairman, you and I have served on the Judiciary Committee for a long time. We both have an appreciation for the difficult work of this Committee and the unique role it plays in our democracy. Some of the most challenging issues of the day come to this Committee. And we confront them head on. You and I have worked closely together to make government more transparent, to respond to the opioid epidemic, to promote American innovation and to improve our criminal justice system. We do not … Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Committee on the Judiciary Hearing on “Preventing America's Looming Fiscal Crisis: the Need for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution”

Today the Judiciary Committee meets to discuss a proposal that would amend the Constitution to add an unwise and unworkable balanced budget requirement. It is beyond ironic that Republican Senators are proposing to amend the U.S. Constitution at precisely the same time they are refusing to fulfill existing constitutional responsibilities. This morning President Obama carried out his constitutional duty and nominated Chief Judge Merrick Garland to be an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court. … Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Senate’s Procedural Vote Against The Bill To Nullify Vermont’s GE Labeling Law

"Today the Senate rejected a hasty and short-sighted effort to roll back Vermont's GE labeling law. This was a hard-fought victory for Vermont, on our state's right to honor Vermonters' right to know what's in the food they buy. Our defense of Vermont's law has been fought with skill and determination in the courts, under the leadership of Governor Shumlin and others, and in the Congress. "Consumers everywhere simply have the right to know. We are not asking manufacturers to change their pr… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland To The Supreme Court Of The United States

(Wednesday, March 16, 2016) - President Barack Obama announced Wednesday that he will nominate Chief Judge Merrick Garland to be an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States. Chief Judge Garland has served for nearly 19 years as a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, often referred to as the second highest court in the land, second only to the Supreme Court. The Senate confirmed him to that position in 1997 by a bipartisan 76-23 vote. Prior… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Accountability Within the Nigerian Military

Mr. President, nearly a year ago when Muhammadu Buhari became the first Nigerian to defeat a sitting president through the ballot box I greeted the news with cautious optimism. For the most part, his message was and remains one that encourages greater cooperation between the United States and Nigeria to defeat Boko Haram and chart a brighter course for Africa's most populous nation. Recent attacks by Boko Haram have served as a sobering reminder of the challenges Nigeria continues to face, an… Continue Reading


Leahy, Cornyn Bill Strengthening FOIA Passes Senate Unanimously

U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ranking Member on the Judiciary Committee, released the following statements after the Senate passed the FOIA Improvement Act of 2015 to reform the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): "An open and transparent government is paramount to a healthy democracy, and today's vote sends a clear message that the American people have a fundamental right to know what their government is doing," said Sen. Cornyn. "This legislation will update and st… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Life of Berta Caceres

Mr. President, the woman in the photograph next to me is Berta Caceres, an indigenous Honduran environmental activist who was murdered in her home on March 3rd. Ms. Caceres was internationally admired, and in the 12 days since her death, and since my remarks on the morning after and on the day of her funeral on March 5th, there has been an outpouring of grief, outrage, remembrances, denunciations, and declarations from people in Honduras and around the world. Among the appalling facts that fe… Continue Reading

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