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


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

Today, we will vote on the nomination of Travis McDonough to be a Federal district judge in the Eastern District of Tennessee. He was nominated over a year ago, and his nomination was voted out of the Judiciary Committee by unanimous voice vote nearly five months ago. Despite having the support of his home state Republican Senators, Mr. McDonough's nomination has nevertheless been held up by Republican leadership for no good reason. I will further note that while Mr. McDonough's vote is long … Continue Reading


Days Before Program Expires, Leahy & Grassley Urge Support For Legislation To Reform & Extend Job-Creating Foreign Investment Program

(Friday, December 4, 2015) - The job-creating immigrant investor visa program, known as the EB-5 Regional Center program, is set to expire in just one week if Congress does not move to reauthorize it. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) are urging Congressional leaders to support a bipartisan, bicameral proposal that would provide much-needed reforms to the program and reauthorize it for four years. "The EB-5 program is not wo… Continue Reading


In Late-Night Vote, Senate Passes Five-Year Transportation Funding Package

(FRIDAY, Dec. 4, 2015) - On the eve of an expiration deadline, the Senate Thursday night passed legislation to fund America's transportation and highway programs, bringing stability to help Vermont plan critical infrastructure projects for the next five years. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) voted for The Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), which authorizes $305 billion in federal surface transportation funding over the next five years. The legislation is now on the President… Continue Reading


Welch, Leahy, Sanders Challenge FDA on New FDA Cheese Standard

Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) are leading a bicameral, bipartisan coalition in Congress challenging a new U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standard that could ban many age-old recipes for raw milk cheese and severely harm artisan cheese producers in Vermont. In a December 3rd letter sent to FDA Deputy Commissioner Michael Taylor, the lawmakers express their concerns about FDA's non-toxigenic E. coli standard for raw milk cheeses, and … Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Supporting The Highway Trust Fund

Vermonters take great pride in our historic downtowns and small communities. In our cities and towns, we have a culture of getting things done - and finding a way to accomplish our shared goals. That is why, like many Vermonters, I have been frustrated with the back-to-back short term patches to keep our highway trust fund afloat. I have consistently advocated for a long-term solution that will give States the ability to move forward with building and repairing roads, bridges, and byways; to pro… Continue Reading


Leahy Urges Senate To Protect Vermont Businesses From Trade Secret Theft

(WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2, 2015) - The Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday held a hearing on the impact of trade secret theft on American businesses. At the hearing, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) noted that Vermont businesses rely on trade secrets to protect their intellectual property and emphasized the importance of those protections. "In Vermont, trade secrets protect the specialized knowledge of woodworkers and artisans who have been crafting heirloom products for generations. They protect the … Continue Reading


Leahy Urges Action As COLA Deadline Approaches For Seniors, Veterans

(TUESDAY, Dec. 01, 2015) -- With one month to go until seniors and veterans face a rare zero Cost-Of-Living Adjustment (COLA), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and other senators Tuesday urged action on the Senate Floor to pass the SAVE Benefits Act. Cosponsored by Leahy, the bill would boost Social Security and veterans benefits by ending tax subsidies for multi-million dollar corporate bonuses. If Congress does not act, seniors and veterans will face a zero COLA on January 1st. The Seniors and V… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Recognizing Past Crimes Against Humanity in Indonesia

Mr. President, the realignment toward Asia has focused our attention on partnerships with countries in the region. We share political, economic, security, and humanitarian interests, creating complex and multi-dimensional relationships. But our commitment to the protection and promotion of human rights must continue to be a foundation for our relations with these countries, as with others around the world. We must continue to advocate for open societies where dialogue and dissent are encourag… Continue Reading


With Gratitude In Our Hearts, Let’s Resolve To End Hunger

This week we gather with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving and rekindle some of the most important relationships in our lives. All of us in this great and good land have things to be thankful for. Some of us will give special thanks for good health or good fortune over the past year. We are always grateful when we can spend time with our loved ones. As we express thanks for the bounty that we enjoy, it can be easy to take for granted the comfortable shelter and the full tables th… Continue Reading


Our Enemy Is ISIS, Not Refugees Fleeing ISIS

Last Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to make it almost impossible for people from Syria and Iraq, fleeing the brutality of ISIS and Bashar al-Assad, to find refuge in the United States. It is worth reflecting on what this means for our country. Just a few weeks ago the world came together, stunned and heartbroken over the image of a three-year-old Syrian child's lifeless body washed up on a Turkish beach. His tragic death focused our attention on the desperate plight of so m… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Need To Reform the EB-5 Regional Center Program

I have championed the EB-5 Regional Center program for many years. I have done so because I have seen its ability to generate investment and create jobs in distressed communities. But the program is facing some pressing challenges. Reports of rampant fraud and abuse raise serious concerns and threaten to cripple the program's integrity. The incentives Congress established to invest in high unemployment and rural communities are also routinely abused, undermining a core objective of the program-t… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Anniversary Of Executive Action On Immigration

A year ago today, in a nationwide address, President Obama announced a series of measures to improve our broken immigration system. He outlined efforts to focus scarce resources on identifying and deporting those people who pose a danger to our communities, to modernize our legal immigration system, and to provide temporary relief from the threat of deportation for hardworking, law-abiding members of our communities. For many, the President's announcement offered, at last, a hope for stability… Continue Reading


Leahy Continues Leading Role In Bipartisan Push To Reauthorize And Fund The Nation’s Premier Conservation Fund

(THURSDAY, Nov. 19, 2015) - Ratcheting up a bipartisan effort to reauthorize a longstanding conservation program, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) this week joined a coalition of 14 senators calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Harry Reid to move to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), and provide full mandatory funding for the program. Leahy also led a separate bipartisan letter to the chair and ranking member of the Senate Appropri… Continue Reading


Senate Floor Remarks Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) As He And Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) Object To The Sudden Bid By Senator Cruz To Bring His Anti-Refugee Bill To An Immediate Senate Vote

[Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) on Thursday spoke on the Senate Floor to object to a bid by Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to force an immediate vote on his anti-refugee bill, introduced an hour earlier. Leahy for decades has been a leader in honoring America's commitment to help refugees seeking safety from atrocities abroad and is the coauthor of the bipartisan legislation to respond to the refugee crisis - the Middle East Refugee Emergency Supplemental Appropria… Continue Reading


Senator Leahy Invites VT Family To Testify At Hearing On International Adoption

(Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015) - Christine Hutchins and her family from Cambridge, Vt., Wednesday came to the Senate Judiciary Committee to share their story of adopting their son James from Sierra Leone. Hutchins was invited to testify by the committee Ranking Member Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) at the hearing, just days before National Adoption Day. Leahy said: "The Hutchins' journey to parenthood is one of courage and perseverance. They represent many other Vermont families who have simila… Continue Reading


Chamberlin School, South Burlington, VT

On November 18, 2015, Senator Leahy hosted an online chat with the Chamberlin School of South Burlington. The Senator was impressed with the engagement of the fifth grade classrooms, and enjoyed their rendition of their school song. The Senator also enjoyed answering their questions on his long term projects in the Senate, like his work on the USDA Farm to School grant program.… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On the Need to Support Refugees Fleeing Violence

[Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Wednesday on the need to support Syrian refugees. Leahy, who is also the Ranking Member of the State Department's budget committee - the State Department and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee - has long led efforts to support assistance for refugees. He is the coauthor of the bipartisan Graham-Leahy Middle East Refugee Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act to respond to the refugee cr… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, Hearing on “National Adoption Month: Stories of Success and Meeting the Challenges of International Adoptions”

Next week, millions of families in this country will gather around a table to give thanks for the many blessings they have received. For proud parents and grandparents, this of course includes their children and grandchildren. It is fitting that this month we also recognize National Adoption Month, which honors the adoptive families who selflessly open their hearts and homes to children from the United States and around the world who are in need of a safe and loving family. Today we raise … Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), In Support of the Administration’s Clean Power Plan

(Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015) - The Senate Tuesday passed two resolutions disapproving the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, an historic initiative led by the administration to combat the effects of climate change and benefit public health by reducing carbon emissions and encouraging a cleaner energy future. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has long warned that the threat of climate change is now at our doorstep and called the resolutions an attempt to roll back one of the most meanin… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Speaker Shap Smith

I spoke with Speaker Smith today and conveyed the heartfelt hopes, wishes and prayers that Marcelle and I have for him, Melissa and their family. Throughout his career in public service, Shap has worked to keep his priorities in order, striving to do the right things, for the right reasons. That has been a mark of his character, and a reason for the deep respect he has earned across our state. In this difficult decision, he has done that again.… Continue Reading

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