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Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Shaheen’s Emergency Supplemental Amendment

The American people sent all of us here to solve problems. To strengthen and support our Nation and its people, and to help make ours a more perfect union. They expect us to govern responsibly, and to work together to improve our communities. This week we are considering the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, or CARA. Few problems in our country have had as devastating an impact on American families as opioid addiction. From Vermont, to Kentucky, to Ohio, communities across the count… Continue Reading


Leahy Calls For Open Debate In Judiciary Committee On SCOTUS

(THURSDAY, March 3, 2016) - The Senate Judiciary Committee has not had a business meeting since the untimely death of Justice Scalia. Instead, Committee Republicans have canceled regularly scheduled markups and instead met behind closed doors to discuss the Supreme Court vacancy. In a floor statement, Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) called for a transparent debate with all Judiciary Committee members present to discuss filling the Supreme Court vacancy. "The American people deserve to he… Continue Reading


Merkley, Leahy, Tester, Feinstein Introduce GMO Food Labeling Legislation

(WEDNESDAY, March 2, 2016) -- Oregon's Senator Jeff Merkley and Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) Wednesday introduced legislation that would ensure that consumers can find GMO ingredient labeling on food packaging while ensuring that food producers are not subject to confusing or conflicting labeling requirements in different locations. The senators' legislation presents an alternative to a Senate Agriculture Committee bill that would hide ingredient… Continue Reading


Leahy Introduces Bipartisan Bill To Facilitate U.S. Preclearance Operations In Canada, Paving The Way For Expedited Air, Rail, Marine And Overland Travel

(TUESDAY, March 1, 2016) - Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy on Tuesday led a bipartisan coalition of Senate and House legislators in introducing long-awaited legislation to facilitate travel and commerce between the United States and Canada, the largest U.S. trading partner. The Promoting Travel, Commerce, and National Security Act paves the way for expansion of preclearance facilities, operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, at land, rail, marine and air ports of departure in Canada. The… Continue Reading


Opening Remarks Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Senate Agriculture Committee Business Meeting To Consider Draft GE Labeling Preemption Bill

It comes as no surprise, I am sure, that I will not support this bill. This legislation undermines the public's right to know and preempts mandatory labels in states, replacing them with a paltry voluntary standard that already exists today under guidance from the FDA. Not only would this legislation preempt Vermont's Act 120 GE disclosure requirement, but it would block other state laws like Alaska's requirement to label all products containing genetically engineered fish and shell fish, and … Continue Reading


Leahy: Senate Must Direct More Resources To Combat Opioid & Heroin Addiction

(MONDAY, Feb. 29, 2016) - The Senate is poised this week to consider the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), a bipartisan bill to promote a community-based response to addiction to heroin and other opioids. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a leading supporter of the bill who has long championed efforts to treat addiction, said the Senate must embrace an approach that includes more resources and a greater focus on preventive methods. "Addiction is a disease. And our tools for combat… Continue Reading


Leahy And Sanders Oppose Bill, Set For Senate Markup Tuesday, That Would Block Vermont’s GE Labeling Law

(MONDAY, Feb. 29, 2016) - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Monday issued the following joint statement ahead of the Senate Agriculture Committee's Tuesday markup of legislation introduced by Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) that would block Vermont and other states from requiring labels on foods containing genetically engineered (GE) ingredients or seeds that are genetically engineered. Leahy is a leader and former chairman of the Agriculture Commi… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Justice Department’s Expanded Review of Forensic Evidence

[The Department of Justice announced on Wednesday that it is expanding its review of the FBI's flawed hair-analysis unit to other forensic disciplines. Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a former prosecutor, has pressed the Department to examine and update their forensic evidence standards in all disciplines. He has also led oversight efforts to push the FBI and DOJ to review all cases where errors by the hair analysis unit may have been made and promptly notify i… Continue Reading


Senator Patrick Leahy, Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The SCOTUS Vacancy And Continuing Efforts To De-Legitimize President Obama’s Authority

"Let's be blunt: Some of the pressure on the Senate to ignore its duty to fairly consider a nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy comes from the unending campaign outside the Senate to de-legitimize this President's authority. "Even before President Obama took office, and ever since then, there has been an unrelenting and cynical campaign by some hyper-partisans to de-legitimize this president's authority. There were the birthers, and there have been and still are spurious slurs of all kin… Continue Reading


A Bad Effort in Congress to Thwart States on Food Labels

The Senate could soon join the House to try to make it harder for consumers to know what is in their food by prohibiting state governments from requiring the labeling of genetically modified foods. This is a bad idea that lawmakers and the Obama administration should oppose. In July, Vermont will become the first state to require the labeling of genetically modified food. Many food companies and farm groups say such laws are problematic because they could dissuade consumers from buying foods th… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Introduction of the Justice For All Reauthorization Act of 2016

Today, I am proud to introduce the Justice for All Reauthorization Act of 2016 with Senator Cornyn. The Justice for All Act, originally enacted in 2004, was an unprecedented bipartisan piece of criminal justice legislation. It has improved many aspects of our criminal justice system, and this reauthorization includes critical updates to ensure public confidence in the integrity of the American justice system. The bill builds on the work I began in 2000, when I introduced the Innocence Protect… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Nomination of Carla Hayden to be the Librarian of Congress

[President Obama on Wednesday announced his intent to nominate Dr. Carla Hayden to be the next Librarian of Congress. Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is a member of the congressional joint committee which has oversight of the Library of Congress.] "I welcome Dr. Hayden's nomination to be our nation's next Librarian of Congress. Her nomination comes at an exciting time, as new technologies make it easier for the Library to share its diverse resources and exhibit… Continue Reading


SJC Dems: Committee Must Allow Public Hearings For SCOTUS Nominee

(Tuesday, February 23, 2016) - Senate Judiciary Committee Democratic members on Tuesday called on Republicans to drop their wholesale obstruction of a Supreme Court nominee and allow the Senate to fulfill its constitutional duty of advice and consent. In a letter to Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and all Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, Committee Democrats led by Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) made clear that they do not support shutting down the process of filling a vacancy on t… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Senate Agriculture Committee’s Pending Markup On Thursday Of GE Labeling Legislation

[On Thursday, the Senate Agriculture Committee will consider legislation to preempt Vermont's state law, Act 120, regarding GE labeling of food, as well as Vermont's nearly 12-year-old law requiring the labeling of GE seeds. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is a leading member and former chair of the Agriculture Committee.] "I cannot - I will not - support the bill slated to be considered Thursday, that undermines the public's right to know. I continue to oppose any bill that takes away the righ… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Plan to Close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility

"The indefinite detention without trial of detainees at Guantanamo Bay contradicts our most basic principles of justice, degrades our international standing, and harms our national security. Just the existence of this facility serves as a recruitment tool for terrorists, and the facility costs American taxpayers more than $4 million per detainee. "In recent months the President has made progress toward closing the Guantanamo detention facility. Only 91 detainees remain, and top national secur… Continue Reading


Remarks of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senate National Guard Caucus Breakfast

Thank you, General Grass, for those words, and thanks for joining us today. Thank you also to Chief Master Sergeant Brush for being here and keeping the men and women of the National Guard at the forefront of our minds. I also am grateful to Acting Secretary of the Army Patrick Murphy for being here; he is also the first Iraq veteran to have served in Congress. And thank you to all of you for taking time out of your busy schedules to show your support for the National Guard. This year, like eve… Continue Reading


Leahy: Senate Must Do Its Job, Uphold Constitution and Consider SCOTUS Nominee

(Tuesday, February 23, 2016) - The Senate must fulfill its constitutional duty this year to fill a Supreme Court vacancy so that the court can fully function and serve as the final arbiter of law, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said Tuesday. In an address on the Senate floor, Leahy noted that during his 36 years on the Judiciary Committee, the panel has never refused to give a Supreme Court nominee a hearing and has never refused to send the nominee to the full … Continue Reading


Leahy: Unaccompanied Children Fleeing Violence Deserve Fair, Humane Treatment

(Tuesday, February 23, 2016) - Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) challenged administration officials Tuesday to drop their "deterrence" approach to the handling the influx of women and children from Central America entering the United States, and instead treat the issue as the humanitarian crisis that it is. "As Pope Francis said last week, this is a 'humanitarian crisis' and he urged us to open our eyes and our hearts to those suffering violence and show them merc… Continue Reading


Vermont Climate Economy Summit: Ideas to Action Remarks Senator Patrick Leahy

Thank you Judge Sessions for that kind introduction. You are an extraordinary public servant, and we're grateful to have your leadership on the Vermont Climate Change Economy Council. We come together today at a turning point in time. Over the next two decades, the economy of Vermont, the United States and every country on Earth will be transformed. How we guide and react to that transformation will affect generations to come. It is not an overstatement to say that the future of our world ha… Continue Reading


Remarks of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) New England First Amendment Coalition Stephen Hamblett First Amendment Award

Thank you, Mike, for that gracious introduction. And you know, it's just so fitting that the Freedom of Information award now will carry your name. You are absolutely fearless, relentless . . . and merciless - and I mean that in a GOOD way, Mike -- in digging for information. Your dad was one of my professors at St. Michael's College. I remember his insistence on thoroughness and accuracy. He would be proud of his son who embraced and built on those values. Thanks also to the New England F… Continue Reading

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