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

08.18.14

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., President Pro Tempore) On The Passing Of Former Senator Jim Jeffords

He was a partner in our work for Vermont, and he was a friend. He was a Vermonter through and through, drawn to political life to make a difference for our state and nation. Part of his legacy will also stand as an enduring chapter of the Senate's history. # # # # #… Continue Reading


08.15.14

Leahy Comments On Protests In Ferguson, Missouri

"Like many Vermonters, and thousands of people across the country, I am saddened by the news that an unarmed teenager was killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, last weekend. Details continue to emerge about this tragic event, and residents of Ferguson are understandably grieved and angry. "I have been shocked by the military-like response from the local police. We know in Vermont that effective policing requires the trust of the community; that trust has been more than strained in… Continue Reading


08.13.14

Leahy Urges FCC To Reach Beyond The Beltway For Feedback On Net Neutrality

WEDNESDAY, August 13, 2014 - As the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) considers how best to restore open Internet protections in light of a D.C. Circuit Court decision earlier this year, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Wednesday urged the FCC to listen to the voices of Americans outside of Washington who will be affected by their decisions. Leahy, who chairs the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and who last month held a field hearing in Vermont on the issue, called on FCC Chairman Tom Whe… Continue Reading


08.09.14

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., Senate president pro tempore, and chairman of the State Department and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee) On Limited Airstrikes In Iraq

"The United States should use limited force as necessary to protect our military and civilian advisors who remain in Iraq. I support President Obama's decision to launch targeted strikes against ISIS forces to do so and to assist with humanitarian relief in northern Iraq. The United States and the international community should not stand by and watch thousands of innocent civilians being starved to death because of their religion." # # # # #… Continue Reading


08.07.14

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Ceasefire in Gaza

I share the fervent hope of people around the world that the ceasefire in Gaza holds. The extent of the destruction is hard to fathom. In addition to more than 1800 killed and many more wounded, thousands of homes, businesses and public facilities have been reduced to rubble. I have been dismayed by the repeated shelling of United Nations facilities where large numbers of civilians, including women and children, were known to have sought safety. This can never be justified. As in the past a… Continue Reading


08.04.14

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee that funds the State Department and U.S. foreign aid programs), On AP Report About A USAID Program In Cuba

"It is one thing to support nascent Cuban civil society organizations, if USAID's role is disclosed in advance to participants and beneficiaries. It is quite another to concoct an HIV/AIDS workshop to promote a political agenda. If that is what happened here it is worse than irresponsible. It may have been good business for USAID's contractor, but it tarnishes USAID's long track record as a leader in global health." # # # # #… Continue Reading


08.04.14

Leahy: Vermont Nets $1.6 Million To Combat Domestic and Sexual Violence

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday announced $1.6 million in federal grants from the Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women to combat domestic and sexual violence in Vermont. Leahy, long a champion in the fight against domestic violence, last year led the effort to reauthorize the landmark Violence Against Women Act, which won overwhelming bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. Leahy said, "I often remember my time as a State's Attorney in Vermont and the tragedy o… Continue Reading


08.01.14

Statement By Senator Patrick Leahy On The Crisis in Gaza

The crisis in Gaza is extremely distressing, particularly to those who had hope for Secretary of State Kerry's years of shuttle diplomacy between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority. After seeing several similar attempts fail in the past, we know that for such diplomacy to succeed over the long term it will require the participation not only of representatives of the Israeli and Palestinian parties to the conflict, but also the active support of Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, and the… Continue Reading


08.01.14

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The U.S.-Africa Summit

Mr. President, as chairman of the subcommittee responsible for funding and oversight of our nation's foreign assistance budget, I have witnessed firsthand the significant gains achieved by many African countries over the last 20 years. This progress has been driven by the ingenuity and hard work of the African people, and has been supported by U.S. assistance provided by the American people and others. I am pleased that so many African leaders will be coming to Washington next week for the U.… Continue Reading


07.31.14

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On CIA Confirmation of Searching Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Computers

"I am appalled that the CIA searched the computers of Senate staffers who were working to shed light on a very dark chapter in our Nation's history. Congressional oversight of the executive branch, without fear of interference or intimidation, is fundamental to our Nation's founding principle of the separation of powers. The CIA's misconduct threatens the institution of the Senate and its role in ensuring the proper oversight of our government. The CIA Director owes the Senate and the America… Continue Reading


07.31.14

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Judicial Nominations

For the fifth year in a row, more than a dozen qualified, consensus judicial nominees pending before the full Senate will remain on the Executive Calendar during the August recess. Each year, I have come before the Senate to remind my fellow Senators that their refusal to take action on these nominations prior to the August recess is an unfortunate departure from Senate tradition, and to urge them to stop their obstructive practices and delay tactics. Again, I am disappointed to see partisansh… Continue Reading


07.31.14

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Senate Consideration of the Justice for All Reauthorization Act of 2013

Last week I came to the floor to talk about the FBI's extensive use of flawed evidence in thousands of cases. It is tragic just days later there is yet another scandal involving bad science used to send people to jail, and some to death row. According to an internal investigation by the FBI and the Department of Justice, nearly 2,600 convictions and 45 death-row cases from the 1980s and 1990s may have involved flawed forensic evidence. Specifically, these cases involved microscopic hair ma… Continue Reading


07.31.14

Leahy’s USA FREEDOM Act Gains Early Support And Praise

(THURSDAY, July 31, 2014) -- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) welcomed the support among stakeholders for bipartisan legislation he introduced this week to help restore Americans' privacy rights by ending the government's dragnet collection of phone records and requiring greater oversight, transparency, and accountability with respect to domestic surveillance authorities. "This is a debate about Americans' fundamental relationship with their government - about whether … Continue Reading


07.30.14

Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On A Short-Term Extension Of The Highway Trust Fund

Our tight knit communities in Vermont are part and parcel of my state's culture of neighbors helping neighbors. Our neighbors are not just next door; they are often in the most rural parts of the state, which can be difficult to reach. Our roads and our bridges connect us in a most basic way, and Hurricane Irene was a stark reminder that our infrastructure connects us not only in commercial ways, but in practical social ways that are integral to the spirit of Vermont communities. After Irene,… Continue Reading


07.29.14

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy on The Confirmation of Robert McDonald to be VA Secretary

Mr. President, as we have learned over the past several months, there has been a clear and inexcusable lack of well-earned quality care and timely service provided to many veterans who depend on it from the Department of Veterans Affairs. I hope that the confirmation of Robert McDonald as VA Secretary will be the next step forward in ensuring that our veterans and their families receive the benefits, compensation and support services they rightfully deserve. While I continue to recognize the har… Continue Reading


07.29.14

Leahy Introduces Historic Bill To Ban NSA’s Dragnet Collection Of Americans’ Electronic Communications

(TUESDAY, July 29, 2014) -- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Tuesday introduced legislation that would restore Americans' privacy rights by ending the government's dragnet collection of phone records and requiring greater oversight, transparency, and accountability with respect to domestic surveillance authorities. The updated version of the USA FREEDOM Act released today builds on legislation passed in the House in May, as well as the original legislation Leahy int… Continue Reading


07.25.14

Leahy And Other Leaders Of Senate and House Judiciary Committees Hail Final Congressional Action On Pro-Consumer Cell Phone Legislation

(FRIDAY, July 25, 2014) - The House on Friday unanimously passed bipartisan legislation that would restore the ability of consumers to more easily transfer their cell phones to other wireless carriers, just one week after the Senate approved the same measure. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) coordinated with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Ranking Member John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) on the issue. The … Continue Reading


07.25.14

Leahy, Sanders, Welch: Rutland Area Airport Nets $8.1 Million Grant For Safety Improvements

(FRIDAY, July 23, 2014) - Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Friday announced the Rutland Southern-Vermont Regional Airport in North Clarendon, Vermont, received a $8,127,261 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to make safety improvements to the airport. In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said: "As the only Vermont airport with commercial air service other than Burlington, the Rutland airport is a vital link f… Continue Reading


07.25.14

Leahy: Vermont Nets $6.8 M. In Homeland Security Preparedness Grants

(FRIDAY, July 25, 2014) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday announced Vermont will receive $6.8 million in federal grants from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), up from $6.3 million last year. The grants - under a formula championed by Leahy that protects smaller states like Vermont -- will help Vermont develop prevention and preparedness programs to respond to and recover from acts of terrorism and other catastrophic events. Leahy said, "First responders know that preparation… Continue Reading


07.24.14

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

Today, we will vote to end the filibuster against the nomination of Pamela Harris to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. She is a highly accomplished lawyer with excellent legal credentials, and has the strong support of her home state Senators, Senator Mikulski and Senator Cardin. Her nomination received the American Bar Association's highest rating of unanimously well qualified. Pam Harris is currently a visiting professor at my alma mater, Georgetown University Law … Continue Reading

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