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


Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Passing Of Former Vermont Supreme Court Chief Justice Frederic Allen

"Marcelle and I were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former Vermont Supreme Court Chief Justice Fred Allen. Fred was a World War II veteran, a noted trial lawyer and a guiding force on Vermont's highest court for 12 years. He dedicated his life to public service and to our Green Mountain State and its people, and he leaves behind an enduring legacy. Our thoughts and prayers are with Karen and their two sons. " # # # # #… Continue Reading


Threat To Indonesia's Orangutans

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, a December 16, 1997, New York Times article entitled "Asia's Forest Fires, Scant Mercy for Orangutans'' described the widespread illegal logging and slash and burn agriculture that posed an existential threat to the orangutan, one of the world's only four species of great apes. It was after reading that article and speaking to scientists who had devoted their lives to saving the orangutan from extinction that I started a program in the foreign aid budget to help protect… Continue Reading


On Equal Pay Day, Leahy Calls For End To Discrimination Affecting American Women In The Workforce

(TUESDAY, April 12, 2016) - Hardworking women in Vermont and across the country face persistent gender discrimination with every paycheck, a glaring problem that Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said everyone from business leaders to Congress must address in order to ensure equal opportunity for all workers. In Equal Pay Day remarks Tuesday morning on the Senate Floor, Leahy said: "The United States is often looked to as a leader in the global landscape, setting the gold standard for others. Unf… Continue Reading


Senator Patrick Leahy On A Tribute to Maurice Geiger

Mr. President, I rise to recognize Maurice Geiger, known by family and friends as Maury, an extraordinary individual who, although a long-time resident of Conway, New Hampshire with his wife Nancy is deserving of the title of honorary Vermonter. Maury Geiger's lengthy career began in the U.S. Navy back in the 1950s, from where he went on to Georgetown Law School and jobs at the Bureau of Prisons and the Department of Justice. He later served as a county prosecutor in New Hampshire, founded th… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Unstoppable Bob Gray

Mr. President, I rise to pay tribute to an extraordinary Vermonter, Robert Hawkes Gray. Bob, as he is known to family and friends, grew up in Putney where his parents worked at the Putney School, his father Edward in charge of buildings and grounds and his mother Mabel ran the kitchen. Ed's ability to fix anything, and Mabel's cooking and way of keeping order, are remembered vividly and fondly to this day by thousands of Putney graduates. Bob attended Putney where he learned to ski cross coun… Continue Reading


Senate Finally Acts to Confirm First Judicial Nominee In Two Months, But Dozens More Await Action—Including SCOTUS Nominee

(Monday, April 11, 2016) - After previously blocking his nomination, Senate Republicans today are finally allowing the confirmation of Waverly Crenshaw, an African-American nominee who will fill a judicial emergency vacancy on the district court for the Middle District of Tennessee. However, 19 more judicial nominees are awaiting Senate action on the floor and dozens more are pending in the Judiciary Committee-including D.C. Circuit Chief Judge Merrick Garland, President Obama's nominee to fill… Continue Reading


Merrick Garland Waits As Senate Obstructionists Outsource Their Work To Moneyed Interest Groups

Senate Republicans are creating a toxic dynamic that ensures outside interest groups have the floor to themselves. Rather than rolling up their sleeves and considering Chief Judge Merrick Garland's record for themselves, Republicans have outsourced their job to moneyed interest groups whose only goal is to smear the nominee's admirable record of public service. These outside groups are not accountable to the American people. Nor do they have the American people's interest in mind. They are priv… Continue Reading


Camel’s Hump Middle School

On April 7, 2016, Senator Leahy held an online chat with the seventh graders of Camel's Hump Middle School. The Senator was impressed by the students' questions, especially their interest in his work in Cuba and about the upcoming election. He also enjoyed discussing his reasons for wanting to become a Senator, and about his favorite things to do when he is home in Vermont.… Continue Reading


Republican Obstruction Threatens Confirmation Of Consensus Nominees

(Thursday, April 7, 2016) - While Senate Republicans refuse to consider a Supreme Court nominee this year they are also blocking dozens of lower court nominees from being confirmed. The pattern of obstruction is leading to the least productive record for approving judicial nominees in more than half a century. The Senate Judiciary Committee has not held a confirmation hearing for lower court nominees since January, and the full Senate has not voted to confirm a single judicial nominee since Fe… Continue Reading


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

Mr. Chairman, today I hope we will finally vote to report out three judicial nominees who have been on the agenda for nearly two months. Committee members want to continue to discuss how this Committee should function - but that cannot be used as an excuse to further delay action on lower court nominees or legislation. We have not had a hearing for a single judicial nominee since January. It is now April. There are 29 judicial nominees waiting for a hearing, including 3 circuit court nomine… Continue Reading


America’s next president must continue Obama’s progress on clean energy

So much of America's future is at stake in the 2016 presidential election. But let's focus for a moment on just one area - energy and the environment - where the Obama administration has made startling progress that could be reversed if either of the GOP front-runners becomes president. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, arguably President Obama's best Cabinet appointment, has been leading a quiet revolution in clean-energy technology. Innovation is transforming this industry, costs are plummeting … Continue Reading


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

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