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Press Releases

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


Leahy Unveils Legislation To Restore The Rights Of Americans From Forced Arbitration

(Thursday, February 4, 2016) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced new legislation Thursday to restore the rights of Americans who too often are forced into mandatory arbitration in civil rights cases, employment disputes, and other lawsuits. Leahy was joined by Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.), who is the lead cosponsor of the legislation. "When Americans sign cell phone agreements, rent an apartment, or accept a contract for a job, most of us focus on the service we are about to receive or … Continue Reading


Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) On the House Judiciary Committee’s Plans to Consider the Bipartisan Email Privacy Act

"This year marks the 30th anniversary of the enactment of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. Technology has dramatically changed in the three decades since that landmark legislation became law, and we have fought to pass bipartisan legislation that brings privacy protections for the digital world in line with those in the physical world. "It is good news that the House Judiciary Committee will finally take up the popular and bipartisan Email Privacy Act, companion legislation to the b… Continue Reading


Barre Town Middle and Elementary School

On February 3, 2015, the Senator held an online chat with the fourth graders of the Barre Town School. Senator Leahy was impressed with the students' questions, especially with regards to their desire to understand the ways in which we can promote change in our communities.… Continue Reading


Leahy Calls On Congress To Close Tax Loophole For Corporate Misconduct

(Wednesday, February 3, 2016) - Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Wednesday introduced an amendment to the pending energy bill on the Senate floor to close a tax loophole that allows businesses to write off the punishment they receive for corporate wrongdoing as an ordinary business expense. The amendment is an identical version to the No Tax Write-Offs for Corporate Wrongdoers Act, legislation Leahy introduced last year to enforce a commonsense fix to eliminat… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy Ranking Member, Judiciary Committee Hearing on “The Need for Transparency in the Asbestos Trusts”

Today the Judiciary Committee meets to discuss legislation that purports to promote more transparency in asbestos trusts. Before we get into a detailed discussion about the merits of the proposed legislation, I want to make sure we all remember why we are here today. For decades, millions of American workers were secretly poisoned. Men and women who worked in our Nation's factories, shipyards, mines and construction sites, and service members in the military, unknowingly inhaled air that was … Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, Hearing on “The failures and future of the EB-5 Regional Center program: Can it be fixed?”

I want to thank Chairman Grassley for holding this important hearing, what I expect to be the first in an oversight series. We have worked closely together to bring attention to the problems plaguing the EB-5 Regional Center program. I strongly believe the EB-5 Regional Center program can generate investment and create jobs in rural and poor urban areas that struggle to grow their economies. That is why I have worked to reauthorize the program for many years. Unfortunately, the Regional Center p… Continue Reading


Leahy Responds To President’s Proposal For More Than $1B To Combat Opioid Abuse And Heroin Addiction

[Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) responded to President Obama's call on Tuesday for Congress to provide more than $1 billion in new funding to address prescription opioid and heroin addiction. In recent years, rural communities in Vermont have been hit hard by the epidemic, which has been the focus of Senate Judiciary Committee hearings that Leahy has previously chaired in Vermont and Washington. Last week Leahy invited Governor Shumlin to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washing… Continue Reading


Leahy: Job-Creating Foreign Investment Program (EB-5) Must Be Reformed

(Tuesday, February 2, 2016) - Problems plaguing the EB-5 Regional Center program must be addressed through bipartisan legislation this year, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said Tuesday. Leahy's comments during an oversight hearing for the EB-5 program came less than two months after Congressional leaders blocked a bipartisan, bicameral proposal to usher in needed reforms for the jobs program that has experienced significant problems in recent years. Reviews by … Continue Reading


Leahy-Grassley Amendment To Protect Whistleblowers Earns Unanimous Support In Judiciary Committee

(Thursday, January 28, 2016) - The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday unanimously approved an amendment coauthored by U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to ensure that companies cannot intimidate whistleblowers by threatening them with lawsuits for trade secret theft. Leahy and Grassley have long worked together to strengthen whistleblower protections. Their amendment, which was added to the bipartisan Defend Trade Secrets Act, protects whistleblowers who share… Continue Reading


Leahy Backs Legislation To Protect Vermont Businesses From Trade Secret Theft

(THURSDAY, January 28, 2016) - The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday passed bipartisan legislation to protect American businesses from trade secrets theft. At the markup, 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," s… Continue Reading


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

Today we will vote on the nomination of John Michael Vazquez to fill a judicial emergency vacancy in the Federal District Court in the District of New Jersey. His confirmation is long overdue. He was nominated over 10 months ago and reported out of the Judiciary Committee by unanimous voice vote over 4 months ago. Mr. Vazquez is an outstanding nominee who has experience both in private practice and in the public sector. Since 2008, he has practiced as a named partner at the law firm of Critc… Continue Reading


At SJC Hearing on Heroin Abuse, Leahy Emphasizes Importance of Prevention & Treatment And Calls For More Resources

(WEDNESDAY, Jan. 27, 2016) - During a hearing Wednesday of the Senate Judiciary Committee on the rise of heroin and opioid addiction, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) highlighted Vermont's community-based response to the epidemic and called for more resources to be devoted to prevention and treatment. "Vermont has not been immune to the scourge of opioid and heroin abuse," said Leahy, the Committee's most senior ranking Democrat. "But in true Vermont fashion, we have rallied together to tackle th… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, Hearing on “Attacking America’s Epidemic of Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse”

Local communities throughout the nation - both urban and rural - are grappling with the tragic effects of the epidemic of heroin and prescription opioid abuse. We have all seen the statistics showing the dramatic rise in overdose deaths particularly among young people. The stories behind these numbers shed light on the human impact of this epidemic: families trying to find and afford treatment for a loved one hooked on painkillers; children neglected or left behind by an addicted parent; victi… Continue Reading


Leahy REAX To New U.S. Steps To Ease Effects Of CUBA SANCTIONS

Comment Of Senator Patrick LeahyOn New U.S. Regulatory Steps Announced TodayTo Ease The Effects Of Cuba SanctionsTuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 "This is another welcome step in the long overdue process of dismantling the web of restrictions on the rights of Americans to travel to Cuba and to interact with the Cuban people. I commend the White House for these changes. I hope to see further progress in the months ahead toward eliminating the remnants of a policy that has failed miserably, while it has ha… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

Tomorrow marks the 43rd anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Roe v. Wade recognizing a woman's constitutional right to liberty and personal autonomy in her decision to have an abortion. This landmark case not only recognized these rights, but is also responsible for saving countless women across the country from the devastating and deadly outcomes of back-alley abortions. As a young state prosecutor in Vermont before Roe v. Wade, I will never forget when a young woman nearly died… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), on Consideration of the “American SAFE Act”

It is unfortunate that the fear and xenophobia being peddled by some Republican candidates for President is now being given time on the Senate Floor. Instead of solving the real problems facing Americans - like the student debt crisis or our need for energy independence - or responding to real threats to our national security - like our failure to track visa overstays or prevent terrorists from buying guns - today we are debating a strawman inspired by Donald Trump's baseless rhetoric. The bill… Continue Reading


Leahy’s Bipartisan Bill To Expand Farm To School Efforts Advances In The Senate

(WEDNESDAY, Jan. 20, 2016) - The Senate Agriculture Committee Wednesday advanced bipartisan legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to double funding for the federal Farm To School grant program as part of a larger package reauthorizing child nutrition programs through 2020. The Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act includes the Leahy-Cochran Farm To School Act of 2015, which builds on earlier Leahy legislation that chartered the grant program. Leahy's chief Republi… Continue Reading


At SJC Hearing, Leahy Urges Senators To Support Criminal Justice Reform & Hold Corporations Accountable

(Wednesday, January 20, 2016) -At a hearing Wednesday, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) called on Senators to support the bipartisan Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act and to reject partisan attempts to use that legislation as a vehicle for corporate giveaways. Leahy's comments came at a Committee hearing on legislation that would tie the hands of prosecutors and weaken countless federal statutes including those that protect public welfare, like food safety, en… Continue Reading


Leahy: Senate Republicans Should Ignore Special Interests & Confirm Consensus Judicial Nominees

(Tuesday, January 19, 2016) - In the last five presidential election years, the Senate has confirmed an average of 30 judicial nominees in the final year prior to Election Day. Despite the Senate's well-established practice of confirming consensus nominees even in presidential election years, news reports have indicated that conservative activists are demanding the Republican majority shutdown the confirmation process entirely. Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), w… Continue Reading


Why Affordable Higher Education Can’t Wait

As Vermont's college students return from the winter break and begin their spring semesters, college costs continue to weigh heavily on their minds and on their pocketbooks. The price of a college education has steadily grown to become both a personal financial hardship for them and their families, and an emerging national crisis, and we need to tackle it. No student should ever be denied a higher education simply because of financial ability. That is not how we prepare the next generation to… Continue Reading

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