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Press Releases

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

07.08.14

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On A Step Toward A Landmine Ban

Mr. President, everyone knows the old adage "a picture is worth a thousand words". As a life-long photographer I have a strong sense of that, and I want to provide a few examples today because sometimes words are not enough. I have often spoken about the horrific toll on civilians from landmines. These tiny explosives, about the size of a hockey puck or can of soup, can kill a child or blow the legs or arms off an adult. They are triggered by the victim - in other words, unlike a gun that … Continue Reading


07.02.14

Leahy: Dorset Nets $263,500 To Grow The Dorset Town Forest

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday said a $263,500 grant to the Town of Dorset under a program Leahy authored will expand the town forest by 200 acres and create a protected public access. The grant is part of $2.3 million being distributed nationwide for similar projects under Leahy's Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program. Leahy said, "This forest holds many historic cultural, recreational and ecological resources for the Town of Dorset and has long been valued by the commun… Continue Reading


07.01.14

Vermonters Urge Washington To Support An Open Internet

BURLINGTON, Vt. (TUESDAY, July 1, 2014) - The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday held a field hearing on net neutrality titled, "Preserving an Open Internet: Rules to Promote Competition and Protect Main Street Consumers." Member statements, witness testimony and a webcast are available online. The Impact Of An Open Internet Beyond The Beltway Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), author of the bicameral Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act that would support c… Continue Reading


07.01.14

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, Field Hearing on “Preserving an Open Internet: Rules to Promote Competition and Protect Main Street Consumers” Burlington, Vermont

This is a celebrated week in Vermont and all across the country. In just a few days, we will gather with friends and family at barbeques, parades, and parties to celebrate the vision that our Founders put in motion over 200 years ago. Americans - and we Vermonters in particular - hold dear the core freedoms that were established all those years ago. Chief among these are free expression and a free and open marketplace where competition drives innovation. In the 21st Century, these freedoms h… Continue Reading


06.30.14

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Comprehensive Immigration Reform

"One year after the Senate came together to pass historic legislation to reform our broken immigration system, the House still has failed to act. Because of the failure of House Republicans to do anything to address the national crisis at our border, the president has no choice but to act. I support him in this effort and I urge those Republican critics who claim we must first secure our border to actually read the bipartisan Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization … Continue Reading


06.30.14

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Discovery Of The Bodies Of Three Israeli Teens Who Were Kidnapped In The West Bank

How achingly and unspeakably sad this news is for these families, and for people of goodwill the world over. Our thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of these young people. This atrocity illustrates yet again the need for an end to the conflict that has had caused so much suffering for generations of Israeli and Palestinian families. Targeting innocent civilians as a tactic - a tactic of terrorists, and sometimes of governments -- is a sickening trend that has spilled over into yet… Continue Reading


06.30.14

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby Decision

The same five justices who ruled that corporations should be treated as persons when it comes to campaign contributions have done it again. Now they have ruled that closely held corporations should be treated as individuals when it comes to denying their workers access to affordable contraception. To these justices, your boss's private views can trump your own medical needs and health insurance choices. This is a ruling that will most hurt women who work hourly jobs and who struggle just to m… Continue Reading


06.27.14

Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy To The White House Announcement Of Changes To U.S. Landmine Policy

[Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., President Pro Tempore, and chairman of the State Department and Foreign Operations Subcommittee) has long been the leading U.S. official in the movement to ban anti-personnel landmines. Leahy's earlier law banning U.S. export of mines was a catalyst leading to the international treaty to ban the use and production of anti-personnel landmines (Ottawa Treaty). Leahy has continued to meet with successive presidents (Clinton, Bush and Obama) to press for U.S. entry into… Continue Reading


06.26.14

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., President Pro Tempore) On The Death Of Former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker

"Senator Baker was one of the best leaders the Senate has ever had. We have lost a true statesman. "I've valued my friendship with him, and all that he taught me. Marcelle and I send our condolences and prayers to Nancy." # # # # #… Continue Reading


06.26.14

Judiciary Committee Approves Leahy’s Bipartisan Bill To Renew Soon-To-Expire Satellite TV Law

(THURSDAY, June 26, 2014) - The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday unanimously approved bipartisan legislation authored by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to reauthorize the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act, a law known as "STELA" that provides certain consumers access to distant broadcast television content by satellite. The bipartisan Satellite Television Access Reauthorization Act approved by the Committee today would extend STELA for another five years and ensure that sate… Continue Reading


06.26.14

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the One Year Anniversary of Senate Passage of Comprehensive Immigration Reform

One year ago tomorrow, the Senate came together to pass historic legislation to reform our broken immigration system. We did so with a strong bipartisan vote, and after weeks of exhaustive work. The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act would unite families, spur the economy, and help protect our borders. Above all else, this historic legislation would create an immigration system that is worthy of our American values. Today, our system does not reflect th… Continue Reading


06.25.14

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Supreme Court’s Decision In U.S. v. Wurie and Riley v. California

[The Supreme Court Wednesday issued its unanimous judgment in U.S. v. Wurie and Riley v. California. In its decision, the Court ruled that law enforcement agencies must obtain warrants to search an arrested individual's cell phone or personal electronic device.] "The Supreme Court's decision in U.S. v. Wurie and Riley v. California is a wake-up call that we need to update our laws to keep pace with technological advances. The Court rightly determined that the government must obtain a search w… Continue Reading


06.25.14

Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing On The Voting Rights Amendment Act

(Wednesday, June 25, 2014) - The Senate Judiciary Committee is currently holding a hearing titled "The Voting Rights Amendment Act, S.1945: Updating the Voting Rights Act in Response to Shelby County v. Holder." Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who is leading today's hearing, is the author of the bipartisan, bicameral legislation to strengthen the Voting Rights Act and combat voter discrimination in all states and jurisdictions. The hearing also coincides with the one-year anniversary of the Su… Continue Reading


06.24.14

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Vermont Leading the Nation in Children’s Health

I am pleased, although not surprised, with the latest news that Vermont's children rank as the healthiest. Recent data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that Vermont ranks at the top or near the top of the list on a variety of metrics, including a child's access to health care, and percentage of children who exercise regularly. We all know that healthy habits begin in childhood, and Vermont has worked for years to ensure that all Vermont children have access to h… Continue Reading


06.24.14

Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy On Senate Confirmation Of Geoffrey Crawford To The U.S. District Court In Vermont

[Leahy, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, steered the nomination through the committee and through the Senate, which confirmed Crawford this afternoon in a vote of 95 to 0. Through Leahy's efforts he was confirmed in less time than any judicial nominee in years. Leahy, who also is President Pro Tempore of the Senate, presided over the Senate for the vote and announced the outcome. He spoke with Justice Crawford immediately after the vote.] "Justice Crawford came highly recommended, well qu… Continue Reading


06.24.14

Leahy Introduces New FOIA Reforms

(Tuesday, June 24, 2014) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), long Congress's leading advocate on government openness and transparency, Tuesday introduced bipartisan legislation to make improvements to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The bill introduction comes as the nation's premier open government law nears the celebration of its 48th anniversary on July Fourth. Leahy has led several successful efforts to strengthen FOIA during his Senate tenure and in 1996 w… Continue Reading


06.24.14

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), On The Introduction Of The DISCLOSE Act 2014

Today, I join with several Democratic Senators to reintroduce the DISCLOSE Act, renewing - for the third time - our fight to curtail some of the worst abuses resulting from the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United. Republicans mounted filibusters of this commonsense bill when it was first introduced in 2010 and then again when it was reintroduced in 2012. This was the case even though Republicans claim to support disclosure. Earlier this month, I chaired a hearing on a proposed constit… Continue Reading


06.24.14

Leahy, Other Senate Democrats Introduce Bill To Crack Down On Secret Spending In Elections

Senate Democrats Introduce Legislation to Crack Down on Secret Spending in Elections DISCLOSE Act of 2014 will Help Correct Flood of Secret Money Created by Citizens United Decision Washington, D.C. - With the Koch Brothers and many others spending untold millions to secretly influence this year's elections, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Senate Democrats today introduced the DISCLOSE Act of 2014. The bill would crack down on so-called "dark money" by requiring organizations that spend… Continue Reading


06.24.14

Leahy Announces Witnesses, Details For July 1 U.S. Senate Field Hearing In Vermont On Open Internet Rules

(TUESDAY, June 24, 2014) -- Senator Patrick Leahy Tuesday officially announced that the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, which Leahy chairs, will hold a field hearing in Vermont on "Preserving an Open Internet: Rules to Promote Competition and Protect Main Street Consumers." The hearing will be held on Tuesday, July 1, at 10 a.m. at the Davis Center on the campus of the University of Vermont, in Burlington, Vt. Leahy also announced a panel of four witnesses who will testify at the hea… Continue Reading


06.24.14

STATEMENT OF SENATOR PATRICK LEAHY ON THE THIRD REVIEW CONFERENCE OF THE MINE BAN TREATY SENATE FLOOR

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, yesterday in Maputo, Mozambique, representatives of many of the 161 countries that have joined the treaty banning the production, stockpiling, export and use of anti-personnel landmines convened the third review conference in the 15 years since the treaty came into force. The impact of that treaty, once ridiculed as a naïve dream by many in the U.S. defense establishment, has been extraordinary. The vast majority of landmine use and production has stopped, new… Continue Reading

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