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


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


Leahy, Sanders And Welch Commend The Social Security Administration For New Steps To Treat Same-Sex Couples Fairly

(THURSDAY, March 24, 2016) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Thursday commended the Social Security Administration for addressing errors in the treatment of social security beneficiaries in same-sex marriages. In a letter led by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Representative Mark Tokano (D-Calif.) last year, the Vermont delegation and 118 of their colleagues urged Acting Commissioner of Social Security Carolyn W. Colvin … Continue Reading


Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The President’s Address To The Cuban People

[Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is part of the President's U.S. delegation in Cuba. Leahy is the ranking member of the State Department and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee and for a decade has worked behind the scenes to change the failed 50-year-old U.S. policy on Cuba.] "It was a powerful speech, and I was privileged to be in the hall where it was given. It received applause from both Cubans and U.S. citizens. "There was criticism of actions by the Cuban government and acknowled… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Terror Attacks In Brussels

[Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is in Havana with the President's delegation. Leahy, ranking member of the Senate's State Department and Foreign Operations appropriations panel, was briefed on the attacks by White House officials.] "This was a horrendous act. Our hearts and prayers are with the victims and their families. All Americans are united in compassion and solidarity with the people of Brussels. This sadness and revulsion extends to ordinary people we have encountered this morning on th… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On General Mills’ Announcement, As Start Of VT’s GMO Label Law Looms, That It Will Voluntarily Label Its Products For Their GMO Content

[Following are the comments of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a leader in derailing a Senate bill this week that would have nullified Vermont's GMO labeling law. Leahy is a leading member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and a former chairman of the panel. He joined this week with Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) in introducing legislation to institute a national GMO labeling standard.] "General Mills has joined Campbell Soup, another industry leader, in saying yes to disclosure. I applaud thei… Continue Reading


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

Mr. Chairman, you and I have served on the Judiciary Committee for a long time. We both have an appreciation for the difficult work of this Committee and the unique role it plays in our democracy. Some of the most challenging issues of the day come to this Committee. And we confront them head on. You and I have worked closely together to make government more transparent, to respond to the opioid epidemic, to promote American innovation and to improve our criminal justice system. We do not … Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Committee on the Judiciary Hearing on “Preventing America's Looming Fiscal Crisis: the Need for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution”

Today the Judiciary Committee meets to discuss a proposal that would amend the Constitution to add an unwise and unworkable balanced budget requirement. It is beyond ironic that Republican Senators are proposing to amend the U.S. Constitution at precisely the same time they are refusing to fulfill existing constitutional responsibilities. This morning President Obama carried out his constitutional duty and nominated Chief Judge Merrick Garland to be an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court. … Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Senate’s Procedural Vote Against The Bill To Nullify Vermont’s GE Labeling Law

"Today the Senate rejected a hasty and short-sighted effort to roll back Vermont's GE labeling law. This was a hard-fought victory for Vermont, on our state's right to honor Vermonters' right to know what's in the food they buy. Our defense of Vermont's law has been fought with skill and determination in the courts, under the leadership of Governor Shumlin and others, and in the Congress. "Consumers everywhere simply have the right to know. We are not asking manufacturers to change their pr… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The Nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland To The Supreme Court Of The United States

(Wednesday, March 16, 2016) - President Barack Obama announced Wednesday that he will nominate Chief Judge Merrick Garland to be an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States. Chief Judge Garland has served for nearly 19 years as a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, often referred to as the second highest court in the land, second only to the Supreme Court. The Senate confirmed him to that position in 1997 by a bipartisan 76-23 vote. Prior… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Accountability Within the Nigerian Military

Mr. President, nearly a year ago when Muhammadu Buhari became the first Nigerian to defeat a sitting president through the ballot box I greeted the news with cautious optimism. For the most part, his message was and remains one that encourages greater cooperation between the United States and Nigeria to defeat Boko Haram and chart a brighter course for Africa's most populous nation. Recent attacks by Boko Haram have served as a sobering reminder of the challenges Nigeria continues to face, an… Continue Reading


Leahy, Cornyn Bill Strengthening FOIA Passes Senate Unanimously

U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ranking Member on the Judiciary Committee, released the following statements after the Senate passed the FOIA Improvement Act of 2015 to reform the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): "An open and transparent government is paramount to a healthy democracy, and today's vote sends a clear message that the American people have a fundamental right to know what their government is doing," said Sen. Cornyn. "This legislation will update and st… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Life of Berta Caceres

Mr. President, the woman in the photograph next to me is Berta Caceres, an indigenous Honduran environmental activist who was murdered in her home on March 3rd. Ms. Caceres was internationally admired, and in the 12 days since her death, and since my remarks on the morning after and on the day of her funeral on March 5th, there has been an outpouring of grief, outrage, remembrances, denunciations, and declarations from people in Honduras and around the world. Among the appalling facts that fe… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, Final Passage of S. 337, The FOIA Improvement Act of 2015

Sunshine Week is a time to celebrate one of our nation's most basic values-the public's right to know. Our very democracy is built on the idea that our government should not operate in secret. James Madison, a staunch defender of open government and whose birthday we celebrate each year during Sunshine Week, wisely noted that for our democracy to succeed, people "must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives." It is only through transparency and access to information that the American pe… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), On GE Labeling, A Consumer’s Right To Know, And The Senate’s Own “Dark Act”

I want to set the record straight. Contrary to the remarks of the Senate Majority Leader yesterday, Vermont has not recently passed a GE food labeling law. Let's be clear and accurate in our words in this chamber. It was in May 2014 - nearly two years ago - that, after two years of debate and more than 50 committee hearings featuring testimony from more than 130 representatives on all sides of the issue, Vermont's Governor signed into law a disclosure requirement for genetically engineered in… Continue Reading


Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., Ranking Member, State Department And Foreign Operations Subcommittee) On Further Rules Changes To Facilitate Americans’ Travel To Cuba

"I applaud President Obama for his vision and resolve in widening opportunities for Americans to engage with Cuba. With these latest regulatory changes the U.S. government will finally stop requiring chaperones for American citizens who travel to Cuba, and financial transactions with U.S. dollars will be simplified. These reforms will benefit the people of both countries, and I know it will be welcomed by Vermonters who are eager to engage in a wide range of activities there, from educational … Continue Reading


Leahy Kicks Off Sunshine Week In Keynote Speech At National Archives

(Monday, March 14, 2016) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a longtime champion of the Freedom of Information Act, said Monday that the Senate must pass the FOIA Improvement Act as soon as this week. Kicking off Sunshine Week with a keynote address at the National Archives, Leahy called for the Senate to pass the bipartisan legislation which he successfully steered through the Senate last Congress. The bipartisan bill, coauthored by Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), requires Federal agencies to ope… Continue Reading


Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Efforts to Fight Human Trafficking and Opioid Addiction

I was disturbed to hear Senator McConnell's remarks on the floor last week questioning my commitment to supporting survivors of human trafficking. I think anyone who follows our efforts to stop this terrible crime knows the ridiculousness of that claim. I was particularly surprised to hear it coming from Senator McConnell who, along with Senator Grassley and other Republicans, voted against reauthorizing the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and the Violence Against Women Act - two watershed … Continue Reading


From All Corners, Americans Are Calling On Republican Senators To Uphold Constitution and Consider SCOTUS Nominee

From All Corners, Americans Are Calling On Republican Senators To Uphold Constitution and Consider SCOTUS Nominee WASHINGTON (Friday, March 11, 2016) - Business leaders, legal scholars, bar associations, historians, and Americans from all corners are calling on Republican Senators to do their jobs when it comes to filling the Supreme Court vacancy. Despite the growing calls for the Senate to follow 100 years of bipartisan tradition and provide a public hearing and a vote on the president's Sup… Continue Reading


Leahy Hails Today’s Progress On Improving Cross-Border Travel Between Vermont and Canada As Prime Minster Trudeau Endorses Preclearance Agreement

(THURSDAY, March, 10, 2016) - During the first official visit by a sitting Canadian Prime Minister in nearly two decades, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Thursday endorsed the U.S.-Canada preclearance agreement to expedite travel and strengthen trade and national security between the two countries. The endorsement signals support of U.S implementing legislation introduced last week by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), joined by chief Republican cosponsor Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). Prime Min… Continue Reading

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