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North Country News
Fri May 24, 2013
Senator Patrick Leahy Discusses Washington Issues
Vermont’s senior U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy met with reporters from the region at his office in Montpelier Friday morning to talk about issues facing Congress.
Democrat Patrick Leahy is the Senate President Pro Tem. He is the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and is the senior member of the Appropriations committee. During the conversation in his Montpelier office, his discussed mostly the immigration and Farm Bills that have moved out of committee. But he also touched on other issues Washington faces.
Senator Leahy is confident the immigration bill will pass on the Senate floor, calling its markup a model of transparency.
Leahy was disappointed an amendment he offered to protect same-sex bi-national couples failed, a pivotal moment in the committee’s immigration deliberations.
Vermont’s senior Senator has blocked a proposed land border crossing fee by the Department of Homeland Security.
The Farm Bill is poised to aid Vermont farmers, according to Leahy, through margin insurance that includes a market stabilization program. It also features key conservation and labor provisions. But it had been blocked from passage last fall in the House.
Like President Obama, Senator Leahy wants the prison at Guantanamo closed and trials to be held in the U.S.
Leahy also has serious concerns about the federal government’s drone strike policy.
Leahy expressed strong support for embattled U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
Patrick Leahy has represented Vermont in the Senate since 1975.