Patrick Leahy

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Analysis: Obama's Transparency Push a Flop

Feds cited national security to withhold information a record 8,496 times

(Newser) - The Obama administration pledged to boost transparency in the White House from the get-go, but it hasn't exactly been a promise kept. In virtually every category, the government's efforts to be more open about its activities in 2013 were their worst since Barack Obama first took office, the... More »

US Secretly Halts Egypt Aid; Saudis Publicly Fill Void

US ally steps up as major donor of $12B package

(Newser) - Amid reports that the White House is quietly halting US military aid to Egypt—at least temporarily—Saudi Arabia is taking the bold step of announcing it will fill any financial void. Gulf countries are planning a $12 billion package for Egypt, and Saudi Arabia is the biggest donor, the... More »

Bipartisan Group Hatches Gun Bill in Senate

Patrick Leahy announces push against 'straw purchasers'

(Newser) - A bipartisan group of senators hatched a bill today that would increase penalties for so-called "straw purchasers" of firearms, the Washington Post reports. Sen. Patrick Leahy, announcing the deal, said anyone who illegally buys a gun for someone else would face up to 20 years in prison; the seller... More »

Giffords: Too Many Children Are Dying

Former rep is passionate, Wayne LaPierre defiant in testimony

(Newser) - Gabrielle Giffords delivered a short, powerful, and somewhat difficult to watch statement on Capitol Hill today to kick off the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearing on gun control. "Speaking is difficult, but I need to say something important," Giffords said in halting tones. "Too many children are... More »

Leahy 3rd in Line to Presidency

He is now president pro tempore of the Senate

(Newser) - The death of Daniel Inouye of Hawaii yesterday has Democrats shuffling committee posts and such, but one change in particular carries some import with the Constitution. Patrick Leahy of Vermont got sworn in as president pro tempore of the Senate, which puts him third in line to the presidency behind... More »

McGovern Was a 'Complicated Person'

President Obama, Mitt Romney among those honoring George McGovern

(Newser) - Tributes are rolling in for George McGovern, the Democrat who served three Senate terms and lost a landslide election to President Richard Nixon in 1972. He died today at age 90.
  • "George actually was a very complicated person," said Newt Gingrich, reports Politico . "He said, 'One
... More »

SOPA Author's Own Website Violated Copyright

Meanwhile, Senate author of piracy bill says it needs 'more study'

(Newser) - SOPA author Lamar Smith is being roundly mocked thanks to Jamie Lee Curtis Taete of VICE , who found that as of July, Smith's own website violated copyright, using a background image without attribution. The photo was under a Creative Commons license, so if Smith had just credited the photographer,... More »

US Changes Tune on Killing Egypt's Aid

Top lawmakers figure out that might not be such a bright idea

(Newser) - Many top US lawmakers are backing off their calls to cut aid flowing to Egypt, as consensus builds that the money offers necessary leverage over the Egyptian military. John McCain, who had previously said that aid cuts were “on the table,” said yesterday that it is “just... More »

Cheney: Dropping F-Bomb Was 'Best Thing I Ever Did'

Not exactly remorseful over telling Leahy to "fuck yourself"

(Newser) - As potty-mouthed vice presidents go, Dick Cheney is utterly unrepentant about his 2004 slip of the F-bomb in which he told Pat Leahy to go "fuck yourself." Dennis Miller on his radio show yesterday thanked the former veep for "almost kicking Patrick Leahy's ass," reports Think... More »

Democrats to Play Offense in Court Fight

Will attack 'conservative judicial activism,' citing Citizens United ruling

(Newser) - “Judicial activism” isn’t just a conservative buzzword anymore. Democrats intend to use the upcoming confirmation battle over John Paul Stevens’ successor to argue that it’s the conservatives on John Roberts’ court who are litigating from the bench, high-ranking Democrats tell Politico . Exhibit A: The wildly unpopular Citizens... More »

Showdown Looms as Abused Filibuster Frays Senate Tempers

GOB blocks routine nomination, has Dems eying reform options

(Newser) - Last night's GOP filibuster of a routine nomination to the National Labor Relation Board left Democrats livid, and considering reforms to stop a filibuster-happy GOP from crippling the Senate. "I'm in my thirty-sixth year. I've never seen anything like it," Sen. Pat Leahy told the Huffington Post . Leahy... More »

Mexico Drug Aid Delayed Over Rights Concerns

(Newser) - More than $100 million in anti-narcotics aid to Mexico has been delayed because of alleged human rights abuses in the country's war with drug cartels, the Washington Post reports. Sen. Patrick Leahy, chair of a subcommittee that oversees foreign aid spending, blocked plans to release a favorable State Department report... More »

Blame Everyone Involved for Shallow Sotomayor Hearings

Dems go lightly; GOP eyes history outside of court

(Newser) - With Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation a virtual certainty and her appointment unlikely to change the direction of the Supreme Court, last week's toothless hearings held few surprises. Except, that is, for observers who were hoping the Senate Judiciary Committee would press for substantive Q-and-A, Joan Biskupic writes for USA Today. “... More »

Sotomayor: Roe v. Wade Is 'Settled Law'

(Newser) - Questioning is under way on Day 2 of Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearings, and there has already been much talk of New Haven firefighters and wise Latina women. Asked about that infamous quote early on, Sotomayor replied, “I want to state upfront, unequivocally… I do not believe that any racial... More »

Senators Duke It Out at Sotomayor Hearing

(Newser) - Sonia Sotomayor has wrapped up the first session of what promises to be a successful but contentious confirmation process. Patrick Leahy opened today's hearing by expressing hope Sotomayor would be spared racial attacks. “She has been a judge for all Americans,” the Senate Judiciary Committee chair said. “... More »

Sotomayor Visits Senators, Explains 'Wise Latina' Remark

(Newser) - Sonia Sotomayor made her first trip to Capitol Hill today, and had heart-to-hearts with Harry Reid and assorted members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, explaining the “wise Latina” remark that has drawn so much attention to chairman Patrick Leahy, Politico reports. Though everyone has a different background, the Supreme... More »

Sotomayor Vote Carries Risks for These Senators

Judiciary committee members share spotlight with nominee

(Newser) - Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation looks likely, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be some drama between here and there. Politico runs down which senators have the most to win—and the most to lose:  
  • Patrick Leahy: Facing his first nominee as judiciary chairman, Leahy’s eager to
... More »

Obama Meets With Senators on Court Choice

Nominee coming 'soon,' should be seated by October, say Dems

(Newser) - President Obama’s choice for the next Supreme Court justice is coming “soon,” said Democratic senators after a meeting with the president. The White House says the appointee won’t be announced this week, but Harry Reid and Patrick Leahy say he or she should be seated by... More »

Sebelius: Never Mind Biden; It's OK to Travel

Newest cabinet member seeks to allay swine flu fears

(Newser) - President Obama’s new Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius made the talk show rounds today, insisting that people should continue traveling, despite remarks to the contrary by Joe Biden. “Traveling and being in close places is certainly something we encourage people to continue to do,” she... More »

Obama Open to Interrogations Probe

(Newser) - President Obama today said he’d be open to the idea of creating a panel to investigate the Bush administration’s interrogation methods in the war on terror. Obama and his aides have been dismissing the idea for weeks, but today in a press conference with King Abdullah of Jordan,... More »

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