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Leahy on the Issues
Protecting Our Freedoms and Privacy
Protecting the First Amendment has been a key priority in Pat Leahy's 30-year tenure in the U.S. Senate. Americans should not have to trade-in their constitutional rights in order to combat terrorism.
As Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Pat Leahy worked to give local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies the tools they need in the war on terrorism while making sure to protect our constitutional freedoms. He ensure that Congress took the time to understand and improve the draft anti-terrorism bill proposed by the Bush Administration. He was especially adamant about the need for Congressional oversight of the new authorities granted to the Justice Department, and thus worked with the Republican leader Rep. Dick Armey to include sunset provisions to ensure that government agencies would be more responsive to Congressional oversight.
Fixing the Administration's Proposed Law
IMPROVING THE ADMINISTRATION'S PROPOSAL -- By working in a bipartisan manner to draft the USA PATRIOT Act, Pat Leahy helped improve the Bush Administration's original proposal by:
1. Improving security on the Northern Border and adding important measures to use technology to make our borders more secure;
2. Adding provisions to combat money laundering;
3. Adding programs to improve information sharing and coordination with State and local law enforcement agencies;
4. Providing grants to State and local governments to respond to bioterrorism;
5. Increasing payments to the families of fallen firefighters and police officers;
6. Adding humanitarian relief to immigrant victims of the September 11 attacks;
7. Adding assistance to the FBI to hire translators;
8. Adding measures to fight cybercrime;
9. Adding a provision to fight terrorism against mass transportation systems;
10. Adding important checks and balances on the proposed expansion of government powers that were not included in Attorney General Ashcroft's original proposal.
Keeping the Administration Accountable
Despite the trust and cooperation Congress offered the President in the aftermath of September 11 th the Administration has responded with unilateralism and a lack of cooperation with bipartisan oversight efforts in Congress.
EFFECTIVELY EXAMINING THE LAW -- An open and honest examination of how law enforcement has used the new powers provided by the Patriot Act is the only way to determine which parts of the law need to be changed. Pat Leahy has led in the demand for accountability and has been outspoken about several sections of the Act, including:
USE OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY LETTER (NSL) — NSLs are a form of administrative subpoena that are used to secretly obtain certain business records in terrorism and intelligence investigations. The Patriot Act greatly expands the FBI's authority to collect information under NSLs, including information from public libraries. The Administration has sought even broader authority under NSLs.
NEED FOR JUDICIAL OVERSIGHT — Even the Attorney General has acknowledged that judicial approval requirements are a "critical check" on law enforcement excesses. Administrative subpoenas do not require this check, and the Administration has not made the case for further eroding judicial oversight in federal investigations.
SNEAK AND PEAK WARRANTS — Like other search warrants, "sneak and peeks" require probable cause to believe that evidence of criminal activity will be found on the premises. But unlike other search warrants, these warrants allow delays in informing the owners of the premises that searches have been conducted. Pat Leahy fought to include protections against government abuse of sneak and peeks in the law. But the Bush Administration has been reluctant to offer information on the use of sneak and peeks, which obstructs Congress' ability to improve the law.
DATA MINING — Data mining projects collect vast amounts of personal information about citizens with little or no process for ensuring that the information is accurate.
FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE SURVEILLANCE ACT (FISA) Court — The Justice Department is attempting to extend the number and types of matters that are pursued through the secret FISA Court, rather than through traditional, more transparent means. The FISA Court, although staffed by highly respected jurists, is neither required to publish its opinions nor any information that is released about its operations. To address this issue, Pat Leahy has introduced several reforms that would allow public access to non-classified information and restore the necessary level of transparency to ensure government accountability.
Pat Leahy has been a leader in the protection of human rights and in the promotion of peaceful solutions to world-wide conflicts. He's worked as the head of his party on the Foreign Operations Subcommittee for more than a decade, fighting to make a priority of constructive international efforts, including those having to do with HIV/AIDS, disaster relief, refugee aid, global vaccinations and health programs.
Standing up to pressure from the Bush Administration, Pat Leahy was one of only 23 Senators who voted against the war in Iraq. He later also opposed giving President Bush a blank check to continue the use force in Iraq rather than explore diplomatic solutions.
However, after the war began Pat Leahy worked to make sure that active and deployed troops going to Iraq had the best equipment, the best benefits and the support of the American people.
Calling for Greater Accountability
CALLED FOR MORE THOROUGH UN INSPECTIONS -- Before the war, he called on the Bush Administration and the U.N. Security Council to conduct a complete inspection for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
WHERE'S THE PLAN? -- After troops entered Iraq, he praised the work of the American soldiers in ousting Saddam Hussein. But he continues to call on the Administration to explain why there is no plan for the future or truthful explanation for why we went to war and why companies with close ties to the Administration are greatly profiting while the goal of a self-sustaining Iraq remains far away.
WHERE ARE THE WMDs? -- Pat Leahy has demanded that the Administration produce evidence for its decision to rush to war, and he is paying close attention to the investigation that is looking into this issue.
Voting Against Giving the Administration a Blank Check
AN $87 BILLION BLANK CHECK – When the Administration asked for $87 billion, Pat Leahy asked for answers. He wanted a detailed proposal for how the situation in Iraq would be improved compared to the President's irresponsible, take-it-or-leave-it approach. Senator Leahy created and supported amendments to the Iraq spending bill, including ones that would have:
1. separated money for the troops from the controversial reconstruction funding, in order to expedite support for our troops while leaving the issue of reconstruction for further examination and debate;
2. required the Administration to build an international coalition, including the United Nations and our global friends and allies;
3. put Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, rather than the Pentagon, in charge of the relief and reconstruction activities, as has been the case for every post-conflict reconstruction effort for the last 50 years;
4. paid for the reconstruction by repealing a small amount of the tax cut for the wealthiest Americans, rather than placing the burden of yet even more debt on the backs of our children and grandchildren;
5. provided assistance to innocent civilians who are injured by military operations; and
6. created tough new criminal penalties for war profiteering in Iraq.
Protecting American Interests
WAS IT WORTH RUSHING IN? – More than 1900 American troops have died and our relationships with allies around the world have suffered due to our rush to war—allies whose help we need in the global war on terrorism.
Although more than two billion people worldwide live in diseased and poverty-stricken communities, the U.S. spends less than 1 percent of the budget on foreign assistance programs. Most industrialized nations do far better. Pat Leahy has been a leader in urging the United States—a nation that the entire world expects to provide leadership—to significantly increase foreign assistance help in order to more effectively combat these problems.
Funding the Fight
MORE THAN A SLIVER – Pat Leahy has urged Congress and the Administration to triple foreign assistance. This would promote U.S. security, values and humanitarian interests around the world.
HELPING THE WORLD'S POOREST COUNTRIES -- Pat Leahy has long supported debt forgiveness for the world's poorest countries and the U.S. commitment to the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. In addition, recognizing the ravaging effects of the countries hit hardest by HIV/AIDS, he has led the way for increased aid for those countries.
Pat Leahy has worked hard to reduce the threat of infectious diseases and to increase funding to improve health care in poor countries.
FUNDING VACCINATIONS -- After requesting a study of the problem of low vaccination rates in poor countries, Pat Leahy launched an initiative to dramatically increase help for programs to combat infectious diseases. This initiative has resulted in hundreds of millions of additional dollars to strengthen international surveillance of disease outbreaks and development of tactics to combat these problems.
COUNTERING THE PRESIDENT'S CUTS -- The President's budget slashes essential international health programs by 11.4 percent and cuts programs for vulnerable children by 64 percent. In March 2004, Pat Leahy increased support for global health programs by $330 million, rolling back cuts that President Bush's budget would impose on key global health programs, as well as adding enough resources to strengthen those efforts.
INCREASING THE FUNDING -- Pat Leahy has been a leader in Congress fighting to secure and increase help for programs to combat HIV/AIDS, including the Global AIDS Initiative, the Global Fund, and the World Health Organization's HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Cluster. In 2004, he worked to increase the level of funding to the Global AIDS Initiative by $289 million, and he fought for a $1.64 billion funding level, $400 million more than President Bush requested.
NOT ACCEPTING HUMANS RIGHTS VIOLATIONS -- Pat Leahy protected human rights internationally, including creating the "Leahy Law," a law which cuts off U.S. aid to nations where evidence exists of human rights violations.
CALLING FOR INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE -- As a longtime supporter of the International Criminal Court, he has urged the Administration to re-join this important court which prosecutes the most serious international crimes, including war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity. On numerous occasions, Pat Leahy has spoken out about the need for the United States to be a part of this essential element in the role of international justice.
Pat Leahy has long been the leading U.S. official in the fight against the use of cluster bombs and landmines by the world's militaries.
BANNING ALL LANDMINES -- Throughout the Clinton and Bush Administrations, Pat Leahy has tirelessly urged that the U.S. enter into the Ottawa Treaty, which would ban the use of antipersonnel landmines. He also wrote and passed the world's first law banning the U.S. export of landmines.
HELPING THE VICTIMS – Pat Leahy created the Leahy War Victims Fund to support medical clinics throughout the world that treat the victims of landmines.
EXPOSING THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION -- Pat Leahy has been outspoken in exposing the Administration's policy toward the use of anti-personnel landmines.. When the Administration publicized that it would eliminate the use of "dumb" landmines, Pat Leahy blew the whistle by letting the American people know that it has been decades since the United States has in fact used this type of landmine.
SAVING INNOCENT LIVES – Pat Leahy urged the Administration to change its policy so that the U.S. military would not be using cluster bombs in Iraq. Roughly 2 to 20 percent of bomblets dropped by the U.S. are ‘duds,' meaning they do not explode on impact and remain on the ground where they remain for unsuspecting farmers, children, or U.S. troops.
As Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee from 2001-2003 and as the committee's Democratic leader, Pat Leahy has fought to protect the independence of America's federal judiciary.
Pat Leahy has taken on difficult fights in considering nominees for life-time appointments that are far removed from the mainstream. He believes that judicial activists who place their personal ideology above the law threaten the independence of our courts.
Efficient Consideration of Judicial Nominees
Senator Leahy helped to achieve the lowest vacancy rate in the federal courts in 14 years.
By April 2004, 173 Bush judicial nominations had been confirmed, 100 of which were confirmed under Senator Leahy's leadership.
Under President Clinton, Republicans blocked more than 60 percent of judicial nominations from getting hearings or votes.
3 of 173 Bush nominations did not receive Senate approval. During the Clinton administration, more than 20 percent of nominations were blocked.
Separate But Equal Branches of Government
CONGRESS SHOULD NOT BE A RUBBER STAMP – The Constitution grants the President the power to suggest nominees and the Senate the power to advise and consent about these nominees being appointed to lifelong positions on the judicial bench. The Senate is not a rubber stamp for any President's nominations.
NOMINEES RECEIVE HEARINGS – Pat Leahy scheduled hearings at a faster rate than the Republicans did for President Clinton's nominees. A number of President Clinton's nominees were never allowed hearings or votes.
HIGH RATE OF CONFIRMATION – The Senate has confirmed 173 of President Bush's judicial nominations, and has blocked six on the Senate floor. The President chose to undermine the Senate's role and installed two of these nominees as "recess appointees," and another nominee withdrew to take another job. Republicans blocked 20 percent of President Clinton's judicial nominations, while only 2.3 percent of President Bush's have been blocked
Protecting the Environment
From our snow-topped Green Mountains to our crystal blue lakes, Vermonters have always placed high value on the environment. Senator Leahy is proud to represent these values in the United States Senate. By leading the way on clean air, clean water, and renewable energy policy, he has proposed the first comprehensive plan to curb mercury pollution and enact the nation's first "green" farm bills which have helped farmers become strong partners in environmental progress in their communities.
Protecting Lake Champlain
The Leahy Center For Lake Champlain
HANDS-ON EDUCATION – For five years, Pat Leahy worked with the City of Burlington and the University of Vermont to create their Patrick and Marcelle Leahy Center for Lake Champlain that houses ECHO and the Rubenstein lab. This state-of-the-art science center is expected to educate and entertain thousands of visitors each year about all aspects of our beautiful lake.
Lake Champlain Research Consortium
PROTECTING LAKE CHAMPLAIN -- Pat Leahy has provided colleges and universities throughout Vermont with $150,000 to $200,000 a year for basic water and air monitoring research on Lake Champlain.
Sea Grant Program and "Great" Lake Champlain
THE SIXTH GREAT LAKE – After Pat Leahy had Lake Champlain temporarily deemed a " Great Lake ," the Lake was able to receive money from the federal Sea Grant Program. He has continued working with the University of Vermont 's Lake Champlain Sea Grant program to bring in more than $500,000 for the lake and to make it an independent program.
STOPPING THE INTRUDERS -- By renewing the National Aquatic Invasive Species Act, Pat Leahy fought for funding to halt the spread of invasive aquatic species such as sea lampreys, water chestnuts, zebra mussels, and Eurasian milfoil in Lake Champlain.
KEEPING IT CLEAN – Pat Leahy has worked to protect the Lake Champlain basin by getting Vermont wastewater grants to help towns reduce the discharge of phosphorus-containing wastewater into the lake.
A Vibrant Green Mountain National Forest
Growing the Green Mountain National Forest (GMNF)
PROTECTING THEIR HABITATS – In the past six years, Pat Leahy worked to get more than $10 million to protect lands within the GMNF, which include key black bear habitat, salmon habitat and scenic mountain vistas.
Land Acquisition and Wilderness Protection
MORE GREEN ACRES – Pat Leahy has succeeded in adding more than 120,000 acres to the Green Mountain National Forest. He and the Vermont Congressional Delegation soon will consider legislation for wilderness additions to the enlarged GMNF.
Protecting the Working Forests
SAVING THE FORESTS – Since 1990, the Forest Legacy program Pat Leahy created has helped Vermonters protect more than 50,000 forested acres. As a result of this program, in 2001 Vermont received $1.2 million in Forest Legacy funds to purchase conservation easements on more than 6000 acres of forested land in the Northern Forest and Mt. Holly Wildlife Corridor.
HELPING FORESTLAND OWNERS -- Pat Leahy has continued working to increase forest stewardship funding to help private forestland owners develop stewardship plans for their woodlands.
Northeastern States Research Cooperative
KNOWING THE NORTHERN FOREST -- Originally proposed to be a research program to better understand ecosystems and rural development issues in the Northern Forest, the Northeastern States Research Cooperative (NSRC) that Pat Leahy fought for in the Senate has provided $1 million for NSRC in Vermont.
Reducing Mercury Pollution
Omnibus Mercury Act
STOPPING THE SOURCE OF THE PROBLEM -- Pat Leahy introduced the Omnibus Mercury Emissions Reduction Act, the first and only comprehensive mercury pollution control bill to be proposed in Congress. The bill was originally introduced to propose regulations for the five worst industrial sources of mercury identified in the Environmental Protection Agency's 1997 Mercury Report to Congress. The current version addresses issues of mercury left behind by defunct industries and also ensures adequate funding for the national mercury monitoring network.
The Maximum Achievable Control Technology Standard
REDUCING POLLUTION – Pat Leahy has worked with the Environmental Protection Agency to make sure the Maximum Achievable Control Technology's (MACT) new regulations are enforced. The MACT standards would require power plants to reduce mercury pollution by 90 percent by 2007. Pat Leahy called for stricter restrictions on mercury pollution than the Bush Administration's Clear Skies proposal.
Battling the Food and Drug Administration On Mercury Standards
PROTECTING OUR FOOD -- Pat Leahy has pressed the Food and Drug Administration to adopt a stricter "action level" (the level at which they can legally remove fish from the market) and to be more active in public education about the risks of methylmercury exposure – particularly to pregnant women and young children.
Creating Recreational Opportunities
Like many Vermonters, Pat Leahy enjoys spending time in Vermont's outdoors and has worked to expand recreational opportunities throughout the Green Mountain State.
CONSERVING RIVERS AND TRAILS – Pat Leahy worked with the national Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance program to help numerous projects in Vermont, including the Wells River "Cross Vermont" project, Lake Champlain walkways, Champion Lands Long Term Access Plan, and the Trail Around Middlebury. He also secured more than $200,000 in for the Northern Forest Canoe Trail.
PROTECTING THE FUNDING – Pat Leahy led the Senate to restore funding for the statewide Land and Water Conservation Fund, which supports local conservation and recreation projects.
FISHERIES – In addition to working to improve Vermont's Pittsford and White River hatcheries, Pat Leahy secured more than $300,000 to repair the raceways and other infrastructure at Pittsford.
Burlington Harbor Improvements
PROTECTING THE HARBOR – Pat Leahy worked to get more than $4 million to help restore the historic lighthouses and to repair the Burlington Breakwater to protect the harbor.
REPAIRING THE DAM – After working to urgently fund the failing Waterbury Dam, Pat Leahy then arranged an agreement for the Army that the Corps of Engineers to be fully responsible for dam repair costs. He and Senator Jeffords and Congressman Sanders have worked together to secure the funds that are being used to repair the dam.
Restoring the Connecticut River
Connecticut River Joint Commissions
In 1998 and 1999, Senator Leahy helped bring nearly $200,000 to the Commissions. He is also the lead sponsor of legislation to make the Commissions eligible for funding from the National Park Service through the statutory aid account.
Connecticut River Atlantic Salmon Commission
Pat Leahy won authorization for the Connecticut River Atlantic Salmon Commission in the 2002 Farm Bill and then led the funding effort in 2002, securing $500,000 for the Commission to restore salmon habitat along the Connecticut River.
Elizabeth Mine Superfund Site
Pat Leahy has been a constant advisor and facilitator for state and local leaders involved in the Elizabeth Mine clean-up effort. Through his leadership, all parties have come to a voluntary agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency that the mine site should be added to the National Priorities List (a precursor to Superfund status) and should receive federal aid in the mine remediation effort.
Connecticut River Science Consortium
Pat Leahy has worked to secure support for the Connecticut River Science Consortium since 1999, resulting in the University of Vermont receiving $100,000 per year.
Protecting Vermont's Natural Treasures
Missisquoi Headquarters Building
Pat Leahy secured more than $2 million to build a new headquarters and visitor contact building at the Missisquoi Refuge.
PROTECTING THE NULHEGAN BASIN -- In 1999, Pat Leahy worked to get more than $6 million in federal funds to protect 26,000 acres of the Nulhegan Basin and create the Nulhegan section of the Conte National Wildlife Refuge. In working out the arrangements, Pat Leahy pledged to Vermonters that they would be able to keep their traditional access to the lands, including fishing, hunting, trapping, and snowmobiling.
PRESERVING THE NULHEGAN BASIN -- Pat Leahy has continued to help protect this area through annual land acquisition funding, including $1 million in 2000 and $1.1 million in 2001 and 2002. Also, in 2002 he got the initial funding for the construction of the headquarters building.
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park
Pat Leahy has been a key supporter of the Marsh-Billings-Rockerfeller Park since it was opened. He has helped with operations funding, with support for the Conservation Study Institute, and with key maintenance money to install fire protection.
In 1990, Pat Leahy was one of the first senators to push for improvements in the clean air law, and he is continuing this mission with his introduction of theClean Power Plant and Modernization Act, which would enact reform through emissions caps. This bill also promotes tax incentives for new, clean, and efficient equipment and authorizes increased funding for national air monitoring systems to upgrade and repair the systems that are now over two decades old.
Holding the Bush Administration Accountable
Forestry Regulations—Defending the Public's Voice
LISTENING TO THE PUBLIC -- Pat Leahy has been an outspoken critic of the Bush Administration's push to limit public input on Forest Service land management decisions. In the last year, the Administration has proposed new rules to curtail National Environmental Policy Act reviews, limit administrative appeals, and reduce interagency review of the impact Forest Service activities would have on endangered species. Many of these proposals are also part of the Administration's "Healthy Forests Initiative" that Senator Leahy opposed. Senator Leahy offered alternative legislation that would help reduce wildfire risk while protecting our environmental laws and public participation.
Energy Plan and Clean Air
OPPOSING THE ADMINISTRATION'S SCHEME -- Pat Leahy questioned why the Bush Administration's National Energy Plan rolled policies back to the 1950's and why it was created by Vice President Cheney's secret task force.
CALLING FOR ACCOUNTABILITY – Pat Leahy pressed the Administration to find out how the New Source Review of the Clean Air Act resulted in reduced regulations for polluters.
Pat Leahy continues to work to ensure that today's seniors have expanded access to health care and prescription drugs, better protection from criminals, and remain connected as vital parts of the community.
Prescription Drug Affordability
EXPOSING UNREASONABLE DEALS -- Pat Leahy's Drug Competition Act exposed the secret deals between branded and generic pharmaceutical companies that keep generic drugs off the market.
HOLDING PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES ACCOUNTABLE -- Pat Leahy called for drug companies to reveal their gifts to physicians in an effort to reveal what may be a significant factor in the high cost of prescription drugs.
FIGHTING UNDUE PATENT EXTENSIONS -- Pat Leahy has led the fight to prevent brand drug companies from unnecessarily extending the lucrative patents of some of their top selling products, especially Schering Plough's popular allergy medication Claritin.
SUPPORTING REIMPORTATION -- Pat Leahy has supported efforts that allow Vermonters to import low-cost safe drugs from Canada. When GlaxoSmithKline announced it would not sell drugs to Canadian pharmacies that in turn sell to Americans, Pat Leahy prevented drug companies such as Glaxo from taking federal tax deductions for research and development.
PRESCRIPTION DRUG BENEFITS – Pat Leahy has fought for a voluntary prescription drug benefit as part of the Medicare program for all beneficiaries and against the Administration's incomplete plan that shortchanges seniors and showers benefits on big drug companies.
The Seniors Safety Act
PROTECTING FROM FRAUD – Continuing his efforts to protect seniors from fraud, Pat Leahy introduced the Seniors Safety Act to increase the sentences of offenders who prey on elderly victims and to prevent and punish telemarketing fraud, pension fraud, nursing home abuse and health care fraud.
Increased Internet Access
IMPROVED ACCESS – Working with the directors of senior centers throughout Vermont, in 2000 Pat Leahy explored the access to and use of computers and the Internet at these centers and then worked to get better access to technology for seniors.
PROTECTING SOCIAL SECURITY – Pat Leahy has strongly supported the protection of Social Security for all seniors, and has opposed reckless fiscal policies that, if not corrected, could harm the Social Security system's solvency.
HOLDING GOVERNMENT RESPONSIBLE – Pat Leahy has called for the government not to deplete the surplus that we have promised to our country's seniors.
Known as the "cyber Senator," Pat Leahy is one of the most tech-savvy members of Congress. In addition to being a founding member and co-chair of the Congressional Internet Caucus and one of the first senators to launch a web page, this June Pat Leahy will be holding his eighth annual statewide E-business seminar. As technology advances, Pat Leahy has fought to protect privacy while also working to use technology to benefit the people of Vermont at home, school, and work.
For two years in a row, Pat Leahy has received the "Golden Mouse" award, which recognizes Congressional web sites for the best content and formats. Yahoo Internet Magazine has called him one of the most Internet-savvy members of Congress.
Spurring Business Growth
REINVESTING IN AMERICA – Pat Leahy worked to boost the economy by providing an incentive for corporations to reinvest foreign assets in America by creating a one-year window during which American corporations can take foreign assets and reinvest them at home at a lower tax rate of only 5.25 percent.
CONNECTING VERMONT – By introducing the Broadband Internet Access Act, Pat Leahy is continuing his effort to connect Vermonters with faster Internet service and to connect areas previously underserved.
INVESTING IN VERMONT – By working to bring broadband to Vermont, Pat Leahy is helping businesses by encouraging investment in high-speed telecom equipment.
WI-FI CAPITAL – Working with Vermont businesses, Pat Leahy has helped Montpelier become one of the nation's first capitals to have wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) Internet service.
The Women's Economic Conference
BENEFITING FROM YOUR COMPUTER -- For seven years, Pat Leahy has organized the Women's Economic Opportunity Conference. The conferences feature workshops designed to teach about the benefits and drawbacks of E-commerce and about getting the most out of personal computers and the Internet.
Intellectual Property Protection
Helping Businesses and Schools Tap the Power of the Internet
PROTECTING AMERICAN BUSINESSES – Pat Leahy's Madrid Protocol Implementation Act helps American businesses by protecting companies' trademarks as they sell their goods and services internationally, especially when selling over the Internet.
PROTECTING ARTISTS AND CONSUMERS – Pat Leahy has been a leader in the Senate in working to properly connect consumers to their favorite artists.
PROMOTING DISTANCE LEARNING – Through Pat Leahy's efforts, teachers are now able to use the same materials in distance learning over the Internet that they would use face-to-face in the classroom, helping students to more easily get their education.
Technology to Protect Kids
PROTECTING OUR CHILDREN – Pat Leahy has been a leader in using technology to protect our children, whether it's chartering a national AMBER Alert system to get the message out when a child has been abducted, or creating new tools to protect children against online predators.
Preventing Unwanted Information
PREVENTING SPAM – Pat Leahy has been outspoken in his opposition to the abuse of e-mail by spammers and co-wrote a new law that makes it a crime.
PROTECTING YOUR INFORMATION – A leading champion of personal privacy rights, Pat Leahy has worked to protect people's personal and financial information to ensure privacy.
Research and Development
EXTENDING TAX BENEFITS – Recognizing that the research and development tax credit is a strong incentive for businesses to increase research spending, and that it results in more jobs and a stronger economy, Pat Leady has strongly supported this credit.
Internet Tax Moratorium
STOPPING DISCRIMINATORY INTERNET TAXES – Beginning in 1998, Pat Leahy has led in preventing taxes on Internet access and has also worked to blocked discriminating taxes on electronic commerce.
Seniors' Internet Access
INCREASING ACCESS – Working with the directors of senior centers throughout Vermont, in 2000 Pat Leahy identified the need to improve access to and use of computers and the Internet at these centers, and he has since worked to get better access to technology for seniors.
TALKING WITH STUDENTS – Pat Leahy regularly schedules on-line chats with school rooms in Vermont, in which he answers students' questions and encourages their studies of civics and current events. Questions range from asking about his favorite food to his work on banning landmines