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  • Sen. Patrick J. Leahy              Associated Press photo

    NORIEGA: Firing back at the DEA

    Sen. Leahy undermines the agents who protect Vermont

  • Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., Wisconsin Republican, speaks at a town-hall meeting on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013, in West Bend, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

    Patriot Act author introduces bill to halt NSA snooping

    The Republican author of the Patriot Act in the House and the senior Democrat in the Senate teamed together Tuesday to write a bill that would stop the National Security Agency's bulk collection of phone records and require a court order if the government wants to search through Americans' communications.

  • Illustration by Alexander Hunter for The Washington Times

    WRIGHT: What difference does it make?

    Washington politicians' egos, penchant for nepotism and disregard for taxpayers' money knows no bounds. For weeks leading up to the country's second government shutdown in nearly 20 years, all America talked about, and continues to, is the nation's spending — and the nearly $17 trillion debt problem.

  • National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith Alexander testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, before the Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. U.S. intelligence officials say the government shutdown is seriously damaging the intelligence community’s ability to guard against threats. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

    NSA chief's admission of misleading numbers adds to Obama administration blunders

    The Obama administration's credibility on intelligence suffered another blow Wednesday as the chief of the National Security Agency admitted that officials put out numbers that vastly overstated the counterterrorism successes of the government's warrantless bulk collection of all Americans' phone records.

  • **FILE** Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat, chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Associated Press)

    Top senator calls for scrapping key snooping Patriot Act section

    The Senate's senior lawmaker said Tuesday that it is time to repeal provisions of the Patriot Act that the intelligence community has relied on to collect all Americans' phone records, saying they are not making the country safer.

  • Illustration by Nancy Ohanian

    PAUL: The madness of mandatory minimums

    I applaud President Obama's recognition that mandatory minimum sentencing for nonviolent drug offenders needs to end.

  • **FILE** Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (right), Vermont Democrat, and the committee's ranking Republican, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, arrive on Capitol Hill on July 31, 2013, as the panel questioned top Obama administration officials about the National Security Agency's surveillance programs for the first time since the House narrowly rejected a proposal last week to effectively shut down the NSA's secret collection of hundreds of millions of Americans' phone records. (Associated Press)

    Senate to hold hearings on NSA privacy violations

    The Senate's most senior lawmaker said Friday that the intelligence community is still not being truthful about its snooping activities and how they may be picking up communications from Americans, and vowed to hold hearings when Congress returns from its summer vacation.

  • Vice President Joseph R. Biden pats President Obama on the chest Thursday while he speaks at a reception in the East Room of the White House to celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month. (Associated Press)

    Obama gets caught between advocates of gay rights, immigration reform

    Even as President Obama extolled the contributions of gay citizens Thursday, a clash over gay rights on Capitol Hill was threatening to unravel his cherished goal of immigration reform.

  • **FILE** Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat, chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Associated Press)

    Gay-rights amendment could complicate immigration debate

    Sen. Patrick J. Leahy introduced an amendment to the immigration bill Tuesday that would extend immigration benefits to gay partners of American citizens, potentially injecting that contentious issue into the middle of the immigration debate.

  • ** FILE ** Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, responds to questions and offers remarks during an interview in Washington on Wednesday, July 6, 2011. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

    Immigration reform bill clears committee hurdles, heads to full Senate

    The Senate immigration bill cleared the Judiciary Committee on a bipartisan vote Tuesday night, ducking — for now — big fights on guns, gay rights and how broadly the legalization is drawn, and leaving the 867-page overhaul mostly unscathed by conservative attacks.

  • **FILE** Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat, chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Associated Press)

    EDITORIAL: The immigration poison pill

    The immigration "reform" cooked up by the Gang of Eight is finally on the front burner in Congress. The Senate Judiciary Committee will mark up the comprehensive package Thursday, and already it appears the process is doomed to failure, and by design.

  • **FILE** Illegal immigrants prepare to enter a bus after being processed at the U.S. Border Patrol's Tucson Sector headquarters on Aug. 9, 2012, in Tucson, Ariz. (Associated Press)

    DHS management problems could hinder immigration bill: audit

    The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee introduced amendments Tuesday to grant gay couples the same immigration rights as other married couples, setting up a key hurdle for the immigration bill.

  • Sen. Jeff Sessions (left), Alabama Republican, and Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat

    Patrick Leahy warns Jeff Sessions: Don't mess with immigration talks

    Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a leading voice in the immigration reform debate, sent a strong word of caution Sen. Jeff Sessions' way: Don't "discredit the process" of scheduled Senate talks.

  • Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (shown) and D.C. Council member David A. Catania are spearheading efforts in their respective legislative bodies to protect the privacy of personal email accounts. (Associated Press)

    Patrick Leahy, Susan Collins roll out bipartisan gun trafficking bill

    Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat and Sen. Susan M. Collins, Maine Republican, announced new legislation on the Senate floor Monday that would make gun trafficking a federal crime and crack down on straw purchasing — one of the first bipartisan gun-related measures to be introduced after the Newtown, Conn., shootings in December.

  • Coburn

    Senate renews Violence Against Women Act on 78-22 vote

    Treading on touchy territory, the Senate on Tuesday defeated a plan to push states to test accused rapists for sexually transmitted diseases, so their victims could then know what treatments to get.

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