Press Releases


Whitehouse, Klobuchar, Leahy, Blumenthal Press Justice Department on Investigation into U.S. Automakers

The senators followed up on questions raised to the Assistant Attorney General of Antitrust at the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights oversight hearing earlier this week

U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) wrote to Attorney General William Barr expressing serious concerns regarding reports of a Department of Justice (DOJ) antitrust investigation into four automakers that entered into an agreement with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to set vehicle emission standards. On September 6, the Wall Street Journal reported that the DOJ had launched an investigation into whether For… Continue Reading


Senators Whitehouse, Hassan Press Justice Department for 2006 Purdue Pharma Prosecution Memo

Letter Calls for Details of Rudy Giuliani and Justice Department Officials’ Involvement in Quashing Prosecution of Purdue Executives

Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) pressed the U.S. Department of Justice to turn over a 2006 memo laying out federal prosecutors' strong criminal case against Purdue Pharma-and related documents that could show why the Department of Justice failed to act on the memo's recommendations and instead let Purdue Pharma off with a slap on the wrist. "Justice Department prosecutors uncovered compelling evidence of the origins of the opioid crisis dating to the 1990s. The publi… Continue Reading


Reed, Whitehouse Honor Bicentennial of Congdon Street Baptist Church

U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse have entered the following statements into the Senate Record in honor of the bicentennial of the Congdon Street Baptist Church in Providence: "Mr. REED. Mr. President, today I join with my colleague Senator Whitehouse, the city of Providence, and the State of Rhode Island in celebrating the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Congdon Street Baptist Church, Rhode Island's oldest Black congregation. For generations, it has been a spiritual hom… Continue Reading

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In the News


Comey Violated Important Principle by Disclosing Emails Investigation to Congress

As a former attorney general of my state, and a former United States attorney, it is perplexing for me to try to understand FBI Director James Comey's conduct in the agency's investigation of emails related to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. We prosecutors lived by principles that he seems to have violated: Don't discuss investigations, whether or not they are ongoing. Don't volunteer evidence you haven't charged. And don't engage with legislators. I had a hard-and-fast rule … Continue Reading


Why Republicans Continue to Deny Climate Science

Republicans in Congress and on the campaign trail are digging themselves into quite a hole. Climate change is both a critical issue for our world's security and sustainability, and a key political issue that could help decide who wins the White House in 2016. And yet Republicans continue to deny climate science, dismiss the urgency of action, or exaggerate the costs of the President's plans to address it. To read the full article, click here.… Continue Reading


The Many Sins of ‘Citizens United’

Our politics is awash in cash. Super PACs supporting presidential candidates have banked more than $250 million through June 30-nearly 10 times more than at this point in the 2012 cycle. "Dark money" from anonymous donors is also surging (dark to us, of course; you can bet the candidates know). The political network of Charles and David Koch has said that it plans to spend as much as $900 million in the 2016 election cycle, raised mostly from undisclosed donors. "For that kind of money, you cou… Continue Reading

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Time to Wake Up: We Did Start the Fire

As prepared for delivery

Mr./Madam President, I rise today for my 253rd "Time to Wake Up" speech. If you felt like the heat this summer was particularly brutal, you were not imagining things. July was the hottest month ever recorded, according to NOAA. The Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization noted "July has rewritten climate history, with dozens of new temperature records at [the] local, national and global level." NOAA says 2019 is on track to tie for the second hottest year on record. Over… Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up: Wyoming

As prepared for delivery

Mr./Madam President, I have often spoken about how climate change is affecting Rhode Island: rising sea levels will remake our map; warming seas are shifting our traditional fisheries away from Rhode Island waters; a hotter climate creates public health risks for Rhode Islanders. The list goes on. In the Senate I've also tried to learn how climate change is affecting other states. Some states are coastal, some are upland. Some are urban, some are rural. Some are mountainous, some are flat. … Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up: Who Funds The Chamber?

As prepared for delivery

Mr./Madam President, before I begin my 251st Time to Wake up remarks, I would like to thank two AAAS fellows who will be leaving my office. Dr. Kim Binsted came to us from the University of Hawaii, where was the principal investigator on the NASA-sponsored Hi-Seas project, studying conditions like those astronauts would encounter on Mars. Next month, she returns to Hawaii to continue her research. Dr. Ryan Edwards joined us after completing his PhD at Princeton University, where he studied c… Continue Reading

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'Knick'-Picking: Why a Recent SCOTUS Ruling Signals a New Day

'Knick'-Picking: Why a Recent SCOTUS Ruling Signals a New Day

For years, back to when I argued the U.S. Supreme Court case Palazzolo v. Rhode Island as Rhode Island's attorney general, big-money developers and regulated industries and the lawyer groups that front for them have been trying to turn the Constitution's takings clause into a weapon against the government. The court's decision in Knick v. Township of Scott just gave them a big prize-and showed how much control those interests now have. At first glance, the facts in Knick are unremarkable: a par… Continue Reading


Saving the oceans — one place where Congress can agree

Republican Francis Rooney is a member of Congress representing Florida's 19th District. He is a co-chair of the Climate Solutions Caucus and is also a member of the Oceans Caucus. Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse is a U.S. Senator serving Rhode Island. He is a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and a Co-Chair of the Senate Oceans Caucus.

Human beings have not always been good stewards of our oceans. We have overexploited their natural gifts, polluted their waves with garbage, acidified them with carbon dioxide, and threatened their shores with offshore drilling. Thankfully, there is bipartisan support in Washington to take action. We come from different regions, backgrounds, and political parties. Yet we are united by our passion for keeping our coasts and oceans healthy. In New England, our fishing heritage has long been tied… Continue Reading


The Green New Deal vote shows Republicans would rather mock climate change than challenge big lobbying groups

If corporations are serious about climate change, they must take a hard look at groups that represent them while opposing all legislation.

We are from opposite coasts, serve on opposite sides of the Capitol and one of us is in the majority party while the other is in the minority, but we share one thing as members of Congress: The political experience of having a relentless adversary, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to any and all meaningful legislative solutions on climate change. We also share the experience of working with our local chambers of commerce, which represent the business community in our home states in positive, honor… Continue Reading

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