Press Releases


Reed, Whitehouse Reintroduce Public Health Care Option

Public option would provide high-quality, low-cost insurance choice

U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) have reintroduced the State Public Option Act, bicameral legislation to create a Medicaid-based public health care option to strengthen the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by providing Americans with a new high-quality, low-cost choice when purchasing health insurance. "I want Rhode Islanders to have affordable choices when it comes to health care and prescription drugs," said Senator Reed. "The State Public Option Act is a prescription fo… Continue Reading


Whitehouse Co-Chairs Bipartisan Delegation to 2019 Munich Security Conference

Schedule includes McCain Award presentation, panel on climate change as national security threat

Providence, RI - Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) this evening will set off for Munich, Germany to join more than 450 world leaders and international security decision-makers at the annual Munich Security Conference. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Whitehouse will co-chair a delegation that includes 17 members of Congress. Whitehouse has served as the Democratic lead for the Congressional delegation to the annual conference since 2013, originally at the invitation of the late Senator John … Continue Reading


Whitehouse Applauds Passage of Bipartisan Bill to Avoid Shutdown, Slams Trump’s Artificial ‘Emergency’

Spending bill includes significant funding for Whitehouse’s signature coastal fund

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today applauded Senate passage of a spending bill to avoid another funding lapse for the federal agencies affected by President Donald Trump's recent government shutdown and to secure important investments in bolstering coastal communities for climate change, treating addiction, and infrastructure upgrades. At the same time, Whitehouse slammed President Trump's intention to declare refugees legally seeking safety at the southern border a "national emergency" as… 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: A Green New Deal

As-prepared for delivery

I came here this afternoon to give my customary weekly climate speech urging it is time to wake up here. I was planning to speak about a legal brief that a number of scientists, led by Robert Brulle and Naomi Oreskes, filed in the Ninth Circuit, detailing the long history of the oil industry knowing about climate change, doing its own research to confirm what it knows about climate change, telling the public something that they knew was false, and yet taking what they knew to be true and using i… Continue Reading


Time To Wake Up: Carbon Dividends

As-prepared for delivery

Mr./Madam President, judging by the deafening silence of Senate Republicans, you would think that there was no conservative support in this country for even the most measured response to climate change. However, many prominent Republicans are clamoring for climate action-just not here in Mammon Hall. See, for example, this January 16 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal-not exactly a progressive lefty rag. The opening line: "Global climate change is a serious problem calling for immediate national… Continue Reading


Time To Wake Up: There’s No Place Like (an Underwater) Home

As-prepared for delivery

Madam President, I'm fortunate to be joined today by my colleague from New Hampshire, Senator Hassan, to talk about the risks to our New England coastal communities from the climate changes coming our way. Despite really dirty efforts of the fossil fuel industry to keep the truth at bay, the tide of public understanding is turning. A recent survey by Yale and George Mason Universities found that 73 percent of Americans now see global warming happening. That number is up 10 percentage points … Continue Reading

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Taxing Carbon Emissions

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse writes that “the savings from avoiding climate catastrophe are immense.”

To the Editor: I must respectfully disagree with my friend John Barrasso's Op-Ed article ("Cut Carbon Through Innovation, Not Regulation,", Dec. 18). First, the referendum result in Washington State looked like more relentless campaigning by the fossil fuel industry against climate action; without that industry onslaught, the carbon tax referendum there would probably have passed. Second, a carbon tax is not "expensive," except maybe for fossil fuel interests, as in our proposals … Continue Reading


Mergers should protect R.I. patients

We both remember when Rhode Island's major banks were headquartered here in Rhode Island. They kept management decision-making and high-paying jobs in the state while supporting local law firms, accountants, and other service providers. Bank executives provided a strong core of local civic leadership. When the banks merged out of state, it weakened the economic ecosystem. One of the best-known buildings in downtown Providence is a vacant former bank building. The same thing could happen in heal… Continue Reading


Stop Losing: A Senator’s Battle Plan for Beating the Right

World War II gave us flamboyant American heroes like George Patton and Douglas MacArthur, but Winston Churchill's favorite American general was the quiet, wise, efficient George C. Marshall, whom he called the "organizer of victory." Victory has traits. Victory must be organized. Organization requires strategy, preparation, tactics, training, and teamwork. Brave and able troops have been slaughtered throughout history in failures of organization. Losing has traits, too. As Democrats, we offer … Continue Reading

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