Press Releases


Senator Whitehouse Delivers Weekly Democratic Address

“This week, President Trump hosted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other top Republicans at the White House to celebrate the extreme, far-right conservative judges they’ve jammed onto the federal courts,” said Senator Whitehouse. “If you’re wondering why Republicans haven’t taken up any of the important bills the House passed this year - like the For The People Act, to clean up corruption and special interest influence in government; or the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization;

After President Trump, Senate Majority Leader McConnell, and other top Republicans celebrated the confirmation of extreme, far-right conservative judges this week, Senator Whitehouse (D-RI) delivers this week's Weekly Democratic Address. In the address, Senator Whitehouse explains that the Senate has become a legislative graveyard under Majority Leader McConnell's leadership because Republicans are more focused on packing the courts with the president's partisan judges than voting on the more t… Continue Reading


New $25M Federal BUILD Grant to Help Drive Washington Bridge Repairs Forward

PROVIDENCE, RI - The projected $70 million project to rehabilitate the Washington Bridge's westbound span is getting a major boost thanks to a new $25 million federal BUILD grant, announced today by U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Representatives Jim Langevin and David Cicilline. The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will receive the federal Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Thi… Continue Reading


Senators Whitehouse and Enzi Offer Bipartisan Reforms to Fix Broken Budget Process

Senate Budget Committee member Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-WY) today introduced bipartisan legislation to fix the federal government's broken budget process. The Bipartisan Congressional Budget Reform Act would provide a more orderly, deliberative budget process focused on long-term fiscal planning. It would end the brinksmanship surrounding the debt limit and encourage bipartisan collaboration in tackling our growing debt and deficits. Cosponsoring the … 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: Colorado

As-prepared for delivery

Mr./Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that Lucia Simonelli, a AAAS fellow in my office, be granted floor privileges for the remainder of this Congress. I rise today for the 257th time to call this chamber to wake up to the threat of climate change. Today, I report on my trip to Colorado to see how climate change is affecting life in the Centennial State, and to learn more about the remarkable action Coloradans are taking to confront climate change. Colorado is the 18th state I have vi… Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up: Marathon Petroleum

As-prepared for delivery.

When historians look back at why the United States failed so badly to take on climate change, they'll of course focus on the political efforts of the world's largest oil companies, Exxon, Chevron, BP, and Shell; they'll note the obstructive role of leading trade associations, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the American Petroleum Institute; and they'll chronicle the network of phony front groups set up by Big Oil and the Koch brothers to sow doubt of … Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up: ACE Rule on CRA


Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Madam President, I am delighted to join my colleagues from Maryland and Delaware to support this resolution expressing disapproval of the Trump administration rescinding the Clean Power Plan and replacing it with its so-called affordable clean energy rule, which is a name fanciful enough to make George Orwell blush. The first thing to understand about the so-called affordable clean energy rule is that it is a do-nothing rule, exactly as the polluters wish. EPA admits its own rul… Continue Reading

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R.I. hospitals should coordinate, not split themselves apart

Once the hard feelings of the recent failed hospital merger abate, we need to get back to work improving health-care delivery in Rhode Island. Competition works in much of the economy, but not so well in health care; not when you're brought to the emergency room unconscious; not for complicated illnesses; not for people managing multiple conditions. Rhode Island has invested a lot of effort into building the elements of a smart, coordinated system to serve patients, especially in the areas of d… Continue Reading


On Kavanaugh and the FBI, time to investigate the investigation: Sen. Whitehouse

Why didn't the FBI pursue tip-line leads and interview witnesses? As a US attorney, I wouldn't have made charging decisions on such cursory work.

When I was a U.S. attorney, I worked closely with the FBI. When the FBI investigators were looking at something, what they wanted was information. The FBI is a machine for the acquisition and retention of information on cases. When the FBI began repelling and deflecting information in its investigation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh's alleged history of sexual misconduct last year, that was unusual - a warning flag. Because of my position on the Senate Judiciary Committee, people reached out to my of… Continue Reading


The Supreme Court has become just another arm of the GOP

Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat, represents Rhode Island in the U.S. Senate. Politics is a team sport. We battle, and our courts are supposed to referee our disputes. But what if one team spent years and millions of dollars to capture the referees, so the refs could declare that team the winner whenever they fell short on the field? If you were on the other team, you'd cry foul. You'd ask: "Hey, when did the law become a team sport, too?'' A few weeks ago, several Senate co… Continue Reading

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