News

Press Releases

10.08.19

Whitehouse Calls for Passage of Buffett Rule After New Report Exposes Record Tax Inequality

Paying a Fair Share Act would ensure multi-million-dollar earners pay at least a 30 percent effective tax rate

After a new report published in The New York Times exposed that the top 400 earners paid a record low tax rate last year, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is calling on Congress to pass legislation that would prevent the wealthiest Americans from paying lower tax rates than middle-class families. Whitehouse's Paying a Fair Share Act, also known as the "Buffett Rule," would ensure that multi-million-dollar earners pay at least a 30 percent effective federal tax rate. "As Republicans have become… Continue Reading


10.04.19

Whitehouse, Leahy Call for Investigation into Conduct of Former Top Justice Department Official

Former Civil Rights Division Head John Gore appears to have violated Department ethics rules, documents show. Gore’s credibility is already under scrutiny for promoting a citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

Today, Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) released their request to the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Professional Responsibility to investigate former Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division John Gore for possible ethics violations. Documents obtained by the senators through a watchdog group's Freedom of Information Act request show Gore taking action as a Department official to pursue allegations of voting irregularities in Ch… Continue Reading


10.02.19

Whitehouse, Cassidy, Hassan Applaud DOJ Action Against $2.1B Medicare Fraud Scheme

U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) today released statements applauding the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) action against 35 individuals for their alleged participation in a Medicare genetic testing fraud scheme involving $2.1 billion in losses, and the departments' new effort to target genetic testing fraud schemes nationwide. This action comes a month after the group of Senators contac… Continue Reading


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In the News

10.31.16

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


12.02.15

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


09.28.15

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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Speeches

09.25.19

Time to Wake Up: China

The world power that positions itself to reap the economic benefits of a carbon-neutral technology, and that helps lead the world away from runaway climate calamities, will garner tremendous economic, strategic, and diplomatic advantages.

As prepared for delivery. Mr. President, I rise today for the 254th time to ask this body to wake up to the challenge of climate change. In the time I've been doing these speeches, I've watched the shifting waves of climate denial. First climate change was a hoax; then there wasn't enough science; then the science was uncertain; then solving climate would hurt the economy; then, innovation will magically save us. There's a new entrant in the climate denial lexicon: China. China isn't … Continue Reading


09.16.19

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


09.10.19

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


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Op-Eds

10.02.19

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


09.20.19

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


09.06.19

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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