News

Press Releases

06.21.18

Forty Senators Push Senate Appropriations Leaders to Reject Dangerous Environmental Riders

Destructive policy provisions slipped into spending bills impede annual appropriations process would harm public health and the environment, Senators write

Today, Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Tom Udall (D-NM), and Ben Cardin (D-MD) led 40 Senators in urging the chairman and vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee to keep destructive anti-environmental provisions - or "riders" - out of this year's appropriations bills. Republicans have frequently attempted to slip environmental riders into spending bills in recent years, leading to gridlock in the annual appropriations process and risking the health and safety of the American pe… Continue Reading


06.21.18

Whitehouse Statement on Trump Child Separation Executive Order

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) released the following statement on President Donald Trump's immigration executive order altering his administration's practice of separating children from their families but continuing to detain them indefinitely under its "zero tolerance" policy: "The crisis President Trump manufactured by indiscriminately separating innocent kids from their families is not over. These families endured long journeys to flee danger and build better lives. We need to ensure t… Continue Reading


06.20.18

Nuclear Fuel Recycling Pilot Program Approved By Senate

Bipartisan Proposal Secured by Senators Crapo and Whitehouse would Fund Program to Reuse Spent Naval Fuel for Advanced Reactor Technologies

Nuclear research conducted at the country's national energy laboratories will benefit from a $15 million pilot program secured by Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) to recycle spent naval fuel for use in advanced nuclear reactors. The amendment by the senators was adopted today by the full Senate on a 87-9 vote. The Senate is currently debating the Fiscal Year 2019 Energy and Water Appropriations bill. The demonstration project would blend high-enriched … Continue Reading


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In the News

02.22.18

Both Sides of the Aisle Want Better Roads and Ports

During his State of the Union address, President Trump called for a broad bipartisan infrastructure package, pledging to improve the nation's infrastructure and invest in the future. If you believe the news reports on partisan bickering in Washington, this bipartisan approach might seem impossible. But we know that it can, and will, happen. We serve on the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee, which has jurisdiction over most infrastructure bills. Its members include staunch conserva… Continue Reading


02.22.18

Trump is in the back pocket of billionaires

(CNN) In his State of the Union address, President Donald Trump said, "We have gone forward with a clear vision and a righteous mission -- to make America great again for all Americans." However, behind the scenes, President Trump is not calling all of the shots. While he golfs and tweets and watches cable news, several disturbingly powerful billionaires are pulling the levers and winning special treatment. So, who is behind the curtain? Carl Icahn, the billionaire investor, was brought in as… Continue Reading


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


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Speeches

06.20.18

Time to Wake Up: DISCLOSE

Mr. President, as 2010 dawned, in what now seems like another era of political time, the U.S. Congress was poised to tackle the problem of climate change. The House of Representatives had just passed a cap-and-trade bill, and there was bipartisan support for climate action in the Senate. Then, on January 21--a date that ought to live in judicial infamy--five Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court--all Republican appointees--delivered Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and unleashed unlim… Continue Reading


06.12.18

Time to Wake Up: Two Crashes

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, a crash takes place in a system when conditions in that system reach a tipping point and the system rapidly destabilizes. Climate change promises a lot of tipping points in the Earth's natural systems-ocean acidification, for instance, reaching a tipping point where foundational species, such as the pteropod, have trouble forming their shells, and populations of those foundation species crash, taking down the trophic levels above them; polar warming, for instance,… Continue Reading


06.05.18

Time to Wake Up: The Polar Distress

Mr. President, 30 years ago this month, Dr. James Hansen testified before the U.S. Congress on the need to address climate change--30 years ago this month. He was a top NASA climate scientist. On a hot summer day in June of 1988, before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Dr. Hansen testified that ``global warming has reached a level such that we can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause and effect relationship between the greenhouse effect and observed warming.… Continue Reading


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Op-Eds

02.26.18

Dark Money Union Busters

The fight to overturn a decades-old Supreme Court precedent has been fueled by secret donors.

Over the last decade, the five-justice Republican-appointed majority on the Supreme Court has forged a glaring pattern of 5-4 decisions that benefit Republicans at the polls and big corporations pretty much everywhere. In election-related rulings involving issues like gerrymandering and suppression of Democratic-leaning voters; in rulings where it's corporations versus humans; and, of course, in letting corporate interests to flood our elections with money, it's been a 5-4 rout in an unmistakabl… Continue Reading


02.20.18

Right-wing dirty trick hurts us all

As the president's and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes's recent actions underscore, there is a concerted effort to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in U.S. elections and possible obstruction of justice. The FBI and the Justice Department have become targets of dirty tricks. The unfair charges are gutter politics: trashing American institutions to protect a president from the due course of the law. I have served as Rhode Island's U.… Continue Reading


02.07.18

The Nunes memo is just one dirty trick in the far right’s smear campaign

As the president's and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes's recent actions underscore, there is a concerted effort to undermine special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's investigation into Russian meddling in U.S. elections and possible obstruction of justice. The FBI and the Justice Department have become targets of dirty tricks. The unfair charges are gutter politics: trashing American institutions to protect a president from the due course of the law. I have served as Rhode Isla… Continue Reading


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