News

Press Releases

12.07.23

Whitehouse, Tillis, Jackson Lee, Wilson Applaud Inclusion of Bipartisan Foreign Extortion Prevention Act in NDAA

Bipartisan, bicameral legislation will protect businesses and national security interests by criminalizing the demand-side of foreign bribery

U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Representatives Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) and Joe Wilson (R-SC) today applauded the inclusion of the Foreign Extortion Prevention Act as part of the FY2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  “I am pleased to announce the inclusion of our bipartisan, bicameral Foreign Extortion Prevention Act in this year’s NDAA.  Our legislation defends the rule of law and sends a clear message that demanding a bribe from American compa… Continue Reading


12.07.23

Whitehouse Heads to Dubai for COP28

Climate hawk to send message that America can overcome fossil fuel industry obstruction to lower the planet’s emissions trajectory

This evening, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) will set off for Dubai, United Arab Emirates to join heads of state, lawmakers, private sector leaders, and environmental advocates from around the globe at the U.N.’s 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP)—the largest and most important venue for world governments to gather to find international agreement on ways to solve the global climate crisis.  In the months leading up to COP28, Whitehouse, one of the Senate’s leading clima… Continue Reading


12.06.23

Whitehouse and DelBene Reintroduce Carbon Border Adjustment Bill to Boost Domestic Manufacturers and Tackle Climate Change

Clean Competition Act would lower emissions across high-polluting sectors at home and abroad

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Congresswoman Suzan K. DelBene (D-WA-01) today reintroduced the Clean Competition Act, legislation aimed at making American companies more competitive in the global marketplace and tackling major sources of planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions by creating a carbon border adjustment.  The legislation is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) in the Senate and Representatives Don Beyer (D-VA-08), Kathy Castor (D-FL-… Continue Reading


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In the News

02.22.22

‘The Scheme’: a senator’s plan to highlight rightwing influence on the supreme court

Sheldon Whitehouse spent nine years rousing the Senate to act on climate change. Now he’s set his sights on the changes at the supreme court

The US Senate is not a crowded, rambunctious place like Britain's House of Commons or other more lively legislative bodies around the world. Members are accustomed to speaking among row after row of empty desks, unheckled by absent colleagues. This has not deterred Senator Sheldon Whitehouse from stepping into the arena to champion urgent causes. For almost nine years the Democrat took to the Senate floor every week the chamber was in session to demand that attention be paid to the climate cris… Continue Reading


02.04.22

This senator thought he had given his 279th and final speech on climate change. He was wrong.

With climate action stalled, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is reviving his "Time to Wake Up" speeches.

A little over a year ago, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island, stood on the Senate floor looking exuberant. To his right was his trademark green sign - a picture of the Earth and "TIME TO WAKE UP" in large capital letters. The senator, a longtime climate activist, was celebrating what he thought would be a milestone: his 279th and final speech urging the country to take action on global warming. President Joe Biden, who had campaigned aggressively on the subject of climate c… Continue Reading


11.20.21

This member of Congress wants everyone to know about the 'dark money scheme' that's 'captured' the Supreme Court

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse is fighting to end the "dark money" that he says is plaguing the Supreme Court. The Rhode Island Democrat is referring to private groups using anonymous donations to advance their interests at the highest court.

For the ninth time this year, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse gave a speech this week blasting right-wing anonymous donors whom he believes have "captured" the Supreme Court and "built" its current 6-3 conservative majority. "Our Supreme Court is awash in dark money influence," the Rhode Island Democrat said on the Senate floor on Tuesday. "The American people may not be able to see all of the rot, but they can see enough to know that something is rotten over there across First Street at that court." … Continue Reading


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Speeches

10.18.23

The Scheme 25: The Front Group Swarms

Mr. President, I am rising today for the 25th time to address the multifaceted dark money scheme to capture and control our Supreme Court. We will look today at how the creepy billionaires who captured the Supreme Court get their message through to the Justices they helped plant there. That, of course, is the last leg of the capture operation. First, you have the so-called Federalist Society list, purportedly created by the Federalist Society for former President Donald Trump to pick Supreme Co… Continue Reading


10.04.23

Time to Wake Up 290: The Economic Costs of the Climate Crisis

Mr. President, I am back for now the 290th time to urge this Chamber to act on climate change. I have my trusty graphic here, which after nearly 300 of these is getting a little battered.  This evening, I would like to talk about two things: First is the grim parade of climate-driven disasters the United States and the world has experienced over the last several months. Then, our hearings in the Budget Committee on the enormous budgetary and economic dangers caused by fossil fuel emissions. Le… Continue Reading


09.27.23

The Speech 24: The Alito Complaint

Mr. President, last week, I spoke about the scheme of corruption by rightwing billionaires out to capture the Supreme Court. I mentioned their lawyers’ blockade of our investigation into this corruption and described how little sense their lawyers’ arguments made. That brings us to this speech today. The connection is that those, in my view, nonsense lawyers’ arguments badly needed propping up. And who should come to the rescue but U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito. Alito’s actions propping u… Continue Reading


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Op-Eds

10.12.23

Shining Light on Dark Money is Good for Democracy

I have concluded, based on considerable observation and evaluation, that a band of right-wing billionaires has its hooks deep into our government.  It uses these hooks to thwart climate action, putting American and global safety at risk.  The good news?  We can fix the climate threats if we can get their hooks out. When I got to the Senate in 2007, climate change was a bipartisan issue.  There were serious bipartisan climate bills in the Senate.  Republican John McCain was running for President… Continue Reading


09.11.23

Climate Systemic Risks Are Mounting

Climate change is not only destroying lives and livelihoods, but also introducing new systemic risks to the financial system and the broader economy. The warning signs of another 2008-scale financial crisis are flashing red across multiple economic sectors, and behind them looms the collapse of Earth’s natural systems.

This June was the hottest on record, and it was followed by the hottest-ever week in early July, which then turned out to be the hottest month on record. Canada’s unprecedented wildfires blanketed huge swaths of North America in smoke; storms in Vermont, New York, and Pennsylvania triggered deadly floods; the Midwest has been experiencing its worst drought in over a decade; Europe is baking; China hit record-high temperatures; and Italy suffered its worst flooding in 100 years.  Climate change … Continue Reading


06.14.23

This Obscure Judicial Agency Could Tighten Ethics for Justices

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) writes that the Judicial Conference of the United States could strengthen the ethics rules that apply to the US Supreme Court justices—without additional authorization from Congress.

The US Supreme Court is likely to make history this month on issues like affirmative action and voting rights, but this term may ultimately be defined by ethics scandals and questions surrounding the justices. As the justices drag their feet on making changes, a little-known agency within the judicial branch of government could have an outsize role in ethical reform. The Judicial Conference of the United States administers laws that Congress has passed regarding judicial ethics. In ad… Continue Reading


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