Press Releases


Whitehouse Slams Meaningless Supreme Court Travel Disclosures

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement on travel disclosures released today from the Supreme Court: "These disclosures fall woefully short of the transparency Americans deserve from top federal judges who are not subject to ethics rules. Particularly when the Court has become so politicized, and so surrounded by anonymous dark-money interests, real transparency matters. It's too late to find out about extravagant tr… Continue Reading


Whitehouse, Brown, Warren Call for IRS to Justify Billions in Coal Tax Credits Based on Questionable Pollution Data

Senators point to new study showing Wall Street profiting at taxpayers’ expense without coming close to hitting pollution reduction targets

Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) called on the IRS to justify allowing major coal refiners to claim roughly $1 billion annually in tax credits for alleged reductions in dangerous pollution when new analysis shows the burning of their coal may fail to meet the credits' minimum pollution reduction standards. The senators' request for the data that the IRS used to justify the tax credits comes as the group Resources for the Future (RFF) released… Continue Reading


Senate Recognizes Contributions of Senior Corps Volunteers

Bipartisan resolution honors more than 220,000 seniors who regularly give back to their communities

The U.S. Senate earlier this week passed a bipartisan resolution introduced by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) recognizing the contributions of the more than 220,000 senior volunteers across the country who serve in the Senior Corps. "To the hundreds of thousands of Senior Corps volunteers who are so giving of their time and talents, we say thank you," said Whitehouse. "It's important that Congress continue making bipartisan investments in national service programs l… 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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Whitehouse Remarks on the Federalist Society and Leonard Leo

Leonard Leo’s dark Federalist Society is installing judges that are poised to systematically and relentlessly dismantle government agencies that keep us safe and secure.

On Tuesday, the Washington Post published an important investigation. They looked into a very narrow, very wealthy group of special interests seeking to control our federal judiciary. It was a revealing story, one that matters a great deal to the Senate and the people we serve. I come to the floor today to discuss that tightening special-interest grip on our courts. The central operative is Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society, the organization at the center of this effort. As I described… Continue Reading


Whitehouse Floor Remarks on the Retirement of Sister Jane Gerety

As-prepared for delivery

Mr./Madame President, I join Rhode Island's senior senator here on the floor today to honor the work of Salve Regina University's seventh president, Sister Jane Gerety. She will retire next month, capping a decade of service to the university and the Newport community. Sister Jane has accomplished remarkable things in her tenure. She established a new satellite campus in Warwick to help working Rhode Islanders take graduate and continuing education courses. She helped establish online study… Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up: Bad Media (for) Climate

As-prepared for delivery

Mr./Madame President, I rise today for the 243rd time to call on this chamber to wake up to the reality of climate change. I thank Senator Cornyn for acknowledging that the days of ignoring this are over. Now it's time to do something, with keeping global warming below the 1.5 or 2 degrees Centigrade target. I speak regularly about the fossil fuel industry's relentless grip on Congress, and how that grip prevents action on climate. They are still at it. But that is not the only thing slowi… 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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