Press Releases


Whitehouse Calls out Wehrum for Flaunting Trump Ethics Pledge

EPA’s ‘walking conflict of interest’ has met regularly with companies he used to represent

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse would like to know if Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Assistant Administrator Bill Wehrum violated the Trump administration's ethics pledge. In letters sent to President Donald Trump and EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler, Whitehouse asks how Wehrum could have both signed the pledge banning meetings with former clients and met on numerous occasions with former clients. A former energy industry lawyer representing ExxonMobil, Koch Industries, Chevron, and … Continue Reading


Senators Call Out Secret, Partisan Judicial Clerk Training

Heritage Foundation program puts participating judges at risk of violating the Code of Conduct for U.S. Judges

U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) today called into question the propriety of a closed-door training program for federal judicial clerks offered by a dark-money conservative Washington think tank. Promotional materials for the Heritage Foundation's Federal Clerkship Training Academy tout the involvement of sitting federal judges, and say attendees must pledge to "[k]eep strictly confidential" all program materials and to not use the t… Continue Reading


URI Wins $746K for Aquaculture Worker Training at RI Sea Grant

Web-based training program will serve as model for other states

Providence, RI - U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline announced an award of $745,815 in federal funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to the Rhode Island Sea Grant program at the University of Rhode Island. The funds will help strengthen training programs for entry?level aquaculture workers in Rhode Island and support the development of an online training curriculum that can be deployed nationwide. "Year afte… 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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Nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court

As a United States Senator and a member of the Judiciary Committee, giving careful consideration to Supreme Court nominations is among my most important responsibilities. These lifetime appointments can change not only the course of the nation, but the course of lives. I began with deep concerns about Judge Kavanaugh: his unfettered view of executive power?-?effectively believing the President is beyond the law; his refusal to commit to well-established precedents on critical issues, like women… Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up: Crash Conditions

Mr. President, I spoke before the Fourth of July recess about two financial risks that are coming our way thanks to not getting anything done on climate change. One, of course, is the risk to coastal properties--not something the Presiding Officer has to worry too much about given his home State but something that Rhode Island, the Ocean State, has to care a lot about and that the distinguished Senator from Florida and his constituents have to care a lot about. There is a point where rising se… Continue Reading


Whitehouse Floor Remarks on Benczkowski

Mr. President, this past year and half of the Trump administration has been a constant, daily barrage of scandal, corruption, and chaotic incompetence. In this environment, the Senate now considers the President's controversial nomination of Brian Benczkowski to lead the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. It has been over a year since Benczkowski was first nominated, and there have been repeated calls for his nomination to be withdrawn. Why this man, for this job, at this time… Continue Reading

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Bipartisan bill addresses opioid concerns

Every 25 minutes, a baby is born suffering from withdrawal because the mother is grappling with addiction. These children are heartbreaking victims of an opioid crisis that has taken brutal hold of communities across the country. Rhode Island hospitals, like Women & Infants in Providence, saw the number of babies born into opioid withdrawal nearly triple between 2006 and 2015. That's why one of the key provisions of my new bill to address this public health crisis would increase support for… Continue Reading


In his final months in office, President Ronald Reagan spoke out about the dangers to American democracy of partisan gerrymandering, calling it on one occasion "a great conflict of interest to ask men holding office, elected from districts, to change the lines of that district to fit the new population changes." Today, nearly 30 years later, it's looking increasingly like this is the year the Supreme Court will finally rein in a gerrymandering practice that undermines a fundamental principle … Continue Reading


The peculiarities of the US financial system make it ideal for money laundering

The lifeblood of criminal enterprises all over the world is revenue. Money fuels terrorists, transnational criminal organizations, and crooked kleptocrats. These criminals need to launder their ill-gotten gains. Although this dirty money often comes from the most corrupt, unstable countries in the world, it often ends up-ironically-in the United States. Why? Partly because we have the most stable financial system in the world, and these malefactors seek rule-of-law protection for their ill-gott… Continue Reading

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