In The News


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

by David Smith

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


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

by Shannon Osaka

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


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

by Oma Seddiq

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


Whitehouse renews push to make Daylight Saving Time permanent nationwide

by Steven Matregrano

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse is once again urging his fellow lawmakers to back a bill that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent, just days before Americans are scheduled to set their clocks back an hour. Whitehouse said the Sunshine Protection Act would eliminate the concept of "falling back." "Each November, the practice of 'falling back' an hour disrupts our lives and robs us of daylight hours to enjoy ourselves," Whitehouse said. Whitehouse, fellow senators seek to make Daylight Saving Tim… Continue Reading


Senator Whitehouse led the charge to fix this ‘unusually badly managed’ student loan relief program. It’s going to help a lot of Rhode Islanders

by Dan McGowan

Somehow, the awful hold music -the too-cheap-to-buy-the-rights-to-an-actual-Hootie-and-the-Blowfish-song-so-we-went-with-the-generic-melody -was the only thing Jesse Ray could reliably count on during his years-long saga to have his student loans partially forgiven. The 42-year-old estimates that he spent more than 100 hours on the phone between 2018 and this summer, trying to navigate the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, and he often found himself talking with operators … Continue Reading


Whitehouse bolsters push to shine light on ‘dark money’ at Supreme Court

by Todd Ruger

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has told and retold the story of what he calls "the scheme" for years. The Rhode Island Democrat has written reports and essays, introduced bills, filed briefs, gone on cable TV and made presentations at high-profile Supreme Court confirmation hearings. But Whitehouse hasn't been as convincing as he'd hoped in his campaign to curb conservative anonymous donors and their influence on the Supreme Court - even as that "dark money" now floods in to support the judicial nomin… Continue Reading


Biden Isn’t Holding Trump Accountable. Sheldon Whitehouse Is Very Concerned.

by Ankush Khardori

The last time a Republican administration nearly ran the country into the ground, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse took to the floor of Congress with a warning. It was a month after George W. Bush had left office in January 2009, and Whitehouse-once the U.S. attorney in Rhode Island as well as the state's attorney general-laid out much of the case against Bush, which included leaving the country mired in a needless war based on "faulty intelligence" and the "unprecedented politicization" of the Justi… Continue Reading


Sen. Whitehouse drops the mic after 279 speeches on one issue

by Paul Begala

To do anything 279 times takes discipline, commitment, focus. Try just tapping your finger on the table 279 times. Really. I'll wait. Took longer than you thought, didn't it? And I bet it got a bit tedious. Now imagine that, instead of something as mindless as tapping your finger, you gave a speech. On the floor of the United States Senate. On the existential but oft-ignored threat of climate change. Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat, stood at his desk on the Senate floor, asked… Continue Reading


Whitehouse delivers final climate speech

by Alex Kuffner

WASHINGTON - After nine years of shining a spotlight on climate change, U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse delivered his final "Time to Wake Up" speech on Wednesday, timing his last trip to the podium with the signing of a package of executive orders on the climate by President Joseph R. Biden. In his 279th speech, the Rhode Island Democrat said it was time to bring the near-weekly speeches to an end now that a president is in power who supports climate action and both chambers of Congress are contro… Continue Reading


Senator Whitehouse just shook up the Olympics forever

by Dan McGowan

No, US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse will not be entering the break dancing competition at the 2024 Summer Olympics. But Rhode Island's junior senator could play a major role in the Olympics for generations now that legislation he spearheaded to impose criminal penalties on those who engage in cheating conspiracies (think steroids) has been signed into law by President Donald Trump. Whitehouse was the lead Senate sponsor on the Rodchenkov Act, which is named after the man who once ran Russia's an… Continue Reading


Sheldon Whitehouse Made the Case That Amy Coney Barrett's Nomination Is a Bag Job

by Charles P. Pierce

The general feeling that the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court is the capstone of a lavishly funded, long-term conservative plan to own the federal judiciary for the foreseeable future, and that Barrett's career is altogether a product of that project, has hung over the confirmation hearings like a foul mist. On Tuesday afternoon, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse gave that feeling form and substance, and charts, too. Whitehouse used every one of his allotted 30 minutes to des… Continue Reading


Sheldon Whitehouse leads Democrats into battle against Trump judiciary

by Harper Neidig

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) has emerged as the Democratic Party's leading voice on the courts amid President Trump's rapid success in filling the judiciary with conservative justices. Democrats have historically struggled to match the GOP's intense focus on the courts. They also lack the network of well-funded legal advocacy groups that conservatives use to mobilize supporters. But with the Supreme Court preparing to decide a slew of contentious cases in the coming weeks and the Senate en… Continue Reading


Is Your Trade Group Blocking Climate Action?

by Sheldon Whitehouse

Climate change is catastrophic for the economy. Moody's recently warned that climate change will cause $69 trillion in economic damage globally by 2100, even with warming held to only 2 degrees Celsius. In May, the European Central Bank warned of climate risks to the economy, asset values, and financial stability; the longer we wait, the ECB reported, the more it will cost to protect ourselves. Almost 30 central banks have made similar warnings. This is the cliff fossil fuel companies are drivi… Continue Reading


Whitehouse Comes to Dinner: Chariho Hosts Roundtable with Democratic Senator

by Cynthia Drummond

RICHMOND - Residents, state officials and local government officials from Charlestown, Richmond, Hopkinton and Westerly gathered at Chariho High School Wednesday evening to eat pasta and meatballs and pose their questions to Rhode Island's junior senator, Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse. About 80 people attended the community dinner, an informal event that Whitehouse has held often throughout the state. "I will speak very, very briefly, and then we'll go to questions and answers," Whitehouse told … Continue Reading


Fixing our highways: Providence Journal Editorial

It's not often that business and labor leaders gather to rally for the same cause, but they did last Wednesday as Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., stood on the grounds of a major road-building company and urged Congress to help Rhode Island and other states fix their roads and bridges. Senator Whitehouse has added language to a highway finance bill, with the goal of helping states tackle particularly expensive projects. One example, familiar to many Rhode Islanders, is a planned reconstruction … Continue Reading


Whitehouse Keeps Climate Change Front and Center

by Matthew Fleming

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has been a familiar sight the past few years, standing on the Senate floor beside a "Time To Wake Up" placard and talking to a nearly empty chamber. It's set to happen again Monday evening, when the Rhode Island Democrat delivers his 100th weekly floor speech on climate change. Since April 2012, Whitehouse has devoted a considerable amount of time and energy to the practice. He said the repetition helps him keep his facts straight - so he's ready to throw down and debat… Continue Reading


Senator Whitehouse hopes compromise will close tax loopholes used by large corporations

by Tom Mooney

PROVIDENCE - With tax reform one issue that congressional Republicans and Democrats might agree on this year, U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse announced Monday his plans to introduce three bills aimed at making the super rich pay more through a "fairer" tax system and closing loopholes that allow some corporations to avoid paying any tax. Whitehouse, a Democrat, said the three measures, which target "some of the worst excesses in the tax code," could raise more than $310 billion over 10 years for s… Continue Reading

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