February 15, 2011

Whitehouse to Chair Judiciary and EPW Subcommittees

Senator Gets New Judiciary Subcommittee, Retains EPW Oversight Subcommittee

Washington, DC – The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has announced subcommittee assignments for the 112th Congress, designating U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) as chairman of the Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism. 

Whitehouse served previously as chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts, where he focused on issues such as unfair credit card practices, the foreclosure crisis, and how to help small businesses.  He plans to use the Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee’s jurisdiction to continue protecting consumers and small businesses, and will also gain expanded authority over issues such as corrections and drug policy.

“I’ve spent much of my career defending Rhode Island families and cracking down on crime in our communities,” said Whitehouse, a former U.S. Attorney and Attorney General for Rhode Island.  “I will use this position to continue the fight against crime, whether working to protect American consumers and homeowners from fraud or businesses from cyber threats which can cost millions in revenue.”

The subcommittee has oversight authority for the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), among others, and also handles issues relating to federal anti-terrorism policy.  Additionally, Whitehouse will serve on the Judiciary Subcommittees on Administrative Oversight and the Courts; the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights; and Privacy, Technology and the Law.

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee also announced its subcommittee assignments today, with Whitehouse maintaining his chairmanship of the Subcommittee on Oversight.  The subcommittee is responsible for oversight of the Environmental Protection Agency and programs under the jurisdiction of the EPW Committee, including environmental research and development – an important economic driver in the Ocean State.  Whitehouse also gained a seat on the Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure, which will play an important role this Congress in developing a transportation reauthorization bill and legislation to invest in water resources infrastructure.  He will also serve on the Subcommittees on Water and Wildlife, and Children’s Health and Environmental Responsibility.

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