Press Releases

07.08.10

Whitehouse Announces Landmark Legislation to Protect Oceans and Coastal Areas

Providence, RI - Over the last few months the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has demonstrated the fragility of the world's oceans and the extent to which America's economy relies on their continued well-being. Today U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse joined Rhode Island environmental leaders at Save The Bay headquarters in Providence to announce new legislation that would establish a "National Endowment for the Oceans." Much like the National Endowments for the Arts, which was established by Rhode … Continue Reading


07.02.10

Cyber Task Force Completes Threat Assessment

Washington, DC - Last December the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence established a Cyber Task Force to evaluate cyber threats to the United States and report its findings to the full Committee. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) chaired the bipartisan task force, and Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) joined him as Task Force members. The task force completed its work on schedule and yesterday delivered a classified Final Report to the Intelligence Committe… Continue Reading


06.30.10

EPW Committee Approves Re-Authorization of Estuary Program Introduced by Senator Whitehouse

Washington, DC - The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee today approved Senator Sheldon Whitehouse's legislation to re-authorize the National Estuary Program, which was first established in 1987 by Senator John Chafee to protect and restore estuarine habitats threatened by pollution and overdevelopment. Authorization for this important program expired last year, compromising the protection programs in place for estuaries of national significance, including the Narragansett Bay. The le… Continue Reading


06.30.10

Hearing Held on Whitehouse Affordable Green Housing Proposal

Washington, D.C. - Today, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) testified at a hearing of the Senate Banking Committee's Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development about legislation he introduced to promote home energy efficiency. The Energy Efficiency in Housing Act of 2009 (EEHA), cosponsored by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Mark Udall (D-CO), and Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), would help consumers save money on home e… Continue Reading


06.29.10

New England Tech to Receive Nearly $3 Million in Federal Funding for Health Information Technology

Washington, DC - The Rhode Island congressional delegation today announced that the New England Institute of Technology in Warwick, RI will receive a $2.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor for a workforce training program that will enhance the state's effort to implement electronic health records. The funds, part of U.S. DOL's Community-Based Job Training Grant Program, will help develop a 36-month electronic medical records training program aimed at upgrading the technical skills … Continue Reading


06.29.10

Reed and Whitehouse Join America’s Cup Team in Meeting with President Obama

Washington, DC - Today, following a meeting at the White House with President Obama and the America's Cup winning BMW Oracle team, which U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse helped facilitate, the Senators released the following statement: "Rhode Island has a rich history with the America's Cup. It was a special honor today to join President Obama in congratulating Larry Ellison and his team on their victory, and help remind them of that history. We are pleased the oldest active tro… Continue Reading


06.28.10

Whitehouse Statement on Passing of Senator Byrd

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) issued the following statement today regarding the passing of U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-WV): "Over his 57 years in Congress Senator Byrd became a towering figure in his native West Virginia and the Senate itself. He will be missed, but his mark will be indelible." ###… Continue Reading


06.25.10

Sens. Lautenberg, Snowe, Whitehouse, Cantwell Introduce Coastal Jobs Creation Act of 2010

WASHINGTON D.C. - Senators Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) have introduced the Coastal Jobs Creation Act of 2010, a bill to establish a grant program within the Department of Commerce to enhance employment opportunities for coastal communities by increasing support for cooperative research and fishery observer programs, revitalization of coastal infrastructure, and stewardship of coastal and marine resources. The bill w… Continue Reading


06.23.10

Whitehouse Urges Senate to Extend Unemployment Benefits

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse yesterday joined several Democratic colleagues on the Senate floor to call for an extension of Unemployment Insurance for the millions of Americans still struggling to find work. The Senator shared stories he has heard from Rhode Islanders who lost their jobs during the recession and have yet to recover, and called on Republicans to stop blocking the extension of this important benefit. "We have 71,000 people unemployed in my little State of Rho… Continue Reading


06.17.10

Whitehouse Slams Corporate Influence at MMS, Proposes Legislation to Defend Integrity of Government

Washington, D.C. - Citing lax oversight and the inappropriate influence of corporate interests over the Minerals Management Service (MMS), U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) spoke on the Senate floor today to propose a path to restore the integrity of "captured" government agencies. "We can no longer wait for more catastrophes to root out improper corporate influence in our government, we have to at long last address the problem of insidious regulatory capture," Whitehouse said. The Senator… Continue Reading


06.15.10

Whitehouse Statement on Selection of New MMS Head

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse today released the following statement regarding President Obama's selection of Michael Bromwich to take over as the new head of the Minerals Management Service (MMS), the agency which oversees offshore oil drilling: "As we continue to watch the daily flow of thousands of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, our nation has also been exposed to the sad fact that the Minerals Management Service has, over the years, become subservient to the in… Continue Reading


06.14.10

Whitehouse Highlights Medicare “Doughnut Hole” Fix in Visit with Pawtucket Seniors

Pawtucket, RI - Since the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan went into effect in January 2006, seniors and people with disabilities in Rhode Island have too often been victimized by the "doughnut hole," a gap in Part D coverage which exposes patients to the full cost of prescription drugs. Today, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse brought good news to seniors at Pawtucket's Leon Mathieu Senior Center: the health care reform legislation passed this year will completely close the doughnut hole by… Continue Reading


06.14.10

RI Delegation Applauds CRMC Executive Director, Grover Fugate, on NOAA’s Susan Snow-Cotter Award

Washington, D.C. - Rhode Island's congressional delegation today applauded Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) Executive Director Grover J. Fugate, who was honored last week with The Susan Snow-Cotter Award for Excellence in Ocean and Coastal Resource Management from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Open to those working on state coastal management programs, national estuarine research reserves, and national marine sanctuaries, the award is presen… Continue Reading


06.10.10

Whitehouse: Doughnut Hole Payments a Relief for RI Seniors

Washington, D.C. - Starting today, senior citizens affected by the coverage gap or "doughnut hole" in the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan will begin receiving $250 payments as the first step in the eventual phase out of this coverage gap. These payments will help offset the burdensome cost of uncovered prescriptions. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), who has been a leader in the fight to eliminate the doughnut hole, today released the following statement: "Since I ran for the Senat… Continue Reading


06.09.10

Commerce Committee Approves Whitehouse Legislation to Reduce Volume of Excessively Loud TV Commercials

Washington, DC - The Senate Commerce Committee today voted to approve legislation introduced by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) that would require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate the volume of television advertisements. The Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act of 2009 (S. 2847), co-sponsored by Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), would require the volume of television advertisements to be no louder than the volume of the pro… Continue Reading


06.08.10

Whitehouse: Oil Companies Should Pay for Mistakes

Washington, DC - This morning, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse co-chaired a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee titled "The Risky Business of Big Oil: Have Recent Court Decisions and Liability Caps Encouraged Irresponsible Corporate Behavior?" The hearing featured testimony from a family member of one of the workers killed in the April 20th explosion on Deepwater Horizon. In his opening statement, Whitehouse said "I believe that Congress must do whatever it can to prevent another family f… Continue Reading


06.04.10

Whitehouse and Reed Announce $1.5 Million for Health Information Technology at East Bay Community Action

Washington, DC - Rhode Island's Senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed today announced that East Bay Community Action has been awarded $1,574,074 through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to implement health information technology. They were joined at the event today by Dennis Roy, the CEO of East Bay Community Action. Joanne McGunagle, executive director of CCAP and Ed Conklin, interim executive director at Wood River Health Services participated as well. Both organizations are p… Continue Reading


06.01.10

President Obama Signs Whitehouse Bill to Improve Judicial Administration

Washington, D.C. - President Barack Obama has signed into law legislation introduced by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) that will improve the administration of the federal courts. The Federal Judiciary Administrative Improvements Act of 2010 (S. 1782), was cosponsored in the Senate by the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and by the Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee and the Administrative Oversight and the Courts Subcommittee, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-… Continue Reading


05.27.10

U.S. Senate Set to Approve Millions in Flood Aid for RI

WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Senate is poised to pass a $58.8 billion emergency war funding and disaster relief bill that will provide a $150 million emergency down-payment for Rhode Island and other states hit hardest by flooding this year. By a strong majority of 69-29, the Senate voted this afternoon to move to final passage of the bill, which will save Rhode Island millions of dollars by mandating a non-federal match of 10% for FEMA Public Assistance funding, instead of the standard 25% match. … Continue Reading


05.26.10

Sheldon's Opening Statement at Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

Thank you Chairman Bingaman. Thank you Ranking Member Murkowski, and Members of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee - First of all, thank you for holding this hearing. I encourage you to review the penalty and liability framework governing offshore drilling, and enact changes to this framework, so we can prevent future disasters like the one now unfolding in the Gulf. Thank you also for inviting me to make a few remarks about my Outer Continental Shelf Lands Acts Amendments of 2010 bill… Continue Reading

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