Press Releases

03.27.10

Whitehouse Condemns GOP Obstruction on Unemployment Insurance Extension

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) released the following statement today regarding objections by Senate Republicans to extending unemployment insurance benefits and COBRA health insurance subsidies for Americans still struggling in the wake of the recession: "I've heard countless stories from people throughout the state who have been out of work far too long through no fault of their own, and for them extended unemployment benefits and COBRA health insurance subsidies ha… Continue Reading


03.25.10

Whitehouse Applauds Interim Rule for E-Prescribing of Controlled Substances

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) issued the following statement regarding yesterday's interim rule for electronic prescribing of controlled substances issued by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ): "Allowing for electronic prescribing of controlled substances - while maintaining rigorous controls to prevent illegal diversion and protect privacy - is key to unleashing the vast cost saving and quality improvement potential o… Continue Reading


03.23.10

Whitehouse: Today was a Victory for Rhode Islanders Hurting from Broken Health Care System

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse released the following statement after attending today's ceremony at the White House at which President Obama signed landmark health care reform legislation into law: "After more than a year of vigorous debate, and after hearing from thousands of Rhode Islanders through my online storyboard, at community dinners, and at meetings throughout the state about how the health care status quo was failing them, it was an honor to join President Obama at … Continue Reading


03.19.10

President Obama Grants 18 Month Extension of Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) applauded President Obama's announcement today extending Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) to Liberians for 18 months. Liberians living in the United States who received the temporary extension had fled a bloody civil war and many built new lives in Rhode Island, having children, starting businesses, buying homes, and paying U.S. taxes. "I applaud President Obama for extending DED for Liberians for another eighteen m… Continue Reading


03.18.10

President Obama Signs HIRE Act into Law

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse joined President Barack Obama in the Rose Garden today as he signed a bipartisan job creation bill into law. The HIRE Act will encourage businesses to hire and help put Americans back to work. The legislation also extends the Highway Trust Fund, investing $252 million in job-creating transportation projects for Rhode Island, as well as expands the Build America Bonds program, which provides low-interest financing for state and loca… Continue Reading


03.18.10

Congressional Delegation Announces over $41 Million in Recovery Act Bonds for School Construction Projects Throughout Rhode Island

Washington, D.C. - Rhode Island's congressional delegation today announced that $41,296,000 in school construction bonds has been allocated to Rhode Island under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). This funding will help finance the construction, rehabilitation, and repair of schools throughout the state. "At a time when towns and cities face tough budget situations, these federal construction bonds will help the state and local governments obtain lower-cost financing to … Continue Reading


03.17.10

Senate Confirms O. Rogeriee Thompson for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Senate today unanimously confirmed Rhode Island Superior Court Justice O. Rogeriee Thompson to be a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Justice Thompson becomes the first African-American Judge and the second woman to serve on the Boston-based appeals court. United States Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, who recommended Justice Thompson to President Obama for nomination, hailed her bipartisan confirmation. "Justice Thompson exemplifies … Continue Reading


03.15.10

HHS’s Blumenthal Praises RI’s Leadership in Health Information Technology

Washington, DC - Dr. David Blumenthal, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (HIT) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), today joined Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman Patrick Kennedy at an event in East Providence where he praised Rhode Island's efforts to make our health care delivery system more efficient and responsive to patients' needs. Blumenthal was visiting Rhode Island following the recent allocation of over $11 million in federal grants t… Continue Reading


03.11.10

Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Bill to Manage Costs and Reduce Prison Population Growth

Washington, D.C. - United States Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) today applauded the Senate Judiciary Committee's bipartisan vote to approve the Criminal Justice Reinvestment Act of 2010, a bill to help states and localities better understand how to manage the growth in prison and jail populations and increase public safety. The legislation would authorize grants to analyze criminal justice trends and to design and implement policies to better man… Continue Reading


03.10.10

Whitehouse Applauds Passage of Legislation to Put People Back to Work

Washington, DC - As Rhode Islanders and people across the country continue struggling to find jobs in a recovering economy, the U.S. Senate today passed the American Workers, State, and Business Relief Act. The bill boosts loan programs for small businesses, provides new tax cuts to help local companies resume hiring, and extends Unemployment Insurance and COBRA health insurance subsidies through the end of the year. "For Rhode Islanders still reeling in the wake of the massive job cuts brought… Continue Reading


03.10.10

Reed and Whitehouse Announce President’s Nomination of John J. “Jack” McConnell to the U.S. District Court for Rhode Island

WASHINGTON, DC - United States Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse today applauded President Obama for nominating John J. "Jack" McConnell to the U.S. District Court for Rhode Island. Following an open and in-depth selection process which included extensive interviews and careful deliberation, the Senators recommended Mr. McConnell's nomination to the President. "Jack McConnell is a brilliant legal mind and an outstanding community leader. We believe he possesses the experience, intelle… Continue Reading


03.10.10

Whitehouse Urges Extra Help for Seniors

Washington, D.C. - In a Senate speech, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) yesterday urged his colleagues to provide additional support for America's seniors during these tough times. Whitehouse cited stories from Rhode Island seniors struggling to make ends meet in the face of rising costs, including one Providence resident who has to stretch her $500 per month income to cover daily prescription drug costs, food, heating and other daily expenses. Last week, the Senate failed to approve an a… Continue Reading


03.10.10

Senate Passes Whitehouse Amendment to Produce Recommendations to Bring Jobs to New England

Washington, DC - As Rhode Island continues to suffer from one of the highest joblessness rates in the country, the United States Senate has passed an amendment authored by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) that will provide a better understanding of ways to improve the local economy. The amendment, cosponsored by U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), would require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study the pattern of job loss in New England over the past two decades with a particular… Continue Reading


03.07.10

Whitehouse Meets with Local Business Owners to Discuss Job Creation

Washington, D.C. - With thousands of Rhode Islanders still unemployed and new job creation legislation being debated in the United States Senate, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) on Friday sat down in Pawtucket with local business owners to hear their ideas for growing the economy and putting people back to work. In a meeting coordinated by the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce and hosted by Doherty's Irish Restaurant and Pub, Whitehouse met with small business owners from Lincoln… Continue Reading


03.05.10

Congressional Delegation Announces Over $13 Million in Recovery Act Funding for Transportation Projects in Rhode Island

Washington, D.C. - Rhode Island's congressional delegation today announced that $13,693,931 has been awarded by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) for projects throughout the state. This funding is provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which was supported by all members of the delegation. In 2009, RIDOT reports that the Recovery Act created or saved ove… Continue Reading


03.04.10

U.S. Senate Passes Resolution Calling Attention to Natural Disaster on Madeira Island, Portugal

Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Senate today passed a resolution expressing support for the people affected by last week's natural disasters on Portugal's Madeira Island. The resolution was introduced by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), John Kerry (D-MA), and Scott Brown (R-MA). On February 20, 2010, a powerful storm hit Madeira Island causing a series of devastating flash floods and mudslides, which killed 42 people and displaced hundreds. … Continue Reading


03.04.10

Whitehouse Bill Designating School Social Work Week Passes Senate

Washington, DC - In an effort to honor the contributions of school social workers to our country's young people, the U.S. Senate today passed a resolution designating this week, the first week in March, as School Social Work Week. The resolution was introduced by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). "It is important to recognize the enormous change that dedicated, involved adults can make in the lives of our students," said Whitehouse. "School social workers provide vital counseling service… Continue Reading


02.26.10

Republicans Block Jobless Aid for Thousands of Rhode Islanders

WASHINGTON, DC -Senate Republicans led by Jim Bunning (R-KY) filibustered passage of critical legislation to extend for 30 days jobless benefits, health insurance subsidies, and tax breaks for small businesses, that will now expire on February 28th. Democrats will soon take up legislation that includes a longer extension of these benefits, but programs will be needlessly disrupted. U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) decried the obstruction, and called for the Senate to… Continue Reading


02.24.10

Whitehouse Applauds Passage of Senate Jobs Bill

Washington, DC - As Rhode Islanders and people across the country continue struggling to find jobs in a recovering economy, the U.S. Senate today passed bipartisan legislation to put Americans back to work. The Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act, which will bring $225 million to Rhode Island for highway projects, has the potential to create and save over a million jobs this year nationwide. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), who has been a strong advocate for new legislati… Continue Reading


02.24.10

Congressional Delegation Announces $560,000 for Fire Departments Throughout Rhode Island

Washington, D.C. - In an effort to enhance Rhode Island's emergency response preparedness, Rhode Island's congressional delegation today announced that fire departments throughout the state will receive $564,383 in Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) through the Department of Homeland Security. These grants will provide for the equipment and training needs of the following five departments in order for first responders to more effectively meet the needs of their communities: • Narragan… Continue Reading

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