Press Releases

09.24.08

Whitehouse Chairs Senate Aging Committee Hearing on End-of-Life Decisions

WASHINGTON - Questions surrounding patient care at the end of life are among the most difficult families face. State laws on the subject vary widely, health care providers are sometimes uncertain about their responsibilities, and all too often, people simply don't know the choices available to them. To identify barriers to end-of-life decision-making, and raise awareness about the need for solutions, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) chaired a hearing today before the Senate Special Commi… Continue Reading


09.18.08

Senate Passes Whitehouse-Backed Amendment Supporting Investigations of Wartime Fraud in Iraq, Afghanistan

Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Senate has passed legislation extending the window of time in which prosecutions can be brought against contractors who defraud the government during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The amendment, cosponsored by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), was included in a bill authorizing $612.5 billion in funding for the military for fiscal year 2009. "Defrauding American taxpayers is unacceptable in all cases and outrageous when it comes to our troops in harm's way… Continue Reading


09.17.08

Reed, Whitehouse Announce an Additional $1.9 Million in Emergency LIHEAP Funding for RI Families

WASHINGTON, DC -- In response to a request led by U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the President today directed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to release the remaining $120.7 million from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) contingency fund - just days before the end of the fiscal year when the fund was due to lapse. Rhode Island will receive $1,925,448 of this federal funding to help families struggling with high energy bills heat their homes this coming wint… Continue Reading


09.17.08

As Economy Struggles and Unemployment Rates Rise, Senators Seek to Extend Unemployment Insurance to Those Hit Hardest by the Bush Economy

WASHINGTON, DC - With the Bush economy driving unemployment rates to a five-year high of 6.1% and the number of unemployed Americans now reaching 9.4 million, several leading U.S. senators today joined together in introducing legislation to extend unemployment insurance (UI) benefits so people can pay their bills while they look for work. In 1991 and 2002, Congress worked with the White House to enact similar legislation to extend UI benefits when unemployment rates were high. The measure, auth… Continue Reading


09.16.08

Whitehouse Asks Justice Department to Prevent Disenfranchisement of Voters Losing Their Homes

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), the author of legislation to combat the voter-suppression practice known as "vote caging," today joined 13 other senators in asking the Department of Justice to take action in the wake of reports suggesting the Republican Party plans to use this tactic to challenge voters whose homes have been foreclosed. Last week, the Michigan Messenger quoted James Carabelli, the Republican Party chairman in Macomb County, Michigan as saying that "[w… Continue Reading


09.15.08

Whitehouse: Market Turmoil a New Low for the Bush Economy

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) commented today on the steep drop in the stock market sparked by the failure of Lehman Brothers and investors' worries over the health of the financial sector: "The collapse of Lehman Brothers and the stock markets' ensuing free fall today are deeply troubling to Rhode Island families worrying about their financial future. This is a new low for the Bush economy - and another sign that the last thing America needs is four more years of t… Continue Reading


09.11.08

Senators Propose Adding Ban on Secret Detentions to Defense Bill

Washington, D.C. - Four U.S. Senators have offered an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2009 Defense Authorization bill (S. 3001) that would provide the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) access to detainees in custody of all U.S. intelligence agencies. The bipartisan amendment would effectively end the Bush Administration's practice of secret detentions, which runs counter to the practice of our Armed Forces, our fundamental values, and international law. This measure has also been ap… Continue Reading


09.11.08

Judiciary Committee Reports Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Legislation

WASHINGTON (Thursday, Sept. 11, 2008) - The Senate Judiciary Committee today reported legislation to address intellectual property rights enforcement and protect American innovation. The Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act was approved by the Committee in a 14-4 vote. The legislation was introduced in July by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), and is cosponsored by Judiciary Committee members Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), … Continue Reading


08.26.08

Senators Call on Administration to Withdraw Proposed Changes to Endangered Species Act Rules

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Yesterday, Sens. John Kerry (D - Mass.) and Barbara Boxer (D - Calif.), along with Sens. Chris Dodd (D - Conn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D - R.I.), Hillary Clinton (D - N.Y.), Bernie Sanders (I - Vt.), and Frank Lautenberg (D - N.J.) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, urging him to withdraw the recent proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) regulations. "The proposed changes are inconsistent with the letter and spirit of the ESA, … Continue Reading


08.20.08

Senators Raise Concerns Over Attorney General Guidelines For FBI Investigations

Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senators Russ Feingold (D-WI), Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Richard Durbin (D-IL), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) raised concerns over new rules regarding FBI investigations. In a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, the Senators who are all members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, urged the Attorney General not to finalize the new Attorney General Guidelines that govern FBI investigations until members of congress, experts and others have had the chance to provide … Continue Reading


08.12.08

Bush Administration Proposal Guts Endangered Species Act, Whitehouse Says

Washington, D.C. - A Bush Administration proposal to allow individual government agencies, rather than scientists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to decide whether vulnerable wildlife would be harmed by new construction projects badly undermines the Endangered Species Act, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) said today. "This is a blatant and unjustifiable attempt to gut a landmark environmental law that has protected our treasured American wildlife for more than three decades - a l… Continue Reading


08.04.08

U.S. Senate Designates August as National Truancy Prevention Month

Washington, D.C. - As Rhode Island students prepare to head back to school this fall, federal lawmakers are urging families, schools, and law enforcement officials to work together to keep kids in the classroom and on the right track. Last Friday, the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan resolution, authored by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), designating August 2008 as National Truancy Prevention Month and recognizing that chronic truancy causes serious harm to young people in America. Th… Continue Reading


08.04.08

Whitehouse, Feinstein, Others Introduce Legislation to End CIA Coercive Interrogations and Secret Detentions

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), John D. Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) have introduced legislation requiring the CIA to follow the Army Field Manual's rules when conducting interrogations. The manual specifically prohibits the use of waterboarding and seven other coercive techniques. The Restoring America's Integrity Act would: Require the CIA and all other U.S. intelligence … Continue Reading


08.01.08

Feingold, Whitehouse Introduce Bill to Help Curb "Secret Law"

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) have introduced legislation to prohibit the President from relying on one form of "secret law." The Feingold-Whitehouse bill would require public notice when the President modifies, revokes, waives, or suspends a published executive order or similar Presidential directive that carries the force of law and binds the Executive Branch. The legislation responds to a legal opinion of the Department of Justice's Offi… Continue Reading


08.01.08

Obscene Oil Company Profits Cost Rhode Islanders at the Pump, Whitehouse Says

Washington, D.C. - Oil giant ExxonMobil's record-high second-quarter profits amount to a quarterly tax of $47 on every car and truck in the country, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) said today. "If you've ever wondered where the $60, $80, or $100 that it costs to fill up your tank goes, take a look at this: as gas prices have risen, oil company profits have soared," Whitehouse said in a speech on the Senate floor. "If Exxon continues to reap profits at this level, in 2008 alone, you will… Continue Reading


08.01.08

Attorney General Asked to Assess Damage Done to Justice Department by Illegal, Politicized Hiring Practices

Washington, D.C. - In the wake of reports that Justice Department officials used political and ideological screening tests to fill career positions, seven Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee today asked Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey to assess whether this illegal hiring practice has done long-term damage to the mission of the Department. The letter to Mukasey was signed by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Edw… Continue Reading


07.31.08

Senate Panel Approves Over $6 Million for Rhode Island in New Energy Technology and Water Conservation Bill

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today announced that the Appropriations Committee has approved legislation including $3.05 million in funding for Rhode Island alternative energy, flood prevention, and water restoration initiatives they requested as part of the 2009 Energy and Water Development spending bill. The bill also includes $3 million that Reed, a member of the Appropriations Committee, secured for key programs throughout the state. "Reliabl… Continue Reading


07.30.08

Bipartisan Group of Senators Calls for Olympic Truce in Darfur

Washington, D.C. - A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators is urging the international community to use the world stage provided by the upcoming Olympic Games to call for an end to the violence in Darfur, Sudan and the wider region. As the world prepares to come together for the Olympic Games in Beijing, China on August 8th, the group of Senators including Russ Feingold (D-WI) Norm Coleman (R-MN), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Olympia Sn… Continue Reading


07.29.08

Senators Call for EPA Administrator's Resignation

Washington, D.C. - Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and committee members Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) called for the resignation of Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen L. Johnson today, charging that Johnson had given misleading testimony before Congress; refused to cooperate with Congressional oversight; and based agency decisionmaking on political considerations rather than scientific … Continue Reading


07.28.08

Latest DOJ Report Shows Bush Administration Was Too Willing to Break the Rules, Whitehouse Says

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), a former U.S. Attorney who helped lead the Senate Judiciary Committee's investigation into widespread political interference at the Department of Justice, commented today on a report by the Inspector General's office that found that former top official Monica Goodling discriminated against job applicants based on their political affiliation, in violation of federal law and department policy: "The Bush Administration has shown over and o… Continue Reading

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