Press Releases

12.20.07

Remarks on Rhode Islander Honored by Coast Guard

Mr. President, I rise today to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of Petty Officer Scott Higgins of my state of Rhode Island, who today will be awarded the Coast Guard Commendation Medal for his efforts in the heroic rescue of the crew of the sailboat Sean Seamour II off the coast of North Carolina in May. On May 7, Aviation Machinery Technician 2nd Class Higgins was part of a four-man Coast Guard HH-60 helicopter crew, including Lt. Commander Nevada Smith, Lieutenant J.G. Aaro… Continue Reading


12.19.07

Whitehouse, 18 Senators Urge Attorney General to Review E-Prescribing for Controlled Substances

Washington, D.C. - After a Senate hearing made clear that new federal regulations allowing electronic prescribing for controlled substances are badly-needed and long-overdue, 18 senators joined U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) in calling on Attorney General Michael Mukasey to review the issue and urged the Drug Enforcement Administration to issue new rules promptly. "DEA regulations permitting [electronic prescribing for controlled substances, or EPCS] have been delayed f… Continue Reading


12.19.07

Reed, Whitehouse Oppose Bush Attempts to Eliminate $4.7 Million for Rhode Island Homeland Security Initiatives

Washington, D.C. - In an effort to prevent the Bush Administration from cutting funds for homeland security programs vital to safeguarding Rhode Island's cities and ports, U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) along with several colleagues last night sent a bipartisan letter to President Bush opposing the reported budget cuts. A November 26 document released from the Office of Budget Management indicated that the budget for fiscal year 2009 would cut funding i… Continue Reading


12.19.07

Whitehouse Praises New Policy Limiting Political Interference at DOJ

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) praised today's move by Attorney General Michael Mukasey to restore safeguards against political interference at the Department of Justice. Earlier this year, Whitehouse, a former U.S. Attorney, closely questioned former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales about Bush administration changes to a policy regarding communications between the White House and the Department of Justice that significantly expanded the number of offic… Continue Reading


12.19.07

Whitehouse Slams EPA's Denial of R.I. Request to Set Tough Pollution Standards

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse sharply criticized the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s decision tonight to deny long-overdue waiver requests that would allow Rhode Island and several other states to crack down on pollution from cars and trucks on their roadways. Under the Clean Air Act, states cannot set their own pollution control standards without a waiver from EPA. "The EPA's ruling is disgraceful," said Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Wor… Continue Reading


12.17.07

Whitehouse, 18 Senators Urge Attorney General to Review E-Prescribing for Controlled Substances

Washington, D.C. - After a Senate hearing made clear that new federal regulations allowing electronic prescribing for controlled substances are badly-needed and long-overdue, 18 senators joined U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) in calling on Attorney General Michael Mukasey to review the issue and urged the Drug Enforcement Administration to issue new rules promptly. "DEA regulations permitting [electronic prescribing for controlled substances, or EPCS] have been delayed for… Continue Reading


12.14.07

Whitehouse Congratulates Newport Dance Company on Federal Award

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) congratulated the Island Moving Company of Newport, Rhode Island, on a $10,000 federal grant to support its 2008 Open for Dancing festival. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) issued the award as part of its "Challenge America: Reaching Every Community Fast-Track Review Grants" program. "While many school districts have been struggling to protect arts programming from budget cuts, the Company has worked extensivel… Continue Reading


12.14.07

Amidst Mortgage Crisis, Senate Passes Bill to Aid Homeowners

Washington, D.C. - Rhode Island families at risk of high mortgage payments or foreclosure got some much-needed help in Washington today as the Senate approved legislation strengthening federal homeowners' insurance aimed at middle- and low-income homebuyers. With the security of Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insurance, lenders can give reasonable mortgage rates to homebuyers who otherwise might be pushed into the subprime market. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R… Continue Reading


12.06.07

Whitehouse Cosponsors Amendment Prohibiting Torture

Washington, D.C. - An amendment cosponsored by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) that effectively bans CIA interrogators from using torture has been adopted by the Congressional Intelligence Committees as part of an intelligence funding bill for 2008. The measure, which would prohibit members of the intelligence community from using any interrogation technique beyond those authorized in the Army Field Manual, was sponsored by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and also cosponsored by S… Continue Reading


12.05.07

U.S. Senate Passes Resolution to Help Aid Rhode Island Fishermen

Washington, D.C. - The Senate late last night unanimously passed a resolution cosponsored by Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), urging the Secretary of Commerce to reconsider a previous decision and declare a commercial fishery failure for groundfish fishermen in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire. This action will help provide immediate disaster assistance to the region. Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) sponsored the resolution; Sena… Continue Reading


12.05.07

Whitehouse Secures Protections for Coastal Communities in Bipartisan Global Warming Bill

Washington, D.C. - The Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee voted today to incorporate amendments sponsored by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), aimed at protecting coastal communities in Rhode Island and across the country, into a bipartisan bill to counter the impact of global warming. Whitehouse also successfully fought for provisions safeguarding wildlife and marine ecosystems. "Rising temperatures around the globe could bring higher sea levels, more powerful stor… Continue Reading


12.04.07

Whitehouse Statement Opposing Peru Free Trade Agreement

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) issued the following statement today on his vote against legislation that would implement a free trade agreement with Peru: "It is clear that our previous free trade agreements - including NAFTA and CAFTA - have led to the loss of millions of American manufacturing jobs. Our free trade policy is broken and we should refrain from passing further agreements until we address the flaws that have cost so many hard-working Am… Continue Reading


12.04.07

Whitehouse Chairs Hearing to Investigate Barrier to E-Prescribing

Washington, D.C. - The Senate Judiciary Committee today explored a major barrier to improved health outcomes and cost savings in the health care system - the federal prohibition on electronic prescribing of controlled substances. The hearing was chaired by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), a former prosecutor and strong advocate for health information technology. "Health information technology's potential for better-coordinated care, reduced medical errors, and increased patient satisfa… Continue Reading


11.26.07

Whitehouse Applauds $10 Million Grant for Brown Study of Long-Term Health Care Quality

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) today congratulated Brown University on its receipt of a $10 million grant from the National Institute on Aging to conduct research on the quality of long-term health care in this country. "Long-term care is a critical part of our health care infrastructure, improving the lives of millions of Americans every day. This grant represents not only an awareness of the importance of long-term care services in our aging society, but also a st… Continue Reading


11.26.07

Whitehouse Decries GOP Filibuster of Bill to Bring Troops Home

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) commented today on Senate Republicans' filibuster of legislation that, if enacted, would begin redeploying U.S. troops from Iraq: "Over and over again, we've pressured President Bush to change course in Iraq and take action to begin redeploying American troops. And over and over again, this President and Republicans in Congress have stood in the way. "Today was no different. Today, unbelievably, Senate Republicans filibustered a bill … Continue Reading


11.26.07

Whitehouse Continues Fight to Repair Flaws in Medicare Drug Program

Providence, R.I. - Over lunch with North Providence seniors today, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), a member of the Senate Committee on Aging, announced he has cosponsored a pair of bills designed to correct serious flaws in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program. "I've met so many Rhode Island seniors who struggle to pay for the prescription drugs they need," said Whitehouse. "Between the Bush administration's misplaced priorities and big drug companies out to protect their sky… Continue Reading


11.08.07

Congress Overrides Bush Veto, Enacts New Support for Estuary Habitat Restoration

Washington, D.C. - Congress today overrode President Bush's veto of legislation championed by U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) to support the restoration of coastal and marine ecosystems in Rhode Island and across the country. Today marks the first time Congress has overridden a veto by this President. The Estuary Restoration Act (ERA) will now become law as part of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), a bipartisan measure originally passed in September. T… Continue Reading


11.08.07

Whitehouse Statement on Mukasey Confirmation Vote

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a former U.S. Attorney and Rhode Island Attorney General, issued the following statement this evening on the Senate's vote on the nomination of Michael B. Mukasey to be Attorney General. "I voted against the nomination of Michael Mukasey because I believe this nation had the chance to present the world a moment of clarity on what we stand for. America's strength comes from its ideals. We … Continue Reading


11.06.07

Senators Urge EPA to Approve Northeast Mercury Plan and Enhance National Mercury Pollution Standards

WASHINGTON, D.C -U.S. Senators Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME), Patrick Leahy (D-ME.), Judd Gregg (R-NH), John Sununu (R-NH), Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Susan Collins (R-ME), Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), Jack Reed (D-RI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Christopher Dodd (D-CT) sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson this week to approve the Northeast Regional Mercury Total Maximum Daily Load cleanup plan. As part of the plan, the region requires enhanced federal guidelines … Continue Reading


11.05.07

Senate Bill Would Outlaw “Caging” as Voter Suppression Tactic

Washington, D.C. - Challenging a person's right to vote because a letter sent to him or her was returned as undeliverable would be illegal under a Senate bill introduced today. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) joined 12 other senators to unveil legislation aimed at preventing the practice of "voter caging," a long-recognized voter suppression tactic which has often been used to target minority voters. "In America, we believe that the right of an eligible voter to cast his or her vote i… Continue Reading

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