Press Releases

03.31.10

Flood Disaster Assistance and Recovery Information

Following the major flooding in March, 2010, President Obama declared Rhode Island a federal disaster area. This declaration authorized the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide federal assistance to Rhode Island residents and businesses impacted by the flooding. Currently, Rhode Islanders are eligible for several types of assistance, including grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals … Continue Reading


03.30.10

Reed & Whitehouse Urge Obama Administration to Expand Disaster Declaration for RI

PROVIDENCE, RI - In an effort to help Rhode Island families and businesses devastated by historic flooding, U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today sent a letter to President Obama urging him to expand his federal disaster proclamation to cover the entire state and increase federal disaster assistance to both the public and individuals. Yesterday, after requests from the Senators and Governor Carcieri, the Obama Administration declared Kent, Newport, Providence and Wa… Continue Reading


03.29.10

Whitehouse Convenes Senate Committee Field Briefing to Track Recovery Act Job Creation

Providence, RI - A field briefing hosted by the Oversight Subcommittee of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, which is chaired by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, today examined the impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) on the economy and environment in Rhode Island. Entitled "Recovery Act Investments in Rhode Island: Creating Jobs, Protecting our Environment, and Upgrading Infrastructure," the briefing heard from a number of Rhode Islanders who are utilizing Reco… Continue Reading


03.29.10

RI to Receive $43 Million in Federal Aid for “Hardest Hit” Housing Fund

WASHINGTON, DC -- At the request of U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), the Obama Administration today announced they are expanding their "Hardest Hit" federal housing aid program to Rhode Island, providing an additional $43 million in foreclosure prevention funding throughout the state. The Hardest-Hit Fund is a flexible source of federal aid that may be used by housing finance agencies to help protect neighborhood home values, assist "underwater" borrowers who owe mo… Continue Reading


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

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