Press Releases

03.09.17

Whitehouse Statement on Pruitt Climate Denial

Washington, DC - Today, on national television, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt said that carbon pollution caused by human activity is not a main driver of climate change. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and a Co-Chair of the Senate Climate Action Task Force, released the following statement on Pruitt's comment: "It seems the fossil fuel industry has its Manchurian candidate. Scott Pruitt testifi… Continue Reading


03.08.17

Senators Whitehouse and Graham Request Warrant Applications and Court Orders Related to Possible Wiretapping of President Trump, Trump Campaign, or Trump Tower

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island), the chair and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, today sent a letter to the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Acting Deputy Attorney General requesting information on possible wiretapping of President Trump, the Trump campaign, or Trump Tower. "We request that the Department of Justice provide us copies of any warr… Continue Reading


03.07.17

U.S. Senate Urges Trump Administration to Take Action on Threats to Jewish Community Centers & Institutions

Washington, DC - Today, the U.S. Senate unanimously urged the Trump Administration to take action in response to the recent anonymous bomb threats made against Jewish community centers, Jewish day schools, and synagogues, including multiple incidents in Rhode Island. In a unified, bipartisan letter signed by U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and every member of the Senate, the lawmakers urged Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly, Attorney General J… Continue Reading


03.07.17

Whitehouse Introduces Safety Over Forced Arbitration Act

Washington, DC - Today, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced legislation to bar mandatory, pre-dispute arbitration in suits involving public health and safety, including environmental cases. Mandatory arbitration clauses in agreements can railroad Americans into closed-door negotiations with an arbitrator, denying the aggrieved their day in court. Because it is often combined with nondisclosure agreements, pre-dispute arbitration can hinder public awareness of serious hazards like envi… Continue Reading


03.07.17

Whitehouse Hears Concerns From URI Students, Faculty Union About Trump’s Immigration Policy

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse yesterday hosted a forum about President Trump's executive order on immigration that drew about one hundred members of the University of Rhode Island (URI) Chapter of the American Association of University Professors and undergraduate and graduate students. The event took place at URI's Multicultural Center on the Kingston campus. "The students and faculty I heard from are conducting research and learning skills to better our community," said Whitehouse, "But their f… Continue Reading


03.07.17

Reed, Whitehouse Vote to Uphold Fair Pay Rules; Republicans Repeal Transparency Protections for Workers

Washington, DC - The United States Senate this evening voted to repeal President Barack Obama's 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order, which helped ensure companies doing business with the federal government complied with laws related to workplace safety, sexual harassment, anti-discrimination, minimum wage, and overtime. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse voted to save the directive, which failed in a 49-48 vote. "Congress should work together to strengthen protections for… Continue Reading


03.06.17

Whitehouse Statement on Revised Muslim Travel Ban

Washington, DC - Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement regarding the executive order issued today revising President Donald Trump's travel ban on immigrants from certain Muslim-majority countries: "After our courts rejected his first attempt, President Trump thinks he can repackage this un-American order. This version, just like the last, empowers terrorists to define America as the bad guy, pitting us against the world … Continue Reading


03.06.17

As Concerns with Secrecy Mount, Senators Call on Trump to Release White House Visitor Logs

Washington, DC - The President and the Secret Service should continue the previous administration's policy of releasing White House complex visitor logs so that the American people can know who is influencing their government, write a group of Senators in a pair of letters sent Monday to President Donald Trump and the head of the Secret Service. Under the policy established by President Barack Obama, the White House and the Secret Service released visitor logs 90 to 120 days after they were cre… Continue Reading


03.02.17

Whitehouse Statement on Sessions Contacts with Russia

Washington, DC - Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement concerning revelations that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had contacts with a Russian official during the 2016 presidential campaign: "The Department of Justice has a rule that says 'no employee shall participate in a criminal investigation or prosecution if he has a personal or political relationship with any person or organization substantially involved in the con… Continue Reading


03.01.17

Reed, Whitehouse Cosponsor Bill Allowing Americans to Import Low-Cost Medicines

In an effort to provide seniors with more affordable prescription drugs, U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) are joining Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in cosponsoring legislation to lower the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs by allowing Americans to purchase safe, low-cost medicines from Canada. The Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act would also authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to allow importation from other advanced countries… Continue Reading


02.28.17

Hilmy Bakri of Islamic School of RI to Join Whitehouse for Joint Session of Congress

Hilmy Bakri, President of the Board of Trustees of the Islamic School of Rhode Island, will this evening attend the address by President Donald Trump before a joint session of Congress as the guest of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. "On election night, President Trump pledged to be a 'president for all Americans.' But in one short month, his rash and controversial actions have provoked fear and uncertainty among millions of Americans," said Whitehouse. "As the eyes of the world turn to the Presi… Continue Reading


02.24.17

Whitehouse Opposes Trump’s Withdrawal of Guidance Protecting Transgender Students

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse released the following statement in opposition to President Donald Trump's withdrawal of Obama-era guidance directing public schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity: "Rolling back protections for transgender students is cruel and unnecessary," said Whitehouse. "Rhode Island was founded on the notion of tolerance. We were so concerned with it, we waited to join the union until we were sure everyone's rights would … Continue Reading


02.23.17

Whitehouse Calls On Education Secretary to Guard Against Conflicts of Interest

Washington, DC - Senator Sheldon Whitehouse joined Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Richard J. Durbin (D-IL), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) to write to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos regarding reports that President Trump has asked Jerry L. Falwell, Jr., President of Liberty University, to lead a new "task force" to recommend changes to federal regulations, policies, and procedures in higher education. Such a task force could make recommendations on the f… Continue Reading


02.22.17

Whitehouse Statement on Court-Ordered Release of Pruitt Emails

Washington, DC - The office of former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has released over 7,500 emails between that office and representatives of industries Pruitt is now charged with regulating as Administrator of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The release comes after an Oklahoma court ruled Pruitt's office had unlawfully withheld them prior to his Senate confirmation. The emails were requested by the Center for Media and Democracy through an Oklahoma state open records law in 20… Continue Reading


02.21.17

Senators Lodge Concerns About Icahn’s Control of Renewable Fuel Standard

Washington, DC - The White House has ignored seven Senators' request for information on oil refining executive Carl Icahn's role in determining the fate of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)-a regulation that Icahn claims will cost his business hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Now the group has filed that request with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as part of its notice and comment process. In a letter sent to White House Counsel Don McGahn last Monday, February 13, the Senato… Continue Reading


02.17.17

Whitehouse Statement on Oklahoma Court Ruling Requiring Disclosure of Pruitt Emails

Washington, DC - Today, Oklahoma District Court Judge Aletia Haynes Timmons ruled that Environmental Protection Agency Administrator nominee Scott Pruitt must release roughly 3,000 email communications between him and the fossil fuel industry. The ruling comes on the eve of Pruitt's confirmation vote in the Senate. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), issued the following statement on the Court's decision: "Scott Pruitt sat on this i… Continue Reading


02.17.17

Whitehouse Statement on Pruitt Confirmation

Washington, DC - The Senate confirmed Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt today by a vote of 52-46 to serve as Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following statement on the vote: "Allowing this nominee to scoot through the Senate without his full record before us is a plain abdication of our constitutional responsibility. Throughout this confirmation process, it has bee… Continue Reading


02.16.17

Whitehouse Statement on Mulvaney Confirmation

Washington, DC - Today, the Senate voted 51-49 to confirm Congressman Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) to serve as Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, released the following statement on today's vote: "In Congress, Mick Mulvaney played fast and loose with the full faith and credit of the United States by opposing debt ceiling measures and supporting government shutdowns. "At his confirmation hearing, he had a chance to pivo… Continue Reading


02.16.17

Senators Demand Scott Pruitt Recuse Himself from All Issues Related to Lawsuits He Brought Against the EPA to Overturn or Weaken Clean Air and Water Pollution Rules

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, joined 29 other senators in calling on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator nominee Scott Pruitt to recuse himself from participating in any matter related to litigation that he pursued against the EPA as Oklahoma Attorney General. In the letter, the senators specifically call on Mr. Pruitt to recuse himself from decisions on how the EPA will defend itself against the lawsuits he brought for… Continue Reading


02.16.17

Senators Raise Concerns about Executive Order on “Two for One” Regulatory Reform

WASHINGTON-Today, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse joined eight colleagues in sending a letter to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Acting Director Mark Sandy to raise concerns and questions about President Trump's executive order to establish a "two for one" rule under which federal agencies are required to identify two existing regulations for elimination for every new regulation issued. In the letter, the senators raise concerns that the arbitrary "two for one" limit on rulemaking imped… Continue Reading

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