Press Releases

03.15.17

Graham, Whitehouse Hold Hearing on Russian Interference in Elections

Washington, DC - Today, Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Ranking Member Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) held a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism to examine Russian efforts to undermine democracies, including the United States and its elections. The hearing included testimony from a panel of experts in the tools employed by the Russian government to disrupt elections and the function of democratic governments, including cyber-attacks, financial crime and economic ma… Continue Reading


03.15.17

Senate Democrats Release List of Over 100 Oversight Letters President Trump Refuses to Answer

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In recognition of Sunshine Week, a nationwide initiative to promote openness and transparency in government, the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee today released a compilation of over 100 oversight letters the Trump Administration has refused to answer in response to congressional inquiries. Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Chair, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), joined Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), a… Continue Reading


03.13.17

Whitehouse Statement on CBO Analysis of Republican Health Care Plan

Washington, DC - Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, today released the following statement on the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office's analysis of the Republican health care reform bill, which would replace the Affordable Care Act: "These numbers make clear that the only people who will benefit from Trumpcare are the ultra-wealthy getting a tax cut. Now we know why House Republicans were angling to jam through a vote on thi… Continue Reading


03.12.17

Whitehouse Statement on the Passing of Former State Sen. David Bates

Providence, RI - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse today released the following statement on the passing of former Rhode Island State Senator David Bates: "I was very sorry to hear of the passing of former State Senator Dave Bates, who was a thorough and wise legislator, and a wonderful man. I had the chance to work closely with Dave on reforming Rhode Island's workers compensation system. He was an important leader in Barrington and at the State House during his many years as Minority Whip. D… Continue Reading


03.10.17

Senators to Trump Admin: Refrain from Cutting Coast Guard Budget to Follow Through on Your Own Priorities

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) joined a bipartisan group of 23 senators urging Office of Management and Budget Administrator Mick Mulvaney not to make a devastating $1.3 billion cut to the budget of the United States Coast Guard. According to reports, the Trump administration's FY 2018 Presidential Budget Request will suggest a wholesale slash amounting to almost 12 percent of the service's budget. Throughout his campaign and time in office, President Trump has committ… Continue Reading


03.10.17

Whitehouse Underscores Support for Arts in RI Amid Potential Trump Cuts

East Providence, RI - Senator Sheldon Whitehouse this morning met with more than eighty representatives of local arts organizations and businesses at the Rhode Island Philharmonic's Carter Center for Music Education in East Providence to hear firsthand how federal funding for the arts contributes to Rhode Island's economy. Recent news reports suggest the Trump administration is weighing the elimination of funding to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Hu… Continue Reading


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

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