Press Releases

01.28.16

Senate Overwhelmingly Approves Nuclear Energy Legislation

Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Senate today approved overwhelmingly legislation, introduced by Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) that would increase collaboration among private industry, universities, and national laboratories to facilitate the development of advanced nuclear technologies. The vote of 87 to 4 to approve the amendment makes it a part of a larger energy policy reform bill before the Senate. The Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act (NEICA), S. … Continue Reading


01.28.16

Schatz, Whitehouse, Colleagues Urge EPA to Take Further Action on Climate Change and cut Methane Emissions

WASHINGTON - In a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy, U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai'i), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and 19 other senators are urging the agency to expand its regulation of methane emissions. As a part of the president's Climate Action Plan, the EPA has begun to address industrial sources of methane, but not all sources of the gas are currently included in the final rule. The senators wrote, "Your agency has been clear that in order… Continue Reading


01.28.16

Judiciary Committee Approves Bill to Protect American Businesses’ Trade Secrets

Washington, DC - The Senate Judiciary Committee today approved the bipartisan Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), sponsored by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Chris Coons (D-DE), to create a new federal right of action for trade secret theft. The measure would also empower litigants to seek civil seizure of stolen trade secrets and other property in exceptional cases. The version adopted by the Committee reflects a number of changes made by the bill's authors at the request of Sen. Sheldon Whitehous… Continue Reading


01.28.16

Whitehouse Introduces Bill to Fight Health Care-Associated Infections

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) has introduced legislation to combat health care-associated infections (HAIs), which afflict hundreds of thousands of Americans every year and cost billions of dollars to treat, according to estimates by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The bill also promotes stewardship of antibiotics to help preserve their effectiveness and improve outcomes for patients. "Tens of thousands of Americans die every year from … Continue Reading


01.28.16

Whitehouse Cheers Judiciary Committee Approval of McElroy Nomination

Washington, DC - Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved, without objection and by voice vote, the nomination of Rhode Island Public Defender Mary McElroy to serve as United States District Court Judge for the District of Rhode Island. Her nomination now goes before the full Senate for an up-or-down vote. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, applauded her approval. "Ms. McElroy's skill, compassion, and deep commitment to the people of Rhode Islan… Continue Reading


01.27.16

Whitehouse Brings Rhode Islander to Testify Before Judiciary Committee on Addiction Crisis

Washington, DC - Today, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse welcomed Rhode Island's Linda Hurley, Chief Operating Officer and Director of Clinical Services at CODAC Behavioral Healthcare, to testify before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the ongoing opioid drug abuse and overdose crisis unfolding throughout the country. Whitehouse, a member of the Judiciary Committee and author of bipartisan legislation to combat opioid addiction, invited Hurley to discuss the challenges CODAC and other beh… Continue Reading


01.19.16

Casey and Whitehouse Call on Justice Department to Address Court Fees Charged to Families of Youth Offenders

Washington, D.C. - In a letter sent to the Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) today, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) called on the OJJDP to look into local governments' practice of charging parents and legal guardians for costs associated with processing and incarcerating youth in our juvenile justice system. Families receive court bills-sometimes for thousands of dollars- often with little notice and well after the yo… Continue Reading


01.16.16

Reed & Whitehouse Hear from Rhode Island Students and Graduates about How to Make College More Affordable

Providence, RI - Yesterday, at Roger Williams University's campus in Providence, Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse sat down with Rhode Island students and graduates to talk about the climbing costs of higher education and how student debt-which has skyrocketed in recent decades-harms too many American families. "We all understand that education is the engine that pulls this economy forward, fulfills individual aspirations, and what makes America what it is. We invented public education… Continue Reading


01.15.16

Senate Oceans Caucus Adds Seven New Members

Washington, D.C. - The leaders of the bipartisan U.S. Senate Oceans Caucus, Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Cory Booker (D-NJ), have welcomed seven new members to the Caucus, bringing the group's membership to 30. The new members include Senators Thad Cochran (R-MS), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Richard Burr (R-NC), Rob Portman (R-OH), John Boozman (R-AR), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Dan Sullivan (R-AK). The Senate Oceans Caucus, founded by co-chairs … Continue Reading


01.15.16

Whitehouse Welcomes Interior Coal Lease Review

Providence, RI - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse today expressed support for the comprehensive review of the federal coal program announced by Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. The review will identify potential reforms to properly reflect the environmental and health effects of burning coal mined on federal lands and to ensure a fair return to taxpayers for the use of their public resources. The Interior Department will suspend the issuance of new coal leases while the review is underwa… Continue Reading


01.12.16

Sen. Whitehouse Reaction to State of the Union Address

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) released the statement below reacting to President Obama's State of the Union address: "Tonight President Obama described his vision of the great things this nation can achieve when we work together. He's seen how far we've come from the worst recession in generations, and he knows that ensuring opportunity for all will continue to grow our economy. I am thrilled that the areas he highlighted for bipartisan progress were areas where I ha… Continue Reading


12.18.15

Congress Reaches End-of-Year Compromise on Spending, Taxes

Washington, DC - Congress today passed a comprehensive legislative package to fund the federal government through September 2016 and extend or make permanent a number of expired or expiring tax incentives. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) expressed support for the package, which includes a number of provisions he authored or advocated for. "This bipartisan agreement is good news for the economy. It will prevent a catastrophic government shutdown, and add a measure of certainty to the ta… Continue Reading


12.18.15

Whitehouse Cheers Passage of Bill to Protect the Public from Toxic Chemicals

Washington, DC - Senator Sheldon Whitehouse applauded the Senate's unanimous approval last evening of legislation to help protect Americans from toxic chemicals in everyday products by improving the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). "Our main toxic chemicals law hasn't done nearly enough to protect Americans' health and our environment. It's stuck states like Rhode Island with the difficult job of protecting the public from complicated chemicals and saddled businesses with a confusing patc… Continue Reading


12.16.15

Delegation Announces $277,850 for URI Fisheries Research

Washington, D.C. - Today, the Rhode Island congressional delegation announced $227,850 in National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) funding for a team based at the University of Rhode Island (URI) to research the effects of climate change on Atlantic fisheries. The team will be headed by Dr. Jeremy Collie, a leading researcher at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO), and will include scientists from NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NFSC), Narragansett Laboratory … Continue Reading


12.12.15

Whitehouse Applauds International Climate Accord

Newport, RI - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) released the following statement on the historic agreement, announced in Paris today, to limit global greenhouse gas emissions: "This is a major victory for our climate, our oceans, and our children. The Paris Agreement represents the commitment of over 180 countries-representing approximately 98 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide-to avoid the worst effects of climate change like drought, flooding, and extreme weather. It will al… Continue Reading


12.11.15

Senate Approves Whitehouse Bill to Protect Servicemembers from Foreclosure

Washington, DC - Last evening, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved Senator Sheldon Whitehouse's bill to keep military servicemembers and veterans out of foreclosure and in their homes after transitioning from active duty. Whitehouse has been fighting for years to ensure that those who have served our country and their families are protected from foreclosure as they transition from active-duty service and return to civilian life. Currently, thanks to legislation Whitehouse authored and helped … Continue Reading


12.09.15

Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing on McElroy’s Nomination for U.S. District Court for Rhode Island

Washington, D.C. - The Senate Judiciary Committee today held a hearing to consider Mary McElroy's nomination to be a United States District Judge for the District of Rhode Island, the state's federal trial court which has jurisdiction to hear nearly all categories of federal cases, including both civil and criminal matters. Ms. McElroy currently serves as Rhode Island's top public defender, and if confirmed, would fill a vacancy left by Judge Mary M. Lisi, who assumed senior status on the Court… Continue Reading


12.09.15

Senate Approves K-12 Overhaul

Washington, DC - The U.S. Senate today voted to ease the burdensome requirements of the No Child Left Behind education law, help reduce reliance on high-stakes testing, and expand access to a quality education for all students. The bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which updates federal elementary and secondary education policies, was approved by a vote of 85-12. The legislation, having already been acted on by the House of Representatives, will now be signed into law by President … Continue Reading


12.08.15

Rhode Island Arts Groups Receive $125,000 in Federal Grants

Providence, RI - U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline cheered $125,000 in National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) funding for Rhode Island arts organizations. The NEA grants will help the groups pursue arts research, bring dance and theater productions to the stage, and promote the arts among Rhode Island youth. "I am pleased that Rhode Island arts organizations have been selected to receive these federal grants to help boost education t… Continue Reading


12.04.15

Whitehouse and Colleagues File Supreme Court Brief in Support of President Obama’s Immigration Executive Actions

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), together with several members of the Senate and House of Representatives, filed a "friend of the court" brief in support of the Department of Justice's petition for Supreme Court review of the President's immigration executive actions. The brief argues that the President's actions are consistent with Congressional intent and the Executive Branch's legal authority to enforce our immigration laws. "When bipartisan immigration reform was s… Continue Reading

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