Press Releases

07.16.15

Senate Passes Landmark Overhaul of Federal Education Law

Washington, DC - The U.S. Senate has passed landmark legislation overhauling federal education policy for elementary and secondary schools. The Every Child Achieves Act, which passed by a vote of 81-17, eliminates the one-size-fits-all provisions of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law that placed too much emphasis on standardized test results and pressured teachers to "teach to the test." Instead, the bill allows communities, parents, and teachers to work together to improve schools using a … Continue Reading


07.15.15

Whitehouse Voices Support for Every Child Achieves Act

Washington, DC - Last evening, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse delivered remarks on the Senate floor about pending legislation to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, helped to craft the bill, the Every Child Achieves Act. In his remarks, Whitehouse discussed how his work with Rhode Island education leaders, students, and parents shaped his priorities for the bill and led him t… Continue Reading


07.15.15

Sen. Whitehouse Urges DOJ to Take Action on Dark Money

Washington, DC - In a letter sent today to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) is urging the Department of Justice (DOJ) to crack down on "a pattern of open and notorious abuses" in our nation's campaign finance system. Specifically, Whitehouse argues that some 501(c)(4) "social welfare" organizations take advantage of ambiguities in Treasury Department rules to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money in secret. Whitehouse has long urged federal agencies to t… Continue Reading


07.14.15

Sen. Whitehouse Statement on Iran Nuclear Deal

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) released the statement below regarding today's announcement of a deal between the United States, its allies, and Iran to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon: "Whenever possible, I believe the U.S. should seek to advance our security goals through diplomacy rather than force. The President and his team, particularly Secretary Kerry, deserve tremendous credit for pursuing this diplomatic solution to one of our world's most pressing… Continue Reading


07.13.15

Reed, Whitehouse and Langevin Celebrate $770,000 in Federal Funding for Narragansett Fire Department

Narragansett, RI - Today, at the Narragansett Fire Department headquarters, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman Jim Langevin announced $769,582 in federal funding for the Narragansett Fire Department to purchase a new ladder truck and firefighting equipment. Reed, Whitehouse, and Langevin also toured the headquarters and heard from firefighters about how this funding will help keep Narragansett residents safe. The Narragansett Fire Department's current ladder truck i… Continue Reading


07.09.15

Portman and Whitehouse Amendment to Support Recovery Support Services to Students Passes Senate

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D- R.I.) today applauded passage of their amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization that expands drug and violence prevention grants to provide recovery support services to students in schools and communities working to overcome addiction. The Every Child Achieves Act authorizes grant programs to address drug abuse and violence prevention in schools and communities across the coun… Continue Reading


07.09.15

Reed and Whitehouse Announce Recommendation of Mary McElroy to the U.S. District Court for Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE, RI - The process to fill the upcoming federal court vacancy in Rhode Island took a step forward today as United States Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse announced they have recommended that President Barack Obama nominate Rhode Island Public Defender Mary McElroy, of Coventry, to the U.S. District Court in Providence. "After a months-long, open effort to solicit qualified applicants and conduct extensive interviews, we are prepared to take the next step in this process and h… Continue Reading


06.30.15

Whitehouse Applauds Obama Administration's Expansion of Overtime Pay

Providence, RI - Today the Obama Administration's Department of Labor proposed a new rule to boost wages for millions of salaried workers by setting a new income limit for automatic overtime pay. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) has been advocating for the change, signing onto a letter to the President in January urging him to raise the protection threshold. "Too many workers in Rhode Island and across the country are working long hours without guaranteed overtime pay," Whitehouse said. "… Continue Reading


06.26.15

Sen. Whitehouse Statement on Supreme Court’s Ruling on Marriage Equality

Washington, DC - Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that state-based bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, making same-sex marriages legal nationwide. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), a longtime support of marriage equality, released the statement below regarding the decision: "Today the Supreme Court affirmed that the love of all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation, is equal under the law. We have already recognized this basic truth in Rhode Island, but I'm glad … Continue Reading


06.25.15

Sen. Whitehouse Statement on Supreme Court’s Decision to Uphold ACA Subsidies

Washington, DC - Today the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 for the government in King v. Burwell, upholding the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) health insurance subsidies in states that do not have state-based insurance exchanges. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), who voted for the ACA and was deeply involved in crafting the law as a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, released the statement below regarding the decision: "Today, once again, the Supreme Court affi… Continue Reading


06.24.15

Whitehouse Cosponsors Bill to Strengthen Voting Rights Act Protections

Washington, DC - Today a group of Senators and House Members introduced the Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA) of 2015 to restore and strengthen the protections of the historic Voting Rights Act of 1965. The bill was cosponsored by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and comes two years after the Supreme Court gutted core protections in the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County v. Holder. "The Voting Rights Act has stood for generations as a bulwark against discrimination at the ballot box, upho… Continue Reading


06.24.15

EPW Committee Approves Major Highway Funding Measure

Washington, DC - The Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee today passed a major transportation funding bill that would provide long-term certainty for federal highway projects. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) is a member of the committee and helped to include a new "Assistance for Major Projects Program" in the bill, which is based on a "Projects of National and Regional Significance Program" he has championed in previous years. The new program would provide funding to ass… Continue Reading


06.23.15

Whitehouse Statement on Trade Promotion Authority Vote

Washington, DC - Today, by a vote of 60-37, the Senate advanced Trade Promotion Authority legislation, which would deny Congress the opportunity to fully vet and amend sweeping trade deals with foreign nations. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who voted against advancing the bill, released the following statement on today's vote: "I'm disappointed that my colleagues voted to prohibit Congress from improving future trade agreements. Past trade pacts have hurt Rhode Island workers, and I believe we … Continue Reading


06.23.15

Bicameral Call for Greater Transparency in Political Spending

Washington, D.C. - In separate letters sent by House and Senate lawmakers today, Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) led over 100 House Members and 26 Senators, respectively, in calling on the president to issue an Executive Order requiring companies that do business with the federal government to fully disclose their political contributions. "Taxpayers have a right to know where their money is spent and you have the power to ensure that the American… Continue Reading


06.18.15

Sen. Whitehouse Statement on Pope’s Encyclical on the Environment

Washington, DC - Today Pope Francis released a new encyclical on the environment - a teaching document for Catholics throughout the world. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) released the statement below regarding the encyclical: "As a Senator representing the most Catholic state in America, and a state which faces daunting risks from climate change, I thank Pope Francis for his thoughtful and inspiring words. Pope Francis gives voice to the moral urgency of caring better for our home pla… Continue Reading


06.17.15

Rep. Cartwright, Senator Whitehouse Introduce Legislation to Protect Natural Resources from Climate Change

Washington, DC - Today, U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright and U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) re-introduced the Safeguarding America's Future and Environment (SAFE) Act, legislation that would safeguard the country's natural resources from the increasingly harmful effects of climate change. "Climate change poses an immediate and long-term threat to the natural resources and environmental landscape that many local communities depend on for a livelihood. In Pennsylvania alone, outdoor re… Continue Reading


06.17.15

Rhode Island Wins $229,000 to Prevent Medicare & Medicaid Fraud

Washington, D.C. - Today U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline announced $229,489 in U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) funding for the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) project at the Rhode Island Division of Elderly Affairs (DEA). The funding will enable DEA to train SMP volunteers to educate Medicare and Medicaid recipients on how to detect and guard against fraud in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Medicare and Medicai… Continue Reading


06.16.15

Whitehouse Statement on Vote to Ban Torture Techniques

Washington, DC - Today, by a vote of 78-21, the Senate passed an amendment to National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that limits U.S. intelligence gatherers to the use of interrogation techniques permitted by the U.S. Army Field Manual. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), who formerly served on the Senate Intelligence Committee and helped to author a report on the use of torture by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), issued the following statement on the vote: "President Bush and Vice Pre… Continue Reading


06.16.15

Whitehouse and RI Health Care Expert Discuss Electronic Medical Records at Senate Hearing

Washington, DC - Today, the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) held a hearing to explore how the federal government can improve the use of electronic health records (EHRs). Among the expert witnesses testifying at the hearing was Meryl Moss, Chief Operating Officer at Coastal Medical in Providence, RI. Moss was invited to testify by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), who is a member of the committee and has long been one of the Senate's leading voices on the pr… Continue Reading


06.16.15

Senators to Dept. of Education: Proposed Changes to Student Loan Program could Harm Borrowers

Washington, D.C. - Today a group of Senate Democrats wrote to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to express concern with a draft proposal to reform the Pay as You Earn (PAYE) program for student loans. The program allows eligible borrowers to cap their monthly payments at 10% of discretionary income and forgives remaining balances after 20 years. However, a proposal currently under review by the Department would, according to the Senators, "add unnecessary complexity, increase costs for r… Continue Reading

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