Press Releases

06.10.15

Sens. Whitehouse and Schatz Unveil Carbon Fee Proposal at American Enterprise Institute

Washington, D.C. - Today, at an event hosted by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) unveiled new legislation to address climate change and boost the economy by putting a price on carbon pollution. The American Opportunity Carbon Fee Act, which will be introduced in the Senate today, would significantly lower U.S. greenhouse gas emissions while generating substantial revenue - all of which would be returned to the American peop… Continue Reading


06.09.15

Sen. Whitehouse: Gaspee Incident Deserves Proper Recognition

Washington, DC - As Rhode Island prepares for the annual Gaspee Days parade in Warwick this weekend, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse today gave his eighth annual speech on the floor of the Senate remembering the brave Rhode Islanders who stood up to the British and burned the HMS Gaspee in 1772. Whitehouse argues that the burning of the Gaspee, which took place 16 months before the Boston Tea Party, deserves more recognition for its role in sparking the American Revolution. "I come to the floo… Continue Reading


06.08.15

Whitehouse and Vitter Introduce Bill to Reauthorize National Estuary Program

Washington, D.C. - Today U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and David Vitter (R-LA) introduced legislation to reauthorize the National Estuary Program (NEP). The program was first established in 1987 by the late Senator John Chafee (R-RI) to protect and restore estuarine habitats threatened by pollution and overdevelopment. Authorization for this important program expired in 2010. "Estuaries provide vital ecosystems for fisheries and wildlife, and they also serve as buffers against dange… Continue Reading


06.05.15

Sen. Whitehouse Praises RI’s Phil West at Common Cause Meeting in Washington

Washington, DC - Last night, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) attended the National Governing Board Meeting of Common Cause in Washington, DC. Whitehouse spoke at the meeting to thank the organization for its efforts on a range of issues including campaign finance reform, and to introduce Phil West, the former Executive Director of Common Cause Rhode Island. "Phil embodied the dogged spirit of justice, equality, and accountability that has always been the touchstone of Common Cause's mi… Continue Reading


06.04.15

President Obama Signs Law Containing Sen. Whitehouse Provision on Missing Children Investigations

Washington, DC - On Friday, President Barack Obama signed into law the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, legislation to provide additional resources for victims of human trafficking. Included within the final bill was a provision authored by U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL) that will provide explicit authorization for the U.S. Marshals Service to assist other law enforcement agencies, upon request, in investigating missing children cases. The Marshals Serv… Continue Reading


06.01.15

RI Delegation Announces Funding for Harrisville Fire Department and Cumberland Rescue Service

Washington, D.C. - Today, Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline announced $48,000 in federal funding to upgrade equipment for firefighters in Harrisville and emergency medical responders in Cumberland. The funding was authorized as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG), which is designed to aid fire departments and emergency medical service organizations meet their equipment, training… Continue Reading


05.29.15

RI Delegation Announces $412,500 NOAA Grant to Purchase Unprotected Land on Prudence Island

Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline announced $412,500 in funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that will go toward the purchase of 103 acres of land on Prudence Island for inclusion in the Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NBNERR) - thus protecting it from future development. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) will use the NOAA f… Continue Reading


05.27.15

Sen. Whitehouse Applauds EPA Clean Water Rule

Washington, DC - Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers released their final Waters of the United States rule, which will enable the agency to better protect public waterways and drinking water from pollution. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), the Ranking Member on the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife, issued the statement below praising the rule: "This final rule makes clear that the claims from its oppon… Continue Reading


05.23.15

Sen. Whitehouse: Short-Term Highway Bill Another Missed Opportunity

Washington, DC - With federal highway funding set to expire at the end of this month, the U.S. Senate approved by voice vote a two-month extension to avoid a funding shutdown. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), who has been calling for a long-term bill to provide greater funding certainty and support jobs, released the statement below on the two-month bill: "Rhode Island needs a long-term highway bill to create jobs, grow our economy, and make our roads and bridges safer. Unfortunately, … Continue Reading


05.22.15

Sen. Whitehouse Statement on “Fast Track” Trade Bill Passage

Washington, DC - Today, the U.S. Senate voted to approve Trade Promotion Authority legislation, which will provide the Executive Branch with greater authority to negotiate future trade agreements by limiting the Senate's ability to block or amend them. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) voted against the legislation, and released the following statement regarding its approval: "I'm disappointed that the Senate approved this legislation today. Past free trade deals have undermined Rhode Isla… Continue Reading


05.18.15

Sen. Whitehouse Delivers 100th Weekly Climate Speech

Washington, DC - For the last three years, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) has delivered a weekly "Time to Wake Up" speech on the Senate floor about the urgent need to act on climate change. This evening, Whitehouse delivered the 100th installment in his "Time to Wake Up" series. The full text of Whitehouse's remarks is below, and video is available here. ----------------------------------- 100th Climate Speech As Prepared for Delivery Mr./Madam President, April 18, 2012, was not … Continue Reading


05.18.15

Whitehouse Issues Statement on Passing of James Skeffington

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse issued the following statement regarding the death of Pawtucket Red Sox owner and attorney James Skeffington: "I worked closely with Jim and knew him to be a very talented lawyer and longstanding, active member of the Rhode Island community. A great many people will miss him and his service to our state. My thoughts are with the Skeffington family in this difficult time." ###… Continue Reading


05.15.15

Sen. Whitehouse Hosts Catholic Bishops for Climate Change Meeting

Washington, DC - As Pope Francis prepares to release an encyclical on climate change this summer, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) joined U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) this week to host a meeting on Capitol Hill with representatives from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The bishops met privately with Whitehouse, Collins, and other Senators to discuss the forthcoming encyclical, the Church's views on climate change, and the importance of protecting our natural environment. "As… Continue Reading


05.14.15

Whitehouse Slams House Proposal to Eliminate Juvenile Justice Funding

Washington, DC - Yesterday, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science released a proposal to eliminate funding for juvenile justice intervention programs. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), who has been working with Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) on bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, issued the statement below regarding the House bill: "Chairman Grassley and I have been working on bipa… Continue Reading


05.12.15

Sen. Whitehouse Applauds Defeat of “Fast Track” Trade Authority

Washington, DC - Today the U.S. Senate held a procedural vote on Trade Promotion Authority legislation, which would have limited the Senate's ability to block or amend future free trade agreements. The bill failed by a vote of 52-45. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) voted against the bill and released the following statement: "It would have been a mistake to provide fast-track authority for trade agreements that could further undermine American wages, manufacturing jobs, and our environ… Continue Reading


05.12.15

Reed, Whitehouse & Langevin Announce $182,000 in Federal Funding for Oyster Study

Providence, RI - Today, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman Jim Langevin announced $182,000 in funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the University of Rhode Island (URI) to study the effects of food-borne disease outbreaks on Rhode Island oysters farmers. The URI researchers hope to help the oyster industry - both in Rhode Island and nationwide - to better predict demand for oysters in the event of an outbreak of food-borne diseas… Continue Reading


05.06.15

Whitehouse Compares Climate Denial to Civil Racketeering Perpetrated by Tobacco Industry

Washington, DC - Today, in his 98th weekly "Time to Wake Up" speech on climate change, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) highlighted the similarities between the tobacco industry's efforts to mislead the American public about the dangers of its product and the ongoing effort by fossil-fuel interests to cast doubt on climate science. "Big coal, oil, and natural gas, and related industries like the Koch Brothers' companies, profit by offloading the costs of their carbon pollution onto the re… Continue Reading


05.05.15

Whitehouse Calls for Long-Term Highway Funding Plan

Washington, DC - With federal highway funding set to expire at the end of this month unless Congress acts, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) took to the Senate floor today to call for a serious bipartisan effort to avert a funding crisis. Whitehouse's speech took Republicans to task for failing to provide new highway funding through their budget proposal, and highlighted the urgent need to invest in Rhode Island roads and bridges. Video of Whitehouse's remarks is available here. "We are… Continue Reading


05.02.15

During Annual Veterans Breakfast, Whitehouse Announces Bill to Protect Servicemembers from Foreclosure

Warwick, RI - On Saturday, during his 8th Annual Veterans Breakfast and Resource Fair at the Rhode Island National Guard Armory, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse presented medals to a Korean War veteran from Pawtucket, heard from veterans and their families about the issues they face, and announced legislation to protect servicemembers from losing their homes to foreclosure. Whitehouse introduced the legislation in the Senate on Thursday. The event also included representatives from federal and… Continue Reading


04.30.15

Grassley, Whitehouse Bill Reauthorizes Juvenile Justice Programs with Improved Accountability

Washington, D.C. - Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse today are introducing legislation to ensure that at-risk youth are fairly and effectively served by juvenile justice grant programs. Their legislation updates existing law by promoting improved transparency and accountability at the state and federal level. It also adds additional support for youth with mental illnesses and guards against fraud and mismanagement of grant funds through enhanced oversigh… Continue Reading

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