Press Releases

06.13.14

Whitehouse, Warren Introduce Measure to Help Families Struggling with Medical Debt

Washington, DC - Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) have introduced legislation to help families burdened by the costs of illness and injury. The Medical Bankruptcy Fairness Act of 2014 (S. 2471) would make the bankruptcy process more forgiving for those driven to insolvency by medical issues. "Even families with quality health insurance coverage can be bankrupted by an illness or injury that causes lost work and income," said Whitehouse, who introduced similar legis… Continue Reading


06.11.14

Senator Whitehouse Slams GOP for Blocking Student Debt Relief

Washington, DC - Today Senate Republicans filibustered a bill that would have allowed millions of student loan borrowers to refinance their loans at lower interest rates. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), a cosponsor and author of a key provision of the bill, issued the following statement on the GOP's decision to reject the legislation: "Republicans showed today that they care more about preserving tax cuts for billionaires than they do about helping struggling student loan borrowers. … Continue Reading


06.09.14

Republicans Duck Climate Discussion

Washington, DC - This evening U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and several other Democrats invited Senate Republicans to join them on the Senate floor to discuss the best ways to address climate change. All 45 Republican Senators were invited, but the only one to come to the floor was famed climate-change-denier James Inhofe (R-OK). "Climate change is among the most serious threats facing our environment, our public health, our economy, and our national security, and yet not a single Re… Continue Reading


06.09.14

Whitehouse Holds U.S. Senate Hearing in Pawtucket on Juvenile Justice

Pawtucket, RI - Today, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) chaired a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Pawtucket, RI, to hear from Rhode Islanders and the U.S. Justice Department about ways to improve the nation's juvenile justice system. Whitehouse, who chairs the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, learned about the success Rhode Island has had in shrinking the number of juveniles in state correctional facilities, while also reducing crimes committed by youth. Whiteho… Continue Reading


06.09.14

Democratic Senators Invite Republicans to Discuss Climate Solutions

Washington, DC - In March, more than 30 Democratic Senators, led by the Senate Climate Action Task Force, held the floor of the Senate for an entire night to urge Congress to wake up and take action on climate change. Now members of the Task Force are urging Republican Senators to join them on the floor to present their own perspectives on climate change and to discuss the best way to address this serious problem. This evening, June 9, U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and others have in… Continue Reading


06.06.14

Congress to Help WaterFire Navigate Tidal Challenges

Providence, RI - WaterFire is expected to light the Providence River as scheduled this summer after U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed helped pass legislation enabling WaterFire to better navigate tidal challenges at future events in Rhode Island's capital city. The Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) reauthorization, which was passed by both Houses of Congress in recent weeks and will soon be signed by the President, gives the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers the authorit… Continue Reading


06.03.14

Sen. Whitehouse Asks: Which McConnell Will We Hear From?

Washington, DC - Today the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing examining a Constitutional Amendment to restore the ability of Congress to regulate campaign finance laws in the wake of the Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions. The hearing will include testimony from Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell - a one-time supporter of sensible campaign finance laws who has since reversed his position. Ahead of the hearing, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI… Continue Reading


06.02.14

Sen. Whitehouse Hails EPA Rules for Carbon Pollution

Washington, DC - Today the Obama Administration proposed new state-specific carbon pollution standards for power plants, which are the largest source of carbon pollution in America. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, is hailing the proposed rules as an important step forward in our nation's effort to combat climate change and protect public health. "It's long past time for there to be s… Continue Reading


05.29.14

RI Set to Receive $1.9 Million in Groundfish Disaster Relief Funds

PROVIDENCE, RI - Rhode Island's Congressional delegation today joined with Governor Lincoln D. Chafee and Janet Coit, the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM), in announcing a compromise agreement reached by the state fishery directors from Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York and officials from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for a framework for the distribution of a portion of $32.8 million in federal f… Continue Reading


05.28.14

RI Receives $2.7 Million to Clean Up Brownfields

PROVIDENCE, RI - In an effort to protect public health and redevelop former industrial sites, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Representatives Jim Langevin and David Cicilline today announced over $2.7 million to help clean up brownfields in communities across the state. A brownfield site is property where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. Organizations in Pawtucket, Providen… Continue Reading


05.23.14

Whitehouse Introduces Bill to Protect Servicemembers from Foreclosure

Washington, DC - As the nation prepares to honor veterans and servicemembers during this Memorial Day weekend, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has introduced legislation to help keep military families in their homes by protecting them against foreclosure following active duty. The Foreclosure Relief and Extension for Servicemembers Act of 2014 (S. 2404) would ensure that troops who serve active duty are protected against losing their home for one year following the completion of their service i… Continue Reading


05.22.14

Senate Passes Major Water Projects Bill

Washington, DC - The U.S. Senate today passed legislation to reauthorize the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), which authorizes important civil works and flood control projects and policies for the Army Corps of Engineers, by a vote of 91-7. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) helped shepherd the bill through the Senate last year as a member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, and then served on the House-Senate conference committee that negotiated the fina… Continue Reading


05.19.14

Whitehouse Applauds DOJ Crackdown on Cyberspying

Providence, RI - Today the U.S. Department of Justice announced the indictment of five members of the Chinese military for computer hacking, economic espionage, and other acts targeting six American companies and organizations. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), who last week chaired a Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on economic espionage and has long urged the Justice Department to bring prosecutions against state-sponsored hackers who steal American trade secrets, is applauding the indict… Continue Reading


05.16.14

Reed, Whitehouse, and Cicilline Announce Funding for Firefighters in Lincoln

Providence, RI - Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman David Cicilline today announced that the Lime Rock Fire District in Lincoln has been awarded a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to upgrade their fire safety and protection equipment. The funding was authorized as part of FEMA's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, which is designed to aid fire departments and emergency medical service organizations meet their equipment, training, and other n… Continue Reading


05.15.14

Senate Committee Passes Major Bill to Fund Road & Bridge Projects

Washington, DC - The Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee today passed a transportation funding bill that incorporates a Projects of National and Regional Significance Program (PNRS) providing for over $2 billion for investments in regionally critical infrastructure. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), a member of the EPW Committee, requested that the program be included, citing its potential to create jobs and grow the economy in Rhode Island. Under the bill that advanced… Continue Reading


05.15.14

Sen. Whitehouse Challenges Rubio Comments on Climate Change

Washington, DC - On the heels of a joint speech on Tuesday with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) about the effects of climate change in Florida, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) is directly responding to Senator Marco Rubio's (R-FL) recent comments denying the reality of climate change. In an interview on Sunday and again during a speaking event Tuesday, Rubio said he did not believe human activity was causing climate change. He also went on to say that we should not do anything to address cli… Continue Reading


05.15.14

Senate and House Agree to Create New Program for Ocean and Coastal Ecosystems

Washington, DC - Today a House-Senate conference committee announced a final bipartisan compromise on legislation to reauthorize the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA). The compromise bill includes a provision crafted by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) authorizing a new program within the Army Corps of Engineers to carry out projects that would enhance ocean and coastal ecosystem resiliency. "In Rhode Island and throughout the country, the strength of our economy is tied… Continue Reading


05.13.14

Sen. Whitehouse Bill Protects Public Health by Ending Secrecy in Certain Civil Settlements

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) has introduced legislation to protect the health and safety of American citizens by limiting the ability of big corporations to demand that plaintiffs remain silent about their experiences as a condition of settling their disputes. Currently, for example, natural gas companies facing lawsuits from citizens who claim their water has been contaminated by the extraction process can require citizens to keep details of their cases secret in exc… Continue Reading


05.13.14

Road & Bridge Bill Includes Major Infrastructure Funding Championed by Sen. Whitehouse

Washington, DC - Last night, with federal transportation funding slated to expire in September, the leading Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee introduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorize funding for road and bridge projects for the next six years. One of the major provisions included in the bill was requested by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and would fund a Projects of National and Regional Significance (PNRS) program. The White… Continue Reading


05.06.14

Sen. Whitehouse: National Climate Assessment May Force Deniers to Confront Reality

Washington, DC - Today, the U.S. Global Change Research Program released its third National Climate Assessment (NCA), an extensive report mandated by Congress to be completed every four years. The third NCA, developed over four years by 13 federal agencies and hundreds of scientific authors, explains how climate change is already affecting every region of the country, our ocean, and our economy. The NCA also provides detailed projections of future changes. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R… Continue Reading

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