Press Releases

03.24.14

Nearly 14,000 RIers Benefitted from Obamacare’s Medicare “Doughnut Hole” Fix in 2013

Washington, DC - Thousands of Rhode Island seniors have saved on prescription drugs because of the Affordable Care Act, according to federal data released last week. In 2013, 13,998 Rhode Islanders on Medicare saved over $9.9 million on their prescriptions, for an average savings of $709 per person. Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, thousands of Rhode Island seniors fell into the so-called Medicare "doughnut hole" and were forced to pay the full cost of their prescription drugs.… Continue Reading


03.17.14

Whitehouse Hears from Rhode Islanders on Prison Reform Bill

Providence, RI - At a roundtable discussion in Providence on Monday, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) heard from Rhode Island law enforcement and community leaders about his bipartisan prison reform legislation that recently passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and awaits action in the full Senate. The bill would reduce federal prison spending and decrease overcrowded prison populations by allowing some prisoners to earn credits toward time in pre-release custody in return for completing… Continue Reading


03.13.14

Flood Insurance Fix Passes Senate

Washington, DC - The U.S. Senate today approved legislation by a vote of 72-22 to spare many homeowners from sharp rate hikes in federal flood insurance policies. The bill will put a cap on future rate hikes and provides refunds for certain homeowners who bought property after July 6, 2012 when steep rate hikes went into effect. The bill, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, was passed in response to concerns about the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. Biggert-Wat… Continue Reading


03.07.14

Whitehouse to Address American Enterprise Institute World Forum

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) will travel this week to Sea Island, GA, to take part in the American Enterprise Institute's (AEI) annual World Forum. The event is the conservative think tank's yearly policy conference, bringing together policymakers, business executives, and scholars from the U.S. and around the world for off-the-record discussions on emerging issues in politics, economics, and foreign policy. Whitehouse will join two bipartisan panels of leading econo… Continue Reading


03.06.14

Whitehouse-Cornyn Prison Reform Bill Approved by Judiciary Committee

Washington, D.C. - With prison costs continuing to skyrocket and prison populations overflowing, legislation authored by U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and John Cornyn (R-TX) was passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on a bipartisan vote of 15-2. The Senators issued the following statements after the vote: "As a former state and federal prosecutor, I recognize that there are no easy solutions to overflowing prison populations and skyrocketing corrections spending," said Whiteho… Continue Reading


03.05.14

Whitehouse Statement on President’s 2015 Budget

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, applauded core elements of President Obama's Fiscal Year 2015 federal budget proposal released yesterday, which protects Social Security benefits for seniors, aids low-income workers through expanded tax credits and educational opportunities, prepares for the effects of climate change, and makes important investments in infrastructure and education to benefit Rhode Island's middle class. The Administratio… Continue Reading


03.05.14

Sen. Whitehouse Taking Climate Push to Iowa

Washington, DC - For years, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) has helped to lead the fight in Washington for action on climate change. He has delivered 60 speeches on the Senate floor urging action on climate change, co-founded the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change with Rep. Henry A. Waxman and the Senate Climate Action Task Force with Sen. Barbara Boxer, and has held a number of events in Rhode Island to highlight how climate change threatens public health and coastal communities. N… Continue Reading


03.04.14

Whitehouse, Eshoo, Lance Applaud Development of Pancreatic Cancer Research Framework

Washington, D.C. - On Friday the National Cancer Institute announced a scientific framework for advancing research on pancreatic cancer, as directed under the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act of 2012. Today, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and U.S. Representatives Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) and Leonard Lance (R-NJ) - the authors of that legislation - are joining Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Tom Harkin in welcoming the framework. "Too many lives have … Continue Reading


03.03.14

Sen. Whitehouse Applauds EPA’s Final Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards

Washington, DC - Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards, which will reduce the sulfur content in gasoline and reduce pollution from tailpipes. EPA estimates that the standards will annually prevent as many as 2,000 premature deaths, 30,000 cases of respiratory ailments in children, and 1.4 million lost school days, work days, and days when activities would be restricted due to air pollution by 2030. Total health bene… Continue Reading


02.27.14

Senators Urge IRS to Set Clear Rules for Political Activity by Dark Money Groups

Washington, DC - Today a group of 16 U.S. Senators led by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) is sending a letter urging the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to put an end to unlimited secret spending in elections by tax-exempt groups. Treasury and the IRS have been collecting comments in connection with a proposed rule change for 501(c)(4) social welfare groups announced in November. Also signing the letter are Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) - who introduced the or… Continue Reading


02.26.14

Sen. Whitehouse to Chair EPW Subcommittee on Clean Air

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), one of the Senate's strongest public health and environmental champions, will soon be taking the gavel as chairman of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety. The change comes as a result of the committee assignment shakeup caused by the appointment of Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) as Ambassador to China. "This is a critical time in the fight for clean air and public health," said Whitehouse. "Peo… Continue Reading


02.26.14

Sen. Whitehouse Fighting to Reauthorize National Estuary Program

Washington, DC - Today, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced legislation to re-authorize the National Estuary Program (NEP), which was first established in 1987 by the late Republican Senator John Chafee, to protect and restore estuarine habitats threatened by pollution and overdevelopment. Authorization for this important program expired in 2010. "Estuaries provide buffers against dangerous winds and storm surges, act as filters protecting water quality from polluted runoff, and … Continue Reading


02.25.14

EPW Subcommittee Examines Natural Resource Adaptation

Washington, DC - Following the Obama Administration's recently announced proposal for a $1 billion Climate Resilience Fund, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today chaired a hearing entitled "Natural Resource Adaptation: Protecting Ecosystems and Economies." The hearing, which was held in Whitehouse's Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Oversight, examined the benefits of healthy ecosystems to the tourism, recreation, and fishing industries, as well as to providing clean water and… Continue Reading


02.18.14

Whitehouse, Langevin, and Cicilline Call for Minimum Wage Increase

Providence, RI - With legislation to increase the federal minimum wage pending in Congress, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline hosted a roundtable discussion to hear from working Rhode Islanders, the business community, advocates, and economists on the need to raise the minimum wage. The lawmakers held the event at the Community Action Partnership of Providence on Tuesday. Whitehouse is a cosponsor of the Fair Minimum Wage Act, which is expected to… Continue Reading


02.18.14

Sen. Whitehouse Applauds Administration’s Push on Fuel Efficiency

Washington, DC - Today President Obama announced that he is directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) to develop and issue the next phase of medium- and heavy-duty vehicle fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards by March 2016. The standards, which are the latest piece of the President's Climate Action Plan, would help to reduce the carbon pollution that is contributing to climate change. "These standards will be a win-win for the American p… Continue Reading


02.12.14

Sen. Whitehouse: Obamacare is Working

Washington, DC - Today the Department of Health and Human Services announced that nearly 1.1 million people selected health insurance plans using the Affordable Care Act marketplaces in January alone, bringing total marketplace enrollment to nearly 3.3 million. This news follows an announcement yesterday that more than 50,000 Rhode Islanders have obtained health insurance coverage since the state's marketplace opened in October. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) released the statement bel… Continue Reading


02.12.14

Senate Oceans Caucus Fighting Against Pirate Fishing

Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Senate Oceans Caucus is standing up for American fishermen who play by the rules and are put at a competitive disadvantage from illegal pirate fishing. The co-chairs of the Caucus are lending their support to four treaties - subject of a hearing this afternoon in a Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee - that would address these and other issues affecting fisheries at home and abroad. The treaties were all recommended for ratification by the President, but have not … Continue Reading


02.11.14

Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Crack Down on Steroids

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) today introduced legislation to end a loophole that allows designer anabolic steroids to easily be found online, in gyms, and even in retail stores. The Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act would help protect consumers from these harmful products by properly classifying them as controlled substances and increasing criminal penalties for importing, manufacturing, or distributing them under false labels. Designer st… Continue Reading


02.06.14

Sen. Whitehouse Statement on Republican Obstruction of Unemployment Benefits

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) released the statement below regarding today's failed votes in the Senate to extend emergency unemployment benefits: "Right now, thousands of Rhode Islanders remain out of work because of the slow economy. But that's not their fault, and we should do everything we can to support them as our economy continues to recover. Unfortunately, the vast majority of Senate Republicans today continued blocking aid to these Rhode Islanders by voting … Continue Reading


02.06.14

Whitehouse to EPA: We Are Counting on You

Washington, DC - Today U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) visited the headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to testify in its public hearing on proposed carbon pollution standards for new power plants. The full text of Whitehouse's testimony, as delivered, is below. -------------------------------------------------- This year is our thirty-seventh straight year with a global temperature above the twentieth century average. It's the fourth hottest year on record in the… Continue Reading

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