Press Releases

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


04.30.14

Whitehouse Statement on Minimum Wage Vote

Washington, DC - Today Senate Republicans blocked the Minimum Wage Fairness Act, a bill to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour over several years. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a cosponsor of the bill and member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, which has jurisdiction over federal minimum wage legislation, released the following statement on today's vote: "Too many Rhode Island families are struggling to pay their bills and put food on th… Continue Reading


04.29.14

Sen. Whitehouse Statement on Cross-State Air Pollution Ruling

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) released the statement below today regarding the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR): "For too long, virtually uncontrolled coal-fired power plants have used tall smoke stacks to export dirty air to downwind states like Rhode Island - polluting our skies and endangering our health. Rhode Island's Department of Environmental Management could do nothing about … Continue Reading


04.28.14

Sen. Whitehouse Applauds $18B Contract for Electric Boat

Washington, DC - Today, the U.S. Department of the Navy announced an $18 billion contract for the construction of 10 Virginia-class submarines by General Dynamics Electric Boat - largest number of boats ordered to date in a single contract block. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) released the statement below regarding this announcement: "Electric Boat's facility at Quonset has long been a major source of jobs for our state, and this contract ensures that it will continue to be so for year… Continue Reading


04.16.14

Waxman and Whitehouse Submit Formal Comments on Keystone Pipeline

Washington, DC - As Secretary of State John Kerry continues to consider the fate of the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-CA) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) wrote to Secretary Kerry explaining why the project is not in our national interest and submitting formal comments critiquing several key elements of the State Department's Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS). The letter and comments explain how the pipeline will contribute to dangero… Continue Reading


04.16.14

RI to Receive $787,100 in NEA Grants

PROVIDENCE, RI -- In an effort to promote community arts programs and arts education throughout Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Congressional delegation today announced the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA), Community Musicworks (CMW), and WaterFire Providence will share $787,100 in federal grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). These federal matching grants will help support both new and established art projects, including workshops, performances, exhibitions, and a… Continue Reading


04.15.14

Sen. Whitehouse Statement on Anniversary of Boston Bombing

Providence, RI - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse released the statement below today in recognition of the one-year anniversary of the Boston bombing: "New Englanders will never forget the tragic events of one year ago - the senseless violence that shattered an otherwise beautiful day, but also the resilience and compassion demonstrated in the aftermath by first responders and citizens alike. On that day, and the days that followed, Boston showed the world what Americans are made of. And today w… Continue Reading


04.14.14

Reed, Whitehouse Call for Bipartisan Action, Multi-Year Fix to Address Transportation Infrastructure Needs

PROVIDENCE, RI -- U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today met with Rhode Island Department of Transportation Director Michael P. Lewis to discuss the looming Highway Trust Fund crisis. Reed and Whitehouse say urgent bipartisan action is needed to prevent federal transportation funds from running out. The Senators are calling for swift reauthorization of the transportation bill, known as the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act. The current law … Continue Reading


04.14.14

Reed, Whitehouse, Langevin Announce $800,000 to Help Increase Port Capacity at Quonset

QUONSET, RI - In an effort to help create jobs and increase Rhode Island's port capacity, U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and U.S. Representative James Langevin (D-RI) today announced that the U.S. Economic Development Agency (EDA) will award a new $800,000 federal grant to upgrade two new berths at the Port of Davisville. This is part of a $1.6 million project that will install new marine hardware to allow the Port to more fully utilize terminals 4 and 5. Termina… Continue Reading


04.14.14

Whitehouse, Cicilline, and Industry Leaders Hold Forum on Opportunities to Grow Rhode Island’s Composites Industry

Bristol, RI - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), along with the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association (RIMTA), the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association, and the Rhode Island Manufacturing Extension Service, held a forum at Roger Williams University today to identify opportunities to support the growing Rhode Island composites industry. U.S. Representative David Cicilline, as well as representatives from Rhode Island's composites companies, research institutions, and other stakeholders… Continue Reading


04.11.14

Sen. Whitehouse to Tour Effects of Climate Change Along Southeast Coast

Providence, RI - With the effects of climate change already harming Rhode Island's communities and economy, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is continuing to look for ways to wake up Congress and the country to take action on this urgent issue. Last month he visited Iowa to urge citizens and businesses there to make sure climate change is a key issue there in the 2016 presidential election cycle. Next, Whitehouse will be taking a road trip along the southeast coast of the United States to view … Continue Reading


04.09.14

Senate Republicans Block Debate on Paycheck Fairness Act

Washington, DC - Today Senate Republicans blocked the consideration of the Paycheck Fairness Act, refusing to allow an open debate on the issue. The bill would help ensure that women receive the same pay as men for equivalent work. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) issued the following statement regarding today's failed vote: "In the year 2014 there is no excuse for the persistent wage disparity between men and women. This is a serious problem that affects women in Rhode Island and thro… Continue Reading


04.07.14

Sen. Whitehouse Statement on Vote to Renew Unemployment Benefits

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse released the statement below regarding today's successful vote in the Senate to revive the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program and to retroactively extend benefits to those who lost them since the program expired in December of 2013: "Unemployment insurance benefits can mean the difference between paying bills and losing a home, and I strongly support restoring this lifeline to the thousands of Rhode Island families who have lost benefits… Continue Reading


04.03.14

Sen. Whitehouse Applauds Intelligence Committee’s Vote to Declassify Interrogation Report

Washington, DC - Today the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee voted to declassify portions of its study of the Bush-era CIA Detention and Interrogation Program. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), a former member of the Intelligence Committee who was involved in the preparation of the report and who has advocated for its declassification, released the statement below: "During my time on the Senate Intelligence Committee, I was shocked at the details we learned about the Bush Administration… Continue Reading


04.03.14

Senate Committee Approves Whitehouse’s Estuary Bill

Washington, DC - The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee today approved the Clean Estuaries Act of 2014, introduced by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), to reauthorize the National Estuary Program (NEP). The legislation, crafted with Committee Ranking Member David Vitter (R-LA), was approved with bipartisan support. The program was first established in 1987 by the late Republican Senator John Chafee to protect and restore estuarine habitats threatened by pollution an… Continue Reading


04.03.14

Senate Approves Treaties to Protect American Fishermen

Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Senate today unanimously approved four treaties to protect American fishermen who are put at a disadvantage by illegal pirate fishing. The co-chairs of the U.S. Senate Oceans Caucus - Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mark Begich (D-AK), and Roger Wicker (R-MS) - have been fighting to win approval of these treaties for months, and had just completed a series of floor speeches urging their ratification when the Senate agreed to proceed with them.… Continue Reading


04.02.14

Sen. Whitehouse Statement on Supreme Court’s McCutcheon Ruling

Washington, DC - Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 to strike down aggregate political contribution limits in the case of McCutcheon v. FEC. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), a member of the Judiciary Committee and a leader on campaign finance issues, released the statement below regarding the decision: "By reversing longstanding precedent and striking down limits on the overall amount any one person can contribute to political campaigns, the five activist Republican appointees on… Continue Reading

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