Press Releases

07.09.14

Members of Congress Press U.S. Trade Rep on Tar Sands Policy

Washington, D.C. - As the Obama Administration considers the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline application, Members of the House and Senate today renewed an inquiry into reports of U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) efforts to influence European tar sands policy. In December 2013, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and several other Members of Congress sent a letter to the Office of the USTR asking whether it had pressed European Union (EU) representatives to alter a proposed Fuel Quality Dire… Continue Reading


06.30.14

Sen. Whitehouse Statement on Hobby Lobby Decision

Providence, RI - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) released the statement below today regarding the Supreme Court's decision in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., which will allow closely-held corporations to opt out of the Affordable Care Act's requirement that employer-provided health insurance offer coverage for birth control. "This is just the latest example of the activist Roberts Court siding with the narrow interests of corporations over those of the American people. Ignoring th… Continue Reading


06.26.14

Rhode Island Delegation Announces $900,000 AFG Grant for Providence Fire Department

Providence, RI - U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline announced today that the Providence Fire Department (PFD) has won a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant worth more than $902,000 for new protective gear and emergency medical equipment. FEMA has issued the award as part of its Assistance to Firefighter Grants program, which helps fire departments and emergency medical service organizations meet their equipment, trai… Continue Reading


06.25.14

Senators Introduce Bill to Strengthen Role of U.S. Marshals in Missing Children Cases

Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL) introduced the Strengthening Investigations of Missing Children Act of 2014 (S. 2528), legislation to provide explicit authorization for the U.S. Marshals Service to assist other law enforcement agencies, upon request, in investigating missing children cases. The Marshals Service is often called on by state and local law enforcement officials, as well as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Child… Continue Reading


06.25.14

Manchin & Whitehouse Staking Out Common Ground on Energy and Climate Policy

Washington, D.C. - Today U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) held a colloquy on the Senate floor to discuss the impacts of climate change and the importance of coal in America's energy portfolio. The two Senators agreed that climate change is a real problem that human activity is contributing to, and that coal and other fossil fuels will need to be part of the nation's energy mix for decades. They also identified some specific policies that they plan to work together… Continue Reading


06.24.14

Senate Democrats Introduce Legislation to Crack Down on Secret Spending in Elections

Washington, D.C. - With the Koch Brothers and many others spending untold millions to secretly influence this year's elections, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Senate Democrats today introduced the DISCLOSE Act of 2014. The bill would crack down on so-called "dark money" by requiring organizations that spend money to influence elections to disclose their spending as well as their major sources of funding in a timely manner. The legislation is cosponsored by 50 Senators, including Senato… Continue Reading


06.18.14

Republican EPA Administrators Call for Action on Climate Change

Washington, DC - Four Republican former Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) testified today about the need to address climate change at a hearing in the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety. In a hearing chaired by Subcommittee Chairman Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), the Administrators spoke about their experience working on regulations to protect the environment and public health, and pointed out that industry has a history … Continue Reading


06.18.14

Whitehouse Applauds Passage of Bill to Combat Harmful Algal Blooms

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) issued the following statement today concerning the passage of the bipartisan Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act, to promote better understanding and response to harmful algal blooms and hypoxia - or low levels of dissolved oxygen - in our nation's waterways: "Harmful algal blooms and low-oxygen dead zones threaten Americans' health, our fisheries, and coastal tourism and recreation," said Whitehouse, co-c… Continue Reading


06.17.14

Whitehouse Applauds Expanded Protections for Oceans & Fishermen

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse issued the following statement today concerning the Obama Administration's decisions to expand a major marine sanctuary, allow for the nomination of new marine sanctuaries, and to create a program to combat seafood fraud and trade on the black market: "Marine sanctuaries help to preserve our oceans' natural beauty and coastal economies, and I thank President Obama for expanding these essential ocean protections. I'm also glad the Administration … Continue Reading


06.16.14

Sen. Whitehouse Applauds State Department Oceans Conference

Washington, DC - Today the State Department will open its "Our Ocean" Conference, a two-day event bringing together foreign leaders, ocean advocates, marine scientists and others to examine the threats facing our oceans globally and discuss proactive solutions. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), co-chair of the Senate Oceans Caucus, will attend both days of the conference. On Tuesday he will participate in a discussion with Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) about efforts to stop illegal pirat… Continue Reading


06.13.14

Whitehouse, Chafee, State Officials & National Grid Team up to Help RI Towns & Cities with Key Energy Investments

Warwick, RI - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Governor Lincoln Chafee joined the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, Commerce RI, and National Grid in hosting a workshop designed to help local governments promote energy efficiency and renewables in their communities. Representatives from 29 town and city governments from around Rhode Island attended the event at the Community College of Rhode Island's Knight Campus in Warwick. Whitehouse and Chafee spoke about federal and state… Continue Reading


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

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