Press Releases

02.14.13

Bicameral Task Force Co-Chairs React to GAO Decision to Place Climate Change on the High Risk List

Every two years, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) releases its High Risk List, identifying the areas that pose the highest risk to the U.S. government. Today, GAO announced that for the first time, it is adding the fiscal exposure resulting from climate change to the High Risk List. In designating climate change as a high risk, GAO recognized that climate change threatens to inflict huge costs on the U.S. taxpayer, including damage to physical infrastructure, increased in… Continue Reading


02.14.13

Sen. Whitehouse to Speak at “Forward on Climate” Rally in Washington

Update: You can watch Sheldon's speech below. Washington, DC - This Sunday, climate change activists from around the country - including several busloads from Rhode Island - will converge on the National Mall in Washington, DC for what is being billed as "the largest climate rally in U.S. history." Today it was announced that U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), one of the leading voices for action on climate change in Congress, will be speaking at the rally. "I have been fighting ha… Continue Reading


02.12.13

Sen. Whitehouse Statement on President’s State of the Union Address

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) released the statement below following President Obama's State of the Union address: "Tonight President Obama laid out a positive agenda for job growth and a strong middle class, and also reiterated his commitment to combating the effects of climate change - an issue which hits home for Rhode Island in the form of stronger storms, higher seas, and polluted air. I've been frustrated by the barricade of special interests blocking action on c… Continue Reading


02.12.13

Senate Passes Legislation to Protect Women from Abuse

Washington, DC - By a vote of 78-22, the U.S. Senate today passed legislation to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, a landmark law originally passed in 1994 that protects women from domestic violence. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) was a cosponsor of the legislation, which also contains a provision he authored to prevent dating violence among teenagers. "This law has saved women's lives," said Whitehouse. "Today's action will strengthen protections for victims of domestic viol… Continue Reading


02.11.13

Whitehouse Introduces Sequester Replacement Plan to Preserve Jobs

Washington, DC - With the so-called budget "sequester" set to begin on March 1, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today introduced two bills to replace the across-the-board cuts. The bills, which are cosponsored by U.S. Senators Carl Levin (D-MI), Tom Harkin (D-IA), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), would raise the revenue needed to replace the sequester by closing tax loopholes that currently benefit the wealthiest Americans and big corporations. The sequester is a series of harsh across-the-bo… Continue Reading


02.09.13

With Blizzard Approaching, Delegation Requests Federal Emergency Declaration for RI

PROVIDENCE, RI - With a severe winter storm approaching, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Representatives Jim Langevin and David Cicilline are urging the federal government to make federal assistance available to Rhode Island, if requested, to support emergency operations and recovery due to the winter storm bearing down on the state. The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Warning for the entire state of Rhode Island and is forecasting the storm could cause on… Continue Reading


02.08.13

Whitehouse to Support Lew Nomination for Treasury

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) met yesterday in his Washington office with Jack Lew, President Obama's nominee for Secretary of the Treasury. He released the following statement after their meeting: "Mr. Lew and I talked today about the economic issues facing our country, particularly the foreclosure crisis that has forced so many Rhode Islanders out of their homes, and the rising health care costs that are the primary contributor to our federal budget deficit. I am co… Continue Reading


02.08.13

New England Senators Applaud Regional Effort to Reduce Carbon Pollution

Washington, DC - Today, Senators from New England states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) are applauding their states' recently announced commitments to prevent carbon emissions from exceeding the 2012 emissions levels of 91 million tons and to further reduce emissions in the years ahead. This commitment will boost local economies by sparking further investment in energy efficiency programs and renewable energy development. RGGI is a market-based effort to reduce g… Continue Reading


02.08.13

RI Oceans Leader to Join Sen. Whitehouse for State of the Union Address

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) announced today that his guest for this year's State of the Union address will be Grover Fugate, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC), and a local expert on the effects of a changing climate on the state's coastal communities and resources. So far this year Senator Whitehouse has continued his leadership on issues related to climate change and oceans. He gives weekly speeches on the Senate flo… Continue Reading


02.01.13

RI Delegation Announces Federal Funding to Help State Prepare for Effects of Climate Change

Providence, RI - Rhode Island's Congressional delegation today announced the award of $250,000 in federal funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help the state address and prepare for health effects associated with climate change. The Rhode Island Department of Health will be able to use the funding to help the state and municipalities create an action plan and coordinate activities to investigate, prepare for, and respond to such effects. According to the CDC, we… Continue Reading


02.01.13

Whitehouse Stands Up for Social Security Benefits

Washington, DC - Yesterday, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) participated in a press conference with Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Jeff Merkley, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumpka, and others to oppose the use of a "chained CPI" formula for Social Security and veterans' benefits - a change that would ultimately result in reduced payments to Rhode Islanders who depend on these programs. Watch Senator Whitehouse's remarks at the press conference here. Currently, cost-of-living adjustments… Continue Reading


01.31.13

Bicameral Task Force Asks for Best Ideas to Address Climate Change

WASHINGTON, DC- Today, the co-chairs of the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change, Rep. Henry A. Waxman and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, wrote to over 300 businesses and organizations, soliciting their views on actions the federal government could take to reduce carbon pollution and strengthen our resiliency to climate change. The members have called for ideas for action that can be taken using the Administration's existing authority as well as ideas that might need congressional approval. The me… Continue Reading


01.28.13

Whitehouse Statement on Passage of Sandy Relief Bill

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse released the statement below following the Senate's vote today to authorize emergency funding for states affected by Hurricane Sandy: "After visiting our communities damaged by Hurricane Sandy, I'll never forget what I saw: family homes that had stood for generations pulled into the sea, businesses destroyed, and so many memories swept away. This much-needed federal funding will help Rhode Island communities hurt by Hurricane Sandy to rebuild. … Continue Reading


01.24.13

Bicameral Task Force Urges President Obama to Take Executive Action to Fight Climate Change

As their first order of business, Task Force Co-Chairs Rep. Henry A. Waxman and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, joined by Rep. Ed Markey, sent a letter to President Obama applauding his recognition of climate change in his inaugural address, pledging to stand with him in the fight to address this issue, and urging him to develop a comprehensive climate change plan as expeditiously as possible. The text of the letter is below and online here. … Continue Reading


01.24.13

Rep. Waxman and Sen. Whitehouse Form Bicameral Climate Change Task Force

NOTE: For a one-pager about the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change, please click here. Washington, DC - Following President Obama's recent statement in his inaugural address that failing to respond to the threat of climate change would "betray our children and future generations," U.S. Representative Henry A. Waxman (D-CA) and U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today announced the formation of a bicameral Task Force on Climate Change to address this important issue. The Task Force wi… Continue Reading


01.23.13

Senators reintroduce the FAST Voting Act to help states improve their elections

Washington, DC - Just two days after President Obama used his second inaugural address to renew his call for election reform, U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) reintroduced their legislation to make substantial improvements in the states' administration of their elections and to make voting faster and more accessible to all voters. The Fair, Accurate, Secure and Timely (FAST) Voting Act would create a competitive… Continue Reading


01.18.13

Whitehouse and Blumenthal Statement on Visit to Afghanistan

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) are continuing their trip to the Middle East with a Senate delegation that includes Senator John McCain (R-AZ). After visiting with troops, military leaders, and foreign officials in Afghanistan, Whitehouse and Blumenthal released the following statement: "We are proud and honored to thank our courageous troops for their great service and sacrifice -- especially men and women from Rhode Island and Connecticu… Continue Reading


01.16.13

Whitehouse in Egypt with McCain

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) is currently traveling abroad with a Senate delegation that includes Senator John McCain (R-AZ). The Senators held a press conference today in Cairo, Egypt after meeting with leading Egyptian officials, including President Mohamed Morsi, Prime Minister Hesham Qandil, and Minister of Defense Major General Abdel Fattah al Sisi. They also met with political party representatives and activists, Egyptian business leaders, and the Syrian Opposi… Continue Reading


01.11.13

U.S. Department of Justice Grants RI Cities Flexibility to Use Google Settlement Funds to Stabilize Pensions

Providence, RI - At the urging of U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has agreed to allow the cities of East Providence and North Providence to use a portion of their share of a $500 million federal settlement with Google to help plug gaps in each city's law enforcement pension fund. The cities were each awarded $60 million last April after assisting the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in a federal investigation into online ads distributed by Go… Continue Reading


01.11.13

Whitehouse Statement on Federal Climate Assessment

Providence, RI - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, released the statement below today regarding the just-released Federal Advisory Committee Draft Climate Assessment Report: "This report adds to the already overwhelming body of evidence that climate change is real, and is taking its toll on our nation. We cannot sit on the sidelines any longer. If we want to leave our children with a healthy planet, the Administration and Congress … Continue Reading

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