Press Releases

04.01.11

At Local Small Business, Whitehouse Advocates Extending Federal Job Growth Program

Providence, RI - As the U.S. Senate continues to debate legislation to reauthorize the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse today visited a local small business helped by the programs and called for the continuation of these important job-creating investments. Whitehouse toured the facilities and met with staff at EpiVax, a Providence biotech firm which has received $4.7 million in funding from the SBIR prog… Continue Reading


03.31.11

Judiciary Committee Approves Whitehouse Foreclosure Prevention Bill

Washington, DC - The Senate Judiciary Committee today voted to approve legislation by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) aimed at helping struggling families keep their homes. By a vote of 10 to 8, the committee approved the Limiting Investor and Homeowner Loss in Foreclosure Act (S. 222), which would clarify the authority of bankruptcy courts to run mortgage modification programs. "Too many families in Rhode Island and throughout the country have been hurt by a broken foreclosure system f… Continue Reading


03.30.11

Administration Sending Economic Assessment Team to Point Judith

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today applauded the White House for sending an economic development and assessment team next month to Point Judith to help develop proactive strategies for addressing economic challenges. The federal team will be comprised of personnel from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and other agencies to conduct an analysis of Point Jud… Continue Reading


03.30.11

Whitehouse Introduces Amendment to Keep Jobs in America

Washington, DC - As the U.S. Senate continues to debate legislation to reauthorize funding for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has introduced an amendment to the bill to keep good jobs in America. The amendment, based on Whitehouse's Offshoring Prevention Act, would close a costly tax loophole that rewards companies for moving factories overseas. In a statement for the congressional record introducing the amendment, Whitehouse highlighted the i… Continue Reading


03.23.11

Senators Oppose Efforts to Scale Back Enforcement of Oil Market Manipulation

WASHINGTON, DC - With gasoline prices straining family budgets in Rhode Island and throughout the country, U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) are calling on their Republican colleagues not to slash the budget of the agency in charge of monitoring oil speculators. Reed, Whitehouse, and 46 other senators sent a letter to Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner urging them to abandon their reckless proposal to cut the Commodity Futures Tr… Continue Reading


03.22.11

Whitehouse Statement on NOAA Law Enforcement Reforms

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse today released the following statement regarding the law enforcement reforms announced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The changes are intended to respond to the concerns of New England fishermen who have long called for a fairer and more consistent system for enforcing fishing regulations. "I've heard from many Rhode Island fishermen about problems with regulation enforcement," said Whitehouse. "I thank Secretary L… Continue Reading


03.21.11

Delegation Announces $10.5 Million TIGER II Grant for ProvPort is Now Safe from GOP Claw Back

PROVIDENCE, RI - After supporting efforts to invest $10.5 million in creating jobs and transforming the Port of Providence into a modern marine cargo center that will diversify shipping options in the region, Rhode Island's Congressional delegation today announced that the federal funds are being obligated and will therefore be safe from House Republicans' attempts to strip Rhode Island of the funding. H.R. 1, the House-passed spending plan that would drastically cut $61 billion in jobs, educat… Continue Reading


03.17.11

Whitehouse Statement on New EPA Regulations for Coal Emissions

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse today issued the following statement regarding the EPA's newly announced plan to regulate hazardous emissions from coal-burning power plants: "For 20 years, Rhode Islanders have suffered the effects of toxic pollution raining down on us from out-of-state coal-fired power plants because EPA failed to police these big polluters. Now that EPA has finally taken action, Rhode Islanders will be healthier, our air and water will be cleaner, and we will … Continue Reading


03.16.11

Whitehouse Statement on the Passing of George Lima

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse today released the following statement regarding the passing of former State Representative and president of the Providence NAACP George Lima: "Today, Rhode Island lost a civil rights pioneer, honored veteran, champion for workers' rights, and committed public servant. George Lima has left an indelible mark on our Ocean State, and it is with great sadness that I note his passing. We will be forever thankful for his work and dedication. Sandra and… Continue Reading


03.16.11

Whitehouse Applauds NOAA Increase of Butterfish Catch Limits

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) released the following statement regarding the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) decision to increase the butterfish catch limit by 17% to nearly four million pounds in 2011. "This pre-emptive action by NOAA is especially important in Rhode Island where the squid fishery is such an economically vital component of our commercial fishing industry," said Whitehouse, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committ… Continue Reading


03.16.11

Whitehouse Introduces Bills to Protect Oil Spill Victims

Washington, DC - As the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee today heard testimony about a new report on last year's Gulf oil spill, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced two pieces of legislation to help the victims of oil disasters. The bills would allow victims to collect damages they are due and ensure that parties responsible for oil spills can be held accountable. "As we reflect today on last year's disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, we must also work to address the pr… Continue Reading


03.15.11

Whitehouse Introduces Legislation to Improve Mental Health Care

Washington, DC -U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has introduced legislation to ensure that health information technology is available to behavioral health, mental health, and substance abuse treatment professionals and facilities. Whitehouse, who strongly advocated for the investments in health IT made by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, applauded that law's impact in expanding the use of health IT but called for further efforts to include these important fields in the expansion. "Me… Continue Reading


03.09.11

Whitehouse Statement on Senate Passage of Patent Reform Bill

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) released the following statement today regarding the Senate's passage of the America Invents Act, which reforms the country's patent laws: "Rhode Island has a proud history of innovation, from the birth of the American industrial revolution to the high-tech entrepreneurs leading our state forward today. This bill will make much needed improvements to our patent system to help small businesses, universities, and other entrepreneurs in our s… Continue Reading


03.08.11

Congressional Delegation Announces $70K for Union Fire District in South Kingstown

Washington, DC - In an effort to enhance Rhode Island's emergency response preparedness, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Representative Jim Langevin today announced that The Union Fire District of South Kingstown will receive $70,875 in federal funds to purchase new equipment. The funds, awarded as part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants program, will be used to buy fifteen new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) units. "This new breathing equipment will help… Continue Reading


03.08.11

Whitehouse Urges Obama Administration to Support RI Manufacturing Plan

Washington, DC - Continuing his efforts to boost manufacturing jobs in Rhode Island, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse today wrote to the Obama Administration to enlist the president's support for his "Making It in Rhode Island" plan. In a letter to Ron Bloom, Assistant to the President for Manufacturing Policy, Whitehouse shared the concerns he has heard from Rhode Island manufacturers about unfair foreign competition and presented his plan to keep jobs in America. "In recent weeks, I've toured… Continue Reading


03.04.11

Whitehouse Asks Obama for Swift Action to Lower Gas Prices

Providence, RI - With gas prices skyrocketing across the nation, a group of six senators called on President Obama to sell off a small portion of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to help bring down the price at the pump. In a letter authored by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, the senators called for investing the profits from the sale of the oil in advancing electric vehicle technology and deficit reduction. The senators wrote, "With gas prices around the nation at near-historic highs, we wri… Continue Reading


03.03.11

New Legislation Would Help Protect Military Families From Foreclosure

Washington, DC - With thousands of military servicemembers currently deployed overseas, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today introduced legislation to give them and their families peace of mind back home by enhancing foreclosure protections. The Protecting Servicemembers from Mortgage Abuses Act of 2011, cosponsored by Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Jon Tester (D-MT) would improve protections against abuses and provide greater incentives for f… Continue Reading


03.02.11

RI Delegation to IRS: Don’t Let EITC Funds Go To Waste

Washington, DC - Every year, one in five eligible taxpayers fails to collect their Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), missing out on funds which can help balance household budgets and boost local economies. Today, U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline wrote to Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Douglas Shulman to ask that the agency resolve this issue by automatically screening tax returns for eligibility. "Prior to 1992, the IRS scree… Continue Reading


03.01.11

Reed & Whitehouse Urge Obama to Swiftly Sell $500 Million of Emergency Oil from Faltering Cavern

WASHINGTON, DC - In an effort to reduce gas prices for consumers and prevent millions of barrels of oil from seeping into the ground beneath Southeast Louisiana, U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) are backing the Obama Administration's proposal to sell $500 million worth of federal oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. In 2009, the federal government found that Bayou Choctaw Cavern 20 near Baton Rouge, Louisiana had "structural problems that pose an environmental r… Continue Reading


02.18.11

Reed and Whitehouse Want Previously Budgeted Federal Rail Money Redirected to RI

WASHINGTON, DC - In an effort to boost Rhode Island rail projects, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse are asking the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to redirect a portion of $2.5 billion in high-speed rail Recovery Act funds from Florida to the Ocean State. Earlier this week, Florida Governor Rick Scott turned down nearly $2.5 billion in federal high-speed rail funding, and Senators Reed and Whitehouse say that money could be put to good use improving Rhode Island's railway… Continue Reading

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