Press Releases

06.14.10

Whitehouse Highlights Medicare “Doughnut Hole” Fix in Visit with Pawtucket Seniors

Pawtucket, RI - Since the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan went into effect in January 2006, seniors and people with disabilities in Rhode Island have too often been victimized by the "doughnut hole," a gap in Part D coverage which exposes patients to the full cost of prescription drugs. Today, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse brought good news to seniors at Pawtucket's Leon Mathieu Senior Center: the health care reform legislation passed this year will completely close the doughnut hole by… Continue Reading


06.14.10

RI Delegation Applauds CRMC Executive Director, Grover Fugate, on NOAA’s Susan Snow-Cotter Award

Washington, D.C. - Rhode Island's congressional delegation today applauded Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) Executive Director Grover J. Fugate, who was honored last week with The Susan Snow-Cotter Award for Excellence in Ocean and Coastal Resource Management from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Open to those working on state coastal management programs, national estuarine research reserves, and national marine sanctuaries, the award is presen… Continue Reading


06.10.10

Whitehouse: Doughnut Hole Payments a Relief for RI Seniors

Washington, D.C. - Starting today, senior citizens affected by the coverage gap or "doughnut hole" in the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan will begin receiving $250 payments as the first step in the eventual phase out of this coverage gap. These payments will help offset the burdensome cost of uncovered prescriptions. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), who has been a leader in the fight to eliminate the doughnut hole, today released the following statement: "Since I ran for the Senat… Continue Reading


06.09.10

Commerce Committee Approves Whitehouse Legislation to Reduce Volume of Excessively Loud TV Commercials

Washington, DC - The Senate Commerce Committee today voted to approve legislation introduced by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) that would require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate the volume of television advertisements. The Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act of 2009 (S. 2847), co-sponsored by Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), would require the volume of television advertisements to be no louder than the volume of the pro… Continue Reading


06.08.10

Whitehouse: Oil Companies Should Pay for Mistakes

Washington, DC - This morning, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse co-chaired a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee titled "The Risky Business of Big Oil: Have Recent Court Decisions and Liability Caps Encouraged Irresponsible Corporate Behavior?" The hearing featured testimony from a family member of one of the workers killed in the April 20th explosion on Deepwater Horizon. In his opening statement, Whitehouse said "I believe that Congress must do whatever it can to prevent another family f… Continue Reading


06.04.10

Whitehouse and Reed Announce $1.5 Million for Health Information Technology at East Bay Community Action

Washington, DC - Rhode Island's Senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed today announced that East Bay Community Action has been awarded $1,574,074 through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to implement health information technology. They were joined at the event today by Dennis Roy, the CEO of East Bay Community Action. Joanne McGunagle, executive director of CCAP and Ed Conklin, interim executive director at Wood River Health Services participated as well. Both organizations are p… Continue Reading


06.01.10

President Obama Signs Whitehouse Bill to Improve Judicial Administration

Washington, D.C. - President Barack Obama has signed into law legislation introduced by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) that will improve the administration of the federal courts. The Federal Judiciary Administrative Improvements Act of 2010 (S. 1782), was cosponsored in the Senate by the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and by the Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee and the Administrative Oversight and the Courts Subcommittee, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-… Continue Reading


05.27.10

U.S. Senate Set to Approve Millions in Flood Aid for RI

WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Senate is poised to pass a $58.8 billion emergency war funding and disaster relief bill that will provide a $150 million emergency down-payment for Rhode Island and other states hit hardest by flooding this year. By a strong majority of 69-29, the Senate voted this afternoon to move to final passage of the bill, which will save Rhode Island millions of dollars by mandating a non-federal match of 10% for FEMA Public Assistance funding, instead of the standard 25% match. … Continue Reading


05.26.10

Sheldon's Opening Statement at Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

Thank you Chairman Bingaman. Thank you Ranking Member Murkowski, and Members of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee - First of all, thank you for holding this hearing. I encourage you to review the penalty and liability framework governing offshore drilling, and enact changes to this framework, so we can prevent future disasters like the one now unfolding in the Gulf. Thank you also for inviting me to make a few remarks about my Outer Continental Shelf Lands Acts Amendments of 2010 bill… Continue Reading


05.19.10

Whitehouse Statement on Senate Vote on Marquette Amendment

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today released the following statement on the unsuccessful vote on his Interstate Lending Amendment as part of the Wall Street reform debate. "While I am certainly disappointed with the outcome of the vote today, I feel that we have come further than ever before toward correcting this unfair and abusive loophole," Whitehouse said. "States should have the right to protect their residents from usurious and excessive interest rates, and I wi… Continue Reading


05.18.10

Whitehouse Statement on Meeting with Supreme Court Nominee Kagan

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a former U.S. Attorney and Attorney General for Rhode Island, issued the following statement today following his meeting with Solicitor General Elena Kagan, who was recently nominated by President Obama to be the next Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court: "The decisions made by the Supreme Court can have far reaching, and often unseen, implications for the citizens of this country. Eve… Continue Reading


05.17.10

Whitehouse Statement on Climate Change Proposal

Washington, D.C.- U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse today issued the following statement about the American Power Act, introduced last week by U.S. Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman: "The Kerry/Lieberman proposal is a constructive step toward reducing carbon pollution and creating new clean energy jobs. I look forward to working to make sure the policies laid out in the legislation are sufficient to meet its ambitious goals. In particular, I am concerned with expanding offshore oil and gas dr… Continue Reading


05.17.10

White House Adopts Whitehouse Commission Proposal

Washington, D.C. - As the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico continues to threaten much of the Gulf Coast, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse last week introduced a bill to establish a commission to investigate the oil spill. It was announced today that President Obama will create this commission through executive order. "The examination of this catastrophe by an independent commission needs to happen and quickly, and I applaud the president's move to create such a commission by executive o… Continue Reading


05.12.10

Senators Urge Colleagues to Support Whitehouse Amendment to Protect Consumers from High Credit Card Rates

Washington, D.C. - As the Senate continues to debate landmark Wall Street reform legislation, U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) held a press conference to urge support for Whitehouse's Interstate Lending Amendment to the Wall Street reform bill. The bipartisan amendment, which Whitehouse introduced on April 30, would eliminate a loophole that permits big credit card lenders to avoid state law interest rate caps. In doing so, it would level t… Continue Reading


05.11.10

Whitehouse Introduces Trio of Bills to Address Gulf Oil Spill

Washington, D.C. - With oil continuing to leak into the Gulf of Mexico from a broken off-shore oil rig at a rate of 5,000 barrels per day, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse today introduced a series of bills to address this growing catastrophe. The bills would establish a commission to investigate the oil spill, lift limits on punitive damages against big oil companies, and raise the civil and criminal penalties associated with violating provisions of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA).… Continue Reading


05.11.10

EPW Subcommittees Examine Threats to Oceans’ Health

Washington, DC- With ocean temperatures rising throughout the world and waters becoming increasingly toxic to fish and wildlife populations, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today chaired a joint hearing along with U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) to examine threats to our oceans' health presented by chemical pollution and ocean acidification. The joint hearing of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Subcommittees on Oversight and on Water and Wildlife featured testimony from Sam W… Continue Reading


05.10.10

Whitehouse Statement on Nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement today about President Obama's nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to serve as the next Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court: "Solicitor General Kagan has a reputation for great intellect, legal expertise, and an ability to bridge ideological divides," said Whitehouse, a former U.S. Attorney and Attorney General for Rhode Island. "And, if confirmed,… Continue Reading


05.06.10

Whitehouse Introduces Bill to Increase Funding for Pancreatic Cancer Research

Washington, DC - With survival rates for pancreatic cancer consistently lagging behind other forms of cancer, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today introduced legislation aimed at fighting the disease by increasing funding for research. The Pancreatic Cancer Research and Education Act (S. 3320) would increase awareness of pancreatic cancer and authorize an NIH grant program to better fund research on prevention, early detection, and treatment. "Pancreatic cancer is a terrible disease wit… Continue Reading


05.06.10

Financial Reform Coalition Urges Support for Whitehouse Measure to Reduce Credit Card Interest Rates and Protect Consumers

Washington, DC - Following last week's introduction by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) of an amendment to address high credit card interest rates, a coalition of more than 200 national and state organizations -- including the AARP, Consumer Federation of America, and Consumers Union -- is urging members of the Senate to support this reform. In a letter dated yesterday, Americans for Financial Reform asked that all Senators support the consumer protections provided by the Whitehouse amend… Continue Reading


05.04.10

Whitehouse Praises Additional $15 Million Grant to Further RI’s Leadership in Health IT

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse today joined Vice President Biden and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as they announced that a Rhode Island nonprofit is one of 15 entities awarded funding to advance the integrated, community-wide use of health information technology. The Rhode Island Quality Institute (RIQI) will receive $15.9 million from the "Beacon Communities" program, established as part of the Recovery Act's overall $18 billio… Continue Reading

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