Press Releases

04.21.10

Sheldon's Opening Statement at Markup of FY 2011 Senate Budget Resolution

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to begin by applauding your continued leadership as our nation begins to recover from the worst economic downturn of our lifetimes. I also wish to wish ranking member Gregg well on his last budget procedure. We will miss you. Thirteen months ago, when we met in this room to consider the budget resolution for the current fiscal year, our economy was in peril. Unemployment was climbing up to 700,000 lost by Americans every month, the stock market had plummeted to a… Continue Reading


04.20.10

Sheldon's Earth Day Webcast

As the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day approaches, I wanted to let you know about a webcast I'll be hosting to mark this important day. On Thursday, April 22nd, at 9:30 a.m., I'll host a live video webcast to answer your questions on environmental, climate, and energy issues. I'm eager to hear about what environmental issues are most important to you, and to help answer any questions you may have about environmental policy. One issue that I would like to discuss is climate change. As a member of … Continue Reading


04.19.10

Whitehouse Applauds Nomination of Dr. Berwick to Head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today commended President Obama's nomination of Dr. Donald M. Berwick to be the Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services. "I'm delighted that the president has nominated Dr. Don Berwick to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This is a strong sign of President Obama's commitment to reform of our outmoded health care delivery system. I loo… Continue Reading


04.16.10

Whitehouse Visits Pawtucket Business Helped by Federal Recovery Act Loan Program

Pawtucket, RI - As Rhode Island continues struggling in the wake of last year's recession, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today visited a local business that received a $300,000 loan made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Colonial Mills, Inc., a braided rug manufacturer in Pawtucket, received the funding through a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan program enhanced by provisions in the Recovery Act. "Small businesses are the lifeblood of the Rhode… Continue Reading


04.14.10

Reed, Whitehouse Urge Republicans to Stop Obstructing Flood Insurance Extension

WASHINGTON, DC - In an effort to ensure Rhode Islanders have full access to disaster relief provided by federal flood insurance, U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today joined with Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) calling for Republicans to stop blocking passage of critical legislation reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through May 31st. The NFIP expired March 28th due to Republican obstruction of a measure that also includes a short-term extension o… Continue Reading


04.14.10

Whitehouse Holds “Tele-Town Hall” to Answer RI Questions on Flood Assistance

Washington, DC - On Friday, April 9th, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) hosted a "tele-town hall" meeting with Rhode Islanders to answer questions about federal assistance for flood victims. Whitehouse was joined on the call by representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RI EMA), and the Small Business Administration (SBA). "From the very beginning of this disaster, I have been out touring damaged areas, assessing the mag… Continue Reading


04.01.10

RI Delegation Urges Obama Administration to Take Additional Steps to Help RI Recover From Flooding

PROVIDENCE, RI - In advance of U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Napolitano's visit to Rhode Island tomorrow, the Congressional delegation today sent her a letter urging the Administration to extend the existing major disaster declaration to the entire state, including Bristol County. The delegation is also urging the Administration to speed economic assistance to the state for sorely needed public infrastructure rehabilitation. They urged the Secretary to help ensure that F… Continue Reading


03.31.10

Flood Disaster Assistance and Recovery Information

Following the major flooding in March, 2010, President Obama declared Rhode Island a federal disaster area. This declaration authorized the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide federal assistance to Rhode Island residents and businesses impacted by the flooding. Currently, Rhode Islanders are eligible for several types of assistance, including grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals … Continue Reading


03.30.10

Reed & Whitehouse Urge Obama Administration to Expand Disaster Declaration for RI

PROVIDENCE, RI - In an effort to help Rhode Island families and businesses devastated by historic flooding, U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today sent a letter to President Obama urging him to expand his federal disaster proclamation to cover the entire state and increase federal disaster assistance to both the public and individuals. Yesterday, after requests from the Senators and Governor Carcieri, the Obama Administration declared Kent, Newport, Providence and Wa… Continue Reading


03.29.10

Whitehouse Convenes Senate Committee Field Briefing to Track Recovery Act Job Creation

Providence, RI - A field briefing hosted by the Oversight Subcommittee of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, which is chaired by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, today examined the impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) on the economy and environment in Rhode Island. Entitled "Recovery Act Investments in Rhode Island: Creating Jobs, Protecting our Environment, and Upgrading Infrastructure," the briefing heard from a number of Rhode Islanders who are utilizing Reco… Continue Reading


03.29.10

RI to Receive $43 Million in Federal Aid for “Hardest Hit” Housing Fund

WASHINGTON, DC -- At the request of U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), the Obama Administration today announced they are expanding their "Hardest Hit" federal housing aid program to Rhode Island, providing an additional $43 million in foreclosure prevention funding throughout the state. The Hardest-Hit Fund is a flexible source of federal aid that may be used by housing finance agencies to help protect neighborhood home values, assist "underwater" borrowers who owe mo… Continue Reading


03.27.10

Whitehouse Condemns GOP Obstruction on Unemployment Insurance Extension

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) released the following statement today regarding objections by Senate Republicans to extending unemployment insurance benefits and COBRA health insurance subsidies for Americans still struggling in the wake of the recession: "I've heard countless stories from people throughout the state who have been out of work far too long through no fault of their own, and for them extended unemployment benefits and COBRA health insurance subsidies ha… Continue Reading


03.25.10

Whitehouse Applauds Interim Rule for E-Prescribing of Controlled Substances

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) issued the following statement regarding yesterday's interim rule for electronic prescribing of controlled substances issued by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ): "Allowing for electronic prescribing of controlled substances - while maintaining rigorous controls to prevent illegal diversion and protect privacy - is key to unleashing the vast cost saving and quality improvement potential o… Continue Reading


03.23.10

Whitehouse: Today was a Victory for Rhode Islanders Hurting from Broken Health Care System

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse released the following statement after attending today's ceremony at the White House at which President Obama signed landmark health care reform legislation into law: "After more than a year of vigorous debate, and after hearing from thousands of Rhode Islanders through my online storyboard, at community dinners, and at meetings throughout the state about how the health care status quo was failing them, it was an honor to join President Obama at … Continue Reading


03.19.10

President Obama Grants 18 Month Extension of Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) applauded President Obama's announcement today extending Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) to Liberians for 18 months. Liberians living in the United States who received the temporary extension had fled a bloody civil war and many built new lives in Rhode Island, having children, starting businesses, buying homes, and paying U.S. taxes. "I applaud President Obama for extending DED for Liberians for another eighteen m… Continue Reading


03.18.10

President Obama Signs HIRE Act into Law

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse joined President Barack Obama in the Rose Garden today as he signed a bipartisan job creation bill into law. The HIRE Act will encourage businesses to hire and help put Americans back to work. The legislation also extends the Highway Trust Fund, investing $252 million in job-creating transportation projects for Rhode Island, as well as expands the Build America Bonds program, which provides low-interest financing for state and loca… Continue Reading


03.18.10

Congressional Delegation Announces over $41 Million in Recovery Act Bonds for School Construction Projects Throughout Rhode Island

Washington, D.C. - Rhode Island's congressional delegation today announced that $41,296,000 in school construction bonds has been allocated to Rhode Island under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). This funding will help finance the construction, rehabilitation, and repair of schools throughout the state. "At a time when towns and cities face tough budget situations, these federal construction bonds will help the state and local governments obtain lower-cost financing to … Continue Reading


03.17.10

Senate Confirms O. Rogeriee Thompson for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Senate today unanimously confirmed Rhode Island Superior Court Justice O. Rogeriee Thompson to be a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Justice Thompson becomes the first African-American Judge and the second woman to serve on the Boston-based appeals court. United States Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, who recommended Justice Thompson to President Obama for nomination, hailed her bipartisan confirmation. "Justice Thompson exemplifies … Continue Reading


03.15.10

HHS’s Blumenthal Praises RI’s Leadership in Health Information Technology

Washington, DC - Dr. David Blumenthal, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (HIT) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), today joined Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman Patrick Kennedy at an event in East Providence where he praised Rhode Island's efforts to make our health care delivery system more efficient and responsive to patients' needs. Blumenthal was visiting Rhode Island following the recent allocation of over $11 million in federal grants t… Continue Reading


03.11.10

Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Bill to Manage Costs and Reduce Prison Population Growth

Washington, D.C. - United States Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) today applauded the Senate Judiciary Committee's bipartisan vote to approve the Criminal Justice Reinvestment Act of 2010, a bill to help states and localities better understand how to manage the growth in prison and jail populations and increase public safety. The legislation would authorize grants to analyze criminal justice trends and to design and implement policies to better man… Continue Reading

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