Press Releases

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


02.16.11

Whitehouse, Eshoo, and Lance Introduce Pancreatic Cancer Research Act

Washington, D.C. - Today Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Palo Alto), and Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) held a press conference to introduce the Pancreatic Cancer Research and Education Act. In attendance were Lisa Swayze, wife of the late Patrick Swayze who died of pancreatic cancer, and Julie Fleishman, President of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. "Pancreatic cancer is a terrible disease which has hit home for thousands of families in Rhode Island and around the cou… Continue Reading


02.16.11

Congressional Delegation Announces $568K for East Providence and Middletown Fire Departments

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 David Cicilline today announced that the East Providence and Middletown Fire Departments will receive over $568,342 in Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) through the Department of Homeland Security. The East Providence Fire Department will receive $380,052 to purchase 2-thermal imaging cameras, 57-personal escape rope packs, and pro… Continue Reading


02.15.11

Whitehouse to Chair Judiciary and EPW Subcommittees

Washington, DC - The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has announced subcommittee assignments for the 112th Congress, designating U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) as chairman of the Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism. Whitehouse served previously as chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts, where he focused on issues such as unfair credit card practices, the foreclosure crisis, and how to help small businesses. He plans to use the Crime and Terror… Continue Reading


02.11.11

NEA Chairman Praises RI Artistic Community

Providence, RI - Highlighting the integral role Rhode Island's artistic community plays in our state's economy, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse today hosted Rocco Landesman, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), for a tour of the local arts scene. "I was glad to host Chairman Landesman in Rhode Island to showcase local artists and institutions, and their amazing talents and innovations," said Whitehouse, who invited Landesman to the state and who serves as an ex-officio member … Continue Reading


02.11.11

Reed & Whitehouse Announce $10.6 Million in Flood Assistance for RI

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse today announced that the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is making up to $10.6 million in federal funding immediately available to Rhode Island to help communities recover from last year's historic floods. Reed and Whitehouse helped secure this emergency disaster relief funding in the Fiscal Year 2010 Supplemental Appropriations disaster relief bill. "This funding will help families, communities, and businesses that… Continue Reading


02.03.11

Amendment to Criminalize the Use of Laser Pointers to Target Aircraft Passes in Senate

Washington, DC - The Senate has passed, with a 96-1 vote, an amendment introduced by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) that would crack down on individuals who shine laser pointers at aircraft - an action which can temporarily blind pilots and put passengers at risk. The bipartisan amendment, which is cosponsored by Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Dan Inouye (D-HI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Bob Casey (D-P… Continue Reading


02.02.11

Menendez Reintroduces Legislation to Close Big Oil's Tax Loopholes

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today reintroduced his Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act, legislation to close a number of corporate tax breaks that allow oil companies to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes. This comes on the heels of President Obama calling in his State of the Union address for the oil company loopholes to be closed - a call that is expected to be reflected in the president's forthcoming budget proposal. The legislation, co-sponsored by Senators Jeff Merk… Continue Reading


02.02.11

Whitehouse Congratulates RI Company Recognized by President Obama

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse released the following statement today regarding news that the Rhode Island start-up accelerator Betaspring has been selected to participate in the Obama Administration's Startup America program: "Rhode Island has a long tradition of innovation dating back to Slater Mill and the birth of the Industrial Revolution. Today's announcement that Betaspring will be among the programs partnering with the White House to boost American entrepreneurship sho… Continue Reading


02.02.11

Senators Push for Legislation to Criminalize the Use of Laser Pointers to Target Aircraft

Washington, DC - As the Senate takes up the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorization bill this week, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced an amendment to crack down on individuals who shine laser pointers at aircraft - an action which can temporarily blind pilots and put passengers at risk. The bipartisan amendment, which is cosponsored by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Bob Casey (D-PA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and Mark Kirk (R-IL) … Continue Reading

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