The Scheme 23: Let's Say

Mr. President, I will call this my ‘‘let’s say’’ speech. Lawyers know what a hypothetical is. We will talk about some hypotheticals related to the scheme to capture the Court. Let’s say, Mr. President, that you are a creepy billionaire and it is your plan to capture and control the Supreme Court, to take it over just like 19thcentury robber barons would have taken over and captured the railroad commission that set the rates for their own railroad. Let’s say you sent millions of dollars—secret … Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up 289: Rising Tides, Rising Temps

Mr. President, this is the 289th time that I have come to the Senate floor with my increasingly battered ‘‘Time to Wake Up’’ chart, to stir this Chamber to act on climate change. Since 2016, I have been talking about the zettajoule. The zettajoule is the measure of how much fossil fuel emissions are heating up our oceans. In this season of extreme, record-smashing heat touching all 50 States, it is wild that elected representatives in Washington still choose to insulate t… Continue Reading


The Scheme 22: Justice Alito and the Polluter Page

Mr. President, I rise this evening, now for the 22nd time, to keep unmasking the far-right scheme to capture and control our Supreme Court. This scheme is funded by creepy rightwing billionaires who stay out of the limelight and let others- namely, Leonard Leo and his crew-operate their scheme. How are they benefiting from the scheme? It is hard to track which rightwing billionaires are involved- and that is by design-but thanks to intrepid reporting from ProPublica and others, we are learning m… Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up 288: Republicans’ Oily Wish List

Madam President, I am back now for the 288th time with my trusty, battered ''Time to Wake Up'' poster to call attention to the climate crisis. Over the 10-plus years that I have been doing these speeches, I have shown how climate change affects our ecosystems, industries, economy, public health, kids, workers, our elderly. I have even conducted a science experiment right here on the Senate floor, to the dismay of the Senate staff. One near constant in these speeches has been the oily, often co… Continue Reading


The Scheme 21: “As Friends Do”

Mr. President, I am here for now the 21st in my series of speeches about the scheme to capture and control our Supreme Court, a scheme to which rightwing special interests have devoted hundreds of millions of dark money dollars. The ingredients in this noxious cocktail are creepy rightwing billionaires, phony front groups, amenable justices, large sums of money, and secrecy. This month, we have gotten a whole new look at how these ingredients mix. According to extraordinary reporting by ProPubl… Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up 287: Climate in the Budget Committee

Mr. President, here I am again with my trusty, battered chart by my side, this time here to talk about the looming costs and economic risks of climate upheaval. Almost exactly 5 years ago, I sent around a binder about this thick to all of my Senate colleagues in which I compiled some of the most compelling warnings about the looming climate economic crisis. I have just recently updated it and shared it with all of the Budget Committee members. It is now more like this thick, as the warnings jus… Continue Reading


The Scheme 20: The Ethics-Free Zone Around The Supreme Court

Mr. President, I am back today now for the 20th time to shed a little light on the dark money scheme to capture and control our Supreme Court. Part of what allows that scheme to flourish is the ethics-free zone around the Supreme Court. It is quite unique. So let's look at it. The last time I gave this speech, No. 19, I walked through the various problems with how the Supreme Court handles allegations of misconduct by the Justices. The short answer is that it doesn't. The U.S. Supreme Court is… Continue Reading


Scheme Speech 19: “Operation Higher Court” and the Supreme Court Ethics Crisis

Mr. President, I rise today for the 19th time to discuss the dark money scheme to capture and control our Supreme Court. These themed speeches have covered a lot of ground, and if they have shown one thing, it is that the capture of the Supreme Court didn't happen overnight. It took years of planning and hundreds of millions in dark money dollars to turn our highest Court into a delivery system for far-right special interests. Slowly but surely, these special interests engulfed our Supreme Court… Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up 286: COP27

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Madam President, I rise today for my 286th ''Time to Wake Up'' speech, in this case to report back from the United Nations' 27th Conference of the Parties, or COP, the annual meeting where the nations of the world work to combat climate change. The Paris Agreement, for instance, sprang from the COP. Senators CARDIN, MARKEY, and I went to this year's COP in Egypt. Speaker PELOSI led a separate House delegation, and President Biden traveled there with a large executive branch dele… Continue Reading


Scheme 18: Leonard Leo’s $1.6 Billion Payday

This is the 18th time that I have come to the floor to expose the dark money scheme that has captured and controlled our Supreme Court. Over the last 2 years, I have, over and over, exposed how dark money operatives, working from the shadows, have installed Supreme Court Justices handpicked-handpicked-by the minions of far-right donors. I have exposed the key front groups through which this Court-packing operation is driven and the tactics that the schemers have used to hide the dark money donor… Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up 285: Executive Beast Mode

Mr. President, I will proceed with my trusty, battered ''Time to Wake Up'' chart and my-I don't know-280-something speech. For once, I can start with some good news, which is that the Democrats, at last, passed a climate-focused reconciliation bill this year. This is a huge step and essential, given the cascade of harms climate change is already inflicting: wildfire in Yosemite National Park, billions of dollars in flood damage; Europe broils in heat wave; extreme heat led to ''brutal'' rise in… Continue Reading


Scheme 17: Captive Court

Madam President, every once in a while, life gives you a wonderful coincidence. The wonderful coincidence this evening is that I have had the pleasure of listening to Senator SANDERS describe what happens to a country when billionaires are able to secretly exert immense political power and drive democracy away from its foundations and into the service of the billionaires. The remarks I am here to give are about how they do it-the technique for infiltration and influence of our democracy by the … Continue Reading


Sen. Whitehouse Testifies on his DISCLOSE Act in a Senate Rules Committee Hearing

Thank you Chair Klobuchar and Ranking Member Hagerty for inviting me to testify on the DISCLOSE Act. Twelve years after Citizens United, Americans know something is deeply amiss in our democracy. Huge majorities see America headed in the wrong direction. Fifty-eight percent of voters say our government needs major reforms or a complete overhaul. Only 25 percent of Americans say they have confidence in the Supreme Court. They see government actually erasing rights on which generations of Am… Continue Reading


Whitehouse Delivers Opening Remarks in Judiciary Committee Hearing on Seizing Russian Oligarchs’ Illicit Assets to Aid Ukraine

I'd like to start by thanking Chair Durbin for his invaluable support for today's hearing on how we can use asset forfeiture of Russian oligarchs' assets to aid Ukraine, and for his efforts to hold Russia accountable for its crimes against Ukraine and humanity. Thank you also to Ranking Member Grassley for your leadership and efforts to root out corruption, fraud, and abuse at home and abroad. And I've been honored to work with Senator Graham and Senator Bennet on this draft bill that we're wo… Continue Reading


The Scheme 16 - The Hothouse and West Virginia v EPA pt. 2

Mdm. President, I rise today now for the 16th time to call out the dark-money Scheme to capture and control our Supreme Court. The last time I rose to shine a light on this Scheme, I sounded a warning about a case then pending at the Supreme Court called West Virginia v. EPA. I discussed how The Court That Dark Money Built was primed to smash through precedent and weaponize fringe legal theories to deliver for the Scheme's big donors. I am sorry, but not surprised, to report that the Supreme … Continue Reading


The Role of the Federal Government in Attacking the Financial Networks of Cartels

Drug cartels, like kleptocrats and other criminals, skirt U.S. laws and exploit regulatory gaps to launder and protect the proceeds of their crimes in an international dark economy that facilitates much evil in the world. The U.S. must do more to expose and dismantle the cartels' finances and these international dark economy networks. First, we need to better understand the magnitude of narcotics-related illicit finance, and how it fits into the international dark economy. The Office of N… Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up #284 - A Carbon Border Adjustment

Mr. President, I rise now for the 284th time with my increasingly tattered and battered ''Time to Wake up'' poster to urge this Chamber to wake up on the issue of climate change. Human beings dumped 36.3 billion tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere last year-last year. After all our big talk, after all the plans and the COPS and the commitments, 36.3 billion tons. That is the highest total ever recorded. We are not doing any better. We continue to do worse, and here in Congress, we cont… Continue Reading


Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse Delivers Opening Remarks in Drug Caucus Hearing on the 2022 National Drug Control Strategy

We lost over 107,000 Americans to drug overdose last year, including 453 Rhode Islanders, a painful reminder of the massive challenge ahead in addressing drug trafficking and substance use in this country. We must do better. The Office of National Drug Control Policy, or ONDCP, has a comprehensive plan with ambitious goals to meet by 2025, including : A 13 percent reduction in drug overdose deaths; Doubling treatment admissions for the populations most at risk of overdose death; … Continue Reading


The Scheme 15: The Hothouse and WV v. EPA

Mr. President, I rise now for the 15th time to call attention to the right-wing donors' long-planned Scheme to capture and control our Supreme Court. What I will talk about today is that Scheme's donor-funded doctrine factory, and a case in which The Court That Dark Money Built could weaponize dangerous, concocted doctrines to power up polluters and threaten a basic function of government. Before I get into this, let me say that I detest and condemn violence or threatened violence against memb… Continue Reading


Whitehouse Commemorates 250th Anniversary of the Burning of the Gaspee

Mr. President, this week marks the 250th anniversary of the first blow struck in the American Colonies' struggle for independence from the British Crown. I come to the Senate floor every year to commemorate this moment because it took place in Rhode Island at the hands of some brave and bold Rhode Islanders. Before recounting the tale of those bold Rhode Islanders, I would like to acknowledge a special guest with us in the Gallery today: Michael Tatham, Deputy Head of Mission for the British Em… Continue Reading

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