Speeches

01.07.15

Time to Wake Up: Senate Dems can Still Make Progress on Climate Change

This is my first "Time to Wake Up" speech in the Senate as a member of the minority. Being in the minority will give me the opportunity for the first time to use the tools that are uniquely available to members of the Senate minority. On the issue of climate change, which is affecting all our states, particularly Rhode Island, I intend to use them, politely and persistently. We have just left a period of partisanship and obstruction by the minority unique in the Senate's history. I do not in… Continue Reading


12.16.14

Time to Wake Up: 2014 Could be the Hottest Year On Record

Mr. President, We are winding down the end of this year in Congress and indeed the end of this Congress, and I am here today for the last "Time to Wake Up" speech in this Congress. And I'm particularly pleased to be delivering it while my friend is presiding, who actually took the trouble to come to Rhode Island and hear firsthand about what is happening in my state on those issues. The year that is ending now ushered in some mighty dubious milestones: January through November, 2014, the year s… Continue Reading


12.10.14

Time to Wake Up: A Carbon Fee is Not a War on Coal

Thank you, Mr. President, I am here this evening for "Time to Wake Up" speech number eighty-two. Scientists tell us that the evidence for climate change is "unequivocal", "unequivocal"-not a word often used in scientific writing-and the American people know that climate change is real. In a new poll released by the insurance firm Munich Re, eight out of ten Americans believe the climate is changing. They see it happening right around them. The American people also know we need to cut our c… Continue Reading


12.03.14

Fighting Climate Change Can Also Help the Economy

Madam President, I am here for my 81st ''Time To Wake Up'' speech and to ask this body to wake up to the effects of climate change and to say this: Acting on this issue will accelerate economic growth, spur innovation, and create jobs. We have settled any real argument about the leading cause of climate change. It is carbon pollution. Measurements in the atmosphere and oceans reveal dramatic, even unprecedented changes in the climate. Our scientists know carbon pollution heats up the climate a… Continue Reading


10.28.14

Sen. Whitehouse Speech at NYU Institute for Policy Integrity fall conference

I'm happy to be with you today, here in New York City. Just a few weeks ago, four hundred thousand people marched in this great city to demand action on climate change. I was honored to be among them. The world has just set some dubious records. Five of the past six calendar months-April, May, June, August, and September-were each the hottest ever recorded. (July came in at fourth hottest.) 2014 is on pace to tie or become the hottest year on record. This decade was warmer than the las… Continue Reading


10.01.14

Campus Sexual Assaults - Speech to National Association of Attorneys General

Good morning, and thank you, Attorney General Kilmartin. It's an honor to address the National Association of Attorneys General, and a particular pleasure to do so in my home state. Welcome to Rhode Island, and thank all of you for the work you do every day to uphold our laws and keep our communities safe. Attorneys General are often our citizens' first line of defense against violence and fraud, and I have carried the lessons of that responsibility with me as I serve Rhode Islanders in the S… Continue Reading


09.15.14

Time to Wake Up: Rhode Island Energy and Environmental Leaders Day

Mr. President, I rise today for the seventy-eighth time in my "Time To Wake Up" series to urge my Republican colleagues that it is long past time, long past time, to wake up to the growing threat of global climate change. For those who still deny the science, and believe it or not, that's where some of our colleagues still are, I remind them that virtually every credible scientific authority-and no, the ones funded by the big carbon polluters don't count, virtually every credible scientific aut… Continue Reading


09.09.14

Time to Wake Up: Republicans Side with Polluters over the Public on Climate

The 113th Congress is now winding down; an election is upon us that will decide the makeup of the next Congress; and I'm here for the seventy-seventh time to say that it is time for my Republican colleagues to wake up to the threat of climate change-both for the good of our world and, ultimately, for the good of their own party. No political party can long remain a credible force in our democracy if their position on one of the defining threats of their time is to deny its existence, or to ple… Continue Reading


07.30.14

Environmental Protection Was Once a Top Priority of Republicans

Mr. President, I rise today for the seventy-sixth time to urge my colleagues that it is time for us to wake up to the growing threats of climate change. Not a single state remains unaffected by the unprecedented changes we are already seeing, driven by the excessive carbon pollution that we continue to dump into our oceans and atmosphere. Yet in Washington, our Republican colleagues either parrot the polluter line that climate change is just a hoax, or stay silent. No one will step forward. … Continue Reading


07.25.14

How Citizens United Altered the Climate Debate

Thank you, Madam President, this is my seventy-fifth "Time to Wake Up" speech,something of a minor benchmark, I suppose. I come here urging my colleagues to wake up to the threat of climate change. I do this every week that we are in session, hoping that someday spark will hit tinder. But even as the evidence of climate change deepens, the dialogue here in Washington remains one-sided. Climate change was once a bipartisan concern. In recent years, something changed. I think I know what cha… Continue Reading


07.15.14

Climate Change in Utah

My original topic for being here before I got into that subject was that this is my seventy-fourth visit to the floor to urge my colleagues that it is truly time to wake up to the threats of climate change. The reports just keep rolling in. The latest one for coastal states like ours, Madam President, is a study called "Risky Business," that was commissioned by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who knows something about coastal issues, having been flooded by Sandy; former George … Continue Reading


07.14.14

The Devastating Effects of Ocean Acidification

Mr. President, I'm here for the seventy-third time to wake up speech that I have done to urge my colleagues to wake up to the growing threat of climate change. The changes that we are seeing, driven by carbon pollution, are far-reaching-from the coastlines of states like Rhode Island and your state of Connecticut, to the great plateaus and mountain ranges out west; from pole to pole; from high up in the atmosphere to deep down in the oceans. In Rhode Island, we know the oceans are ground zero … Continue Reading


06.25.14

Sens. Whitehouse and Manchin Discuss Common Ground on Energy and Climate Policy

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I have come here every week now for 72 consecutive weeks that the Senate has been in session to urge colleagues to wake up to the growing threat of climate change. Today I have the pleasure and honor of being joined by my friend and colleague Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. I ask unanimous consent that the Senator from West Virginia and I be allowed to engage in a colloquy for the time we have been allotted. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is s… Continue Reading


06.24.14

Sen. Whitehouse Announces DISCLOSE Act Reintroduction

Since the Supreme Court's disastrous Citizens United decision, a torrent of dark money has swept through our political system, giving corporations and billionaires the ability to buy and sell election influence in complete anonymity. Today, more than 50 senators are coming together to change that. The DISCLOSE Act will require political groups to list publically their big donors, so voters can at least know who is trying to sway their votes. As many of you know, this legislation is not new. … Continue Reading


06.19.14

Climate Change in New Hampshire

Thank you Mr. President, I'm over here to make an objection if necessary to an effort to submarine the President's climate change initiative, which two-thirds of all Americans support, which a huge number of major name-brand American corporations support, which is supported by those who we trust to lead our national defense and our national security interests. But something about this building, something about this place makes it a place where the polluting interests have wildly disproportionat… Continue Reading


06.04.14

Bold Action for Cleaner Air and a Healthier Future

Thanks, Mr. President. I'm here for the sixty-ninth straight, consecutive week that the Senate has been in session to try to wake us up to the harm that carbon pollution causes to our oceans, to our communities, to our ecosystems, and to our health. The effects of climate change are all around us-from melting glaciers in our national parks, to drought-stricken land across the American Southwest, to rising seas along my Eastern Seaboard. Washington, DC's iconic cherry blossoms are blooming ear… Continue Reading


05.21.14

Americans Want Action on Climate Change

Mr. President, I have come directly to the Senate floor from a terrific event in the Dirksen building where hundreds of people who are concerned about what the carbon pollution is doing to our atmosphere and oceans gathered to wake up Congress. At 5 o'clock a whole bunch of alarms went off down there, and it was a very exciting, very enthusiastic moment with more than 40 members of Congress showing up to reflect our commitment to getting this done. One of the things I told people at the rally… Continue Reading


05.13.14

Climate Change in Florida

Mr. President, I'm here for the sixty-seventh time to urge my colleagues to wake up to the growing threat of climate change, and today I'm joined by my friend and colleague, Senator Nelson of Florida, who is a true leader in this fight. I'd like to ask unanimous consent that we be able to engage in a colloquy for the next, say, twenty five minutes. Mr. President, Florida is about a thousand miles from Rhode Island. And it is, what, slightly larger than my home state? But Florida and Rhode I… Continue Reading


05.07.14

Climate Change in South Carolina and Georgia

Mr. President, I'm here now for the sixty-sixth consecutive weeks the Senate has been in session to ask my colleagues here to wake up to the threat of climate change. The topic has become taboo for Republicans in Congress, and so the discussion of climate change somewhat one-sided around here, but the recent comprehensive National Climate Assessment shows Americans are witnessing the effects of climate change, in every state of our nation. Colleagues: read the Assessment; find out how climat… Continue Reading


05.01.14

Climate Change, Corporate America, and North Carolina

Mr. President, I'm here, as regular viewers of the C-SPAN network know, for the sixty-fifth time every week that the Senate in in session to ask my colleagues her in the Senate to wake up to the realities of climate change that surround us. Here's what we know: We know that the oceans and atmosphere are warming. By the way, that's measurement, not theory. We know that sea level is rising - again that's measurement, not theory. And we know that oceans are becoming more acidic. Again, a simpl… Continue Reading

Showing page   of 12