Remarks at the American Constitution Society for Law & Policy National Convention

Thank you very much, Travis [Rodgers], for that warm introduction, and thank you to the American Constitution Society for inviting me to speak here today on a topic that is crucial to our democracy and the rule of law: "Keeping Faith with the Constitution." I applaud your commitment to the spirit of our Constitution and its promises to all Americans: to establish justice, and secure the blessings of liberty. As members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, my colleagues and I have the opportunity… Continue Reading


Sheldon's Opening Statement for Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing on Credit Cards and Bankruptcy

The hearing will come to order. With the economy deep in recession, unemployment rates climbing, and teaser rates on home mortgages expiring and triggering higher mortgage payments, American consumers are relying more than ever on credit cards to make ends meet each month. At the same time, banks losing money in mortgages and their other areas of business are attempting to squeeze more and more profit out of their credit card customers. The standard credit card agreement gives the lender the … Continue Reading


Whitehouse Urges Investment in Health Information Technology

Mr. WHITEHOUSE: Mr. President, I rise today to discuss a feature of the economic recovery legislation that will both create jobs in the short term and help us confront the long-term economic challenges that are facing us. Clearly, creating jobs is a paramount goal of this legislation. In this time of deepening recession, one in ten Rhode Islanders is looking for a job. At 10%, our unemployment rate is the highest in New England and the second highest across this entire nation. As I've traveled … Continue Reading


Whitehouse Slams Lavish Executive Compensation

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Thank you, Mr. President. I have a different topic today. This speech is about a stove, a jet, and $40 billion. The stove belonged to Margarita Fuentes, and a local deputy sheriff in Florida repossessed it for the finance company. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, and became the famous case of Fuentes v. Shevin, which every first year law student has to read. The Court held that you couldn't take away Ms. Fuentes' stove, not without giving her a hearing; that s… Continue Reading


Whitehouse: As We Look Forward We Must Also Look Back

I rise as we celebrate a new President, a new administration, a new mode of governing, and a new future for America. Even in the gloom of our present predicaments, Americans' hearts are strong and confident because we see a brighter future ahead. President Obama looks to that future. Given the depth and severity of those predicaments, we need all his energy to look forward to lead us to that brighter day; forward to what Winston Churchill in Britain's dark days called those "broad and sunlit … Continue Reading


Whitehouse Supports Holder Nomination on Senate Floor

MR. WHITEHOUSE: Thank you, Mr. President. I rise to speak on President-elect Obama's nomination of Eric Holder to be the attorney general of the United States. It is nothing new in Washington for it to be said of a nominee that he or she is the best person for a job. That happens all the time. We've all heard it. And it will surprise no one in this room or elsewhere in Washington to know that it isn't always the case. But in this case, for this appointment at this time, I believe that it is true… Continue Reading


Whitehouse Shares Stories of Rhode Islanders Affected by Our Broken Health Care System

MR. WHITEHOUSE: Today Senator Daschle has come before the as come before the HELP Committee for his confirmation hearing as our Secretary-designate of Health and Human services. I know that all of our colleagues and friends in the Senate found it moving and wonderful to see the distinguished chairman of that committee, Senator Kennedy, back in his chair, leading that hearing. We are all delighted to see him back at work here in the Senate and we are delighted to see Senator Daschle back with us … Continue Reading


Remarks of Sheldon Whitehouse to the Providence Business News 2008 Business Excellence Awards Program

Thank you, Frank, and congratulations to this year's award recipients: President Machtley; Cox Communications; Gates, Leighton & Associates; South County Hospital Healthcare System; International Institute of Rhode Island; and Saint John Stone. I am so pleased to be here today to celebrate your achievements. We are coming together at a time of deepening recession that has left millions of Americans struggling to hold onto their retirement savings, their homes, and their livelihoods. Nearl… Continue Reading


Remarks of Sheldon Whitehouse to the American Bar Association's 18th Annual Review of the Field of National Security Law Conference

Ladies and gentlemen, I have been lots of different kinds of lawyer in my life, but nothing quite matches standing up in court to say: "Your Honor, I represent the United States of America." As a United States Attorney, I saw first-hand the devotion of the men and women of the Department to their mission, and how deeply ingrained are Justice Sutherland's words: that while a prosecutor "may strike hard blows, he is not at liberty to strike foul ones." I experienced the esprit de corps that came… Continue Reading


Remarks at the Annual Conference of the National Association of Former United States Attorneys

Ladies and gentlemen, I have been lots of different kinds of lawyer in my life, but nothing quite matches standing up in court to say: "Your Honor, I represent the United States of America." As United States Attorneys, we all saw first-hand the devotion of the men and women of the Department to their mission, and how deeply ingrained are Justice Sutherland's words: that while a prosecutor "may strike hard blows, he is not at liberty to strike foul ones." We each experienced the esprit de corps… Continue Reading


Whitehouse Criticizes Attorney General Over Unanswered Questions in DOJ Report

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I'm particularly gratified to be speaking about this now because you, the distinguished Senator from Colorado, were formerly the Attorney General of Colorado, at a time when I was the former Attorney General of Rhode Island. And I just want to make one quick point. We all recall the very unfortunate tragedy, really, that befell the Department of Justice as a result of extremely unfortunate decisions made at the management level that culminated in the forced retir… Continue Reading


Obscene Oil Company Profits Cost Rhode Islanders at the Pump, says Whitehouse

Mr. WHITEHOUSE: Let me begin by saying, as we leave for our August recess very shortly, what a pleasure it has been for me to serve with the distinguished senator from Utah on the Judiciary Committee during these first months of my first term in this body. I would respond to what he has said by suggesting that if he and his colleagues would actually let us lead, we would be able to solve a lot of the problems that he discussed and that were indicated on those graphs. But instead of letting us l… Continue Reading


Senator Whitehouse Speaks on the Senate Floor About the Housing Reform Bill

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Thank you, Mr. President. I rise today with good news and bad news for the American people. The good news is that the United States Senate is poised to pass legislation providing badly-needed relief for millions of American families in their darkest days: families who stand on the verge of losing their homes. The bad news is that this critical assistance will come only after long, needless delay due to obstruction and political gamesmanship by some members of the Republican m… Continue Reading


Whitehouse Calls for Action to Curb Excessive Speculation in Energy Markets

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Today in Rhode Island, drivers are paying more than $4 a gallon for gas, and they've been paying those prices for more than a month now. We all know that eight years of two oil men in the White House equals over $4-a-gallon gas - a nearly six-fold increase in oil prices. These record oil prices have sent consumer costs skyrocketing, not only at the pump, but at the supermarket and the department store. Food and household goods take energy to produce and transport, and have bec… Continue Reading


Whitehouse Recites Historic Correspondence Between Newport's Touro Synagogue and President George Washington

MR. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, My home state of Rhode Island has the distinction of being home to the oldest Jewish house of worship in the United States, the Touro Synagogue in historic Newport. This synagogue was founded in seventeen hundred and sixty three. Today, the synagogue stands as a handsome landmark, designed by the famous colonial architect Peter Harrison. A reminder of historic days past for a community that this year, 2008, will celebrate the 350th anniversary of the first Jewish s… Continue Reading

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