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Rhode Islanders know they can count on Sheldon Whitehouse as a tireless advocate, fighting on the issues that touch our lives every day – from jobs and economic development, to health care, the environment and the future for their children. Sheldon Whitehouse makes a difference for the people of Rhode Island.
In the Senate, and before that as Rhode Island’s Attorney General and U.S. Attorney, Sheldon has focused on the well-being of families, children, and seniors; protecting consumers; helping small businesses grow and create jobs; and assisting the unemployed and all those hit by the recession, a changing economy and hard times.
Job creation is Sheldon’s immediate top priority. Earlier this year, he launched his “Making it in Rhode Island” initiative, listening to Rhode Island small businesses and manufacturers, the backbone of our state’s economy, and offering a plan to boost local manufacturing. Sheldon’s plan will make Rhode Island businesses more competitive, provide continued access to capital, and eliminate the tax incentives encouraging companies to move jobs overseas. Sheldon knows how imperative it is we keep good jobs here at home.
Tough economic times make it tougher for families to make ends meet. Sheldon understands that the loss of a job can mean the loss of a home and is continuing to work to expand efforts to help people avoid foreclosure. He has also been working to lower taxes for the middle class and protect Social Security from cuts.
We live in one of the most beautiful states in the nation, and Sheldon understands that the quality of our lives is tied directly to the quality of our environment. As a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Sheldon has championed efforts to protect our environment, including our oceans and marine ecosystems, which are so important to our tourism and fishing industries. He is also a forceful advocate for urgent action to address the threat of climate change, especially its impact on our coastal communities.
And Sheldon understands the impact of high health care costs on everyone in Rhode Island – from families and seniors who need care to all those who provide it. He is a leader in the effort to expand the use of information technology in health care, to lower costs, and to improve the quality of care, helping Rhode Island become a national leader in the development and implementation of this technology.
A graduate of Yale University and the University of Virginia School of Law, Sheldon served as a policy advisor and counsel to the Governor of Rhode Island and as the state’s Director of Business Regulation before being nominated by President Bill Clinton to be Rhode Island's United States Attorney in 1994. He was elected State Attorney General in 1998, a position in which he served from 1999-2003. On November 7, 2006, Rhode Islanders elected Sheldon to the United States Senate, where he is a member of the Budget Committee; the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee; the Judiciary Committee; the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee; and the Special Committee on Aging. He chairs the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism and the EPW Subcommittee on Oversight.
He lives in Newport with his wife, Sandra, a marine biologist and environmental advocate, and their two children.