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Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse
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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.

Entries by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse

Will a Corporate Carve-Out Derail Criminal Justice Reform?

(34) Comments | Posted May 6, 2016 | 4:06 PM

Criminal justice reform is one of the few legislative issues that could move forward in this highly partisan election year. But this long-awaited reform is in serious danger because of efforts by big corporations and their allies to include a "get-out-of-jail-free" card for white collar offenders. A few members of...

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The WSJ's Long Record of Protecting Polluters

(34) Comments | Posted April 3, 2016 | 1:36 PM

The Wall Street Journal is quite irate that I rank them with industry front groups and cranks denying climate change. But they have a record whenever industrial pollutants are involved. Look at the Journal's commentary on acid rain, on the ozone layer, and on climate change. There is...

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More Nonsense from the Fossil Fuel Industry

(72) Comments | Posted March 28, 2016 | 3:31 PM

It's hard to know where to begin with the nonsense from the fossil fuel industry's front men. For raising questions about potentially fraudulent and illegal activity by fossil energy producers, David B. Rivkin, Jr., and Andrew M. Grossman of the industry's PR network took to the Wall Street...

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Lettera aperta ai partecipanti alla Cop21: una frase e una soluzione morale per il cambio climatico

(1) Comments | Posted December 4, 2015 | 11:21 AM

Non chiederemo o supplicheremo le aziende e le nazioni di abbattere le emissioni, bensì preferiamo seguire l'esempio del Papa, suggerendovi un modo più semplice ed efficace per affrontare un problema che minaccia la vita del nostro pianeta e siamo d'accordo con Papa Francesco quando sostiene che la questione centrale è...

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An Open Letter to Those Attending COP 21: The One-Sentence, Moral Solution to Climate Change

(96) Comments | Posted December 3, 2015 | 3:55 PM

As negotiators struggle in the last few days in Paris, we, the undersigned, would like to suggest the incorporation of a simpler approach to deal with the existential threat facing life on this planet.

Instead of asking, or even begging, corporations and countries to please reduce their greenhouse gas...

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Why Republicans Continue to Deny Climate Science

(8) Comments | Posted December 2, 2015 | 10:47 AM

Republicans in Congress and on the campaign trail are digging themselves into quite a hole. Climate change is both a critical issue for our world's security and sustainability, and a key political issue that could help decide who wins the White House in 2016. And yet Republicans continue to deny...

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WSJ Catering to Fossil-Fuel Interests... Again!

(40) Comments | Posted October 11, 2015 | 10:45 AM

In recent weeks the right-wing attack machine has been up in arms regarding a letter sent by a group of 20 climate scientists to President Obama, Attorney General Lynch, and White House science adviser John Holdren requesting that the Department of Justice (DOJ) investigate fossil-fuel companies that appear to have...

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Right-Wing Groups Get Overheated on Climate Questions

(85) Comments | Posted April 13, 2015 | 11:06 AM

In late February, Sen. Barbara Boxer, Sen. Ed Markey, and I sent a letter to 100 companies, trade groups, and other organizations affiliated with the fossil fuel industry asking whether they spent money to support climate research. That letter provoked a torrent of criticism from conservative groups and...

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The GOP Budget: Every Tax Loophole Is Sacred

(90) Comments | Posted March 26, 2015 | 2:30 PM

Every tax loophole is sacred.

That's the prime guiding principle of the budget Republicans are trying to push through the Senate. Republicans claim to be concerned with reducing the federal deficit, which their Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming) described as a "dangerous financial crisis." But are they willing...

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Asking the Right Questions on Citizens United

(38) Comments | Posted September 12, 2014 | 4:29 PM

This week Senate Republicans blocked consideration of a constitutional amendment that would have overturned the Supreme Court's disastrous Citizens United decision and allowed us to crack down on the flood of corporate money in politics. Every single Republican senator voted against it.

Let's look at what they voted to uphold....

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Don't Forget the Other IRS Scandal

(51) Comments | Posted April 19, 2014 | 1:59 PM

Washington, DC and the right wing outrage machine are all abuzz that the IRS allegedly targeted groups based on their presumed political affiliation. Obviously, that was wrong to do, but let's not forget that there are two IRS scandals. The other is allowing big shadowy forces to meddle in elections...

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Let's Have the President's Back on Climate Change

(69) Comments | Posted July 2, 2013 | 1:08 PM

Every week that the Senate is in session -- 37 times and counting -- I speak out about the need for Congress to wake up and address climate change. I urge my colleagues to take action to protect our planet and future generations, and I try to show the abundant...

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The Revenue Discussion Is Not Over

(74) Comments | Posted February 8, 2013 | 9:50 AM

Every family in America knows that our country has been through hard times in recent years. Now, finally, there's light at the end of the tunnel: our economy has added private sector jobs for 35 consecutive months; the national unemployment rate is down to 7.9 percent; the stock market is...

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Good News in the Fight Against Bad Air

(5) Comments | Posted December 13, 2012 | 10:41 AM

"Today is a bad air day." You may have heard this warning on drive-time radio, especially on muggy summer days. On "orange" days, the air is too thick with pollution for infants, seniors and people with breathing difficulties, who are warned they should stay indoors. Those people may miss work,...

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Health Information Technology: Paving the Way to Improved Patient Care

(36) Comments | Posted September 11, 2012 | 11:53 AM

In the 1950s, President Eisenhower started an interstate highway system to link our country, from Rhode Island to California. To this day, the interstate system remains the heart of our country's road infrastructure, supporting travel, commerce and transportation. This public investment paid off in long-term social and economic benefits for...

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The Buffett Rule: Your Straight Deal on Taxes

(265) Comments | Posted April 10, 2012 | 10:53 AM

Back in 1985, President Ronald Reagan said: "We're going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that have allowed some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share."

Almost three decades later, we're still hearing about ultra-high income earners like Warren Buffett paying a lower tax rate than his...

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America Must Not Back Down on Sustainable Energy

(442) Comments | Posted December 16, 2011 | 11:06 AM

If you read just the headlines these days, you might think renewable energy in America is going the way of Solyndra. Don't take our word for it: a recent headline from Fox News declared "ENTIRE Solar Industry on Brink of Collapse."

We cannot allow long-time opponents of...

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Fighting for Pell Grants

(34) Comments | Posted September 28, 2011 | 1:44 PM

I've met students across Rhode Island who rely on Pell Grants. They work hard, play by rules, and are doing everything they can to get the education they need for the jobs of tomorrow. Yet during the debt ceiling negotiations, House Republicans made it all too clear that this vital...

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Take Social Security Cuts Off the Table

(103) Comments | Posted July 8, 2011 | 11:20 AM

Yesterday's Washington Post headline says everything you need to know:

"In debt talks, Obama offers Social Security cuts"

We, as Democrats, must stand firm against any cuts to Social Security or Medicare benefits. Period.

So I'm introducing a Senate resolution to tell the President and congressional budget negotiators...

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Stand Strong for Social Security

(62) Comments | Posted July 7, 2011 | 3:59 PM

In recent days, the rumors that President Obama is considering cuts to Social Security and Medicare have continued to grow.

Democrats need to stand strong against any efforts to cut benefits to Social Security and Medicare.

It's time to draw a line in the sand. Join...

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