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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

Asking the Right Questions on Citizens United

(28) 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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One Year Later: Making Big Oil Pay For Its Mess

(44) Comments | Posted April 20, 2011 | 11:19 AM

One year ago today, an explosion ripped through the Deepwater Horizon oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico -- devastating countless lives and an entire ecosystem.

Today, big oil companies involved in the disaster are exploiting legal loopholes in an effort to get off the hook for the worst...

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Why We Need a Foreclosure Moratorium

(370) Comments | Posted October 29, 2010 | 3:19 PM

Following an all-too-brief period of public scrutiny, Bank of America announced last week that it's back to business as usual, resuming 102,000 foreclosures in 23 states. Like several of the other large mortgage servicers, the bank had voluntarily frozen foreclosures earlier this month in light of revelations that its agents...

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One Way to Fix Congress

(82) Comments | Posted September 15, 2010 | 11:09 AM

Right now we are facing one of the biggest threats to Senate progress, and, frankly, to democratic senate elections we've ever faced: Secrecy.

As early as next week, the McCaskill/Wyden/Grassley bill to stop secret holds is going to the floor for a vote. And, as you can imagine, there...

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Protecting Our Government From Corporate Influence

(143) Comments | Posted June 23, 2010 | 4:19 PM

Over these last two months we have watched the unfolding disaster in the Gulf with horror. We have seen precious lives lost; hard-earned livelihoods hammered; treasured ways of life imperiled. But we have seen something else too -- something that ought to be a lasting lesson from this catastrophe: we...

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Protecting Consumers from Unchecked Interest Rates

(110) Comments | Posted May 9, 2010 | 3:16 PM

As we continue to fight in the Senate to reform Wall Street regulation and establish an independent consumer protection agency, I hope to also address a problem that has caused considerable pain for so many American families: runaway credit card interest rates.

Credit card companies charge interest rates that...

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Health Reform That Works for Every American

(478) Comments | Posted July 2, 2009 | 5:37 PM

This morning, millions of people all over this country woke up hoping today isn't the day they get sick. Millions of Americans went to work wondering whether today would be the last day they get paid in a while. And millions sat up late last night at the kitchen table,...

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