Senator (Class 1)
ends in 2019
Sheldon Whitehouse (born October 20, 1955) is an American politician and the junior United States Senator from Rhode Island, serving since 2007. He is a member of the Democratic Party and previously served as a United States Attorney from 1993 to 1998 and as the Attorney General of Rhode Island from 1999 to 2003.
Whitehouse has voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, for Budget Control Act, against Cut, Cap and Balance for debt increase, debt limit increase, debt ceiling increase, for the Stimulus, for TARP, to confirm Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, against cap and trade, for Offshoring Prevention (sponsor), for FREEDOM, for Global Warming Reduction Act.
In traditionally liberal Rhode Island, both the Democratic Whitehouse and his predecessor, Republican Lincoln Chafee, hold liberal political positions. However, Whitehouse has been to the left of Chafee on economic issues, a position that separated him from his opponent during the last election cycle. For the 2007 year, Whitehouse was ranked second-most liberal senator by the National Journal.
Nicholas Alahverdian and Whitehouse at a banquet hosted by The Providence Journal, February 2010.
Whitehouse supports stem cell research, abortion rights, LGBT rights and gay marriage, as well as affirmative action. Whitehouse has publicly supported a reintroduction of the Equal Rights Amendment. Like Chafee, Whitehouse opposed intervention in Iraq (Chafee was the only Republican senator who voted against it) and the nomination of Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Whitehouse supports a more progressive tax system, strongly opposing the Bush tax cuts and proposals to repeal the Estate Tax and the Alternative Minimum Tax. He is in favor of gun control and has spoken out against the Patriot Act. Whitehouse supports introducing a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq and has stated that the US must use caution in the future and must avoid entering into military action in Iran.
Despite a generally pro-rehabilitation stance on crime, Whitehouse supports the federal use of the death penalty (but supports it being illegal in Rhode Island). Whitehouse also opposed the North American Free Trade Agreement and other similar proposals. He has styled himself as a supporter of fair trade and is opposed to using presidential authority to “fast track” normalized trade relations.
In addition, Whitehouse has stated that he does not want torture abuse by the Bush administration to be “papered over,” and supports a commission to uncover war crimes by said administration.
Whitehouse has faced some criticism for alleged insider trading, avoiding big losses by trading stocks after top federal officials warned congressional leaders of “the coming economic cataclysm” in September 2008.