Decision Maker

Sheldon Whitehouse

  • RI
  • Senator

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Petitioning Food and Drug Administration

Tell the FDA to stop denying ALS patients treatment options

When I became a parent, I knew immediately that I would do anything to protect my daughters from the hardest parts of life. My mission would be to give them as much love and comfort as I possibly could. But now instead of me taking care of them, my daughters are often responsible for taking care of me, because in May of 2014 I was diagnosed with ALS. Now, instead of protecting them, my daughters are forced to watch as my body dies one muscle at a time. ALS is a devastating disease, that currently has no effective FDA approved treatments. However, there are promising therapies in the FDA approval pipeline that might improve my chances and quality of life, but the FDA isn’t willing to expedite the approval of these drugs, even though the average life expectancy of an ALS patient is 3-5 years and the average time it takes for a drug to become FDA approved is over a decade.   Please join me and Hope NOW for ALS in petitioning Congress and the FDA to apply Accelerated Approvals (AAP) to promising treatments targeting terminal diseases, and implement faster, smarter, and more humane clinical trials using today’s science. This is not a radical or new idea. In 1992, in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the FDA adopted the Accelerated Approval Program (AAP) – an expedited approval process to treat fatal diseases. This was a process to allow patients fast access to potentially life saving drugs, and has since been used for cancer and heart failure treatments. But the FDA refuses to apply it to ALS and other rapidly fatal diseases. How can it possibly be fair to exclude the most vulnerable and at risk people -- those with fast acting terminal diseases -- from this program? ALS is always fatal, and there are currently over 30,000 patients in the US with no options. We need help. We need options. My diagnosis is the greatest challenge my family has ever faced, and my daughters have amazed me with their grace and strength in taking on this battle with me. I know that even though my life has not turned out like I imagined it, I can still be the dad I always wanted to be, and I can still show my daughters what it means to take a stand for what counts. Please join me and Hope NOW for ALS to help save my life, and the lives of so many others around the country.

Jay Smith with Hope Now for ALS
188,807 supporters
Victory
Petitioning U.S. Senate, John Barrasso, James Inhofe, Shelley Capito, John Boozman, Roger Wicker, Deb Fischer, Jeff Sessions, Jerry Moran, Mike Rounds, Joni Ernst, Dan Sullivan, Tom Carper, Ben Cardin, Bernie ...

Demand A Strong EPA For Our Bays

Let’s not trash the EPA. Reject Scott Pruitt as its new chief. Members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works recently boycotted the vote for Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s nomination to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  This comes as widespread, bipartisan concerns are being raised about Pruitt's record of challenging the core mission of the agency he’s been asked to lead. Many question Pruitt’s future commitment to protect public health, enforce the law, and hold corporations accountable to maintain healthy water, air, and land in their business practices. Pruitt has sued the EPA on behalf of regulated industries more than a dozen times in an attempt to weaken regulations such as the federal Clean Water Act. These regulations form the bedrock of our work at Heal the Bay and our sister organizations across the nation. They are hard-fought gains that were direct responses to past disasters. We cannot go back. A silenced, weakened EPA is a threat to our Bays. The U.S. Senate will vote on the appointment of Pruitt as EPA chief in the coming hours amid growing concerns about a broad directive from the new administration to censor EPA research, indefinitely. As a trusted ocean and watershed advocate, Heal the Bay is guided by the best science, not emotion. Over the last 30 years, we have seen first-hand how the EPA and its partner organizations can improve public health for Angelenos through environmental policies and regulations. A weakened EPA means turning back the clock on our critical programs in Greater Los Angeles that monitor beach water quality, prevent unsafe consumption of locally caught fish, protect our dwindling wetlands, and keep our streams and watersheds healthy to buffer communities from climate change. Scott Pruitt won’t do it. Our vital work is far from over. Sea level rise poses a real and immediate threat to many U.S. cities that are unprepared to adapt to the impacts of climate change. We need strong EPA leadership and funding now more than ever. These issues affect us all.  Sign this petition urging the U.S. Senate to reject Pruitt’s nomination for EPA chief. Tell our elected officials to maintain strong EPA funding for programs that affect our Bays nationwide. Call your local senators directly in the next 24 hours to make sure your voice is heard.  

Heal the Bay
94,286 supporters
Petitioning Dianne Feinstein, Kamala Harris, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, John Barrasso, Tom Carper, James Inhofe, Shelley Capito, John Boozman, Roger Wicker, Deb Fischer, Jerry Moran, Mike Roun...

Tell Congress to Maintain EPA & NOAA Funding

Protect Our Oceans. Protect Our Health. Protect Our EPA & NOAA. The White House recently proposed debilitating budget and workforce cuts for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) starting this October when the 2018 fiscal year begins. Every department seems to be affected; from environmental justice programs and science education, to research and monitoring. In the new administration’s plan, many critical ocean grants, programs, and services will be completely eliminated unless our representatives and legislators vote against the cuts in Congress. This comes at a critical time when America’s coastal infrastructure is failing in the face of intensifying storms and rising seas associated with climate change. We should be doubling down on efforts to prepare and defend our coastlines. We should be empowering scientists, researchers, and youth in America to become stewards for our ocean and environment. We should be investing our hard-earned tax dollars into the next generation of ocean innovation. Instead, the proposals drastically reduce fundamental resources to prepare and respond to environmental emergencies. The White House’s plan includes slashing the EPA budget by 31 percent — to the tune of $2.6 billion — and reducing staff by more than 3,200 people. The EPA is already operating on a lean budget – federal funding has been decreased by over $2 billion since 2010. Nearly three-quarters of the EPA’s annual budget goes toward funding grants for states, tribes, and contractors. These grants aid crucial environmental cleanup, monitoring, and preparedness efforts. Commonly known for its weather forecasting services, NOAA also leads the nation on climate monitoring, fisheries, and ocean services. NOAA’s annual budget is $5.6 billion, a small fraction of the overall federal budget. The administration proposed a stiff 17% cut to NOAA’s overall budget. And, a 22% reduction in funding for NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service, which creates and operates weather satellites. This program also houses the National Centers for Environmental Information – an essential environmental science research center and repository of climate data.  Additionally, climate protection programs would suffer a nearly 70% cut, which would thwart efforts to prepare for sea level rise, adapt to hotter urban areas, and buffer our communities for increased storm intensity and flooding. This is particularly important as previous worst case scenario projections for sea level rise in Southern California – 5.5 feet by 2100 – are now being revised to predict even more extreme impacts as ice sheets at our planet’s poles are melting faster than expected. Beach tourism and the coast recreation economy are valued at close to $90 billion, so EPA’s investment of $10 million annually in beach water quality monitoring makes fiscal and public health sense to ensure that beachgoers are healthy and safe. However, the Beach Grant Program would suffer complete elimination. This vital program supports weekly water quality sampling at beaches across the country, and, helps to sustain thriving marine life and public awareness of pollution for the 90 million people visiting our nation’s beaches annually. Environmental education through the EPA would be cut by over 90% - a disservice to preparing and educating our youth, who are the future stewards of our nation. And, communities who are already the most under-served would be disproportionately impacted by the planned 78% cuts to environmental justice programs. Funding would be completely zeroed out for several targeted programs, including the national estuary program – long-term management planning to improve water quality and living conditions for 28 critical estuaries located along the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts and in Puerto Rico, and Sea Grant – a well-leveraged scientific research partnership with top universities throughout the nation. Removing the Sea Grant program would cut funding for important fisheries, wetlands, wildlife, and public health research at 33 universities across the country – this is hands-on and applied research that informs management and protection of our economically and environmentally beneficial coastal and ocean resources. The new administration’s proposals would cripple our efforts to safeguard marine habitats, threatened animals, and coastal resilience – placing entire communities and ecosystems at a further disadvantage. The White House has said it is committed to promoting clean water and clean air, but these proposed actions demonstrate otherwise. It seems virtually impossible to maintain basic environmental and public health protections, given such deep cuts and job losses. Please help Heal the Bay and many other trusted environmental groups nationwide in our effort to keep the EPA and NOAA from being disabled. Tell your State Senators, Congressional Representatives and Legislators that funding for the EPA and NOAA is important to you, your family, your business and community.

Heal the Bay
75,801 supporters
Petitioning President of the United States, US department of commerce, Census Bureau, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, Donald Trump, Paul Ryan, Dana Rohrabacher, Seth Moulton, Jim McGovern, Jim Cost...

Remove sub-Asian boxes on Census Form 2020! Stop racist anti-Asian anti-immigrant legacy!

Dear fellow Americans for justice, brothers and sisters against racism, The glaringly racist legacy of sub-Asian boxes on the Census form was started in 1870, after the Burlingame Treaty of 1868, which eventually led to the infamous, racist, and inhumane Chinese Exclusion Act spanning from 1882 to 1943, which among other terrible abominations, banned U.S. residents of Chinese descent from having children or getting married; their family members in Asia were forbidden from entry to U.S. and reuniting as families. The Census form has no "Asian/Asian American" category. In its place are a group of boxes signifying foreign nationalities in Asia as if Asian Americans were all “perpetual foreigners.” It intrusively identified and collected data on which U.S. residents were of Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese...descent. While the Chinese Exclusion Act ended in 1943, did these racist, humiliating, dehumanizing sub-Asian boxes get removed from the Census form? No, they were kept on the Census form by the U.S. government even until today, and if we don't fight back and boycott the Census form with sub-Asian boxes, it will stay on the 2020 Census form and beyond, prolonging a racist American legacy, a shame to all Americans. This legacy treats Americans of Asian descent as perpetual foreigners, and collects intrusive personal ancestral origin data used in many kinds of racial discrimination and persecution. In one example, the U.S. government used information from the Census Bureau to identify native born Americans of Japanese descent and sent them to Internment Camps during the World War II. There were also discriminatory laws against Americans of various Asian descent, such as Filipino. Such horrendous trampling of humanity will happen again unless you and I act now to boycott a 2020 Census form with sub-Asian boxes. We demand these sub-Asian boxes be removed and replaced with one description--"Asian/Asian American." Injustice to one human being is injustice to all human kind. If we don't stop this racist and anti-immigrant legacy, its “logic” and mentality will be repeated in current and future policy-making. Let's keep fighting against racism and improve the human condition step by step. Please join the good fight to make this historically significant change happen for now and forever, by signing this petition and sharing it on social media and by email, word of mouth. Power to the people! Fighting on, Americans against racism and anti-Asian anti-immigrant legacy

Swan Lee
56,229 supporters
Victory
Petitioning U.S. Senate, Bernie Sanders, Charles Schumer, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Dick Durbin, Patty Murray, Richard Blumenthal, Maria Cantwell, Ben Cardin, Tom Carper, Robert Casey, Christopher Coons...

We demand that The United States Senate not confirm Jeff Sessions as Attorney General

As the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, the Attorney General of the United States must be independent of politics and respect the dignity of all Americans. The Attorney General has a duty to enforce the rule of law fairly and pursue equal justice under the law. One of the core functions of the Department of Justice is to protect Americans’ civil rights, and to defend those who have been denied them. Another key function of the Department of Justice is to protect our security, but never sacrifice our civil liberties. Not only has Senator Sessions been a staunch opponent of reforming the tragic shortcomings in our criminal justice system, he holds a number of views that are inconsistent with how most Americans believe justice should be applied under our Constitution.

The Righteous Opposition
40,366 supporters
Petitioning Charles Schumer, Tammy Baldwin, Michael Bennet, Richard Blumenthal, Sherrod Brown, Maria Cantwell, Ben Cardin, Tom Carper, Catherine Cortez Masto, Joe Donnelly, Tammy Duckworth, Dick Durbin, DIane ...

Congress: Censure President Trump For His Heinous Remarks About "Shithole" Countries

Please also sign and share our net neutrality petition: https://www.change.org/p/jeff-flake-we-need-one-more-republican-vote-in-the-senate-to-save-net-neutrality And join our group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1721640631484675/     ----------- This petition began in a private, politically active facebook group of 6300 people consisting of Democrats, Independents, Socialists, Libertarians, and concerned Republicans.  On Thursday, Jan 11, the Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump attacked potential immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal. The White House did not deny these allegations. This, a day before the 8th anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti that killed over 100,000 people.  This is a step too far. If this were any other president, a censure would be an expected course of action. We realize that many in congress have become numb to Mr. Trump's rhetoric, but American voters have not. This is the language of fringe talk radio, not the President of the United States. He dishonors the office with these words. He is our chief diplomat around the world, and he represents millions of Americans who emigrated from these nations. He should act like it. It is time for congress to stand up and censure this president for his dishonorable remarks about our friends in Haiti, El Salvador and Africa, who rightfully look to the United States as a beacon of freedom and opportunity.  

Countdown To Beat Trump (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1721640631484675/)
37,751 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Barbara Mikulski

We Demand that the U. S. Senate not confirm Andrew Puzder as Secretary of Labor

Andrew Puzder is among Trump's more controversial Cabinet picks because he has publicly opposed the overtime rule and various other Department of Labor regulations, and because the fast-food industry, from which Puzder hails, is a top wage-theft enforcement target at the department. Puzder is CEO of CKE Restaurants, which includes Carl’s Jr. and Hardee's. It’s actually very hard to imagine a worse choice for Labor Secretary than Andy Puzder. The Labor Secretary’s job is to look out for American workers. Trump's Labor nominee has opposed increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour and efforts to expand eligibility for overtime pay.   It would be kind of funny if it wasn’t so serious. During the election, Trump made a lot of promises to create good jobs. But he’s filling his cabinet with CEOs and right-wing billionaires who have spent their lives undermining working people’s rights to come together in unions, while fighting minimum wage increases, paid sick leave and family leave policies. The evidence clearly demonstrates that protecting the rights of the people who work at Puzder’s company or its franchisees doesn't seem to be his priority. Puzder has run a business model that has produced widespread labor abuses at the companies. According to data compiled by Bloomberg BNA, over the previous seven years, about 60 percent of all Labor Department investigations of Carl's Jr. Restaurants found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. While working people at his fast food chains sometimes were making below minimum wage, Puzder was taking big compensation packages. In 2012, he made 291 times as much as workers at his restaurants. Now, he could be in charge of enforcing our nation’s labor laws—from ensuring workplace safety to investigating wage theft.  His companies had the fourth highest incidents of wage theft reported to the government.  ‘Wage theft is a rampant, everyday problem in the fast-food industry: Nearly nine out of 10 fast-food workers across the country report having money stolen from their paychecks by their boss,’ Kendall Fells, the Fight for $15 national organizing director, told Bloomberg BNA via e-mail. Bloomberg reported. “Fells referred to a 2014 poll commissioned by the campaign of more than 1,000 fast-food workers nationwide. The survey documented such common worker complaints as being forced to perform tasks before clocking in or after clocking out, having the cost of uniforms deducted from their paychecks, and not receiving breaks during long shifts.”  Puzder’s Carl’s Jr. restaurant chain also has a history of sexist television. He thinks it’s appropriate to peddle sex to kids if it sells the product. “We believe in putting hot models in our commercials, because ugly ones don’t sell burgers,” said the CEO in a 2011 press release, according to Fortune. “We target hungry guys, and we get young kids that want to be young hungry guys.” Let’s target Puzder’s nomination instead. Just Say No Puzder at Labor. This petition will be delivered to the full Senate and to the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee of the U.S. Senate

TRO Political Action Network Truth. Resistance. Opposition.
37,586 supporters
Closed
Petitioning Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Aaron Ford, Barbara Bailey, Tina Orwall, Patty Murray, Barbara Boxer, Dick Durbin, Sherrod Brown, Sheldon Whitehouse, Richard Blumenthal, Tammy Baldwin, Chris Murp...

Protect the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

Update: February 13th, 2018 President Trump's proposed 2019 Budget calls for the COMPLETE ELIMINATION of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) If you care at all about PSLF then NOW is the time to take action. President Trump's Proposed 2019 Budget was officially released yesterday and clearly calls for pulling all funding from the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, along with making several other massive cuts to Federal student loan programs. RIGHT NOW is the time to post this Petition on Social Media, in the comments on related news stories, to your Blog or anywhere else that you can think of where people who care about PSLF and student loan debt will find it, because unless we can show the Congress that there's a huge contingent of Americans standing in support of PSLF, it's likely to be cut for good. Don't let President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have their way on the student loan crisis. Don't let the big banks and corrupt for-profit schools continue to rake in trillions of dollars from hard-working Americans. Stand up for this vital program that supports people wanting to better their lives and give back to their community by making this country a better place! We ask that Members of Congress block President Trump's Proposed 2019 Budget until it includes support and continual funding for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. --- In addition to eliminating PSLF, President Trump's Proposed 2019 Budget Seeks to: Reduce available Income-Driven Federal Student Loan Repayment Plans (IDR Plans) from 4 to 1  Increase Monthly Payments for IDR Plans, raising the Discretionary Income Cap from 10% to 12.5% Offer Loan Forgiveness earlier to the general public, offering it at 15 years instead of the current 20 (this is the one good thing he's seeking) Require Graduate Students to make 30 years worth of payments before receiving Loan Forgiveness Eliminate all Federal Subsidized Loans, meaning that all Federal loans will begin accumulating interest even while borrowers are still in school Embolden the Federal Government to go after borrowers who default on their loans NOTE: These changes will ONLY APPLY to loans borrowed AFTER July 1st, 2019, so people already in repayment do not need to worry about these changes, but they are serious and significant cuts to the benefits that future generations will be offered, which is why it's so important that we stand up for them NOW! For specific details on exactly how President Trump's 2019 Budget will impact student loan laws, student loan forgiveness and specifically the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, please visit: https://www.forgetstudentloandebt.com/student-loan-relief-programs/federal-student-loan-relief/federal-forgiveness-programs/president-donald-trumps-student-loan-forgiveness-program/ --- The Department of Education is proposing eliminating the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. The stated purpose of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is to “encourage individuals to enter and continue to work full-time in public service jobs”. To qualify for PSLF forgiveness, people must not only work full-time in a public service position, but also make 10 years’ worth of full, on-time, income-based monthly payments toward their Federal student loans. Who receives PSLF forgiveness? Teachers, Government Employees, Non-Profit 501(c)(3) Employees, Police Officers, Fire Fighters, Park Rangers, Military Personnel, and other qualifying public service workers. 400,000 Americans have chosen to serve their Government and Communities over the past 10 years, and each of these Americans should be able to count on the PSLF benefits promised to them. Betsy DeVos’s Department of Education seeks to end PSLF without having conducted a detailed study to determine how much actual money this dramatic policy reversal and broken promise would even save. The plan to eliminate PSLF is an not only an insult, but also an outrage to everyone who has dedicated the past ten years of their lives working in public service positions. Ending the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is a terrible idea that should be opposed at all costs. We ask that Members of Congress block the Department of Education’s proposal to kill this vital financial assistance program.

Tim Lavelle
28,346 supporters
Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, Bob Goodlatte, Jim Sensenbrenner, Lamar Smith, Steve Chabot, Darrell Issa, Steve King, Jim Jordan, Ted Poe, Louie Gohmert, Tom Marino, Trey Gowdy, Raul L...

Safety of Public and Law Enforcement Threatened by Budget Cuts and Privatization

This week the Bureau of Prisons has started to eliminate roughly 14% (or 6,000) law enforcement positions throughout the Agency. This is catastrophic for the safety and security of our institutions and the community. The proposed cuts are coming at a time of severe understaffing in most of our federal prisons, because the BOP has left thousands of authorized correctional workers’ positions vacant all year. In 2005 the BOP instituted an initiative known as “Mission Critical” in which staffing at the BOP institutions was reduced to the minimal amount necessary to safely operate each facility. Since then we have continued to operate under this “bare bones” approach, which was less staff than what we really needed – the administration did not take into account leave usage, injuries, military service, emergency situations etc. when calculating these numbers. Since then, they have relied upon initiatives such as augmentation at various times (The term augmentation refers to the practice of using teachers, secretaries, nurses, etc. to cover the vacant correctional officer positions as opposed to hiring the law enforcement officers needed). They only left enough personnel in the prisons to cover essential operations, so whenever something happens outside of that, like inmate medical trips or staff using sick leave when they are ill or injured, the Agency is then forced to pay overtime to law enforcement officers to cover it. Their miscalculation in staffing led to massive amounts of overtime due to the sheer amount of disturbances and medical care in the institution, coupled with the injuries and stress borne by the staff. This leaves fewer staff able to respond to emergencies in the prison, and fewer to prevent violence and assaults. It also results in one law enforcement correctional worker supervising hundreds of dangerous felons - terrorists, gangs, and murderers – with no backup. This administration is setting the agency up for failure. As violence and recidivism rises, and our staff struggle to meet ACA accreditation requirements, the line staff will be blamed for these failures, and the administration will point to this as an excuse to contract out our law enforcement role to the private prison industry. The highly trained staff that work for this agency (30% of which are military veterans) have already proven that we provide the essential, inherently governmental function in a much more responsible and cost-effective manner than the private industry. The historical data and evidence backs this up without question. If we allow the administration to sabotage our operations with the dangerous staffing changes and policies, I’m confident that they will use the results against us, and I’m sure the shareholders in the private prison industry will profit from it. The number of staff assaults and inmate assaults continue to rise in the Bureau of Prisons, and it appears the agency is turning a blind eye to the safety of the community that we are sworn to protect from the nation's most violent offenders These poorly implemented tactics have led to the increased escape attempts and assaults within the BOP, for both inmates and our law enforcement personnel. Agency leaders have stated that assaults and escapes are the chances we take in this line of work. Its disheartening to know that they are willing to take chances with the safety of the community as well as the safety of the law enforcement that work behind the fences. We are asking that our elected officials properly fund our prisons, stop the reductions of safe staffing, and support our law enforcement officers. A vote for BOP cutbacks is a vote for unsafe prisons, unsafe communities and a vote against law enforcement.  Call 202-224-3121 or 844-669-5146 and tell our law makers not to cut back on safety  

Ray Coleman
14,328 supporters
Victory
Petitioning U.S. Senate, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Sheldon Whitehouse, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, The Dodo, Cory Booker, Justin Trudeau, Ryan Zinke, United Nations, The Humane Societ...

STOP Trump In Allowing Legal Trophy Hunts Of Elephants And Lions in Zimbabwe!

The Trump administration announced Wednesday that the remains of elephants and lions legally hunted in Zimbabwe and Zambia can now be imported to the United States as trophies, reversing a ban under former president Barack Obama. Zimbabwe is currently in turmoil, with President Robert Mugabe under house arrest as a military coup unfolds. In criticizing the decision, the Humane Society of the United States called the ban on Zimbabwean elephant imports unreasonable because Zimbabwe is “one of the most corrupt countries on Earth.” The organization noted that Mugabe celebrated his birthday last year by dining on an elephant!!  African elephants and lions are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act and it is beyond barbaric to kill these majestic creatures for sport! Stop the ivory trade! Stop trophy hunting! Stop being a horrible person Mr Trump!     

Scarlett Smithe
9,914 supporters