CEI Response to McCarthy-style Tactics by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse


Members of Congress are taking to the floor Monday and Tuesday evening in a McCarthy-style attempt to shut down the democratic process and publicize the names on their climate policy enemies list.

CEI President Kent Lassman responded:

“Apparently, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is the new Senator Joe McCarthy and green is the new blacklist. It is unhealthy for democracy and abusive when members of Congress create an enemies list based on policy positions. All Americans have the right to support causes they believe in without fear of threats from overzealous government officials. Courts decide whether someone has broken the law, not political parties. Members of Congress should know better—it’s shameful to engage in coordinated intimidation campaigns and to use scare tactics that violate the First Amendment rights of speech and assembly for individuals and private organizations.”

Sen. Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Rep. Lieu (D-Calif.) are slated to introduce companion Senate and House resolutions this week that are rooted in political ideology and not facts, disapproving of private companies, organizations, trade associations, and foundations for disagreeing with them on climate policy. Complete with a naming schedule, Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will lead an attack of more than 30 of these organizations, including the Competitive Enterprise Institute, on the Senate floor.

Note: In May 2016, CEI prevailed in a lawsuit concerning public records showing how the "RICO-20" group of academics, using public funding, organized their call for a federal racketeering investigation of "corporations and other entities" who disagreed with them on climate policy. In May 2015, Sen. Whitehouse called for a RICO investigation of “fossil fuel companies and their allies.” The academics “strongly endorse” Sen. Whitehouse’s proposal. Documents provided by two universities suggest the RICO-20 recruited Sen. Whitehouse’s support, not for any legislation, but for his call to prosecute political opponents.