Barack Obama

John Bender / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo now says she will welcome Syrian refugees, if the Obama administration asks her to. The statement came after competing rallies at the Statehouse as public debate over the issue continues.


Rhode Island’s U.S. Senator Jack Reed says he supports President Barack Obama’s decision to keep thousands of troops in Afghanistan. The policy reversal will leave one of the President’s promises unfulfilled.

Providence Diocese

The young mayor of Rhode Island's smallest city, James Diossa, will travel to Washington D.C. this week as Pope Francis arrives in the U.S. Diossa was invited to the country's capital by President Barack Obama and the First Lady. Diossa will be part of the Pope's arrival ceremony Wednesday morning.

Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse have asked President Obama to share details about his plans to designate areas off the New England coast as a marine national monument.


President Obama wants to permanently protect underwater canyons and sea mountains off the coast of Cape Cod and a mountain chain in the Gulf of Maine. He would do so by using a law presidents have historically used to establish national monuments, such as the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park. But his proposal got a mixed reception at a town hall meeting hosted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Tuesday night.

AFGE / flickr

Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders has become the leading challenger to Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay, a former Vermont reporter, spent a few days in the Green Mountain state parsing the Sanders campaign.

UPDATE: Funeral arrangements for Joe Caffey: Calling hours between 4 and 8 p.m. Sunday at Perry-McStay Funeral Home. Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. at Holy Name Church in Providence.

Joseph A. ``Joe’’ Caffey, one of New England’s top minority housing advocates, and a longtime leader in Rhode Island’s African-American community, has died. He was 63.

Caffey was president of Providence-based Omni Development Corporation, which develops affordable housing, at the time of his death. He cared deeply about Providence and was active in many efforts to help those in need.


Rhode Island’s two U.S. Senators, Democrats Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, were both on the winning side as President Barack Obama’s fellow Democrats derailed one of the president’s top priorities, voting to hold up so-called fast track trade authority unless other provisions designed to protect American jobs are included in the legislation.


Office of the Press Secretary

April 23, 2015


South Lawn

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody.  Welcome to the White House.  Please have a seat.  And, well, maybe before you have a seat, give it up for the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots!  (Applause.)  All right, now you can have a seat.


Rhode Island’s U.S. Senators are offering lukewarm support of President Barack Obama’s request to use military force against Islamic State militants. The President has asked for military action, unbounded by national borders that could last up to three years.

Senator Jack Reed, the ranking Democrat in the Senate Armed Services Committee said President Obama’s plan for military intervention is overdue.  In a statement he calls the plan, a thoughtful proposal, but said Congress must  “refine” the President’s request. 


U.S. Senator Jack Reed is calling for additional military assistance to help the Ukrainian government as fighting worsens with Russian-backed separatists. Reed is the ranking Democrat of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Reed and Armed Services Committee Chair Senator John McCain, are asking the Obama administration to commit to aid in the form of defensive weaponry.  That includes things like anti-tank weapons, and rocket locating radar systems. 

U.S. Capitol

President Barack Obama delivered his sixth state of the Union address last night.  His main focus was the middle class, as the nation continues to recover from an economic downturn.  

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse says the new climate change deal between the U.S. and China is good news for Rhode Island.  

The U.S. is committing to reducing carbon emissions 28 percent by 2025.

Whitehouse sais though Rhode Island is not a major carbon polluting state, it’s already feeling the effects of climate change. “Particularly with rising sea levels, Narragansett Bay is 3 to 4 degrees warmer, the winter flounder catch has virtually collapsed,” said Whitehouse.

It's almost all over but the crying. After years of run-up, Rhode Island's 2014 election is at hand. So thanks for stopping by, and feel free to drop me a line (idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org) and to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

During a Friday morning speech at Rhode Island College, President Obama touted economic improvements during his administration and called for enhanced efforts to help women at home and in the workplace. The president didn't mention Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo during his speech, although he did treat her to lunch afterward at the Gregg's restaurant on North Main Street in Providence.

Obama began with some Halloween-related humor and a recognition of Rhode Island's congressional delegation before pointing to a series of economic indicators: