us senate


Rhode Island’s two U.S. senators, Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, announced today that they will be supporting President Obama’s Iran nuclear agreement.

In a joint statement, Reed and Whitehouse said the agreement is the best way to ensure that Iran does not manufacture nuclear weapons.

Reed said he supports the deal, ``because it cuts off Iran’s pathway to a nuclear weapon and gives international inspectors unprecedented access to Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and supply chains.’’

Ian Donnis / RIPR

US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss whether Democrats can be effective in the GOP-controlled Senate; the battle against ISIS; Governor Gina Raimondo's presentation on Rhode Island's economy; and more.

Hear more of our conversation with Senator Whitehouse in Bonus Q & A.

US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse joins Bonus Q+A to discuss partisan politics in Washington; how Rhode Island is being impacted by international trade; the outlook for criminal justice reform; and much more.

Hear more of our conversation with Senator Whitehouse on Political Roundtable.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse calls a legislative package he unveiled Monday a way to make taxes fairer for middle-class Americans.

Whitehouse says the three bills in his package represent $310 billion dollars over 10 years -- and could help pay for other tax cuts sought by Republicans.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Republican Mark Zaccaria, a former state GOP chairman who ran unsuccessfully against US Representative Jim Langevin in 2008 and 2010, on Monday unveiled his challenge against US Senator Jack Reed.

Although Republicans hope to gain control of the US Senate, Reed's seat is considered among the safest in the chamber.

A bevy of prominent Rhode Island Democrats are hosting a June 12 fundraiser for Michigan Congressman Gary Peters, who is trying to vault into the US Senate seat being vacated by Carl Levin.

Flo Jonic

Senator Jack Reed says he’s pleased a bill he co-sponsored to extend unemployment benefits for 90 days has moved forward in the Senate on a procedural vote. And he’d like to see it continue to move forward without having to negotiate how to pay for it. But Reed says he’s open on that point.

file / RIPR

The federal government is edging closer to a government shutdown. President Barack Obama said he'll veto legislation coming out of the House that delays much of the Affordable Care Act for a year.  Over in the Democratic-run Senate, it has passed legislation preventing the shutdown and leaving Obamacare untouched. Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay sat down with Rhode Island’s senior senator Jack Reed to talk about what could be done to avoid a shutdown.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

With Congress on its August recess, Rhode Island Pubic Radio invited the four members of the Rhode Island delegation in to our studio to talk about major issues facing the state and the nation. We start our series with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.

Courtesy Paul Tencher

West Warwick native Paul Tencher is set to become the campaign director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. The move comes after Tencher managed Democrat Joe Donnelly's winning Senate campaign in Indiana over Republican Richard Mourdock last year.

Tencher is expected to focus on aiding Democratic Senate candidates in states won last year by Mitt Romney.

By email, he says:

The NY Times has a trenchant piece by Adam Liptak today on the outsize clout that small states have in the U.S. Senate. This will come as no surprise to political junkies and constitutional scholar types, but more casual observers of   Congressional politics may be surprised to learn just how much better off small states are in the U.S. Senate, where each state is represented by a pair of senators, regardless of population.

Barring a Republican takeover of the US Senate, Senator Jack Reed is poised to take over the chairmanship in 2015 of the Senate Armed Services Committee. That's due to just-announced plans by the current chair, Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, to not seek re-election next year.

The informal launch of Senator Jack Reed's campaign for his fourth term is set to start  Sunday evening with a packed fundraiser at the Providence Biltmore.

With a wave of departures in the US Senate, Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse are positioned to expand their seniority -- a potent coin of the realm in Congress.

Aaron Blake reports at The Fix on the turnover:

Currently, 24 senators have called it quits between 2010 and today — just three less than the previous high of 27 retirements between 1992 and 1996.

U-S Senator from Rhode Island Jack Reed
Jack Reed

Senator Jack Reed says it’s encouraging to see a bi-partisan plan to address immigration come out of the US Senate. The eight senators rolled out a plan that allows for more guest workers and creates a path to citizenship for the millions of illegal immigrants already here.