Jack Reed

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Rhode Island’s two U.S. Senators, Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse are pushing to increase the national smoking age to 21. The two lawmakers joined other Congressmen introducing the legislation Wednesday.

Rhode Island is getting one-million dollars to help repair the Park Avenue Bridge in Cranston.The bridge was closed for several weeks this summer.

The money will also help pay for the eventual replacement of the century old bridge. The span was shut for several weeks in June after inspectors deemed it structurally deficient.

Some wondered if the closure was politically motivated. The bridge is close to House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello’s law office. The speaker didn’t push to take up a statehouse proposal for infrastructure repair last session.

Kristin Gourlay

On the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon, Rhode Island State Police hosted a morning memorial service for the victims. Governor Gina Raimondo was expected to attend, along with U.S. Senator Jack Reed and other state officials.

Raimondo requested that U.S. and Rhode Island flags fly at half staff until Monday, September 14th.

Gregorio Borgia / AP

Sen. Jack Reed is accepting requests from Rhode Islanders for tickets to Pope Francis address to Congress on Thursday, Sept. 24. Pope Francis will be the first pope to ever address a joint session of the U.S. Congress.

The tickets are outdoors and standing room. Ticketholders will be able to watch the pope’s speech on outdoor Jumbotrons that will be set up. After the address, His Holiness is slated to make an appearance at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol.


Rhode Island’s U.S. Senator Jack Reed is in Ukraine this week, to monitor the continued conflict between that country and Russia. 

Reed says the simmering tensions between Ukraine and Russia remain a top security challenge for the U.S. and Europe. Last year Russia annexed the Crimea region of Ukraine, initiating an international conflict.

Reed has called on the Obama Administration to provide defense to Ukraine. Reed is the Ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Elisabeth Harrison

U.S. Senator Jack Reed is defending his support for President Barack Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran. The Democrat says the deal will stall  nuclear buildup, and solidify the U.S. as  major figure in international diplomacy.

"I think we have a much stronger voice in the international community if we decide we must take action," said Reed. "If we are seen as the ones that walked away from this arrangement, I think the Iranians would complain that they were victimized."

Following the announcement that Rhode Island’s U.S. Senators – Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse – would support the Iran Nuclear Deal, reaction within the state’s Jewish community has been mixed.

Officials with the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island say they’ve talked with Whitehouse and Reed over the last several years about the agreement.

Alliance spokesman Marty Cooper says now that Reed and Whitehouse have announced their support members feel there are still issues that need to be resolved.


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.’’

Elisabeth Harrison

Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I. and Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J.  are introducing legislation that would repeal government subsidies that are given to large oil companies via large tax loopholes and tax breaks.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Island’s two U.S. Senators, Democrats Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, have nominated Rhode Island’s top public defender, Mary McElroy, to the U.S. District Court vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Mary Lisi.

Elisabeth Harrison

U.S. Senator Jack Reed says the focus should be intelligence after a terrorist attack at an American gas company in France. The attack included an explosion that killed one person and injured about a dozen others.

"What you’re seeing are these lone wolf attacks," Reed said. "Very difficult to disrupt because there’s not a lot of hierarchical organization. It’s an individual one or two, who are self-radicalized in many cases."

U.S. Supreme Court

Today’s Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act means tax credits are still available for people who buy health insurance on the federal exchange.

Rhode Island set up its own exchange, HealthSource RI. And because of that, the ruling would not have affected the Ocean State either way. Rhode Islanders who qualify for subsidies to help pay for health insurance will continue to receive them.

President Obama scored a victory for his trade plan today when the U.S. Senate approved a measure that would give the president the authority to negotiate international deals, but he did it without help from Rhode Island two Democratic senators, Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse.

Reed and Whitehouse were on the losing end of a 60 to 37 Senate vote. Both Rhode Islanders cited concerns that trade deals hurt American workers. Thirteen Democrats joined with 47 Republicans to push the trade pact to a final vote, which is likely to occur tomorrow.

Kristin / RIPR

Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) has introduced legislation to make the overdose antidote drug Narcan more widely available nationwide. The legislation would make funding available to community organizations to distribute the drug and provide training.  Reed says it does not address the cost of Narcan, which has more than doubled over the past few years.

If U.S. senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrats both, are searching for a fine candidate for the opening on U.S. District Court in Providence, federal magistrate Patricia Sullivan whould get top consideration.

Sullivan has the legal, academic and community service qualifications necessary for a federal judge. Sources tell Rhode Island Public Radio that she has applied for the post, which is vacant due to the retirement of U.S. District Judge Mary Lisi.