Jack Reed

Rhode Island Community Food Bank will begin delivering boxes of food to low-income seniors. That’s thanks to the expansion of a federal program for seniors in need, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program.

Boxes of canned fruit and vegetables, cereal, pasta and other items will be delivered to low income elderly Rhode Islanders starting this summer. Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) helped secure federal funding to bring the US Department of Agriculture nutrition program for poor seniors to Rhode Island and six other states.

RIPR FILE

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.

The chairman of the nation endowment for the humanities visits Rhode Island today. Chairman William Adams will be announcing more than one-hundred thousand dollars in grants for the state. The grants are going to 14 different community organization around the state, including, Water Fire, RiverzEdge a youth arts program in Woonsocket and the Little Compton Historical Society.

Elizabeth Francis is the director of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities.

One of the highlights of the spring political calendar is Sen. Jack Reed’s Spring Breakfast . Held every year at Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet in Reed’s hometown of Cranston, this family-friendly  event is back for its 26th straight year. Reed's breakfast usually draws a throng of 1,000 or more.

This year’s edition is scheduled for April 19 from 10 a.m. until noon, according to the R.I. Democratic Party’s web site. Individual tickets are $25 and can be purchased by calling 401-277-2014. Reservations can be made at Julie@JackReed2014.com

RIPR FILE

Senator Jack Reed is extending cautious response to a potential nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers. Reed is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

In a statement, Reed says serious challenges remain on the road to a contract preventing Iran from building a nuclear weapon. Reed is supportive of a deal, saying it’s in the best interest of national security.

He encourages negotiators to continue their diplomatic work, imploring them to be as transparent possible. 

RIPR FILE

Elected officials and local dignitaries will be on hand to celebrate Women’s History Month at Slater Mill in Pawtucket Monday.

The event will also address economic issues for women. Gendered wage gaps remain persistent in the Ocean State.  That’s according to data from the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island, the advocacy non-profit sponsoring the event.

Featured guest, U.S. Senator Jack Reed, says that makes Slater Mill especially appropriate, due to female mill workers’ early fights for equity.

US Senator Jack Reed and Representatives David Cicilline and Jim Langevin are among the Democrats planning to attend a controversial address Tuesday by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a joint session of Congress. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is passing on the address.

“I’m interested in what the prime minister is going to say,” Reed said in a statement released by his office. “I think it’s already been made an unnecessarily complicated political issue, but there is still this need to learn as much as we can about the situation.”

Update: Sen. Jack Reed, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee and Rhode Island’s senior senator, issued this statement via spokesman Chip Unruh on the hiring of Rhode Island union construction workers at the Electric Boat expansion projects at Quonset:

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R.I. politicians love to talk about job-development plans. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders why they aren’t  doing more to ensure that Rhode Islanders are hired for the Electric Boat expansion in Quonset.

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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. 

RIPR FILE

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. Sen. Jack Reed says nearly $2.5 million in federal funding will go toward helping the state’s neediest resident keep the heat on.  That will bring Rhode Island’s total to $27.1 million in federal funding this year. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, known as LIHEAP, helps some 35,000 Rhode Islanders. Many poor residents also get help on their heating bill through the Henry Shelton Act, which places a surcharge on gas and electricity bills. That money goes into a fund to help low-income customers pay their bills.

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.  

RIPR FILE

There was a sad note at the Rhode Island State House this afternoon as the 2015 General Assembly opened  the legislative session: Conspicuously missing from the press tables at the head of the chambers was veteran Statehouse political reporter and columnist Jim Baron, who died yesterday. He was 57.

Parts of the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor are moving closer to becoming part of the national park system. Initiatives attached to a defense bill put the Old Slater Mill in Pawtucket and two mill towns under the national park system.

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