Jack Reed

RIPR FILE

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.

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