Jack Reed

It isn’t a surprise that Rhode Island’s Republican Party is having a difficult time finding a credible candidate to take on Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Jack Reed.

Reed first won election to the U.S. House in 1990 and moved up to the Senate after the retirement of Sen. Claibone Pell. Reed has never lost an election and in recent campaigns has had easier and easier opponents.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Sen. Jack Reed has begun reviewing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s proposed military budget. Reed is a member of the senate Armed Services Committee, which will play a role in passing legislation to enact the budget. He says he’s looking carefully for ways to balance the need to trim spending while ensuring the nation’s military can meet the new kinds of security threats it may face in the future.

For example, Reed says he hopes to maintain funding for Rhode Island-based military research.

Courtesy: Sen. Jack Reed's Office

Rhode Island’s senators are applauding a 67- 32 vote passing legislation that delays a spike in flood insurance premiums. Sen. Jack Reed said the Senate took a positive, bi-partisan step, while Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse called the measure a necessary step to balance solvency of the federal flood insurance program with rate shock.

Four Rhode Islanders are joining the congressional delegation for tonight’s State of the Union Address.

Rhode Island’s senior Sen. Jack Reed’s guest will be Anne Nolan, president of the non-profit homeless agency Crossroads RI. Sen.

Sheldon Whitehouse is bringing businessman Scott DePasquale, the CEO of Utilidata, a company that moved to Rhode Island from Washington state two years ago.

Over in the House, Congressman Jim Langevin’s guest is Davide Dukcevich of Daniele Foods, a Burrillville company specializing in gourmet Italian meats.


Political pundits love to emphasize that campaigns matter.  Clay Pell better hope that adage rings true if he hopes to be Rhode Island’s next governor, says our resident pundit, RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay.

Herbert Claiborne `Clay’ Pell  IV is the grandson of a legendary Rhode Island U.S. Senator, a Harvard University graduate  and at just 32 years old, possessor of a resume that would be the envy of many a decade or two older.


Political and business leaders are meeting in a couple events Tuesday looking at how to rev up the state’s economy.

The first event is a roundtable centered on the national issues, such as patents, facing the state’s innovation industry, and how this industry can help boost Rhode Island’s struggling economy.

Both Senator Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse will attend the roundtable, along with Congressman David Cicilline.

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.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

U.S. Senator Jack Reed, who has taken a leadership role in the democratic drive to renew long-term unemployment insurance benefits, has made a national call for Republicans to join the effort.

Reed was one of four Senate democrats who held a nationwide media conference call Sunday in an effort to break a congressional logjam over long-term unemployment insurance. The insurance expired last week when lawmakers failed to extend a recession-era law providing nearly a year of benefits after state jobless benefits run out.


Making ends meet is about to get harder for thousands of Rhode Island families who will lose their unemployment benefits Saturday.  Those taking the hit are the long-term unemployed.

Congressional failure to renew the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program will result in the loss of benefits to 1.3 million Americans starting tomorrow. In Rhode Island, six thousand long-term unemployed individuals will lose their weekly checks. In the first six months of 2014 another nine thousand will join their ranks.

The hours are dwindling to Christmas and the annual shopping frenzy is on. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says we should shop local to support the Rhode Island economy and details what Congress can do to help.

The twinkle of  seasonal  lights on new fallen snow are everywhere,  Christmas shopping is in full blush and youngsters are readying for the annual reading of Clement Clarke Moore’s classic `Twas the Night Before Christmas.’

Both Rhode Island Democratic U.S. Senators supported Majority Leader Harry Reid’s  decision to change Senate rules to break Republican filibusters of President Obama’s nominees.

Sen. Jack Reed said he doesn’t see the change to get a majority rule threshhold for nominees as a victory for either Democrats or Republicans. Rather, Reed said, ``the goal is to get Congress working more effectively because the country deserves better.’’

It’s been a half-century  years since the assassination of John F. Kennedy.  RIPR Political analyst Scott MacKay explores why Kennedy loved Rhode Island and why the Ocean State loved JFK.

Our state is America’s smallest yet  it loomed large in the life of John F. Kennedy.

From the time Kennedy was a young man, he and his family were shaped by experiences in Rhode Island.  If any event forged the career of John Kennedy it was his World War II heroics as a patrol torpedo lieutenant in the U.S. Navy.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Scores of workers who helped clean up after Superstorm Sandy were officially thanked Friday.

The Department of Labor and Training said it had $1.5 million in federal aid and hired about 98 workers to help clean up after the storm. They cleared debris from Fort Adams State Park, the East Bay bike path and worked around Misquamicut Beach to get it ready for the Memorial Day opening of the summer season.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

U.S Senator Jack Reed said the deal ending the partial government shutdown in the U.S. is long overdue.

“It should have not been contemplated or undertaken in the first place and now we have to get down to real, serious, principled negotiations.”

He added that he hopes the partial shutdown hasn’t caused lasting harm to relationships formed across the aisle in the senate.

Most of the civilian defense workers who were furloughed last week in Rhode Island because of the partial government shutdown are back to work. 

U.S. Senator Jack Reed says the 300 workers furloughed by the Rhode Island National Guard have been brought back.  The same goes for the 800 civilian defense workers who were furloughed at Naval Station Newport. Naval Station spokeswoman Lisa Rama said workers are glad to be back, even though they’re still not getting paid.