Jack Reed


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.

RI's Congressional Delegation Slams Shutdown

Sep 30, 2013

Rhode Island’s congressional delegation is roundly criticizing House Republicans  over the budget impasse. Over the weekend Republican lawmakers agreed to continue funding the government beyond midnight Monday provided there’s a one year delay in the implementation of Obamacare; a proposal that’s dead on arrival in the Senate and the White House.

Congressman David Cicilline calls the House Republican caucus strategy the “height of irresponsibility” and he has harsh words for House Speaker John Boehner.

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.

Reed Warns Against Government Shutdown

Sep 27, 2013

Senator Jack Reed took to the Senate floor Thursday to make an impassioned speech against shutting down the government. That’s a strategy backed by  House Republicans as a way of defunding Obamacare.  Rhode Island’s senior senator called a potential shutdown “unfortunate and inappropriate.”

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 conclude our series  with Congressman Jim Langevin.

We’d like to note this interview was recorded before President Obama asked Congress to authorize a strike against Syria.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

As part of a week-long series of conversations with Rhode Island's congressional delegation. Senator Jack Reed stopped by to discuss Syria and the outlook for stability in the Middle East; Wall Street reform; upcoming spending battles in Washington; and more.