Welcome back to my weekly column. Spring is starting to pop, and there's never a shortage of news hereabouts, so let's get to it. As always, your thoughts and tips are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org.
In the flurry of commentary about the 10-year anniversary of the U.S. intervention in Iraq, the role of one Rhode Island political figure who did the right thing has not received much attention from the Rhode Island media.
That would be then-Republican Sen. Linc Chafee’s lonely vote against President Bush’s rush to war under the most dubious of rationales. Chafee was the only Republican senator who voted against the ill-fated Iraq War that Bush pushed under the false evidence that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.
Senator Jack Reed wants to see Liberian refugees put on the path to US citizenship. State officials will consider reinstating bus service in Tiverton. These stories and more on the RIPR Morning News Podcast.
Rhode Island’s large Liberian community got some good news over the weekend. President Barack Obama announced that he is extending their stay an additional 18 months. But Senator Jack Reed thinks they deserve better.
Barring a Republican takeover of the US Senate, Senator Jack Reed is poised to take over the chairmanship in 2015 of the Senate Armed Services Committee. That's due to just-announced plans by the current chair, Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, to not seek re-election next year.
Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed is supporting a bill that would increase the federal minimum wage over the next three years.
The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25. The so-called “Federal Wage Act” would increase that wage by 95 cents annually until it reaches $10.10 by 2015.
However the buying power of minimum wage has decreased significantly, and the new boost may not be enough in Rhode Island, says Kate Brewster, the executive director of The Economic Progress Institute.
Senator Jack Reed says Chuck Hagel will provide outstanding leadership heading up the Pentagon. Reed says this is a critical moment for the US with national security threats and a continuing presence in Afghanistan.
Help is coming to Rhode Island residents who receive food assistance, or SNAP, benefits and lost food supplies during the recent storm power outages. The U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide up to $2.1 million dollars to assist communities hit hardest by the storm.