Jack Reed

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
RIPR FILE

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.

Welcome back to my weekly column. The news doldrums of summer are getting left behind (see item 1), So hang on to your hat, it's going to be quite a ride, Rhode Island. Your tips and thoughts are always welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me throughout the week on Twitter. Let's head in.

Rhode Island’s two US senators say the across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester are having a negative effect across the Ocean State.  Reports, the impact of those cuts was the focus of a forum in Providence Wednesday.

Rhode Island Housing, which recently lost 30 employees partly due to federal spending cuts, was the site of the forum hosted by Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Senator Jack Reed says the United States needs to send Syria a clear message that the use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated. Reed’s comments came one day after Secretary of State John Kerry said there was – quote – “undeniable” proof that the Syrian government used chemical weapons on its own citizens last week, killing hundreds of civilians. 

RIPR FILE

Senator Jack Reed is in Woonsocket Tuesday, bringing a gift from the federal government.

Senator Jack Reed has secured $1.5 million for the Woonsocket Head Start program.  The money won’t be enough to make up for sequestration cuts, according to Reed’s office.

Woonsocket will still lose 30 Head Start slots this fall. Statewide, some 370 slots will be lost.

Nationwide, sequestration has forced Head Start to eliminate and reduce services for more than 57-thousand children for the coming school year, according to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department.

Vice President Joe Biden has canceled plans to headline a Newport fundraiser Thursday for the Democratic National Committee and to appear during a Salve Regina University event honoring Nuala Pell, the widow of the late senator Claiborne Pell.

Welcome back to my Friday column. As always you can reach me at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Let's get started.

The debate over Obamacare rages from Providence to Pasadena. As the state moves closer to launching its health insurance exchange, RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses the arguments and traces the law’s Rhode Island roots.

Ask Rhode Island Republican State Chairman Mark Smiley what he thinks of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare and you’ll get a blunt answer:  He says, ``I hate it.’’

Smiley’s position is simple and wedded to his party’s national stance: Repeal the entire law and start over. ``Socialism,’’ he says, ``doesn’t work.’’

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The Rhode Island International Film Festival is underway.  One movie highlights the loan program named for the late Senator Claiborne Pell.

A documentary about Pell Grants will receive its world premiere in Providence as part of the week-long film festival.

The movie follows the battle Senator Claiborne Pell fought in Congress to pass the grant program in the seventies.

It was written and directed by Steven Feinberg, who’s also the executive director of the Rhode Island Film and Television Office.

RIPR FILE

Senator Jack Reed said he’s confident that Rhode Island will receive federal money meant to boost the state’s manufacturing sector.

Reed and the three other members of the congressional delegation took part Monday in a manufacturing forum at URI’s Providence campus. About 100 people attended the discussion.

Reed said the outlook is good for Rhode Island to get a preliminary grant of up to 200-thousand dollars to foster a strategy for adding manufacturing jobs.

Rhode Island’s congressional delegation helped launch Monday an effort to encourage participation in the federal healthcare overhaul known as Obamacare.  Nine community health centers around the state will play a role in the campaign.

file / RIPR

Once again, Rhode Island has embarked on an advertising campaign to raise our state’s flagging self-esteem. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s time for us to stop running down our tiny corner of New England.

Back in 1996, when Jack Reed was running his first U.S. Senate campaign, Texas Gov. Ann Richards came to Newport to speak at a Reed fund-raiser. The tart-tongued Texan introduced the vertically-challenged Rhode Island Democrat by saying to prolonged laughter that Reed is proof ``that size doesn’t matter.’’

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