Jack Reed

Catherine Welch / RIPR

The U.S. Secretary of the Interior was in Rhode Island Friday touring parts of the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. The visit highlighted a push to make the corridor part of the National Park System.

Rhode Island’s two U.S. senators are weighing in on the IRS scandal.  The agency charged with collecting taxes has been targeting conservative groups for special attention in their applications for tax-exempt status.

Staring down a July 1st deadline, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are looking at ways to control the costs of federal student loans. Senator Jack Reed is behind a measure that would overhaul how student loan interest rates are calculated.

Reed and a handful of democrats in Congress are pushing legislation that offers adjustable rates and caps the maximum interest rates on federal loans. The bill also allows borrowers stuck with high interest rates to refinance.

RIPR

A bill allowing states to charge sales tax for online shopping (passed/failed) in the senate. Rhode Island senator Jack Reed supported the bill, and he sat down with Rhode Island Public Radio’s Scott MacKay to talk about a variety of issues including the impact online sales have on Rhode Island’s economy.

If ever there was a Rhode Island tradition that never wanes, it is `May Breakfast,’ that old fixture where church fellowship meets scrambled eggs, bacon and coffee. It has an old-timey feel, even when it resembles a political ``time’’ as any gathering of pols was once referred as, especially when the eats were accompanied by a campaign dollar or two.

The state Republican chairman says the GOP plans to field a candidate when Senator Jack Reed seeks re-election next year.  A fundraiser on Monday, featuring Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, helped pour even more money into Reed’s campaign war chest.

Reed is considered to have one of the safest seats in the US Senate, and he’s sitting on a war chest of about $2 million. Reed, a Democrat, plans to seek his fourth term next year.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State GOP chairman Mark Smiley says his party "absolutely" intends to run a candidate against US senator Jack Reed next year.

A few politically active Republicans privately say they consider a challenge against Reed -- or the other Democrats in Rhode Island's congressional delegation -- an utter waste of time. Resources would be better used, they say, in trying to build the 11-member GOP presence in the 113-member General Assembly.

Change happens slowly in politics. Except when it doesn’t. Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay explains the forces behind Rhode Island’s reversal on gay marriage.

The Ocean State is poised to become the 10th  state in the nation to recognize same sex marriages and join our five New England neighbors in the vanguard of the movement for equal treatment for gay citizens. 

Chafee: Internet Sales Tax a Matter of Fairness

Apr 23, 2013

Senator Jack Reed and Governor Lincoln Chafee are urging Congress to pass the  Marketplace Fairness Act. The bill would require online merchants to pay state sales taxes. Chafee and Reed say it’s a matter of fairness.

Reed and Chafee stood side by side in a West Warwick furniture store to urge Congress to allow a vote on the Marketplace Fairness Act.  Chafee said the bill – which would require online merchants to pay state sales taxes – would add $70 million a year to the state treasury.

U.S. Senator Jack Reed says he approves of the way federal investigators are handling the interrogation of the Boston bombing suspect, including their decision not to read him his Miranda rights. 

Reed said the Boston Marathon bombing is an extraordinary case which requires special handling by prosecutors.  He supports their decision not to inform the surviving suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, of his right to an attorney and to remain silent.

Senator Jack Reed and Governor Lincoln Chafee are asking Congress to pass legislation that allows state to collect taxes from online purchasing. 

Senator Jack Reed is a co-sponsor of the “Marketplace Fairness Act,” which would open the door for states to collect sales taxes from online retailers.  Right now it’s up to shoppers to pony up when filing their income taxes.

Rhode Island’s only agency focused on helping victims of sexual assault is observing its 40th anniversary. Day One hopes the state’s congressional delegation can secure the federal funding they need to continue.

Senator Jack Reed's Office

Senator Jack Reed is trying to get Rhode Island a seat on the management board that oversees squid and other species caught by Rhode Island fishermen.

Senator Jack Reed says he thinks background checks would be effective in curbing gun violence. The New York Times reports that opposition to background checks is holding back federal gun control legislation.

Reed says he hopes background checks stay in the bill. “You know if we can’t get the background checks through there’s not much we’re doing in response to one of the great tragedies of recent years,” says Reed.

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.

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