Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse

Sean Spicer / Courtesy of White House Press Secretary

President Donald Trump’s executive order would likely bolster the fossil fuel industry with the roll back of regulations. It also undoes Obama-era efforts to slow climate change.

Chuck Hinman / RIPR

At least 250 people turned out for a congressional town hall meeting at Coventry High School Sunday, hosted by three-fourths of Rhode Island’s Democratic congressional delegation- Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and 2nd District Representative Jim Langevin.

Just another quiet week in Rhode Island politics, right? Lots to chew on here, so thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

The White House

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch faced questioning in the Senate Judiciary Committee this Tuesday about whether he supports political contributions by unidentified donors.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr/ Creative Commons License

Rhode Island’s congressional delegation expressed skepticism after President Donald Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress, Tuesday.

RIPR File Photo

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed held a meeting with constituents in Providence, Thursday. Some 100 people gathered to voice concerns over President Trump’s cabinet picks, recent executive orders, and Russian relations. Reed said he would continue to fight the administration, but offered few details of how exactly he might do it.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse was invited by U.S. Sen. John McCain to the Munich Security Conference this weekend. One of the biggest think tanks of its kind, Whitehouse took the conference as an opportunity to discuss climate security and other security concerns.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr/ Creative Commons License

Georgia Rep. Tom Price was confirmed as secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services early Friday morning. After the 52-47 vote, U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse expressed concern for his Rhode Island constituents over Price’s confirmation.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island lawmakers commended the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision to continue to block President Donald Trump’s travel ban Thursday night.

Courtesy: BetsyDeVos.com

U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed both released statements Tuesday expressing frustration  over Betsy DeVos’ confirmation as secretary of education.

“This was a historically unqualified nominee who should have been rejected,” wrote Reed, Rhode Island's senior senator.

All Democratic and two Republican senators voted against DeVos leaving the final tally at 50-50. Vice President Mike Pence had to break the tie, a first in cabinet confirmations.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Rhode Island’s two U.S. senators are opposing Jeff Sessions’ confirmation as attorney general in the Trump administration. With Democrats in the minority, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to send Sessions' confirmation to the full Senate.

Elisabeth Harrison

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said Friday that President Barack Obama was "too slow" to recognize that Americans need to know more about what is being done to stop the Islamic State. 

"I think if you’re the president and you’re getting national security briefings every minute and your military are running a very complex program to try to deal with ISIS, it’s easy to think, okay, we got this," Whitehouse told RIPR.

Aaron Read

Foreign ministers in Paris have a tough week ahead as they tackle the first draft of a global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But local observers are still encouraged by positive signs in the climate negotiations.

RIPR FILE

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has reintroduced carbon tax legislation to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and boost the economy.

If approved, this revised carbon tax bill would start at $45 per ton starting next year, and increase each year by two percent.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Last week, we brought you the story of West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s visit to Rhode Island. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse brought the Democratic senator, a strong coal advocate, to witness how climate change is wearing away the landscape here. Manchin learned from fishermen what challenges they’re facing in a changing ocean. Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza brings you the second part of this story, when Manchin sees the effects climate change is having on land. 

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