Sheldon Whitehouse

US Senator Jack Reed and Representatives David Cicilline and Jim Langevin are among the Democrats planning to attend a controversial address Tuesday by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a joint session of Congress. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is passing on the address.

“I’m interested in what the prime minister is going to say,” Reed said in a statement released by his office. “I think it’s already been made an unnecessarily complicated political issue, but there is still this need to learn as much as we can about the situation.”

Update: Sen. Jack Reed, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee and Rhode Island’s senior senator, issued this statement via spokesman Chip Unruh on the hiring of Rhode Island union construction workers at the Electric Boat expansion projects at Quonset:

Thanks for stopping by for my weekly read. Lots going on, so we'll get right to it. As always, feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (dot org) and to follow me on the twitters.


R.I. politicians love to talk about job-development plans. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders why they aren’t  doing more to ensure that Rhode Islanders are hired for the Electric Boat expansion in Quonset.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss whether Democrats can be effective in the GOP-controlled Senate; the battle against ISIS; Governor Gina Raimondo's presentation on Rhode Island's economy; and more.

Hear more of our conversation with Senator Whitehouse in Bonus Q & A.

US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse joins Bonus Q+A to discuss partisan politics in Washington; how Rhode Island is being impacted by international trade; the outlook for criminal justice reform; and much more.

Hear more of our conversation with Senator Whitehouse on Political Roundtable.


Rhode Island’s U.S. Senators are offering lukewarm support of President Barack Obama’s request to use military force against Islamic State militants. The President has asked for military action, unbounded by national borders that could last up to three years.

Senator Jack Reed, the ranking Democrat in the Senate Armed Services Committee said President Obama’s plan for military intervention is overdue.  In a statement he calls the plan, a thoughtful proposal, but said Congress must  “refine” the President’s request. 

Whitehouse Office

The U.S. Senate passed a bill approving construction of the Keystone XL pipeline Thursday.  Rhode Island’s junior Senator Sheldon Whitehouse voted against the bill.

A vocal critic from the start, Whitehouse released a sharp statement following the bill’s passage.  He calls the $8 billion dollar project a “disaster” for health and the environment.   The Keystone project would construct a nearly 12-hundred mile pipeline to carry mainly oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast.

Whitehouse says the project would encourage dependence of fossil fuels, which exacerbate climate change.

Whitehouse Office

Climate change is real, not a hoax. That’s according the U.S. Senate, which is now on record about the reality of climate change.  The Senate voted 98 to 1 on an amendment recognizing climate change in the Keystone Pipeline bill.  

U.S. Capitol

President Barack Obama delivered his sixth state of the Union address last night.  His main focus was the middle class, as the nation continues to recover from an economic downturn.  

Happy mid-January, dear readers. Bad news: winter is far from over. Good news: spring training isn't that far, and the political beat remains busy. So thanks for stopping by, freel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse calls a legislative package he unveiled Monday a way to make taxes fairer for middle-class Americans.

Whitehouse says the three bills in his package represent $310 billion dollars over 10 years -- and could help pay for other tax cuts sought by Republicans.

Fox News

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse traded jabs with Republican Strategist Karl Rove this weekend on Fox News.  

They tussled over so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, such as water boarding. Whitehouse says that constitutes as torture and did not aid in the capture of Osama Bin Laden. 

“If you look at the information we had on the courier that took us to Osama Bin Laden, we had four sources on that, and those four sources all provided all the information that the CIA needed to know to track this guy before they were exposed to enhanced information techniques.”

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse says he hopes legislation to boost funding to treat addiction will move forward this week. Whitehouse and colleagues from both sides of the aisle hosted addiction experts on Capitol Hill this morning to learn more about the challenges that remain for addicts even in recovery.

U.S. Capitol

Rhode Island’s congressional delegation is reacting to President Barack Obama’s executive order on immigration.  In a speech Thursday, the President outlined a plan that could protect some 5 million people in the country illegally from deportation.