Sheldon Whitehouse

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.

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse says the new climate change deal between the U.S. and China is good news for Rhode Island.  

The U.S. is committing to reducing carbon emissions 28 percent by 2025.

Whitehouse sais though Rhode Island is not a major carbon polluting state, it’s already feeling the effects of climate change. “Particularly with rising sea levels, Narragansett Bay is 3 to 4 degrees warmer, the winter flounder catch has virtually collapsed,” said Whitehouse.

Tony Simon, deputy district director for US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, has signed on to serve as chief of staff for Providence Mayor-elect Jorge Elorza, RIPR has learned.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, along with Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), has introduced legislation that's designed to provide some incentives and resources for states to develop more addiction treatment and prevention programs. It's called the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2014, and here are a few of its provisions, according to a news release from the Senator's office:

RIPR FILE / Courtesy Whitehouse

Rhode Island senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse listened to stories from Rhode Islanders about struggling to pay off student loan debt.

A bill that will start moving in the Senate next week lowers the rate for many borrowers to 3.86 percent. Whitehouse said it faces strong resistance from Republicans in the Senate, but he believes that if any bill can gain traction it’s this one.

The website Politico reports President Barack Obama is scheduled to be in the resort town on August 29th. 

He's expected to be at a fundraising event in Newport for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. 

The site reports that though the president's approval rating remains rather low, he's still a big draw on the fundraising circuit.  As mid-term elections approach, Obama has attended 16 fundraisers this cycle.


Lawmakers are running out of time to shore up money for the Federal Highway Trust Fund. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is helping spearhead efforts.

Reactions are still coming in to today's U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of Hobby Lobby (that decision, that the company is not required to cover contraceptives as part of employees' health insurance, can be read here.). Here are a few so far. Keep in mind, more decisions related to this one are expected.

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung moved a step closer to capturing the Republican Party’s endorsement for governor, winning support from the RI GOP Nominating Committee at a meeting Thursday evening at party headquarters in Warwick.

Fung won 9 of the 14 votes on the committee, which makes recommendations for next week’s Republican State Convention, which will convene June 26th at the Radisson Hotel in Warwick to make the endorsement. Fung also received the nod of the Hopkinton Republican Town Committee, bringing to 18 the number of city and town GOP committees to back the Cranston mayor.

Providence – It was Mr. Inside, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, against Mr. Outside, Barrington businessman Ken Block,  as the two Republican candidates for governor clashed in the first televised debate of a campaign in which neither candidate has been shy about criticizing each other  in the early going.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Island’s modern political history is filled with bitter Democratic primaries for governor. But RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay  says this campaign season it is the Republicans who are bashing each other.

Rhode Island voters have not elected a Democratic governor since 1992, when Bruce Sundlun decisively beat Republican Betty Leonard. There are many factors contributing to this Democratic Statehouse futility.


Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse will hold a Senate Judiciary Committee field hearing in Rhode Island Monday. It’s part of his work on drafting legislation to reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act.

“It’s at this point a listening and learning exercise to hear from the people who work in the field of juvenile justice and determine what changes would be advisable in the law,” said Whitehouse.  

At the behest of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Cale Keable, D-Burrillville, the Rhode Island House has finally voted to ratify the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,  which reqired direct election of U.S. Senators.

Before the amendment took effect in 1913, senators were elected by state legislators. That system was widely criticized for breeding corruption as senate aspirants bribed lawmakers to secure the votes needed to win senate seats.

A bevy of prominent Rhode Island Democrats are hosting a June 12 fundraiser for Michigan Congressman Gary Peters, who is trying to vault into the US Senate seat being vacated by Carl Levin.

Providence is Rhode Island’s most diverse municipality. The capital city is home to just about every segment of  Rhode Island’s rich ethnic, racial and socio-economic  mix.

Thus Providence is a reliable prism through which to view the never-ending debate over the master lever. What the data show is that the some of the proponents of abolishing it have, as  Ricky Riccardo used to say to Lucy on the old Lucille Balll Show, ``some 'splanin to do.’’