Sheldon Whitehouse

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Mea Culpa: Please see Number 1A (below). We're breaking from TGIF's usual format this week to look at key questions facing Rhode Island at the traditional start to summer. While the season of beaches and barbecues is generally a more relaxed time, a lot of significant outcomes hang in the balance. So thanks for stopping by. Feel free to share your thoughts and tips at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.

RIPR File Photo

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse delivered his 100th climate address this week on the Senate floor. He’s inviting people to join him in a Google Hangout video conference tomorrow to mark the occasion.

    

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse will join the president of the League of Conservation voters to talk about the threats climate change poses to the environment, public health, and economy. They’ll talk about some of the steps the United States is taking—and still needs to take—to combat climate change.

Courtesy of Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse

Later today, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse delivers his 100th address on climate change. In what has become a weekly ritual, the Rhode Island democrat takes to the Senate floor to call for action on climate change. Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza caught up with Whitehouse at the Volvo Ocean Race in Newport to talk about what motivates him and what he’s learned since he delivered his first speech three years ago.

RIPR FILE

Rhode Island’s two U.S. Senators, Democrats Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, were both on the winning side as President Barack Obama’s fellow Democrats derailed one of the president’s top priorities, voting to hold up so-called fast track trade authority unless other provisions designed to protect American jobs are included in the legislation.

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.

RIPR FILE

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.

RIPR FILE

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.

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