U.S. Senate

Elisabeth Harrison

Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I. and Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J.  are introducing legislation that would repeal government subsidies that are given to large oil companies via large tax loopholes and tax breaks.


Senator Jack Reed is extending cautious response to a potential nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers. Reed is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

In a statement, Reed says serious challenges remain on the road to a contract preventing Iran from building a nuclear weapon. Reed is supportive of a deal, saying it’s in the best interest of national security.

He encourages negotiators to continue their diplomatic work, imploring them to be as transparent possible. 

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.  

If Bernie Sanders, Vermont’s left-leaning U.S. senator, decides to run for the Democratic presidential nomination, one Rhode Islander who will be on his team is veteran Democratic political consultant Tad Devine.

Devine, who has held top roles in the presidential campaigns of John Kerry, Mike Dukakis and Al Gore, has had Sanders as a client, going back to the 1990s, when Sanders held Vermont’s lone seat in the U.S. House.

It was an improbable tableaux that unfolded in a hotel overlooking Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont, on the afternoon of May 24, 2001: A man so unassuming he was known as `Geesum Jim’, from a state of scant consequence in American politics, changed the course of the most powerful government on earth merely by saying he no longer believed in the Republican Party he grew up in.

That was the day then-U.S. Sen. James M. Jeffords, universally known as ``Jim’’ stood in a hotel ballroom and told the world why he was leaving the Republican Party to caucus with U.S. Senate Democrats.

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed D-R.I., made official this morning what everyone in Rhode Island’s political circuit  assumed: That he is a candidate for reelection to a fourth six-year term in the Senate.

Reed’s announcement came before a crowd of 1,000 of his supporters at the senator’s 25th annual May Breakfast at Rhodes-on-the- Pawtuxet in his home city of Cranston.

Both Rhode Island Democratic U.S. Senators supported Majority Leader Harry Reid’s  decision to change Senate rules to break Republican filibusters of President Obama’s nominees.

Sen. Jack Reed said he doesn’t see the change to get a majority rule threshhold for nominees as a victory for either Democrats or Republicans. Rather, Reed said, ``the goal is to get Congress working more effectively because the country deserves better.’’

Office of U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has given his 50th floor speech on climate change.  Whitehouse has been expounding on climate change on the Senate floor once a week for over a year.  In his 50th speech Wednesday he cautioned climate change deniers about public opinion.

“Those in Congress who would deny science to protect the polluting interests increasingly look ridiculous even to their own side,” said Whitehouse. “It’s not just time to wake up. People are waking up. And inevitably the truth will be fully known.”

Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed has failed again in his attempt to hold down college student loan rates.

The Senate has once again failed to pass Democrat  Reed’s legislation that would keep federal student college loans from doubling in interest. Reed’s bill failed on a procedural motion by a vote of 51 to 49. Sixty votes were needed to end the Republican filibuster.