Thursday, December 26, 2013

Charlestown Democrats are the first municipal committee to endorse Kilmartin for re-election

Charlestown Democrats endorse AG Peter Kilmartin for a second term

The Charlestown Democratic Town Committee (CDTC), by a unanimous vote, endorsed Attorney General Peter Kilmartin in his quest for the state Democratic nomination in his bid for a second term in office. Charlestown is the first local Democratic committee in the state to endorse Mr. Kilmartin for re-election.

Mr. Kilmartin told the committee that he is determined to leave the Attorney General’s office better off than he found it and pointed to his work during his first term. In addition to a long list of successful prosecutions as the state’s principal criminal prosecutor, Mr. Kilmartin has improved the office’s efforts on consumer protection, dom
estic violence and open government.

Attorney General Kilmartin grew up in a working class Pawtucket neighborhood and went into the Pawtucket Police force as a patrolman. Over 24 years, he worked his way up the ranks to become a police captain. He also went to law school and earned a law degree.  

He ran for Attorney General in 2010 after serving ten terms in the RI House of Representatives.

Rep. Donna Walsh (D-District 36) pointed out that among his many achievements, one in particular was of special interest to Charlestown. After the tragic May 2010 death of Colin Foote of Charlestown, struck down by a frequent and chronic dangerous driver, then Rep. Kilmartin was essential in helping Rep. Walsh win enactment of the Colin Foote Law. That law makes it less likely that persons like the one who killed Colin Foote will be allowed to stay on the road.

CDTC Chair Catherine O’Reilly Collette said “Attorney General Kilmartin has demonstrated his dedication to the people of Rhode Island in his first term. He has earned our trust and admiration so we are pleased to be the first municipal Democratic committee to endorse him.”

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas from the Charlestown Democratic Town Committee

Charlestown Democrats exceed goal in Christmas gift drive for children in DCYF care

For the second year, the Charlestown Democratic Town Committee (CDTC) has teamed up with Operating Engineers Local 57 to collect Christmas gifts for South County children who would otherwise get nothing for Christmas.

The children are under the supervision of the RI Department of Children, Youth and Families, range in age from infants to young people about to “age out” of the program when they reach age 18.

At the urging of his wife Bev, CDTC Vice-Chair Tim Quillen got his union involved and then the CDTC. Bev Quillen is a high school teacher and advisor to her school’s community service club. They aimed to reach those children who were not served by other holiday programs, such as young girls under DCYF care who had babies of their own.

Armed with lists with the first names of the children, their ages and their Christmas wish lists, CDTC members proceeded to collect or buy what the children needed. In most instances, the children’s wish lists focused on necessities such as clothes and toiletries; toys were, in many cases, more like an afterthought.

Tim Quillen reports that town Democrats and Local 57 members, aided by town employees, friends and neighbors, not only fulfilled completely filled the wishes of every assigned child, but had enough extra to provide even give many more DCYF children an unexpected Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 20, 2013

More Than One Million Americans Set to Lose Benefits on December 28

Langevin and Cicilline Urge Extension of Federal Unemployment Insurance

Washington, DC – Congressmen Jim Langevin (D-RI) and David Cicilline (D-RI) today urged an immediate extension of federal unemployment benefits. Without action, 1.3 million Americans will soon lose these benefits, including 4,900 unemployed Rhode Islanders. An additional 8,900 Rhode Islanders would lose their benefits in the first six months of 2014.

“In a state with an unemployment rate at 9 percent, this benefit cut is unacceptable,” said Langevin. “Our state is starting to show the signs of economic recovery, but that process has been a slow one, and cutting unemployment insurance would be a step in the wrong direction. I urge Speaker Boehner and my colleagues in Congress to bring this issue to a vote so we can extend this relief on which so many families rely.”

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Langevin disappointed that new budget deal neglects long-term unemployed

WASHINGTON, DC- Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) issued the following statement today in response to House passage of H.J.Res. 59, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013:
“This budget compromise represents a small, but important, step towards returning to a regular budget process.  Our nation has suffered for far too long as the Republican leadership governs by crisis. I’m pleased we were able to roll back some of the most harmful cuts imposed by sequestration and temporarily avert a scheduled cut in Medicare physician reimbursements.“

“However, I am deeply disturbed that House Republican Leaders refused to allow a vote to extend unemployment insurance for 1.3 million Americans, including 4,900 Rhode Islanders, who will be cut off from federal emergency unemployment compensation in the middle of the holidays.  

"Unemployment insurance provides vital assistance to those struggling to find jobs during a difficult economic recovery.  That is why I joined 173 of my colleagues in calling on Speaker Boehner to prevent Congress from leaving for the year without addressing this critical issue.  

"Democrats put forward a three-month, fully paid-for, extension of unemployment insurance, and it is unconscionable that Republicans did not allow a simple vote to include it in the budget with so many families facing financial uncertainty.” 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Langevin, Cicilline Call for Stronger Background Checks

Improved Record Sharing Would Fill Critical Information Gaps in National “Do Not Sell” Database

WASHINGTON, DC - Rhode Island Congressmen Jim Langevin (D-RI) and David Cicilline (D-RI), who both serve on the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, described a Federal Bureau of Investigation report, released by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, as a call to action. The report illustrated Rhode Island’s failure to submit health records of individuals barred from purchasing handguns to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Rhode Island ranked among the lowest-performing states in the country, submitting fewer than 100 mental health records since the inception of the database under the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act twenty years ago.

The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 requires an individual to pass a background check through the NICS database before purchasing a firearm from a federally licensed dealer, a process that typically takes 90 seconds. Data released last month by the FBI, reflecting record submissions as of May 2013, shows that the NICS remains incomplete, with hundreds of thousands of state and federal records missing. According to the report, the omission of mental health records in the NICS has created dangerous information deficiencies.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Please help provide children in state care with holiday gifts

Last year's Santa's workshop in Tim's basement. CDTC members Suzanne
Ferrio and Regina DeAngelo help Tim sort gifts into gift bags 
Charlestown residents Tim and Bev Quillen have a dream that someday all children have happy homes with loving parents. That they’ll sit before the fireplace on Christmas morning opening presents and drinking cocoa. 

Those of you who know Tim will also know that he had a similar dream about happy dogs romping and playing in a dog park in Charlestown and he helped to make that one come true… but that’s another story.

Unfortunately, the wish for a merry Christmas for all kids is more difficult to achieve. But Tim and Bev started working on this 11 years ago when Bev was a high school teacher and her students formed a service club. She reached out to the state Department of Children, Youth, and Families who places children into group homes or foster care when they are abused, neglected, or unwanted.

Over the years they have organized an effort which has provided thousands of toys, dolls, craft supplies, warm coats, and other clothing to children in South County from infants to age 18 who would otherwise have  little or nothing on Christmas morning. 

The children make a list of requests such as Carmen, age 5 ½ , loves pink, needs a winter coat and clothes, size 7/8, or Jessie, age two months, who needs clothes, musical toys and stuffed animals.

There are 20 children on the list, but Tim and his Santa’s helpers hope to meet their needs and then take on some more names. 

The need is endless. There are also 17 and 18 year olds, some of them single mothers, who, out of necessity. must set themselves up in their first apartment. They need the most basic household things. Gift cards for food from Stop & Shop or Shaw’s are more important than ever because of cutbacks in the food stamp program.

This is the CDTC's second year of partnering with Operators Local 57
to bring some Christmas joy to kids who otherwise would have nothing
These annual efforts are a joint program of Tim’s union, the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 57, the Charlestown Democratic Town Committee, and a diverse group of friends and neighbors in South County.

If you’d like to help put a smile on the face of a child this Christmas please call Cathy Collette at 315-0535, or Tim Quillen at 626-2209 by December 14th. They can let you know what specific things are needed (everything must remain unwrapped and will be put in gift bags for each child), and arrange for pick up.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What would President Truman say about this Congress?

A group of extreme Republicans in Congress have opposed the President's legislative agenda at every turn. That's no secret.

But the 113th Congress' obstruction is reaching new levels.
Right now, our lawmakers are in a position to take action on multiple national measures that would help our economy and millions of Americans. That's not an exaggeration: They could vote tomorrow. And they should.

Consider this for a second. If our current Congress simply scheduled a vote on pressing national issues, we could:

Fix our broken immigration system. This past June, the Senate passed a bill to ensure everyone plays by the same rules and we grow our economy. Multiple reports confirm that there are enough votes in the House to get it done. And still: No vote.

End workplace discrimination for millions of LGBT Americans once and for all. This isn't difficult: Nobody should be discriminated against because of who they are or who they love. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act would make it illegal to fire someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, and it passed the Senate earlier this year. Once again, no vote in the House.

Confirm a leader of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The housing market is coming back, but we can do more to help responsible homeowners. Congressman Mel Watt, the President's nominee, was endorsed by Senators on both sides of the aisle. And yet, at a critical time for the housing industry, when we’re working to implement the rules that will prevent another "too big to fail," Senate Republicans used the filibuster to block his nomination.

Confirm three well-qualified judges to fill long-standing vacancies on the federal D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Cornelia Pillard, Robert Wilkins and Patricia Millett were all selected by the President as nominees for this critical court. Once again, one by one, Senate Republicans blocked each nomination.

And that's just to name a few.

In the 1940s, President Harry Truman notoriously dubbed the 80th Congress the "Do-Nothing Congress." And yet, even they managed to enact 906 laws, including the Marshall Plan, and the piece of legislation that created the Department of Defense and the National Security Council. It’s time for the current Congress to match up a little more favorably.

Remember: They can still allow these incredibly important measures to come to a vote.

It’s time for this obstruction to come to an end, and for Republicans in Congress to start doing their jobs:

David Simas
Deputy Senior Advisor
The White House

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Something Big!

For the first time in nearly two decades, we're importing less foreign oil than we're producing domestically, and we're using less overall. That's a really big deal. Get the facts below, and pass them on.

Wake up to climate change

OceansPACIt's time to wake up.

Today, I am heading to the floor of the U.S. Senate for the 50th consecutive week we are in session to urge my colleagues and Americans across the country to wake up to climate change. Climate change is a serious problem -- perhaps the greatest threat facing our country today.

Congress is simply not doing enough to address the problem. While I will continue to speak out, we need to continue to grow our ranks in Congress to have any chance of giving this issue the attention and action it demands.

OCEANS PAC helped elect climate champion Ed Markey, and his presence has made a huge difference in the Senate. We must continue electing new members who will join me in my fight against climate change, and protecting allies like Senators Al Franken and Jeff Merkley.

OCEANS PAC is dedicated to supporting candidates who support oceans and environmental issues. Will you join me in this effort?

Science makes one thing clear: Climate change is real.

If we fail to act, there is a real prospect of being disgraced as a country and as a Congress. If Congress doesn't have the political will to take action, future generations will look at our failure with shame.

But I remain optimistic. It is why I will continue coming to the Senate floor, urging my colleagues to wake up. Furthermore, we are making some progress in the fight against climate change, more than people realize.

With your help, I know we can successfully urge Congress to take action on climate change. Here's how: There must be political and electoral consequences for not taking climate change seriously.

That is why I started OCEANS PAC -- to invest money and energy in environmental champions who will help me address one of the pressing issues of our time, and fight against climate change deniers who don't hesitate to put millions of dollars behind their lies.

Thanks for all you do,

Sheldon Whitehouse
U.S. Senator

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

It's not right

It’s 2013, yet 29 states have no law that protects a gay, lesbian, or bisexual person from being fired -- simply for whom they love!

This is shameful. That’s why I’m standing with Senators Tammy Baldwin, Barbara Boxer, Dick Durbin, Kirstin Gillibrand, Jeff Merkley, and others -- to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), and finally provide critical workplace protections for all Americans, no matter who they love.

But we need you to help demonstrate a groundswell of public support for the bill as ENDA heads to the Senate floor this week. Will you stand with us, and urge Congress to pass this commonsense legislation, once and for all?

Allowing anyone to discriminate against qualified individuals based on characteristics unrelated to the job violates the core American values of fairness and equality.

More than 17 years ago, ENDA failed to pass in the Senate by a single vote. We can’t let that happen again.

Right now, we’ve got the support of all 53 Democratic Senators to protect the rights of every worker by standing behind ENDA. We can pass ENDA in the Senate this year -- but we need to make sure our voices are heard. Will you join us in urging Congress to protect all workers’ basic rights?


Sheldon Whitehouse
U.S. Senator

Petition: Expand Social Security

Social Security is a favorite punching bag in Washington -- anywhere you look, someone is trying to privatize the program or otherwise cut it.

There are plenty of ways to improve the Social Security that nearly 2 million people in Ohio rely on -- like lifting the income cap, or calculating benefits in a way that better accounts for the expenses seniors face. And neither of those involves cutting benefits.

That's why today I'm announcing that I'm teaming up with Tom Harkin and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) to grow a progressive grassroots movement devoted to expanding Social Security -- and I want you to join us.

Support the expansion of Social Security? Say so. Sign the petition today.

There's been talk of tying Social Security benefits to a "Chained CPI." But really, that's a fancy Washington way of saying "let's cut into people's benefits over time."

We need to expand Social Security, not cut benefits.

Our seniors have paid into Social Security all of their lives. And they deserve to see the benefits they've been guaranteed.
This isn't negotiable. Generations of Americans have had Social Security to secure their retirement. It's a promise we make -- and I refuse to see it end with us.

Join the grassroots movement to expand Social Security. Add your name right now.

Thank you for your support.

-- Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

Friday, November 1, 2013


Washington, D.C. - Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) issued the following statement in response to benefit cuts in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The cuts, which affect more than 47 million Americans, go into effect today due to the expiration of a temporary benefit increase under the 2009 Recovery Act. A family of three will receive $29 less per month, while a family of four will receive $26 less.

“Why is it that every time we discuss cutting costs in government, it is our most vulnerable citizens who pay the price?” asked Langevin, who is co-sponsoring a bill to extend the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s 13.6 percent temporary increase for one additional year. “SNAP amounts to only 2 percent of the federal budget, and yet it continues to be targeted for additional cuts, buts that will be devastating to millions of families. I was proud to join my colleagues who participated in the SNAP Challenge, helping us to understand what it is like to live on $4.50 per day. I assure you, it isn’t easy. And now, by allowing these benefits to expire, we are asking individuals to sacrifice more, living on an average of just $4.20 per day.

“Eighty percent of the households receiving SNAP benefits have monthly income below the poverty line, and these reductions will serve to push them further into poverty. We are forcing parents to go hungry so that their children have enough to eat. We are forcing families to choose between paying the rent and buying groceries. Those are choices that no American should have to make.”

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

President Obama speaks in Massachusetts, which has the model for the ACA

Moments ago, President Obama finished speaking at Faneuil Hall here in Boston. And while it's home to Big Papi and my beloved Red Sox, it's also home to the birthplace of health reform in America.

The state's progressive vision of universal coverage and the conservative idea of market competition are what formed the blueprint for Obamacare: that everyone should have access to quality, affordable health care, and no one should ever go broke just because they get sick.

And we're seeing the benefits of reform extended nationally: According to a new report this week, nearly half of single, uninsured Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 can get coverage for $50 or less, often lower than the cost of their cable bill. That comes on top of the new benefits -- including free preventive services like mammograms, and a prohibition against denying coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Now has experienced its share of bumps in the road, to all of our frustration, but every day people are signing up and getting insurance. President Obama has said many times that he's open to making the health care law work better. If folks could leave the politics aside for a bit -- if Republicans spent as much energy trying to make the law work as they do attacking it -- we could be much further than we are today.

Last week we sat down and spoke with folks who have applied through the Marketplace, and their stories remind me why we fought so hard to pass this law in the first place.

If you want an example of the difference this law will make in someone's life, you don't have to look any further than Janice -- a new registrant from Selbyville, Delaware. She was the first woman to enroll in the Delaware exchange, and she says her new policy will save her $150 a month for more coverage benefits than ever before.

Or David -- a self-employed IT consultant and Air Force veteran living in Washington, D.C. David picked his plan the morning D.C.'s online health insurance marketplace opened. His previous plan was $600 a month. His new one? $250 cheaper.

That's who we're fighting for here. And while it can get lost in the fray of the 24-hour news cycle, I hope you'll keep folks like Janice and David in mind in the weeks and months ahead. It's just too important to lose sight of the big picture.

David Simas
Deputy Senior Advisor
The White Hous

Bill to Delay Flood Insurance Rate Increases Cosponsored by our Rep. Jim Langevin

Legislation would delay hikes for four years and call for two-year affordability study
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) joined as an original cosponsor of the “Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act,” a bill introduced today that would delay increases in federal flood insurance rates for four years. This legislation calls for a two-year affordability study, followed by an additional two-year delay to implementation of new rates mandated in the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act. This delay applies to primary residences, including those sold after July 6, 2012.

“Homeowners in Rhode Island coastal communities are already seeing significant increases in their flood insurance rates, rates that, for some, are unsustainable,” said Langevin. “These families have already been through enough, seeing their homes damaged and memories destroyed by the rising floodwaters in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. I understand that reforms are needed in the federal flood insurance program, but those changes should not come at the cost of someone losing their home.”

The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act requires the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to set regulations addressing affordability within 18 months after the completion of the study. The bill eliminates the 50 percent cap on state and local contributions to levee construction or reconstruction; allows FEMA to utilize National Flood Insurance Funds to reimburse policyholders who appeal a map determination; protects the basement exemption that allows the lowest proofed opening in a home to be used for determining rates; and requires FEMA to certify that it has fully adopted a modernized risk-based approach to analyzing flood risk. The bill also establishes a Flood Insurance Rate Map Advocate within FEMA to answer policyholder questions.

“As Rhode Islanders know all too well, so-called ‘100-year storms’ are becoming more frequent, providing a stark reminder that climate change is a reality we have to adjust to,” Langevin continued. “But as we work on mitigation efforts and improving our coastal defenses to superstorms like Sandy, we must protect our homeowners. Thousands of individuals and families are insured under the National Flood Insurance Program, and we cannot price them out of their homes.”

Friday, October 25, 2013

CDTC continues to meet and consider potential nominees for state office

Nellie Gorbea and Guillaume deRamel ask for the Committee’s endorsement in their campaigns for Secretary of State
Ms. Gorbea (right), by the luck of the draw, spoke first

On October 21, the Charlestown Democratic Town Committee continued to meet with candidates vying to run as Democrats for state office. 

The CDTC completed its meetings with candidates for Secretary of State by meeting with Nellie Gorbea and Guillaume deRamel, the two remaining declared Democratic candidates after Ed Pacheco’s withdrawal from the race.

Mr. deRamel spoke second
Even though the election is more than a year away, there are many other potential candidates, such as Providence Mayor Angel Tavares, General Treasurer Gina Raimondo, and Clay Pell, grandson of the late Senator Claiborne Pell, who are likely to declare their candidacies for various offices before the end of the year.

It’s almost certain that there will be Democratic contenders in the Party’s primary for every statewide office, except perhaps for Attorney General Peter Kilmartin’s seat. 

Lieutenant Governor Liz Roberts and Secretary of State Ralph Mollis are term-limited. Governor Lincoln Chafee has announced he will not run for re-election. General Treasurer Gina Raimondo is expected to run for Governor.

This means a rare occurrence in 2014 when the election guarantees a nearly complete turn-over in the composition of the state’s Executive branch of government.

The Secretary of State’s position presents the CDTC with the challenge of evaluating two outstanding people seeking its endorsement. Either would be an excellent Secretary of State based on their past experience and clear thinking about the role of the office.

CDTC chair Cathy Collette told them that the committee will discuss which candidate should get their endorsement now that they’ve met with both Democratic candidates. The CDTC will probably make a decision on this race before the end of December, well ahead of the official campaign season.

Over the coming months, the CDTC plans to meet with Democrats who have declared their candidacy for the other state general officers’ positions. The CDTC meets every third Monday of the month and its meetings are open to all registered Democrats in Charlestown.

Remember this government healthcare scandal?

We don't either.

And the opposition reaction to this Republican initiative was distinctly different than what we are seeing with the Affordable Care Act today. 

Read the entire article here at the Daily Kos.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

More than just a website

On October 1st, even as the federal government was shutting down, -- the new Health Insurance Marketplace where people can find and apply for affordable health insurance plans as part of Obamacare -- opened for business nationwide.

As you may have heard, the website launch hasn’t gone nearly as smoothly as it should have. And with nearly 20 million visits to the site in the first several weeks, the problems were aggravated by the website's popularity.

But even in spite of those problems, thousands of Americans are currently signing up and saving money. Nearly half a million Americans have already applied for health insurance through the federal and state Marketplaces. It's not hard to see why: Once people get through the door, they overwhelmingly like the benefits and cost of the products available to them -- especially when compared with the discriminatory private market that was previously the only game in town.

Some of the best and brightest are now doing everything they can to fix the site as quickly as possible. People are working overtime, 24/7, and we've brought in some of the best IT experts from across the country to join the team at the federal agency responsible for running the Marketplace. And as President Obama said today, "Nobody's madder than me about the fact that the website isn't working as well as it should, which means it's going to get fixed."

It's also important to remember that the website is not the only way to enroll. You can dial the call center at 1-800-318-2596 and apply directly over the phone. Typically, it takes about 25 minutes for an individual or about 45 for a family. You can also find local "navigators" who can help you enroll in person at

Learn more about what we're doing to make the site better and enrollment easier.

The President is the first to admit that the website's problems are unacceptable. But Obamacare is more than just a website. Most Americans already have health insurance through their employer, Medicare, or Medicaid, and they don't need to go to the Marketplace for new coverage. Instead, the health care law provides new benefits and increased protection: Young people can stay on their parents' insurance plans until they are 26, seniors are receiving more affordable prescription medicine, and preventive care like mammograms are free.

So while there are major improvements to make on the new website, millions of Americans are already benefiting from the health care law. And we're making sure that those who don't have access to affordable health insurance today can sign up -- online, on the phone, and even in person.

Here are some of the things we've done in the meantime to make the process easier. Take a look, and pass this message along to those you know who are trying to sign up for health care:
  • You can now preview plans and prices available in your area without filling out the online application.
  • You can find out, with an improved calculator, whether your income and household size may qualify you for lower costs on your monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs.
  • You can apply for coverage 4 ways: by phone, online, by mail with a paper application, or with the help of an in-person assister.
Thanks, and stay tuned for more updates.

Sign Up for Updates from the White House 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Too close for comfort

If there is one thing that we've learned in these past weeks, it's that the Tea Party will go to great lengths -- including putting the American economy in danger and holding our government hostage -- to destroy Obamacare. To them it doesn't matter that the American public overwhelmingly endorsed these important health care reforms when we re-elected President Obama in 2012; they just want to continue to obstruct the progress that has been made.

Let me make something clear: This cannot happen again. As I have in the past, I will continue to stand strong in the face of anyone who believes that the best way to pass legislation is by driving our country to the economic brink -- to govern by directly threatening the livelihoods and well-being of countless Americans.

Though a full-blown crisis was narrowly averted, we've still got a lot of work to do.

We may have avoided breaching the debt ceiling, but the Tea Party gamble cost us 24 billion dollars in lost American economic activity. They hurt hundreds of thousands of Americans -- including thousands of federal employees and veterans in Rhode Island. Now we need to fix the damage and work towards creating jobs and improving the economy.

This has been an especially trying time for all of us, but I want you to know that I will always work to protect Rhode Island families, and I will continue to stand up to the most extreme factions in Congress who are trying to derail our country.

Thank you for joining with me in this fight, and for your continued support.

Sheldon Whitehouse
U. S. Senator

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A message from Senator Jack Reed

My office is once again open and ready to assist Rhode Islanders. 

The American people are rightly upset that their government was shuttered for two weeks and our nation's credit was put at risk due to a committed minority in Congress. I share this concern and am determined to see that it doesn't happen again.

This Wednesday, I was among the 81 U.S. Senators who voted for a common sense agreement to open the government and prevent a default crisis.

The fact that 81 Senators came together proves bipartisanship is possible.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Langevin Embarks on “It’s All In Our Backyard” Tour

Rhode Island Foundation and partner businesses showcase state’s strengths
WARWICK, RI – Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) will visit on Monday with innovative partners in the “Rhode Island: It’s All In Our Backyard” campaign. Launched recently by the Rhode Island Foundation, the statewide public education campaign has tapped into advertisements, social media and video interviews to celebrate the Ocean State and highlight its people, organizations, businesses and industries. The tour was rescheduled from September.

“It has been a challenging few years in Rhode Island, but we must not lose sight of all the wonderful and unique things that make our state great,” Langevin said. “I love Rhode Island, and I applaud the Rhode Island Foundation for highlighting the business and personal success stories that remind us how lucky we are to live in the Ocean State.”

Langevin Applauds Deal to End Shutdown and Avoid Default

Looks Forward to Negotiations on a Long-Term Budget Solution

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) voted tonight in support of an agreement that brings to an end the 16-day government shutdown and avoids a default that would have had catastrophic impacts on the United States economy. The deal funds the federal government through January 15, 2014, and extends the nation’s borrowing power, known as the debt ceiling, through February 7, 2014. In addition, Congress must convene a budget conference and report back a plan by December 13, 2013.

“I am glad and relieved that we have finally been able to reach an agreement to reopen the government and avert a historic credit default,” Langevin said. “But the American people have paid a steep price for the brinksmanship that precipitated and prolonged the government shutdown and brought us to the edge of fiscal disaster. Small businesses have been unable to apply for loans, hundreds of thousands of federal employees have been furloughed, and access to government sites, services and benefits has been unavailable to the millions of Americans that need them. This compromise is the first step in righting those wrongs.”

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Langevin Presses for End to Government Shutdown

Seeks Resolution That Avoids Default on Government Debt
Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) met with President Barack Obama and the House Democratic Caucus Wednesday afternoon to discuss a resolution to the government shutdown and the upcoming debt ceiling deadline. The House will meet over the weekend as Democrats continue to push for a clean continuing resolution to fund the government and a clean increase in the debt limit to prevent the United States from defaulting on its debts.

"These are challenging times, but I believe that we can find a solution without further jeopardizing our economy or the full faith and credit of the United States," Langevin said. "The President is committed to reaching an agreement, and I feel strongly that there is bipartisan support for a simple and straightforward bill to reopen the government if Speaker Boehner would allow an up or down vote in the House. The piecemeal funding measures we have seen over the past week are transparent attempts to mitigate the political fallout over the shutdown, but they have only stood to prolong this manufactured crisis that has very real consequences on our economy and on the American people."

Democrats have made repeated attempts to bring up for consideration a continuing resolution that is not tied to the Affordable Care Act, but House Republican leadership continues to thwart these efforts. A continuing resolution would reopen the government, putting hundreds of thousands of federal employees back to work, resuming critical loans to small businesses and ensuring that Americans can access government services and benefits without delay or interruption.

"I have heard, over and over, a Republican battle cry that we are not willing to negotiate. That is patently false. We have compromised. Now, it's the Republicans' turn," Langevin said, referencing the Senate-passed continuing resolution that represents $217 billion less in discretionary spending than President Obama's original budget proposal. "Enough is enough. The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, and it is time that Republicans stop using it as a bargaining chip. The budget and health care reform are separate issues, and right now we must focus on passing a bill that will get the government back to work.”

“Just as importantly, we must address the impending debt limit, as a failure to quickly do so will wreak untold havoc on not only America’s economy, but the world’s as well,” Langevin continued. “Once those urgent issues are addressed, my Democratic colleagues and I would welcome taking the next step of sitting down and negotiating a host of other issues, including our long-term budget priorities, tax reform and potential improvements to our health care system.”

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Jon Stewart to John Boehner

“Don’t Fart and Point at the Dog”

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

On this day...

"Holding the government and our economy hostage to advance a partisan policy dispute is not how democracy works."

Langevin Statement on Republican Government Shutdown 
Rep. Langevin with state Senator Cathie Rumsey (l) and Rep.
Donna Walsh (r)
Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) issued the following statement in response to House proceedings resulting in a partial shutdown of the federal government:

"The writing has long been on the wall that the extreme ideological agenda of House Republicans to delay or defund health reform is a dead end. The fight over the Affordable Care Act was settled, both in the Supreme Court and in the 2012 election, and yet this futile discussion continues all the way to a government shutdown.

“Starting today, millions of Americans who rely on government services will go without, or will see crucial benefits delayed, including assistance through the WIC program, veterans benefits and housing loans for low- to moderate-income families. Hundreds of thousands of federal employees will be furloughed, and others will report to work knowing that no paychecks will be issued during this shutdown. Nationwide, medical research will be suspended and environmental enforcement will come to a screeching halt. Popular sites in Washington, DC, and National Parks across the country will close, inconveniencing visitors and causing a major loss of tourism revenue. Small business owners will not be able to access new SBA loans, and employers won’t be able to use the E-Verify system to screen prospective employees.

"Democrats offered a realistic, Senate-passed alternative that represented a true compromise on spending levels while providing an opportunity to keep government running and negotiate a long-term solution. Unfortunately, Republicans refused to accept anything short of a shutdown. Holding the government and our economy hostage to advance a partisan policy dispute is not how democracy works. This is a manufactured crisis and it was completely avoidable. Republicans need to come to the table with a reasonable alternative or it is the American people that will pay the price."