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Matthew David Albritton's MyC-SPAN

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    Phone Scams Against the Elderly

    The Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing on the increase in the number of unwanted telephone calls, often pressure-laden scams, targeting the elderly. These types of calls had increased, despite the enactment of laws allowing consumers to opt out of unsolicited telephone marketing calls. Witnesses included a telephone scam victim who displayed a log of telephone calls that she had received, a Federal Trade Commission marketing regulator, a state official, and a computer science and networking expert who said criminals were frequently outsmarting anti-scam technologies. Senator Collins demonstrated how caller identification could be falsified by having a staff member make a call with a “spoofed” identification.

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    Justice Department Oversight

    Witnesses testified at an oversight hearing of the Department of Justice’s recent denial of access to documents wanted by the Inspector General’s office.

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    Chief of Naval Operations Confirmation Hearing

    Navy Admiral John Richardson gave testimony on his nomination to become chief of naval operations. During his testimony he said that there were alternatives to the Iran nuclear deal other than war.

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    Iran Nuclear Agreement

    Secretary John Kerry, Jack Lew, and Ernest Moniz joined Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Martin Dempsey in testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the Iran nuclear agreement and its possible impact on U.S. interests in the Middle East. The agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), would set limits on Iran’s ability to enrich uranium, build centrifuges, and other actions that could lead to a nuclear bomb. The witnesses stressed that even with deal, all military options remained on the table.

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    Marine Corps Commandant Confirmation Hearing

    Lieutenant General Robert Neller gave testimony on his nomination to replace General Joseph Dunford as commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps. General Dunford was nominated to be the new chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Among the topics he addressed were the Marine Corps budget, military sexual assaults, and the Obama administration’s strategy in Syria and Iraq.

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    Army Chief of Staff Confirmation Hearing

    General Mark Milley gave testimony on his nomination to replace outgoing Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno. General Milley told the committee that Russia is the greatest national security threat. He also answered questions on the fight against *ISIS, the Defense budget,and how to respond to sexual assaults in the military.

    * The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), is a militant group that has called itself the Islamic State.

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    Immigration Enforcement

    Family members of murder victims where the accused was in the U.S. illegally testified at a hearing on immigration enforcement. Immigration officials comprised the second group of witnesses. 

    Peter Steinle, whose daughter Kate Steinle was shot and killed on the San Francisco pier earlier in summer 2015, called on Congress to approve legislation to remove undocumented felons from U.S. streets. Police say the gunman had had several previous run-ins with the law and been deported multiple times.

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    Healthcare.Gov Fraud Concerns

    Seto Bagdoyan testified at a hearing on Healthcare.gov security concerns. The Website is the federally maintained portal through which taxpayers purchase health insurance plans via government exchanges created as part of the Affordable Care Act. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) had recently exposed potential fraud concerns about the site by successfully signing up 11 fake identities for health insurance, six of which were automatically offered coverage for a second year. 

    Government Accountability Office reports had exposed potential weak points in the site, in particular relating to preventing fraud.

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    Diabetes Research

    Medical professionals from the National Institutes of Health and the University of Missouri as well as diabetes patients and advocates testified on diabetes research and funding efforts. Committee members and witnesses urged for coverage of new continuous glucose monitoring devices under the Medicare program.

    Delegates from the JDRF (formerly the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) attended the hearing.

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    Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Confirmation Hearing

    General Joseph Dunford testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee on his nomination to be the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Committee members asked General Dunford for his assessment of various defense and national security concerns including Russia, China, North Korea, *ISIS, sequestration, sexual assault and retaliation within the military, cybersecurity, and overall troop morale. 

    * The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), is a militant group that has called itself the Islamic State.