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runetic's MyC-SPAN

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    U.S. Policy in Iraq

    Witnesses testified at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on U.S. policy options for Iraq’s long-term security.

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    Carbon Pollution Standards for Power Plants

    Administrator Gina McCarthy testified n the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed carbon pollution standards for existing power plants.

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    Cruise Passenger Safety

    The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee met to discuss the Cruise Passenger Protection Act. The hearing examined the safety and security regulations of the cruising industry and provisions in the act so that those traveling aboard cruise vessels would be protected from crime and could get proper medical care while traveling on the high seas. Witnesses included representatives from the International Cruise Victims Association and passengers who were the victims of sexual assault while on a cruise.

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    Unaccompanied Immigrant Children

    Witnesses testified on the influx of unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S.-Mexico border from Central America. State and Justice Department official spoke about the economic hardships and violence driving children out of their countries. Several Republicans on the committee blamed President Obama’s policies for the problem, including his 2012 move to halt the deportation of some young illegal immigrants. Democrats and the panelists cited the lack of a cohesive immigration policy, and the violence and economic hardships in Central American countries.

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    General Motors Ignition Switch Recall

    Dispute resolution attorney Kenneth Feinberg and executives from General Motors (GM) and one of its suppliers testified on the automaker’s delayed ignition switch recall and its corporate culture. GM CEO Mary Barra defended Michael Millikin, the company’s general counsel, as Senator Claire McCaskill called for his departure.

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    Senator Feinstein on Malaysia Airlines Crash

    Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) spoke to reporters following a closed-door briefing on the Malaysian airliner shot down that day in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border.

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    Emergency Funding for Unaccompanied Immigrant Children

    Witnesses testified on President Obama’s request for emergency funds to deal with the flood of migrant children from Central America at the U.S. border. The respective secretaries of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services, Jeh Johnson and Syvlia Burwell, defended the request, acknowledging that while the amount was very large, the funds were needed to address the current problem as well as to stem it in the future. Secretary Johnson said returning more people back quickly would a send strong message of deterrence, and that the supplemental would help in expediting cases.

    After the hearing gaveled out, Chair Mikulski spoke briefly with reporters.

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    E-Cigarette Marketing

    Industry representatives and anti-tobacco advocates testified on e-cigarette marketing practices designed to appeal to children. In addition, the hearing also focused on the health effects of exposure to e-cigarettes.

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    Climate Change Issues

    Four former Republican Environmental Protection Agency administrators were among the witnesses at a hearing on efforts to address global climate change. The former administrators, invited by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), supported efforts to address climate change. The final three witnesses, invited by Republican members of the committee, opposed efforts to address climate change. Christine Todd Whitman stated she was tired of the talk over the EPA’s authority to regulate, saying the Supreme Court had settled the issue.

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    Fiscal Year 2015 Defense Appropriations

    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs Chair General Martin Dempsey testified about the fiscal year 2015 defense budget request. They answered questions about the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan, troop readiness, medical care for service members and veterans, and the effects of potential sequestrations.