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runetic's MyC-SPAN

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    State Department Fiscal Year 2017 Budget

    State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) officials testified at a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee hearing on the United State’s human rights and diplomatic priorities and programs included in the State Department budget proposal for fiscal year 2017. They identified Central America, Haiti, Cuba, and Turkey as some of the places in the most need of assistance.

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    Improving Water Supplies

    A Senate committee hearing examined new approaches to improve water supplies through innovative technologies. Witnesses included the board director of the Orange County, California, Water District and the chief of engineering and construction for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Also speaking was an adviser to the Middle East Desalination Research Center based in Oman who talked about the lessons that could be learned from Israel in addressing water shortages. Topics included technology such as “membrane technology” and “reverse osmosis.” The member present, chair James Inhofe (R-OK) and ranking member Barbara Boxer (D-CA), focused on their respective states.

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    Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Affordability and Safety

    Local leaders and utility officials from around the nation testified at a hearing on the federal government’s role in maintaining and improving water and wastewater infrastructure. They talked about the challenges of modernizing deteriorating water systems, and the financing challenges of unfunded mandates by the federal government. They also talked about the Flint, Michigan, water crisis, the challenges of increasing water resources to rural communities, and the role of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in providing training and technical assistance to help communities comply with federal mandates.

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    Nuclear Security Policy

    Governor Jerry Brown (D-CA) and former Defense Secretary William Perry talked about the threat posed by nuclear weapons, as well as what can be done on the federal and local levels to reduce the likelihood of a nuclear attack. Mr. Perry said the threat of a nuclear catastrophe was greater than it was during the Cold War. He identified nuclear terrorism as a real concern and said the U.S. needed to re-engage with Russia to reduce nuclear threats around the world. Governor Brown called for more public awareness about the threat of nuclear weapons.

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    Senator Boxer on Genetically Modified Foods

    Senator Barbara Boxer spoke about a bill on genetically modified organisms (GMO). She talked about the importance of clearly identifying GMO foods.

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    Senate Judiciary Committee Business Meeting

    The Senate Judiciary Committee held a business meeting on whether to hold a hearing on a Supreme Court justice nomination to replace Justice Antonin Scalia. Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said a nominee would not be considered by the Senate until a new president is elected and sworn in. Democratic members argued that considering presidential nominees part of the Senate’s constitutional duty.

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    Justice Department Oversight Hearing

    Attorney General Loretta Lynch testified at a Justice Department oversight hearing. Much of the hearing focused on the FBI’s demand that Apple help unlock an iPhone used by one of the shooters in the San Bernardino, California, attacks.

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    EPA Regulations and the States

    State government officials testified at a hearing on how Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulatory actions affect states. Some of the witnesses said federal intervention in local environmental enforcement was disruptive to commerce and insensitive to local needs, while others complained that federal regulations didn’t do enough to keep air and water in their states clean.

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    Presidential Candidate John Kasich Campaign Rally in Columbus, Ohio

    Governor John Kasich (R-OH), a 2016 Republican presidential candidate, spoke at a campaign rally in Columbus, Ohio. Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) introduced Governor Kasich. The pair discussed the death of former first lady Nancy Reagan and remarked on her service to the nation. Governor Kasich urged Ohio voters to show Americans that politicians can win by running positive campaigns.

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    Senators Feinstein and Udall on Supreme Court Vacancy

    Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Tom Udall (D-NM) spoke about the Supreme Court vacancy.