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mitchmartinson's MyC-SPAN

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    Iraq Violence and Politics

    State and Defense Department officials, a former CIA analyst, and a former U.S. ambassador to Iraq testified about the dominance of the militant group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) in ongoing violence and terrorism in Iraq. Brett McGurk told the committee that the situation in Iraq was extremely serious, and that ISIS was no longer just a terrorist organization but a full-blown army. 

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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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    Internal Revenue Service Political Targeting investigation

    Deputy Attorney General James Cole testified on the Justice Department’s response to allegations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative organizations. He said the investigation had been broadened to include the loss of e-mails from the computer of former IRS official Lois Lerner who headed the division dealing with tax-exempt organizations. Some Republicans expressed doubts about the department’s probe of the matter and called for an investigation by an independent prosecutor.

    There is some noise from the microphones in the committee room.

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    Medicare Oversight, Part 2

    Nancy Griswold from the Office of Medicare Hearing and Appeals testified about the Medicare appeals process and the backlog of appeal claims. She discussed the steps her office had taken to address these problems.

    This was a continuation of her testimony after a recess for votes.

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    Medicare Oversight, Part 1

    Nancy Griswold from the Office of Medicare Hearing and Appeals testified about the Medicare appeals process and the backlog of appeal claims. She discussed the steps her office had taken to address these problems.

    Her testimony continued in part 2 after a recess for votes.

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    Veterans Administration Mental Health Care

    The House Veterans Affairs Committee held a hearing on improving access to mental health care services for former soldiers, and the level of care veterans receive for problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder and brain injury. The witnesses included Veterans Health Administration (VHA) officials, mental health experts, and family members of war veterans who killed themselves after returning from active duty. Jean and Howard Somers told a story about their son, Daniel, being told no beds were available when he attempted to check himself into the VHA for a mental health crisis. Daniel in response sat down on the floor and cried. A VHA staff person told him he could stay and cry as long as he needed before driving himself home.

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    Developments in Russia and Ukraine

    Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland was among a panel of witnesses testifying on U.S. efforts to de-escalate tensions in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The assistant secretary told the committee the U.S. was ready to impose more sanctions against Russia for its actions in Ukraine.

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    Clean Water Act Regulations

    Robert Perciasepe testified on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) oversight authority under the Clean Water Act. He answered questions from committee members on the scope of the EPA’s proposed expansion on a proposed rule that would redefine the definition of waters, affecting the scope of federal jurisdiction. Mr. Perciasepe said the rule was meant to give more clarity to the Clean Air Act.

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    News Review with Representative David Schweikert

    Representative David Schweikert (R-AZ) talked about President Obama’s request for $3.7 billion to address the influx of unaccompanied immigrant children across the U.S.-Mexico border from Central America. Other topics included border security proposals, and congressional review of an Environmental Protection Agency proposal that would redefine and broaden its jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act.

    C-SPAN Radio’s Nancy Calo read news headlines at the conclusion of the program.

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    Technology and Policing, Gun Violence

    New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton was interviewed about the crime rate drop in his city. Then former Representative Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) discussed gun violence and her recovery from a near-fatal gunshot wound at a Tucson supermarket constituent event. She was interviewed with her husband, former NASA pilot Mark Kelly.

    “Leading the NYPD in de Blasio’s New York” and “The Second Amendment in the 21st Century” were presentations of the third Annual New York Ideas forum, held at the New-York Historical Society, co-sponsored by Atlantic magazine and the Aspen Institute.