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mitchmartinson's MyC-SPAN

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    Iran Sanctions and the Nuclear Agreement

    Juan Zarate and Richard Nephew testified on the structure and implications of sanctions relief to Iran through the nuclear agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Mr. Zarate served in the George W. Bush administration, and Mr. Nephew in 2013 and 2014 was the lead sanctions adviser for the U.S. team negotiating with Iran. They discussed concerns of increased funding of terror groups by Iran, the snapback provisions that would re-impose economic sanctions if Iran violates the deal, and the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in monitoring Iranian compliance.

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    Cabinet Secretaries on Iran Nuclear Agreement

    Secretary of State John Kerry, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz testified at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the Iran nuclear agreement and its enforcement. 

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    Iran Nuclear Agreement

    Secretary of State John Kerry, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about the details of the recently signed nuclear agreement with Iran and its enforcement.

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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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    Monetary Policy and the Economy

    Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen presented her semiannual report on monetary policy to the House Financial Services Committee. She answered several questions on interest rates, in reply to which she reemphasized reemphasized that interest rates were likely to go up later in the year but would not give a timeline. Other topics included information leaks from the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

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    Immigration Enforcement Oversight

    Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson testified at an oversight hearing on immigration enforcement. Committee members examined the issue of jurisdictions, known as “sanctuary cities,” that do not enforce federal immigration laws. Topics included the July 2015 case of Kate Steinle, whom authorities say was shot and killed by an undocumented immigrant in San Francisco, one of those “sanctuary cities.” Secretary Johnson also addressed the use of “prosecutorial discretion” by the department’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office to influence deportation cases, and President Obama’s 2014 executive action offering temporary legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants.

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    Iran Nuclear Agreement

    Witnesses testified at a hearing on the implications of an agreement with Iran over the country’s nuclear program that was announced that day. Former Senator Joe Lieberman and former CIA Director Michael Hayden, both members of an Iran Task Force, were among the four panel members. Questions and testimony were focused on whether the agreement would hinder Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and if it could pass Congress.

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    Middle East Policy and Combating ISIS

    Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair General Martin Dempsey testified on combating ISIS* and U.S. strategy in the Middle East. Secretary Carter told the committee that efforts to train Iraqi forces to fight ISIS had been slowed by a lack of recruits, with only 7,000 of the 24,000 expected by Fall 2015 having been trained thus far.

    Committee Chair Mack Thornberry (R-TX) spoke briefly with reporters at the end of the hearing.

    * 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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    Child Nutrition Assistance

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack testified on rules and regulations for child nutrition programs. The Health, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 was set to expire on September 30, 2015. The committee was considering its reauthorization.