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mitchmartinson's MyC-SPAN

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    Attorney General Confirmation Hearing, Day 1, Part 2

    Loretta Lynch testified about her nomination for U.S. attorney general and her qualifications for the position. Among the topics she addressed were immigration and the Obama administration’s use of executive orders.

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    Housing Finance

    Federal Housing Finance Director Mel Watt testified before the House Financial Services Committee about housing finance and funding efforts to open up more access to lending for potential home buyers for affordable housing. 

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    Iran Nuclear Negotiations

    Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Undersecretary of State David Cohen testified on negotiations with Iran over its nuclear arms program. Members focused on the status of the talks, the role Congress should play, and whether new sanctions should be imposed on Iran while the negotiations continue.

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    State of the Union Statuary Hall Interviews

    Following President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address, members of Congress were interviewed about their reactions to the speech.

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    Representative Matt Salmon at Conservative Policy Summit

    Representative Matt Salmon (R-AZ) talked about a proposed cyber-security bill he was sponsoring to amend the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and warned against trading freedom away for what he called a “false security.” He was followed by a panel that examined trade issues with China, Taiwan, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal involving the U.S. and eleven other Asia-Pacific nations. 

    “Trade and Security” was part of the “2015 Conservative Policy Summit: Opportunity for All, Favoritism to None” that was held by Heritage Action for America January 12-13, 2015, at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.

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    House Ceremonial Swearing-In

    House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) held a ceremonial swearing-in for members of the 114th Congress. 

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    Senators Leahy and Flake and Representative Van Hollen on U.S.-Cuba Policy Changes

    Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) reacted to President Obama’s announcement of changes to U.S. policy toward Cuba following the release of U.S. contractor Alan Gross. They were on the airplane that picked up the freed Mr. Gross in Cuba. They three talked about that experience and their support for normalizing relations with Cuba.

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    Deep Space Exploration

    Witnesses testified on the nation’s deep space exploration programs and capabilities. William Gerstenmaier provided an update on the Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion programs. Cristina Chaplain outlined NASA short- and long- term financial resource challenges for deep space exploration programs, telling committee members of a $400-900 million funding shortfall for the SLS program.

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    Foreign Relations Legislation Markup

    The Senate Foreign Relations Committee met to mark up a bill that would authorize limited military force against ISIS for three years. It also permits the use of ground forces in certain situations such as protecting U.S. citizens from “imminent danger,” for operations against “high value targets,” or to conduct intelligence operations. The legislation was approved by the committee by a 10-8 vote, with most Democrats voting in favor and Republicans against. 

    The panel also considered the nomination of Tony Blinken as deputy secretary of state.

    * 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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    House Rules Committee Meeting on Federal Spending Bill

    The House Rules Committee met to establish rules for debate on a 12-part spending bill that would fund through the end or fiscal year 2015 all federal government operations except the Department of Homeland Security.