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Robert MontgomeryBurns's MyC-SPAN

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    Puerto Rican Debt Relief Bill Markup Hearing

    The House Natural Resources Committee marked up a bill on dealing with Puerto Rico’s debt. They passed an agreement that would restructure the island’s $70 billion debt and establish an oversight board to supervise Puerto Rico’s economy.

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    Synthetic Drug Use

    Witnesses, including a Washington, D.C., police officer and the parent of a man who died after using synthetic marijuana, testified at a hearing on the dangers posed by synthetic drugs. Louis Milione told committee members the Drug Enforcement Agency views the synthetic drug threat as second only to the opioid epidemic and that the DEA cannot keep up with the drug traffickers.

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    Gay and Transgender Rights

    Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) talked about the Obama administration’s move to prevent the implementation of “bathroom laws” similar to the one signed in North Carolina, as well as efforts to elect more LGBT individuals to Congress.

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    Youth Sports Concussions

    Parents of student athletes who sustained head injuries, medical experts, researchers, and sports officials testified at a hearing about concussions in youth sports. Dr. Thomas Talavage said that changes can be seen in the brain of athletes who take a large number of hits each week. He said recovery requires athletes to avoid contact sports for a period of time. Terry O’Neil told committee members that Pop Warner youth football eliminating the kickoffs for younger player is a sign that the players are not physically able to play the game as designed and that he believes tackle football should not be played until ninth grade and only after proper training.

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    Veterans' Mental Health Care and Suicide Prevention

    Veterans Health Administration officials and advocates testified at a hearing on mental health care in the VA system and suicide prevention efforts. They discussed programs to assist veterans and their family members, and the barriers that existed to receiving treatment. Topics included VA mental health staffing and high-risk groups. They also discussed the state of implementing a law passed the previous year aimed at reducing suicide among veterans.

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    House Democrats on LGBT Rights

    House Democratic leadership and others held a press conference calling on the House Judiciary Committee to hold hearings on legislation that would prohibit anti-LGBT discrimination. The Equality Act, sponsored by Representative Cicilline (D-RI), would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity by updating the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Representative Maloney (D-NY) spoke about the discrimination he had faced as a gay member of Congress.

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    Fiscal Year 2017 Defense Authorization Markup, Part 1

    The House Armed Services Committee reviewed subcommittee reports and debated amendments to the Defense Authorization Act of 2017. During this portion of the markup, committee members debated amendments involving the F-35 program, Defense Department energy policy, the housing of unaccompanied immigrant children at military installations, military base realignment and closures and littoral combat ship reductions. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) chaired this committee with Representative Adam Smith (D-WA) serving as the ranking member.

    Part 2 of this program may be found here:

    Part 3 of this program may be found here (final portion):