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RiceOwlett's MyC-SPAN

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    Weather Forecasting

    Leaders from a number of private weather forecasting and modeling firms testified at a hearing on the future of their industry and its impact on and potential contributions to the public sector.

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    Republican Policy Issues and Agenda, CPAC

    At the conclusion of the first day of the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference, several members of Congress and state representatives addressed the crowd on Republican policy issues and the party’s agenda. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, spoke about the Supreme Court justice nomination process.

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    Weather Satellites

    Officials from the Government Accountability Office and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration testified at a hearing on weather satellite programs and policies for using commercial space data to enhance weather forecasting. Topics included management challenges, transparency issues, and the role of the commercial sector in aiding weather forecasting.

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    Highway and Mass Transit Funding

    House and Senate conferees made opening statements in a meeting to negotiate a long-term highway and mass transit funding bill. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Bill Shuster (R-PA) said the conference committee planed to finalize its report by November 30, 2015.

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    Deep Space Exploration

    Two former NASA associate administrators testified at a hearing on the effects on deep space exploration efforts of the space agency’s budget reduction. Topics included how budgeting issues have hampered NASA’s ability to plan for long-term projects, such as a manned mission to Mars.

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    Life Beyond Earth

    Astronomers and NASA officials testified at a hearing on scientific methods used to search for life beyond Earth. One of the main topics was signs of water found on Mars.

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    EPA Toxic River Spill

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials, a Colorado mayor, and a geochemist and other witnesses testified at hearing on the toxic river spill caused by the EPA and one of its contractors near the closed Gold King Mine in Silverton, Colorado. The rupture released 3 million gallons of waste water from the mine into the Animas River and contained lead, arsenic, and cadmium.

    The witnesses talked about the EPA’s response to and culpability for the spill, and the long-term consequences for farmers, residents, and businesses in affected areas.

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    Power Plants and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    State officials from Texas, Oregon, and Ohio testified at a hearing on the impact of carbon emissions regulations on power plants in states around the country.

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    Tea Party Rally Against the Iran Nuclear Agreement

    Groups including the Tea Party Patriots held a “Stop the Iran Deal Rally” on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol to voice their opposition to the Iran nuclear agreement. Republican presidential candidates Senator Ted Cruz and Donald Trump were the featured speakers. Other congressional members also rallied the crowd against the deal.

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    International Space Station

    A former NASA astronaut and officials from NASA, Boeing, and the Government Accountability Office testified at a hearing on challenges facing the International Space Station (ISS). Much of the hearing focused on the impact on the ISS of the three cargo launch failures over the preceding nine months.

    NASA’s Bill Gerstenmaier said that although basic ISS operations were not affected, some research goals would not be met. He also said U.S.-Russian space relations were strong despite the political tensions between the two countries, and that the two countries are mutually dependent upon each other to advance their respective space programs.