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 Congress Today
House - meets at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, July 31, 2015.
Senate - meets at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 30, 2015.

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    In the Committees - Thursday, July 30, 2015

    House Committees:
    • Agriculture - Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subc. On examining federal and state responses to avian influenza. Dept. and public witnesses. 1300 LHOB. (8:30-Open)
    Senate Committees:
    • Appropriations - Hearings to examine whistleblower claims at the Department of Veterans Affairs. SD-124 (10:30 AM)
    • Armed Services - Hearings to examine the nomination of Admiral John M. Richardson, USN, to be Chief of Naval Operations. SD-G50 (09:30 AM)
    • Energy - Business meeting to continue consideration of an original bill to provide for the modernization of the energy policy of the United States, S.133, to approve and implement the Klamath Basin agreements, to improve natural resource management, support economic development, and sustain agricultural production in the Klamath River Basin in the public interest and the interest of the United States, S.145, to require the Director of the National Park Service to refund to States all State funds that were used to reopen and temporarily operate a unit of the National Park System during the October 2013 shutdown, S.146, to authorize the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture to enter into agreements with States and political subdivisions of States providing for the continued operation, in whole or in part, of public land, units of the National Park System, units of the National Wildlife Refuge System, and units of the National Forest System in the State during any period in which the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture is unable to maintain normal level of operations at the units due to a lapse in appropriations, S.329, to amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate certain segments of the Farmington River and Salmon Brook in the State of Connecticut as components of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, S.403, to revise the authorized route of the North Country National Scenic Trail in northeastern Minnesota and to extend the trail into Vermont to connect with the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, S.521, to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study of President Station in Baltimore, Maryland, S.583, to establish certain wilderness areas in central Idaho and to authorize various land conveyances involving National Forest System land and Bureau of Land Management land in central Idaho, S.593, to require the Secretary of the Interior to submit to Congress a report on the efforts of the Bureau of Reclamation to manage its infrastructure assets, S.610, to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study of P.S. 103 in West Baltimore, Maryland and for other purposes, S.720, to promote energy savings in residential buildings and industry, S.873, to designate the wilderness within the Lake Clark National Park and Preserve in the State of Alaska as the Jay S. Hammond Wilderness Area, S.1103, to reinstate and extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project involving Clark Canyon Dam, S.1104, to extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project involving the Gibson Dam, S.1240, to designate the Cerro del Yuta and Rio San Antonio Wilderness Areas in the State of New Mexico, S.1305, to amend the Colorado River Storage Project Act to authorize the use of the active capacity of the Fontenelle Reservoir, S.1483, to direct the Secretary of the Interior to study the suitability and feasibility of designating the James K. Polk Home in Columbia, Tennessee, as a unit of the National Park System, S.1694, to amend Public Law 103-434 to authorize Phase III of the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project for the purposes of improving water management in the Yakima River basin, and an original bill to provide for reforms of the administration of the Outer Continental Shelf of the United States. SD-366 (10:00 AM)
    • Foreign Relations - Hearings to examine sanctions and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. SD-419 (10:00 AM) Hearings to examine the nominations of Lucy Tamlyn, of New York, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Benin, Jeffrey J. Hawkins, Jr., of California, to be Ambassador to the Central African Republic, David R. Gilmour, of Texas, to be Ambassador to the Togolese Republic, Daniel H. Rubinstein, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Tunisia, and Carolyn Patricia Alsup, of Florida, to be Ambassador to the Republic of The Gambia, all of the Department of State. SD-419 (02:00 PM)
    • Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs - Hearings to examine the impact of the United States tax code on the market for corporate control and jobs. SD-342 (09:30 AM)
    • Intelligence - To receive a closed briefing on certain intelligence matters. SH-219 (02:30 PM)
    • Judiciary - Business meeting to consider S.1814, to withhold certain Federal funding from sanctuary cities, and S.32, to provide the Department of Justice with additional tools to target extraterritorial drug trafficking activity. SD-226 (10:00 AM)
  •  Breaking News
    From washingtonpost.com:
    U.S. economy expands at 2.3 percent in second quarter, picking up speed
    Charles Koch calls on fellow conservative donors 'to raise our efforts to a new level'
    Taliban leader Mohammad Omar is said to have died in 2013
    Mohammad Omar, the cloaked, one-eyed zealot who led the Taliban, died more than two years ago, the Afghan government said Wednesday, confirming rumors of his demise that had intensified in recent months. The place and cause of his death remained a mystery, as did its impact on the resilient movement he had led since the 1990s and on the nascent peace talks to end the country's long war.
    Former Soviet republic pins its hopes on winning Olympic bid this week
    MOSCOW - For one young traveler from Kazakhstan, the low point might have been when American acquaintances bet him that his home country was fictional. Other citizens endure blank looks about their home - or, worse, Borat jokes. Now the vast Central Asian nation is gambling that it can launch itself out of obscurity Friday if it wins the bidding to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.
    Five subtypes of prostate cancer identified, paving way for more personalized treatments
    Rick Perry's radical proposal to put Wall Street in its place
    Do college rankings mean anything? That depends on your perception of No. 1
    Jimmy Fallon names more Obama facial expressions
    Many millennials are about to lose their most-trusted news source: Jon Stewart
    Harassment and hostile work environment are major complaints of congressional employees, report says
    Meet the three GOP women leading the charge to defund Planned Parenthood
    The story behind Marco Rubio's frustrating first job as a politician
    Park Service to Big Water: No federal funding for bottled water bans? We'll find our own money, thanks
    Afghan peace talks postponed amid fallout from Taliban leader's death
    A second round of peace talks between Afghanistan's Taliban and the government in Kabul has been postponed amid "uncertainty" following confirmation of the death of the militant group's leader, a statement said Thursday.
    Omar's death revelation could divide militants, undermine peace talks
    KABUL - By the time Mohammad Omar's death in 2013 was confirmed Wednesday, he had long been the ghost leader of the Taliban. His Afghan acolytes had not seen or heard from him in more than two years, even as they continued to fight and die in the name of the Islamist movement he founded two decades before.
    Pro-Assad militants killed in Israeli strike, Hezbollah-allied TV station says
    BEIRUT - An Israeli airstrike killed at least two pro-government fighters in the volatile border zone in southern Syria on Wednesday, according to a report by a television station affiliated with Lebanon's Hezbollah militia.
    Saudi-led coalition plans ground attacks in Yemen after taking key city
    BEIRUT - After four months of setbacks, fighters backed by Saudi Arabia have seized the offensive in Yemen's war, taking control of a major city and pressing to expand ground operations against rebel forces.
    For Chinese investors, a crisis of faith
    BEIJING - Another day, another stock rout. And the Chinese government can't seem to stop the slip.Chinese stocks sank again Tuesday, with the Shanghai Composite dropping 1.7 percent, on top of Monday's 8.5 percent tumble, and the Shenzhen Composite losing 2.2 percent. The volatility ended three weeks of relative stability after authorities stepped in to shore up the market, and it calls into question their ability to control a stock boom gone bust.
    Despite economic gains, Obama's work in Africa is unfinished
    ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA - In the end, President Obama may have gotten closer to the bones of ancient mankind than to ordinary Africans on what was probably his last trip to Africa as president. But no one can say he did not try.
    WorldViews: Israelis scold Huckabee for saying Iran deal sends them to 'door of the oven'
    The fallout over Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee's controversial remarks on the Iran nuclear deal has now reached Israel.Over the weekend, Huckabee derided the deal announced in Vienna between six world powers and Iran, saying it would "take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven." The comments, which invoked the Holocaust in criticizing the agreement - it restricts Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief - earned swift condemnation from the Anti-Defamation League, comedian Jon Stewart and congressional Democrats, as well as President Obama.
    Egypt's timid press lashes out at harsh measures aimed at media, journalists
    CAIRO - They've cheered for officials at news conferences. They've smeared government critics. Egypt's reporters threw their support behind a 2013 coup, becoming a mouthpiece for the new, military-backed regime.
    People are saving more for retirement - but they're still making one big mistake
    Retirement savers just crossed an important threshold.For the first time, employers and employees contributed more than $10,000 on average to 401(k) accounts over the course of a year, according to a new report from Fidelity Investments. The milestone shows that both workers and their employers are contributing more to the savings vehicles.
    Facebook is spending money to make money. And it's working.
    Facebook reported high revenue and profits Wednesday for its second quarter. Although it beat analyst expectations, it did not exceed them by as much as many investors had hoped.Disappointed investors sent the stock down after the information was reported despite overall solid financial results. The social network reported a net income of $719 million on revenue of $4.04 billion for the latest quarter, a 39 percent increase in revenue from the same period last year. The company reported earnings of 25 cents per share.
    Defense contractors hunker down, then report blistering earnings
    For a while, it looked like 2015 would be a tough year for the defense industry. Military spending had begun to slow and profit margins were shrinking.But in a series of reports recently, the industry showed that things may be turning around faster than expected.
    Buyout business continues to fuel Carlyle's profits as firm turns cautious
    The Carlyle Group on Wednesday reported a second consecutive quarterly decline in one key measure of performance, while its respected investment guru said the company is taking a cautious approach based on roiling world markets.
    The government is headed back to the drawing board over controversial cybersecurity export rules
    The cybersecurity industry and the government have been struggling over proposed export rules that researchers say could end up making the Internet less safe. And now the government says it will try again and give the public another chance to weigh in.
     stateline.org - State and Local Issues

    Latest state and local issue stories and analyses from stateline.org and the Pew Center on the States.

    States move slowly toward digital textbooks
    Despite enthusiasm for digital textbooks at the national level, states have been slow to get on board. But the movement is gaining strength.
    Indiana gov squashes vp speculation
    TODAY'S TAKE: Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is the latest GOP governor who says he's not interested in becoming Mitt Romney's running mate.
    Note to readers: A new Stateline is coming soon
    Stateline and the Pew Center on the States are launching a new website at Pewstates.org
    AZ: Arizona's immigration law gets its day in U.S. Supreme Court
    When Paul Clement walks into the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday he's going to try to convince at least five justices that Arizona has an inherent right to enforce federal immigration laws.
    NC: North Carolina judge vacates death penalty under racial justice law
    In a landmark ruling, a North Carolina judge on Friday vacated the death penalty of a black man convicted of murder, saying prosecutors across the state had engaged in deliberate and systematic racial discrimination when striking black potential jurors in death penalty cases.
    NJ: New Jersey drops out of lawsuit against EPA over ozone
    New Jersey has dropped out of a lawsuit challenging the White House decision to bypass strict ozone standards that the EPA had recommended as necessary to protect human health.
    Search for News by State:  
     Hot Issues In-Depth
    Current Issues Patients' Rights and HMO Reforms
    Examining the Patients' Bill of Rights Debate
    Legislative Proposals President Bush's Position Latest News Media In-Depth Specials Congressional Committees and Other Congressional Resources Interest Groups Other Resources
     Governing.com - State and Local News
    The Way We Tax: A 50-State Report
    The vast majority of state tax systems are inadequate for the task of funding a 21st-century government. Most of those tax systems are also unfair. They break the golden rule of tax equity: collect the lowest possible rates on the widest possible base of taxpayers.
    Governing February Issue
  • Assessments: Alan Ehrenhalt on living with "lifestyle centers"
  • Potomac Chronicle: Donald F. Kettl on the states as beggars
  • Technology: Thomas R. Davies on outside resources for new IT leaders
  • Tax Talk: David Brunori on the principles of sound tax policy
  • Economic Development: William Fulton on how a city's size affects its competitiveness
  • Environment: Tom Arrandale on the risks of weakening longstanding laws

  •  White House Update
    White House schedule information and recent statements and news releases.

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