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Stamped Out

In the internet age, philately has lost its once-worldly charms.

From: NYT - Veterans

Veterans Agency Seeks to Scrap Ethics Law on For-Profit Colleges

The department says the conflict-of-interest statute, passed after scandals in for-profit education, is outdated, but others call it a safeguard.

From: NYT - Veterans

Heres How Much of Your Taxes Have Gone To Wars

Previously unreported Pentagon data shows how much the average U.S. taxpayer has paid for combat operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Syria.

From: Government Executive

Could North Korea Shoot Down U.S. Warplanes?

Some of Pyongyang's surface-to-air missiles are old, but its newer ones could threaten American aircraft.

From: Government Executive

Once Trapped in Korea, Puerto Rican Vets Now Face Battle at Home

Puerto Rican veterans who survived the horrors of Korea wonder when their commander-in-chief will address their islands humanitarian crisis.

From: NYT - Veterans

The Marines Finally Have Their First Female Infantry Officer

The lieutenant, who wants to keep her identity private, will lead a 40-person platoon.

From: Government Executive

Here Are the Options for Dealing With North Korea

As tensions between North Korea and the United States continue to intensify, two experts discuss the remaining options.

From: Government Executive

U.S. Was Ill-Prepared to Help Train Afghan Security Forces, IG Finds

One U.S. officer watched TV shows like Cops and NCIS for lesson plans, watchdog says.

From: Government Executive

Cyber Defense Is Very Much About Political Decisions

When European defense ministers played a tabletop cyber defense exercise, things got hard very quickly.

From: Government Executive

Analysis: Giving the Deep State More Leeway to Kill With Drones

President Trump is poised to compound the most grave moral failing of his predecessor by making targeted killings less safe, less legal, and less rare.

From: Government Executive

Air Force: Were Low on Bombs Because Congress Cant Pass a Budget

Its hard to persuade arms makers to boost production, even to fight ISIS, without cash on the barrelhead.

From: Government Executive

Trump Threatens to 'Totally Destroy North Korea'

The president also hinted at the UN General Assembly that the U.S. might quit the Iran nuclear agreement.

From: Government Executive

Vietnam War: Who Was Right About What Went Wrong and Why it Matters in Afghanistan

Was Vietnam 'a quagmire' or a 'stalemate machine'? Understanding this 50-year-old debate can shed light on why the U.S. is currently locked into a 'forever war.'

From: Government Executive

In Mexico, Mattis Plays Down Political Rhetoric, Seeks to Build Trust

Defense Secretary Mattis touts "a growing relationship built on trust and respect" between the U.S. and Mexican militaries.

From: Government Executive

Harvard Rescinded Chelsea Mannings Fellowship after CIA Chief Mike Pompeo Cancelled a Visit

He says he objected to the former soldier as a convicted felon and that his criticism had nothing to do with her being a transgender woman.

From: Government Executive

At U.S. Nuclear Weapons Base, Mattis Signals Support for Triad

But the Defense chief stopped short of endorsing all types of new nuclear weapons in development.

From: Government Executive

Veterans Report More Credit Issues Than Other Consumers, Study Finds

Yet veterans have good savings habits. They may employ mental accounting, a researcher said, leading them to see saving as separate from bill paying.

From: NYT - Veterans

The Forgotten Victims of Agent Orange

The United States has acknowledged the horrifying effects of Agent Orange on its military veterans. Why wont it do the same for Vietnamese citizens?

From: NYT - Veterans

Analysts Are Quitting the State Departments Anti-Propaganda Team

The Global Engagement Center is struggling to keep up with its missions: countering ISIS recruitment and Russian disinformation.

From: Government Executive

Swarmed With Mosquitoes After Harvey, Texas Calls in the Air Force

The Air Force is spraying a controversial insecticide across 6 million acres to kill mosquitoes brought in by Hurricane Harvey.

From: Government Executive

White House Objects to Parts of Defense Bill that Curb Presidents Power

Trump wants Senate to reconsider presidential pay authority and rejection of another baseclosing round.

From: Government Executive

Medical Marijuana for Vets

The group Marijuana Majority writes that V.A. doctors should be allowed to recommend the drug to veterans who need it.

From: NYT - Veterans

Afghanistan is Now Officially James Mattis War

Donald Trump's speech on "principled realism" in Afghanistan contained few surprises. Now, under the aegis of DOD chief Mattis it is the latest stage in Americas "forever war."

From: Government Executive

Get Ready for a Short-Term CR, Congressional Leaders Tell Pentagon

Top House Republicans on defense say its not ideal underfunding has contributed to a rash of recent accidents but dont expect a full-year appropriation until December.

From: Government Executive

Old Soldiers Homes, Left to Just Fade Away

The veterans agency has 430 vacant buildings, including 200 that are more than 90 years old. Now it is trying to get rid of many of them.

From: NYT - Veterans

Make Pot Legal for Veterans With Traumatic Brain Injury

An explosion in Afghanistan left me with daily migraines. The best solution is illegal: marijuana.

From: NYT - Veterans

Analysis: How Mattis May Get Himself in Trouble With Trump

The secretary of defense could run afoul of his boss if his review of the policy on transgender troops follows the facts to their conclusion.

From: Government Executive

Border Security Technology

Homeland Security officials with the Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection agencies testified at a hearing on the various technologies they were using to secure the nation's borders. During the hearing, Customs and Border Protection's Field Operations Executive Assistant Commissioner Todd Owens said the smuggling of the dangerous drug fentanyl into the U.S. via the courier system from China was an issue that needs to be addressed immediately. Mr. Owens added that the CBP had conducted testing on the drug that comes from both China and across the U.S. southern border and the Chinese drug is much more potent.

From: C-SPAN

Military Caregivers

The Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing on military caregivers. Witnesses including former Senator Elizabeth Dole who talked about the work of her foundation that advocates for those who care for wounded veterans, along with actor and director Ryan Phillippe, an ambassador for the foundation's initiative called Hidden Heroes. They were joined by women and the husbands they care for who shared their stories of the struggles they face.

From: C-SPAN

Art Trade Theft and Fraud

Federal customs and financial crimes officials were among the witnesses at a House Financial Services subcommittee hearing on efforts to combat the illicit art and antiquities trade. They outlined the ways terrorist groups like ISIS have used antiquities and arts sales to fund their operations, and the ways federal enforcement agencies and their foreign counterparts were trying to disrupt the black market of such transactions. The hearing was ended after final votes in the House were called for the week.

From: C-SPAN

The Trump Administration's Evolving Rhetoric on North Korea

From fire and fury to all options are on the table

From: Government Executive

The North Korean Threat Beyond ICBMs

Even without them, the Kim regime can menace its immediate neighborhoodor sell nuclear material to rogue states.

From: Government Executive

Ordered to Ban Transgender Troops, Pentagon Plans A New Look at Three Factors

The courts will take their own look, thanks to a trio of lawsuits filed in the wake of Trumps Friday-night memo.

From: Government Executive

A 'Sonic Weapon' That Caused Diplomats in Cuba to Lose Their Hearing Also Caused Brain Injury

Some diplomats were also under heave surveillance during their tours of duty, and some had their homes broken into and their vehicles vandalized.

From: Government Executive

How James Mattis Tried to Explain Trump to the World

Just as Mattis sought to reassure nervous allies, back home there were numerous reminders that the populist and intemperate impulses of his boss will not be tamed.

From: Government Executive

Identity Protection and Social Security Numbers

Witnesses testified at a joint hearing on preventing identity theft by reducing the federal government's use of Social Security numbers.

From: C-SPAN

Rural Communities and Agriculture

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue testified at a House Agriculture Committee hearing on the role of farming on rural economies throughout the U.S. Topics included an outbreak of bacteria on Florida's orange crop, a federal regulatory dispute affecting breeders of the Tennessee Walking Horse, and potential budget cuts. There were audio difficulties for a small portion of this hearing.

From: C-SPAN

Are Restrictions Keeping Us From Winning in Afghanistan?

An Army intelligence expert and retired special forces warrior lay out what red tape the President should cut in Afghanistan.

From: Government Executive

Wildlfire Reduction

Wildfire experts and government officials testified at a hearing on how wildfires can be reduced through the use of technology. Topics included budget cuts, climate change, better community cooperation, and the lack of urgency in treating overgrown forests. The safety of firefighters was also addressed and committee members acknowledged the recent deaths of two firefighters in Montana.

From: C-SPAN

Tax Reform

A House Ways and Means subcommittee heard from a panel on their recommendations for simplifying the tax code. Witnesses included Bill Archer, a former U.S. representative (R-TX) who once chaired the House Ways and Means Committee and was a key player in the 1986 Tax Reform Act. He was joined by analysts who talked about proposals concerning retirement income and plans for updating the nation's electronic filing system. The subcommittee hearing was led by its chair, Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL).

From: C-SPAN

EPA Superfund Program

A subcommittee of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Superfund program, which was created to fund the cleanup of hazardous waste sites. The witness panel, which comprised an environmental attorney, a consultant ,and the regional operations director of Virginia's Dept. of Environmental Quality, gave their recommendations on ways to expedite the cleanup of these waste sites.

From: C-SPAN

Fiscal Year 2018 NASA Budget

Acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot testified at a hearing on his agency's fiscal year 2018 budget. Members questioned him about cuts to programs in areas such as education, earth science and satellite servicing technology. Mr. Lightfoot also discussed NASA's future missions, including a new telescope to study the origins of the universe, a Mars Rover mission, and deep space human exploration.

From: C-SPAN

Insurance Fraud

John Doak, the Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner, was among the witnesses testifying at a hearing on efforts to eliminate insurance fraud by consumers, insurers, and scammers. Subcommittee members questioned panelists on recent instances of fraud, and on what local and state regulators were doing to address them

From: C-SPAN

The Real American Heritage

Within a generations time, nearly all of the 16 million veterans who served in World War II will be gone.

From: NYT - Veterans

Water Infrastructure

A Senate Environment and Public Works subcommittee held a hearing on infrastructure financing and safe drinking water. Members heard from representatives of a local utility and metropolitan planning board on their recommendations for funding and modernizing the nation's water systems. A resident of Arkansas also talked about his family's problems getting access to safe drinking water and the help he received from a rural government assistance program that installed well systems in his community.

From: C-SPAN

V.A. Plans to Fire Its D.C. Medical Director Again

The departments secretary intends to use the authority given to him in a new law that makes it easier to fire deficient employees.

From: NYT - Veterans

Judiciary

Hearings to examine the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett, of Indiana, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Seventh Circuit.

From: C-SPAN

Water Security and Drought Preparedness

Officials from Arizona, California, and Maine testified at a hearing on water management and drought preparedness. The witnesses, who represented state water agencies, a water supply project developer, and GE's water technologies division, gave their recommendations for increasing water supplies through recycling projects, green infrastructure, technology investment and private sector incentives.

From: C-SPAN

Fishery Management

Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the New England Fishery Management Council testified at a hearing to assess the nation's fishery laws, specifically reauthorization of the the Magnuson-Stevens Act. This law was enacted in 1976 and governs the management of marine fisheries in U.S. federal waters. The witnesses provided recommendations for improving fishery management efforts and addressed the potential challenges posed by climate change and overfishing.

From: C-SPAN

FBI Headquarters Consolidation

Officials from the FBI and General Services Administration (GSA) testified at a hearing on the future of the FBI headquarters. According to GSA acting commissioner Michael Gelber, the FBI consolidation project was cancelled due to a budget shortfall of $882 million dollars. Committee members expressed concern over the GSA's decision to cancel the proposal without notifying Congress. FBI Chief Financial Officer Richard Haley said the infrastructure of the current FBI headquarters is inefficient and does not allow the agency to effectively carry out its mission.

From: C-SPAN

Affordable Housing

The Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on increasing access to affordable housing. According to rental trends over $15 million people nationwide will need to spend 50 percen of their income on rent by 2025. Witnesses included affordable housing advocates, urban planning specialists and government officials.

From: C-SPAN

Confirmation Hearing for Commerce and Health and Human Services Departments

The Senate Finance Committee held a confirmation hearing for three nominations to the Departments of Commerce and Health and Human Services (HHS).The nominees were Gilbert Kaplan, Commerce Department International Trade undersecretary; Matthew Bassett for Legislation assistant secretary in HHS; and Robert Charrow for HHS general counsel.

From: C-SPAN

Tax Reform

The Senate Finance Committee, which writes tax policy, heard testimony from former Treasury Department officials at a hearing on comprehensive tax reform and the challenges in implementing such changes. The witnesses from the Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama administrations made their recommendations for how best to achieve successful, lasting tax policy, including code simplification and bipartisan cooperation.

From: C-SPAN

Gulf War Illness Claims

Two House Veterans' Affairs subcommittees held a joint hearing examining how the Veterans Affairs Department reviews Gulf War illness claims. A report released by the Government Accountability Office found that the VA denies more than 80% of claims for benefits in Gulf War associated illnesses. The report also found that ninety percent of VA medical examiners have no training on how to conduct Gulf War illness exams. Witnesses included representatives from the Veterans Affairs Department, the Government Accountability Office and veterans' advocates groups.

From: C-SPAN

International Financial System

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin appeared before a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee to give a report on the state of the international finance system. He spoke about a range of financial issues including the U.S. debt limit, tax reform, banking regulations, and liquidity requirements for community banks. He also discussed possible provisions to deter currency manipulation in future U.S. trade deals.

From: C-SPAN

Judiciary

Business meeting to consider S.705, to amend the National Child Protection Act of 1993 to establish a national criminal history background check system and criminal history review program for certain individuals who, related to their employment, have access to children, the elderly, or individuals with disabilities, and the nominations of Jeffrey Bossert Clark, of Virginia, to be an Assistant Attorney General, Peter E. Deegan, Jr., to be United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa, D. Michael Dunavant, to be United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, Louis V. Franklin, Sr., to be United States Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama, Marc Krickbaum, to be United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa, Jessie K. Liu, of Virginia, to be United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, and Richard W. Moore, to be United States Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, all of the Department of Justice.

From: C-SPAN

State Department Nominations

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing for the nomination of four candidates for State Department positions. The nominees were Callista Gingrich to be U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, Nathan Sales as the State Department's counterterrorism coordinator, George Glass to be the ambassador to Portugal, and Carl Risch to be assistant secretary of state for consular affairs. Committee members questioned the nominees on a range of issues including climate change, travel visas, budget cuts to the State Department, and countering violent extremism.

From: C-SPAN

Joint Chiefs of Staff Vice Chair Nomination

Air Force General Paul Selva testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on his reappointment to be vice chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was originally appointed by President Obama in 2015 was nominated by President Trump to another two-year term. Topics addressed included Russian intervention in Ukraine, North Korea, defense innovation, cybersecurity and military readiness. On cybersecurity, General Selva said his personal data was targeted along with other military officials in the recent Office of Personnel Management data breach.

From: C-SPAN

Assistant Treasury Secretary Nomination

The Senate Finance Committee held a hearing to consider President Trump's nomination of David Kautter to be the assistant treasury secretary for tax policy. Mr. Kautter answered questions about potential comprehensive tax code changes, and stressed that any new policy should be focused around the interests and benefits of middle income Americans.

From: C-SPAN

Foreign Relations: Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women

Hearings to examine assessing the Colombia peace process, focusing on the way forward in United States-Colombia relations.

From: C-SPAN

Commerce, Science and Transportation

Business meeting to consider S.374, to enable concrete masonry products manufacturers to establish, finance, and carry out a coordinated program of research, education, and promotion to improve, maintain, and develop markets for concrete masonry products, S.754, to support meeting our Nation's growing cybersecurity workforce needs by expanding the cybersecurity education pipeline, S.1322, to establish the American Fisheries Advisory Committee to assist in the awarding of fisheries research and development grants, S.1425, to reauthorize the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act of 2009, S.1532, to disqualify from operating a commercial motor vehicle for life an individual who uses a commercial motor vehicle in committing a felony involving human trafficking, S.1536, to designate a human trafficking prevention coordinator and to expand the scope of activities authorized under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's outreach and education program to include human trafficking prevention activities, S.1586, to require the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere to update periodically the environmental sensitivity index products of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for each coastal area of the Great Lakes, S.1621, to require the Federal Communications Commission to establish a methodology for the collection by the Commission of information about commercial mobile service and commercial mobile data service, and the nominations of Ajit Varadaraj Pai, of Kansas, Jessica Rosenworcel, of Connecticut, and Brendan Carr, of Virginia, each to be a Member of the Federal Communications Commission, David J. Redl, of New York, to be Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information, Peter B. Davidson, of Virginia, to be General Counsel, Karen Dunn Kelley, of Pennsylvania, to be Under Secretary for Economic Affairs, and Elizabeth Erin Walsh, of the District of Columbia, to be Assistant Secretary and Director General of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service, all of the Department of Commerce, Steven Gill Bradbury, of Virginia, to be General Counsel, Mark H. Buzby, of Virginia, to be Administrator of the Maritime Administration, and Ronald L. Batory, of New Jersey, to be Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration, all of the Department of Transportation, and Robert L. Sumwalt III, of South Carolina, to be Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board.

From: C-SPAN

Excess Military Equipment

Military logistics officers were among the witnesses at a hearing on the Pentagon's 1033 Program that transfers excess equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies.The 1033 Program was created as part of the 1997 National Defense Authorization Act to allow state and local law enforcement agencies to purchase excess military tactical, transport, and surveillance equipment at a reduced cost. The hearing focused on efforts the Defense Department was making to strengthen the requirements for law enforcement officials to designate appropriate officials to obtain and transport the excess equipment. A Government Accountability Office report criticized the Pentagon for not having strict enough procedures for bringing new participants into the program.

From: C-SPAN

Foreign Relations

Hearings to examine the nomination of Stephen B. King, of Wisconsin, to be Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Department of State.

From: C-SPAN

Senate Finance Hearing on Affordable Housing, Part 1

The Senate Finance Committee holds a hearing on ways to increase affordable housing in America.

From: C-SPAN

Health, Education, Labor and Pensions

Hearings to examine the nominations of Lance Allen Robertson, of Oklahoma, to be Assistant Secretary for Aging, Brett Giroir, of Texas, and Robert P. Kadlec, of New York, both to be a Medical Director in the Regular Corps of the Public Health Service, and to be Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, and Elinore F. McCance-Katz, of Rhode Island, to be Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, all of the Department of Health and Human Services, and Jerome M. Adams, of Indiana, to be Medical Director in the Regular Corps of the Public Health Service, and to be Surgeon General of the Public Health Service.

From: C-SPAN

Comptroller of the Currency and Federal Reserve Nominations

The Senate Banking and Housing and Urban Affairs Committee held a confirmation hearing or comptroller of currency nominee Joseph Otting and Federal Reserve Board nominee Randal Quarles. Democratic senators pressed both nominees on the 2008 financial crisis. Mr. Otting previously served as president and CEO of OneWest Bank. Under his tenure, federal regulators took action against the bank that forced a review of its foreclosure practices. Mr. Quarles served from 2005-06 as the treasury undersecretary for domestic finance.

From: C-SPAN

Homeland Security Undersecretary Confirmation Hearing

The Senate Intelligence Committee considered the nomination of David Glawe to serve as undersecretary for intelligence and analysis in the Homeland Security Department. Mr. Glawe previously served as assistant commissioner in the Office of Intelligence with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Members questioned him in areas including information sharing among the intelligence community, the duplication of efforts among the Homeland Security Department, and lessons learned from the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

From: C-SPAN

U.S.-Qatar Relations

Qatar experts testified at a hearing on that country's relations with the U.S. following the recent blockade imposed by six Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt, over alleged reports of terrorism financing and ties to extremist groups. The panelists addressed the current status of the U.S. military base in Qatar and the implications of the regional blockade for U.S. foreign policy. Other topics included combating terrorism in the region, Qatar's alleged ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and how the U.S. could use their military base in Qatar as leverage in negotiating proceedings.

From: C-SPAN

Fiscal Year 2018 State Department Budget

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson testified at a hearing on his department's fiscal year 2018 budget request, which cuts funding by 28 percent. He was asked to defend the Trump administration's proposals for spending reductions in diplomacy and foreign aid. The secretary also discussed strategies concerning sanctions against Russia, policy toward Cuba, and the North Korean nuclear threat.

From: C-SPAN

Opioid Epidemic

The acting director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy was among the witnesses at a hearing on efforts to pass legislation reauthorizing that office. Committee members questioned the panelists on which areas of federal drug control efforts were of the most concern, and the direction the Trump administration planned to take in its efforts to combat the national drug trade.

From: C-SPAN

Fiscal Year 2018 Treasury Department Budget Request

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testified at a hearing his agency's fiscal year 2018 budget request for various programs within the department. During the hearing, Secretary Mnuchin also revealed that the Trump administration was very close to releasing its detailed tax reform plan. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and IRS Inspector General J. Russell George also appeared before the subcommittee to talk about the funding request.

From: C-SPAN

North Korea Policy

The acting secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs and two other North Korea experts testified at a hearing on U.S. policy toward North Korea and the security risks posed by that country. The same day as this hearing, North Korea's state-run media threatened that any attempt to remove Kim Jung-un as leader would result in a nuclear strike against the U.S., and the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of new sanctions against Iran, Russia and North Korea.

From: C-SPAN

Foreign Agents Registration Act

Financier and former Russia investor William Browder testified at a hearing on the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). This law requires those representing the political interests of foreign powers to disclose their relationship. Mr. Browder told committee members that the Kremlin-linked lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who met with Donald Trump Jr. was heading Russian efforts to get sanctions under the Magnitsky Act repealed. The act blocked Russian government officials and businessmen associated with the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky from entering the U.S., froze assets in U.S. banks, and banned the use of American banking systems. Mr. Browder was originally scheduled to appear the previous-day as the second of a two-panel hearing, but Democrats invoked the "two-hour rule," so the second panel was re-scheduled for the following day. The first panel can be viewed by typing program identification number 431604-1 into the "Search the Video Library" search bar.

From: C-SPAN

FCC Oversight and Reauthorization

Members of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) testified at an oversight hearing on possible changes to communications legislation. Topics included broadband access in rural communities, mobile broadband technology, and combating robocalls.

From: C-SPAN

Foreign Agents Registration Act

Justice Department officials, including the agency's inspector general, testified at a hearing on foreign agent registration requirements. Inspector General Michael Horowitz detailed a review his office conducted of the Justice Department's enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), and outlined recommendations made for better enforcement practices. Two witnesses panels were originally to testify, but Democrats invoked the "two-hour rule," so the second panel was re-scheduled for the following day. The second panel can be viewed by typing program identification number 431852-1 into the "Search the Video Library" search bar.

From: C-SPAN

Education Reform

State and local education officials testified at a House Education and the Workforce Committee hearing on the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act, the 2015 law that changed the way the federal Department of Education oversees state boards of education and local school districts. The witnesses talked about various successes and struggles in complying with the law's requirements, and responded to questions from the committee about ways the federal Department of Education could do a better job in implementing the law. Democrats on the committee also pressed its chair, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), to invite Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to testify on the law's implementation, a request with which Foxx said she would comply.

From: C-SPAN

Combating Gangs in Communities

Federal, state, and local law enforcement officials testified at a hearing examining gang violence, sex trafficking, and drugs. They spoke about the relationship between gangs, sex trafficking, drugs, and how social media has changed the fight against these crimes.

From: C-SPAN

Monetary Policy and the Economy

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen delivered the central bank's semiannual monetary policy report. This was her second day on the Hill. She said she'd like to see a three percent growth rate for the U.S. but stressed that it could be quite challenging to achieve over the next five year period. Her response was to Senator Bob Corker's (R-TN) questions regarding the president's tax policy agenda and efforts to increase the economic growth rate. She testified previously before the House Financial Services Committee.

From: C-SPAN

National Public Safety Network

Witnesses testified at a hearing on the deployment of FirstNet, a national public safety network for first responders. Among the witnesses testifying were FirstNet CEO Michael Poth, AT&T Senior Vice President Chris Sambar and Virginia Deputy Secretary of Public Safety Curtis Brown. AT&T was formally selected in March 2017 to build and operate this public safety broadband network. Five states - Virginia, Wyoming, Arkansas, Kentucky and Iowa - have joined the FirstNet network.

From: C-SPAN

IRS Electronic Records

The House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Oversight held a hearing to examine the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) practices of retaining electronic records and responding to taxpayer requests. Internal Revenue Service and Treasury Inspector General's office officials testified at a hearing on ways to better protect taxpayer information.

From: C-SPAN

Fiscal Year 2018 Homeland Security Spending Bill Markup

Following a House vote break, members of the Appropriations Committeee resumed their debate on the 2018 Homeland Security Markup with an amendment offered by Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) concerning FEMA's Pre-Mitigation Disaster Grant Program.

From: C-SPAN

State Department Reorganization

Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan testified at a hearing \ on the proposed reorganization of the State Department that was part of President Trump's fiscal year 2018 budget proposal. A number of Democrats pressed Mr. Sullivan on whether or not the administration planned to reduce the number of special envoys, and on future plans for the U.S. Agency for International Development

From: C-SPAN

Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Markup, Part 2

The House Budget Committee met to mark up the 2018 budget resolution. In this portion, committee members continued debating and voting on amendments. Amendments considered included one on Planned Parenthood funding and another on the president's proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) chairs the committee while Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) serves as the ranking member.

From: C-SPAN

Ambassador Confirmations

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a confirmation hearing for the ambassador nominations to key U.S. allies, including Canada, Singapore, Italy, the United Kingdom, and NATO. Former U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), President Trump's nominee for ambassador to NATO, answered a range of questions from the committee related to Russia. Other topics included trade relations with Canada and the U.K. post-Brexit, Singapore's role in the Asia-Pacific region, and the increasing threat of cyberattacks.

From: C-SPAN

Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Markup, Part 1

The House Budget Committee marked up the fiscal year 2018 concurrent budget resolution.

From: C-SPAN

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