Category Archives: Hearings

Levin, McCain Voice Support for Action in Libya

The top “Democrat and Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee say President Barack Obama was right to use military force in Libya,” the AP reports.

Democratic Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan and Republican John McCain of Arizona made the comments Tuesday at the start of a congressional hearing and the day after Obama’s speech on Libya.

Levin said Obama has taken a thoughtful and deliberate approach to avert a bloodbath in Libya. McCain, Obama’s 2008 rival for president, said Obama’s decision to intervene was right and necessary.

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Senate Panel to Discuss Disease Clusters Identified in Thirteen States

An environmental group “will tell a Senate panel Tuesday that it has identified 42 suspected clusters of cancer, birth defects and other illnesses in 13 states,” McClatchy reports.

The Natural Resources Defense Council, working with the National Disease Clusters Alliance, wants to step up the federal response to investigating suspected clusters. The 42 clusters — either confirmed or under active investigation — are in Texas, California, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Delaware, Louisiana, Montana, Tennessee, Missouri and Arkansas. The groups plan to look at all 50 states.

A specific source of chemical contamination — asbestos — was identified in only one of the 42 clusters, in Libby, Mont. But the group notes that in many communities, such as Camp Lejeune, N.C., “the case grows stronger that documented exposure to toxics has harmed the health of community residents.”

The NRDC will testify Tuesday before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, along with environmental activist Erin Brockovich and Trevor Schaefer, a 21-year old survivor of brain cancer from Boise, Idaho. He and his family have created Trevor’s Trek Foundation to fight childhood cancer.

Committee chairman Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo — the top Republican on the Superfund, Toxics and Environmental Health Subcommittee — are co-sponsoring legislation aimed at helping communities determine whether there’s a link between elevated levels of illness and contaminants in the environment.

The NRDC, which surveyed the 13 states to determine the scope of complaints, backs the bill and said it hopes the hearing will draw attention to communities like three in Florida: the tiny Tallevast neighborhood in Manatee County, Palm Beach County’s Acreage and Collier County’s Immokalee, where residents have also reported unusual rates of disease.

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Kerry to Hold Hearings on Libya Soon

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) “will hold hearings ‘in the near future’ on the military intervention in Libya by the U.S. and allies, a committee aide said,” Bloomberg reports.

Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, “has been been traveling in the region” during this week’s congressional recess “to get information firsthand from our allies,” spokesman Frederick Jones said in a statement.

“Senator Kerry understands the importance and complexity of our role in protecting the people of Libya and the committee will hold public hearings in the near future,” Jones said.

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Armed Services Committee to Hold Hearing on Libya

The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday, March 31 to “receive testimony on Operation Odyssey Dawn and the situation in Libya.”

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Lugar Seeks Hearings on Libya

Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), Ranking Member on the Foreign Relations Committee, yesterday “called for congressional hearings on the mission [in Libya] as U.S. and allied warplanes continued to strike Qaddafi’s ground forces,” Bloomberg reports.

“The Administration has not defined the U.S. strategic interest in Libya or adequately articulated how the conflict ends,” Lugar said in a letter to the panel’s chairman, Democratic Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts.

[…]

Lugar said that “it is not clear that the Obama Administration has thought through the consequences of this action for regional stability, the fight against terrorism, the impact on oil markets, and other factors.”

He said hearings were “especially vital because the Obama Administration did not consult meaningfully with Congress.”

The full letter is linked here.

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