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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2015 2:30 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:58 am
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Congress. The House and Senate are in a recess until September 8, 2015.

Administration. On Wednesday, August 19, the White House announced Obama will meet with Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D) as August 27, marks ten years after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. He will tour neighborhoods and meet with local residents and will deliver a speech hailing the city’s rebuilding efforts and how they have helped spur economic innovation.

On Thursday, August 20, it was announced that Syrian President Bashar al- Assad reportedly is developing a new type of chlorine bomb, and earlier this year investigators found trace components of sarin and VX, an extremely toxic manmade chemical nerve agent - despite a 2013 deal between the U.S. and Syria to purge Assad's chemical weapon stockpile -- in turn fueling concerns about whether Iran can be held to the newly struck nuclear deal.

Environment. On Tuesday, August 18, the EPA proposed measures to cut methane and VOC emissions from the oil and natural gas industry and clarify permitting requirements that together will help combat climate change, reduce air pollution that harms public health, and provide greater certainty about Clean Air Act permitting requirements for the oil and natural gas industry.

Finance. On Thursday, August 20, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced existing-home sales steadily increased for the third consecutive month in July, even as low inventory and rising prices stymied first-time homebuyers. Sales of previously owned homes, which are completed transactions, rose 2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.59 million in July, maintaining their fastest pace since February 2007, up from 5.48 million in June.

Transportation. On Thursday, August 20, it was announced that pilots have reported a surge in close calls with drones. According to FAA statistics, nearly 700 incidents have occurred so far this year, about triple the number recorded for all of 2014. The agency has acknowledged growing concern about the problem and its inability to do much to tame it.

On Friday, August 21, the Federal Highway Administration said in a statement that vehicles on U.S. roads traveled 1.54 trillion miles in the first half of this year, beating the previous record of 1.5 trillion from 2007. The new number “is more than double the amount driven during the same period in 1981, continuing a trend of America’s driving mileage doubling nearly every generation.”

There are no upcoming hearings.

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