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NEWS EXTRA

This segment provides the viewer / reader with news they might have missed and focuses on key issues related to current and past events. These articles are provided courtesy of our many contributing sources. We ask that you enjoy these stories and continue your support of beenetworknews.com, our contributing sources and publishers.

mcconell

SOURCE:  Office of Senator Mitch McConnell

Senate Moves into Final Stretch on Bipartisan Highway Bill

‘Jobs are on the line. Infrastructure projects important to the people we represent are on the line. So we have to get it done. And with cooperation, we can ensure that more ideas from both sides of the aisle are still heard and voted upon.’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today regarding the bipartisan highway bill:

“Our country needs a multi-year highway bill, and we’re close to finally passing a fiscally responsible and bipartisan one.
“Time is running short to get a bill through Congress. But, as with most legislation, we still intend to consider some amendments from both sides of the aisle as we continue our work to pass it.

“We’ll start on that today.

“Most important is a proposal that would repeal Obama care and allow our country to start over fresh with real health reform. There’s no question that I’ll be voting for it. There’s no question that every Senator should join me in doing so, too. This is a law filled with higher costs, fewer choices, and broken promises. This is a law that’s failed repeatedly, and that continues to hammer hardworking middle-class families. The vote we’ll take this afternoon presents a stark choice to every Senator: Protect a President who likes a law with his name on it, or stand with the middle class by finally opening the way to truly affordable care.

“Another proposal relates to the Export-Import Bank. I’ll be voting against it. The Export-Import Bank is a New Deal relic that has outlived any usefulness it might have had. If a project is worthy, private banks will step in to finance it. And if it is not worthy, we should definitely not be financing it by putting American taxpayers on the hook. Either way, Ex-Im is not necessary.

“At the same time, I understand that many senators on both sides take a different view. Nearly half my Conference and many Democrats support the Ex-Im Bank’s re-authorization. They’re entitled to that view. I don’t see a reason why they shouldn’t be allowed a debate, and then a vote, to sort this out either. I’ve said repeatedly and publicly for months that the Ex-Im supporters from both parties should be allowed a vote. I also said publicly that the highway bill would be an obvious place to have that vote. 

“Mr. President, when there is overwhelming bipartisan support for an idea, even if I oppose it, it doesn’t require some ‘special deal’ to see a vote occur on that measure.

“This is the United States Senate, after all, where we debate and vote on all kinds of different issues.

“The supporters of Ex-Im can still lose a vote, of course. They’re not the only ones with passion on their side. Those on my side of the issue are passionate too, and this debate might just present the perfect opportunity to make the case against Ex-Im and carry the day in an open and democratic vote. I hope they will.

“But whatever the outcome, the slots for these amendments will open once the Senate disposes of them. That will open the possibility of considering other important amendments.

Let me repeat that. The slots for these amendments will open once the Senate disposes of them.

“We know there are many other ideas from both sides of the aisle about how to improve the highway bill further before its completion. But we also know that time is running short to complete our work on the underlying highway bill.

“Jobs are on the line. Infrastructure projects important to the people we represent are on the line. So we have to get it done. And with cooperation, we can ensure that more ideas from both sides of the aisle are still heard and voted upon.

“This is a new Senate. Amendment votes are hardly a rarity here anymore. We will have more opportunities soon to address other issues in the weeks and months ahead, and I will work with colleagues to help ensure that votes on other priorities occur.”

Rep Thomas Massie

SOURCE:  Office of Rep. Thomas Massie

Photo Courtesy: U.S. Congressman Thomas  Massie

Photo Courtesy: U.S. Congressman Thomas Massie

U.S. Representatives Massie and Pingree Introduce Bill to Revive Local Meat Processing

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representatives Thomas Massie and Chellie Pingree (D-ME) introduced legislation to make it easier for small farms and ranches to serve consumers. The PRIME (Processing Revival and Intrastate Meat Exemption) Act would give individual states freedom to permit intrastate distribution of custom-slaughtered meat such as beef, pork, or lamb, to consumers, restaurants, hotels, boarding houses, and grocery stores.

“As a producer of grass-fed beef, I am familiar with the difficulties small producers face when marketing directly to consumers,” said Rep. Massie, who owns 50 head of cattle. “Despite consumers’ desire to know where their food comes from, federal inspection requirements make it difficult for them to purchase food from local farmers they know and trust. These onerous federal rules also make it more difficult for small farms and ranches to succeed financially. It is time to open our markets to small farms and producers and give consumers the freedom to choose.”

“More and more people want locally produced food, but because of the way the system is set up for processing meat, farmers and ranchers sometimes end up sending their animals hundreds or even thousands of miles to a giant slaughterhouse,” said Rep. Pingree, who raises grass-fed beef at her island farm in Maine and is the lead Democratic sponsor for the legislation.  “That is just crazy and defeats the whole point of locally produced food.  If we can change the federal regulations a little to make it easier to process meat locally, it’s going to help farmers scale up and give local consumers what they want.”

“The PRIME Act is the first step to rebuilding local processing infrastructure, which can revive rural economies and enable communities to become more self-sufficient in meat production,” stated Pete Kennedy, president of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. “We applaud Representative Massie and Representative Pingree for taking on one of the bigger obstacles to a prosperous local food system.”

“Regulating sales of locally produced and sold meat at the state level has the potential to address a significant barrier to the growth of the local food system,” said Judith McGeary, Founder and Executive Director of Farm & Ranch Freedom Alliance. “As an organization that represents both farmers and consumers, the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance applauds this common-sense bill.”

Current law exempts custom slaughter of animals from federal inspection regulations, but only if the meat is slaughtered for personal, household, guest, and employee use (21 U.S.C. § 623(a)). This means that in order to sell individual cuts of locally raised meats to consumers, farmers and ranchers must first send their animals to one of a limited number of USDA-inspected slaughterhouses.  These slaughterhouses are sometimes hundreds of miles away, which adds substantial transportation cost, and also increases the chance that meat raised locally will be co-mingled with industrially produced meat.  The PRIME Act would expand the current custom exemption and allow small farms, ranches, and slaughterhouses to thrive.

The PRIME Act (H.R. 3187), which is supported by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund and Farm & Ranch Freedom Alliance, is part of a series of “Food & Farm Freedom” initiatives championed by Massie, including The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015 (H.R. 525), the Milk Freedom Act of 2014 (H.R. 4307 in the 113th Congress), and the Interstate Milk Freedom Act of 2014 (H.R. 4308 in the 113th Congress). Rep. Pingree was the lead Democratic co-sponsor on both “Milk Freedom” bills. Rep. Massie has also been a staunch advocate for country-of-origin labeling of food.

Original co-sponsors of the PRIME Act include Reps Walter Jones (R-NC) and Jared Polis (D-CO).

SOURCE:  RepThomasMassie / YouTube

Published on Jul 23, 2015

Today, U.S. Representatives Thomas Massie and Chellie Pingree (D-ME) introduced legislation to make it easier for small farms and ranches to serve consumers. The PRIME (Processing Revival and Intrastate Meat Exemption) Act would give individual states freedom to permit intrastate distribution of custom-slaughtered meat such as beef, pork, or lamb, to consumers, restaurants, hotels, boarding houses, and grocery stores.

SOURCE:  Strakka Racing / Cision

Driver Jonny Kane Gibson.  Photo Courtesy:  Strakka Racing

Driver Jonny Kane Gibson. Photo Courtesy: Strakka Racing

Strakka Racing completes a successful two-day test at the Nurburgring with latest Gibson 015S

Strakka Racing enjoyed a successful test debut of its Gibson 015S chassis at the Nürburgring WEC test. Despite changeable conditions across the two days, Strakka Racing topped the LMP2 times on both days ending day two with a 1:45.123 set by Jonny Kane.

“It has been a successful test, getting to grips with the car and trying multiple setup options to see what the car is sensitive to,” says team principal Dan Walmsley. “It’s only a test and everyone runs their own programme, so times on test days don’t mean too much but its good feeling to be back at the sharp end.”

All three Strakka Racing drivers were on hand to sample the latest car that replaces the S103 for the remainder of the WEC season. “It’s a car I drove a fair bit several years ago,” says Danny Watts. “I thoroughly enjoyed driving it this week in its updated specification. I felt at home straight away in it. It feels easy to drive and it’s very responsive. I’m definitely looking forward to racing it!”

The team now heads back to the UK to finish preparing the 015S that ran unpainted this week and it returns to the Nürburgring next month for the fourth round of the FIA WEC, the 6 Hours of Nürburgring on 30th August.

Strakka Racing

Strong debut for team’s Gibson 015S debut. Photo Courtesy: Strakka Racing

General Officer Assignments

The chief of staff, Army announced the following assignments:

Maj. Gen. Gordon B. Davis Jr., deputy chief of staff, operations, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Belgium, to commander, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, Afghanistan.

Maj. Gen. Theodore C. Harrison, commanding general, Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, to director of operations, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, Installation Management, U.S. Army, Washington, District of Columbia.

Maj. Gen. James E. Simpson, director for contracting, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, Arlington, Virginia, to commanding general, Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.

Maj. Gen. Daniel L. York, U.S. Army Reserve, commander, Troop Program Unit, 76th U.S. Army Operational Response Command, Salt Lake City, Utah, to special assistant to the commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command/U.S. Northern Command for Reserve Matters, Individual Mobilization Augmentee, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.

Brig. Gen. Douglas C. Crissman, deputy to the deputy commander for support, deputy commander, Joint Task Force 3, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, Afghanistan, to deputy commanding general, 3d Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia.

Brig. Gen. Charles R. Hamilton, commander, Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Defense Logistics Agency, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He most recently served as executive officer to the deputy chief of staff, G-4, U.S. Army, Washington, District of Columbia.

Brig. Gen. John E. Novalis II, executive assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, District of Columbia, to deputy commanding general, 101st Airborne Division, Air Assault, Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Brig. Gen. Mark S. Spindler, commandant, U.S. Army Military Police School, U.S. Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, to deputy director, Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

Col. (Promotable) Maria B. Barrett, executive officer to the chief information officer, G-6, U.S. Army, Office of the Secretary of the Army, Washington, District of Columbia, to deputy commander, operations, Cyber National Mission Force, U.S. Cyber Command, Fort Meade, Maryland.

Col. (Promotable) Jeffery D. Broadwater, commander, Operations Group, U.S. Army National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California, to deputy commander, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas.

Col. (Promotable) Patrick D. Frank, executive officer to the commander, Resolute Support Mission/U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, Afghanistan, to deputy commander, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas.

Col. (Promotable) Karl H. Gingrich, chief, program development division, Program Analysis and Evaluation Directorate, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-8, U.S. Army, Washington, District of Columbia, to director for resource management, Installation Management Command, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas.

Col. (Promotable) Kenneth L. Kamper, chief of staff, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas, to commander, U.S. Army Operational Test Command, Fort Hood, Texas.

Col. (Promotable) Randall A. McIntire, deputy director, strategy, plans and policy, G-3/5/7, U.S. Army, Washington, District of Columbia. He most recently served as director, air and missile defense directorate, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7, U.S. Army, Washington, District of Columbia.

Col. (Promotable) Paul H. Pardew, chief, operational contract support and logistic services, J-4, Joint Staff, Washington, District of Columbia, to deputy chief of contracting management, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, District of Columbia.

Col. (Promotable) Andrew M. Rohling, executive officer to the chief of staff, U.S. Army, Washington, District of Columbia, to deputy commander, 10th Mountain Division, Light, Fort Drum, New York.

Col. (Promotable) Joel K. Tyler, executive officer to the inspector general, Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Army, Washington, District of Columbia, to assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, U.S. Army Central, Kuwait.

Col. (Promotable) Kevin Vereen, assistant deputy chief of staff, G-3/5/7, U.S. Army Forces Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to commandant, U.S. Army Military Police School, U.S. Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

Col. (Promotable) Daniel R. Walrath, deputy commander, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas. He most recently served as chief of staff, 7th Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

PHOTO(s) OF THE DAY

SOURCE:  Department of Defense /Defense News Lead Photo

U.S. Air Force Maj. Melanie Englert (right), public affairs officer with the 139th Airlift Wing, Missouri Air National Guard, shows a Latvian orphan her camera during the reconstruction of the Naujenu Orphanage near Daugavpils, Latvia, July 20, 2015. Airmen from the 139th Civil Engineer Squadron, Missouri Air National Guard, were participating in a Humanitarian Civic Assistance project that pairs units training requirements with humanitarian needs.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Patrick P. Evenson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Melanie Englert (right), public affairs officer with the 139th Airlift Wing, Missouri Air National Guard, shows a Latvian orphan her camera during the reconstruction of the Naujenu Orphanage near Daugavpils, Latvia, July 20, 2015. Airmen from the 139th Civil Engineer Squadron, Missouri Air National Guard, were participating in a Humanitarian Civic Assistance project that pairs units training requirements with humanitarian needs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Patrick P. Evenson/Released)

U.S. Army Reserve combat engineer Soldiers from the 374th Engineer Company (Sapper), headquartered in Concord, Calif., watch fellow Soldiers rappel down a 100-foot tower, July 19, during a two-week field exercise known as a Sapper Leader Course Prerequisite Training at Camp San Luis Obispo Military Installation, Calif. The class was taught by three rappel masters from a Special Operations Response Team for the U.S. Department of Justice. The combat engineer company is grading its Soldiers on various events to determine which ones will earn a spot on a "merit list" to attend the Sapper Leader Course at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. (U.S. Army photo by Master Sgt. Michel Sauret)

U.S. Army Reserve combat engineer Soldiers from the 374th Engineer Company (Sapper), headquartered in Concord, Calif., watch fellow Soldiers rappel down a 100-foot tower, July 19, during a two-week field exercise known as a Sapper Leader Course Prerequisite Training at Camp San Luis Obispo Military Installation, Calif. The class was taught by three rappel masters from a Special Operations Response Team for the U.S. Department of Justice. The combat engineer company is grading its Soldiers on various events to determine which ones will earn a spot on a “merit list” to attend the Sapper Leader Course at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. (U.S. Army photo by Master Sgt. Michel Sauret)

Marines from the National Capitol Region stand at attention during the playing of the National Anthem July 21, 2015, at Nationals Park in Washington. The Washington Nationals hosted a Marine Corps Day to honor Marines who serve and who have served in the past.

Marines from the National Capitol Region stand at attention during the playing of the National Anthem July 21, 2015, at Nationals Park in Washington. The Washington Nationals hosted a Marine Corps Day to honor Marines who serve and who have served in the past.

Master Sgt. Johnathan Chambers, 122nd Fighter Wing Air National Guard Fire Chief, and members of the 122nd Fighter Wing Fire Department battle a simulated aircraft fire at the Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich., on July 22 as part of the 122nd Fighter Wing's two-week long Annual Training.

Master Sgt. Johnathan Chambers, 122nd Fighter Wing Air National Guard Fire Chief, and members of the 122nd Fighter Wing Fire Department battle a simulated aircraft fire at the Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich., on July 22 as part of the 122nd Fighter Wing’s two-week long Annual Training.

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