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NEWS EXTRA

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SOURCE:  Office of Senator Mitch McConnell

mcconell

McConnell Urges Senate Democrats Not to Block Vote to Stop Iran Deal

‘Let’s stand up for the people we represent. Let’s allow them a vote on one of the most consequential foreign policy issues of our age.’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today regarding the President’s deal with Iran:

“As the Senate continues debating President Obama’s deal with Iran today, I think it’s appropriate to consider a quote from President Obama himself: ‘I believe Congress owes the American people a final up or down vote,’ he said. ‘We need courage. You know, in the end, this debate is about far more than politics.’

“When it comes to the Iran deal, you’d have to say he’s right.

“After all: Do Senators think it’s right for the world’s leading sponsor of terror to be able to maintain an American-recognized nuclear program?

“Do Senators think it’s right that this deal would effectively subsidize Hezbollah, Hamas, and Bashar al-Assad by channeling billions of dollars to their benefactors in Tehran?

“Do Senators approve of a deal that would leave Iran with an enrichment capability, just as the Iranian leadership is again calling for Israel’s destruction — and praying for ours?

“It’s hard to see how Senators could agree with these things.

“Many Democratic colleagues — including the top Democrats on the foreign affairs committees in both houses of Congress, among the most familiar with the President’s deal with Iran — have already come out in opposition.

“A strong, bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives voted to reject the deal.

“A strong, bipartisan majority of the Senate would vote to reject the deal too.

“If only Democrat Senators would stop blocking the American people from even having a final vote on one of the most consequential foreign policy issues of our age.

“Democrat Senators will have the chance to vote on behalf of their constituents later today.

“Perhaps they’ll consider the President’s words I quoted earlier. They’re from a 2010 speech about Obamacare.

“If the President was so insistent on ‘courage’ and a ‘final up or down vote’ back then, how could he justify blocking a vote now on an issue of such immense magnitude as the Iran deal?

“It’s part of a larger retreat to campaigning instead of engaging on this important issue.

“Ad hominem attacks instead of serious debate, campaign one-liners instead of intellectual arguments, and simply ignoring reality when it becomes inconvenient.

“That’s why you see the President claiming ‘strong support of lawmakers and citizens’ for his Iran deal.

“Here’s what The Washington Post’s fact-checker had to say about that:

Any way you slice it, it is difficult to support the claim that there is ‘strong support’ for the Iran deal among lawmakers and citizens. This is clearly a case of winning ugly, in the face of minority support among lawmakers and increasing opposition among American citizens. The White House certainly did better than many analysts expected, since enough Democrats supported the agreement to prevent a final Senate vote on the merits. And Obama avoided a veto fight. But that’s different than having ‘strong support’ for the deal.

“If Democrats share the President’s determination to ‘win ugly’ on this important issue, then they have sufficient numbers to do that.

“But I would remind my colleagues of something.

“This debate should not be about a President who will leave office in 16 months. It should be about where our country will be in 16 years.

“Consider this advice from an editorial that appeared in Bloomberg last month:

Tactics aside, it would be far better to win this fight fairly. The pact is not a treaty: A future president and Congress might overturn it, arguing that it was sealed without proper consideration. And history often looks with disgust at causes built on fear, especially if they go awry.

“This is an important moment for the Democrat Party. But more importantly, it’s an important moment for our country.

“Let’s stand up for the people we represent. Let’s allow them a vote on one of the most consequential foreign policy issues of our age.”

SOURCE:  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

McConnell Urges Senate Dems Not to Block Vote to Stop Iran Deal

Published on Sep 15, 2015

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today regarding the President’s deal with Iran.

SOURCE:  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Kentucky State Police Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today honoring Kentucky State Police (KSP) Trooper Joseph Ponder, who was killed in the line of duty on Sunday:

“Joseph Ponder was proud to be a Kentucky State Police Trooper. ‘He was eager and just absolutely loved his job’ is how a state police spokesman described him.

“Ponder tragically lost his life in the line of duty this week.

“We’re thinking of that 31-year old Rineyville native today here in the Senate. We’re praying for his family and for his friends.

“I know his fellow officers in the law enforcement community feel the loss, and so do the Kentuckians that he worked every day to protect.

“So I ask the entire Senate community to join me in honoring Trooper Ponder.”

SOURCE:    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Kentucky State Police Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder

Published on Sep 15, 2015

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today honoring Kentucky State Police (KSP) Trooper Joseph Ponder, who was killed in the line of duty on Sunday/

SOURCE:  DoD News, Defense Media Activity

DoD Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

Department of DefenseWASHINGTON, September 18, 2015 — The Defense Department joins the nation in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, observed Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, according to a DoD news release issued today.

During National Hispanic Heritage Month, the department and the nation honor the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America, the release said.

The start of National Hispanic Heritage Month also marks the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, the release said, which also noted that the independence of Mexico and Chile are observed shortly thereafter, on Sept.16 and Sept. 18, respectively.

The theme of this year’s observance, “Hispanic Americans: Energizing our Nation’s Diversity,” harkens to the vibrant and thriving contributions of Hispanics to our nation across the centuries, according to the release. The celebration seeks to draw attention to the diversity and countless contributions Hispanics continue to make to enrich the United States and strengthen the defense of our nation.

The department will honor National Hispanic Heritage Month with programs and activities at installations around the world, the release said. The Pentagon will host a ceremony to present a temporary display, designed and owned by the Hispanic Medal of Honor Society, which features Hispanic Medal of Honor recipients. The society promotes the awareness of the patriotism, gratitude, and loyalty of Hispanics in the United States. The ceremony is slated to be held in the Pentagon on the second floor in corridor 2A.2.5 today at 2 p.m.

Other Hispanic Medal of Honor displays around the National Capital Region include one titled, “Return with Honor,” which illustrates the story of Commander Everett Alvarez Jr., the first American pilot shot down over North Vietnam, the release said. “Return with Honor” will be featured at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. A third display entitled “Justice for my People” showcases the story of Dr. Hector P. Garcia, the first civil rights activist and founder of the American G.I. Forum, will be displayed at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, in Building 1458.

The Defense Department is committed to honoring and recognizing the Hispanic Americans who strengthen the fabric of our country and serve in defense of the values we hold dear, the release said. All department personnel are encouraged to recognize the immeasurable contributions made by Hispanic Americans and to celebrate the diversity of DoD’s workforce.

SOURCE:  U.S. Representatives Thomas Massie / Massie Press

Rep Thomas Massie

U.S. Representatives Massie and Pingree Reintroduce Milk Freedom Legislation

U.S. Representatives Thomas Massie (R–KY), Chellie Pingree (D–ME), Photo Courtesy: Massie Press

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representatives Thomas Massie (R–KY), Chellie Pingree (D–ME), and a bipartisan coalition of 16 other lawmakers have reintroduced legislation to improve consumer food choices and to protect local farmers from federal interference. The two bills – the Milk Freedom of Act of 2015 (H.R. 3563) and the Interstate Milk Freedom Act of 2015 (H.R. 3564) – are the newest in a series of “food and farm freedom” initiatives the lawmaking duo have championed this year, following the Industrial Hemp Act of 2015 (H.R. 525) and the PRIME Act (H.R. 3187).

“These bills would make it easier for families to buy wholesome milk directly from farmers by reversing the criminalization of dairy farmers who offer raw milk,” said Rep. Massie. “The federal government should not punish farmers for providing customers the foods they want, and states should be free to set their own laws regulating food safety.”

“A lot of people want to buy fresh, unpasteurized milk and regulations shouldn’t get between them and a farmer who wants to sell it,” said Rep. Pingree. “It just doesn’t make sense to spend money cracking down on small, local farmers who are producing natural, raw milk and I think the enforcement of raw milk regulations has been overzealous and needs to be reined in.”

“Raw milk is the only food banned in interstate commerce,” said Pete Kennedy, President of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. “Congratulations to Representatives Massie and Pingree for starting the process of repealing a regulation that thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens violate every week in this country.” 

Raw milk is fresh milk that has not been pasteurized, and may contain beneficial nutrients that have not been eliminated by the pasteurization process.  Although Congress has never passed legislation banning raw milk, the federal Food and Drug Administration has used their regulatory authority to prosecute farmers for selling raw milk.

The “Milk Freedom Act of 2015” (H.R. 3563) would provide relief to local farmers, small producers, and others who have been harassed, fined, and in some cases even prosecuted for the “crime” of distributing unpasteurized milk.  This bill would prohibit the federal government from interfering with the interstate traffic of raw milk products.

Likewise, the “Interstate Milk Freedom Act of 2015” (H.R. 3564) would prevent the federal government from interfering with trade of unpasteurized, natural milk or milk products between states where distribution or sale of such products is already legal.

No provision of either bill would preempt or otherwise interfere with any state law.

Massie concluded, “Today, many people are paying more attention to the food they eat, what it contains, and how it is processed.  Raw milk, which has been with us for thousands of years, is making a comeback among these discerning consumers.  Personal choices as basic as ‘what we feed our families’ should not be limited by the federal government.”

Original co-sponsors of the Milk Freedom Act of 2015 include Reps Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Jared Polis (D-CO), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Scott Rigell (R-VA), Walter Jones (R-NC), Dave Brat (R-VA), Mark Meadows (R-NC), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Richard Nugent (R-FL), and Justin Amash (R-MI). Original co-sponsors of the Interstate Milk Freedom Act of 2015 include Reps Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Jared Polis (D-CO), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Scott Rigell (R-VA), Walter Jones (R-NC), Dave Brat (R-VA), Mark Meadows (R-NC), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Richard Nugent (R-FL), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), and Raúl Labrador (R-ID). 

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