tv [untitled] CSPAN June 8, 2009 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
national science and technology council that is responsible for coordinating federal science, technology, engineering and math education programs and activities. national oceanic and atmospheric administration, the department of education, and othersment -- others. this new reform committee w -- will have three responsibilities. it will coordinate the federal stem education activities and programs. second, the committee will develop, implement and update a five-year stem education strategic plan including objectives and metrics so we can assess how well we're doing. and, third, the committee will maintain an inventory of federally sponsored stem programs and activities including underrepresentation by minorities. so the congress can make use of this information to advance our stem education efforts, this bill will require an annual
report that includes one, a description of stem education programs and activities. two, the level of funding for activities for each participating federal agency. three, a description of the progress made in carrying out the implementation plan. four, a description of how participating federal agencies disseminate information about available stem education resources to states and practitioners. this coordination is among the ideas suggested by then-senator obama in a bill he offered in the 110th congress, s. 3047. in sum, this bill will do just what its title suggests. coordinate our stem education activities. we not only have a duty to this nation to make sure that federal dollars are spent as efficiently and effectively as possible but is also critical to our economy that we succeed in fostering a workforce that can outdiscover, outthink, outinnovate and outproduce our worldwide
competition. this legislation will help us reach those goals. in a world increasingly dominated by technology, i believe our economy, our environment and our future depends on improving stem research. i ask consent that the text of the bill be printed in the record. thank you, madam president. i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. reid: madam president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that the call of the quorum be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i now ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to a period of morning business senators allowed to speak up to 10 minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to consideration of calendar 38. the presiding officer: the clerk will report.
the clerk: calendar 38, s. 256, a bill to enhance the ability to combat methamphetamine. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate proceeds to the measure. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that the bill be read a third time passed, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table, there be no intervening action or deway. in statements related to this matter be placed in the record as if given. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask that we proceed to h. con. res. 109. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h. con. res. 109, honoring the 20th anniversary of the susan g.komen race for the cure. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate proceeds to the measure. mr. reid: i ask that the unanimous consent be agreed to the preamble be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table, there be no intervening actioner debate and
any statements related to this matter be placed in the record at appropriate place as if read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i now ask consent that we discharge the judiciary committee from further consideration of the senate -- and the senate proceed to s. res. 142. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. res. 142, designating july 25, 2009, as national day of the american cowboy. the presiding officer: without objection, the committee is discharged, and the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed, the preamble be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to s. res. 171. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. res. 171, commending the people who have sacrificed their personal freedoms to bring about democratic change in the people's republic of china and so forth. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. reid: i ask that a resolution be a a-- agreed to,
the preamble be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask that we proceed to s. res. 172. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: designating june 20 as national apphesa month. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed it the measure. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent, the preamble be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table, and any statements relating to this matter be placed in the record at appropriate place as if given. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: madam president, h.r. 31 is at the desk has been received from the house. is that correct? the presiding officer: the leader is correct. mr. reid: i would ask for its first reading. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 31, an act to provide for the recognition of the lumbi tribe of north carolina and for other purposes. mr. reid: madam president, i would object -- i would first
ask for its second reading, but object to my own request. the presiding officer: objection is heard. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that the vote -- the presiding officer: the bill will be -- receive its second reading on the next legislative day. mr. reid: madam president, unanimous consent that the vote in relation to the burr-hagan amend occur at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow, and no amendment be in order prior to the vote in relation thereto. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: as if in executive session, i ask that the nomination of raymond m. jefferson received by the senate on june 2, 2009, be referred jointly to the help and veterans' affairs committee. mr. reid: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today it adjourn until tomorrow morning june 9 at 10:00 a.m., following the prayer and pledge, journal of proceedings be approved to date, the morning hour be deemed expired, the time for the two
leaders be reserved for use later in the day and there be a period of morning hours to be divided between the leaders or their designees, with the majority controlling the first half and the republicans controlling the second half, senators permitted to speak up to 10 minutes each during that time. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: following morning business, madam president, the senate will resume consideration of h.r. 1256, tobacco legislation. i ask furtsz area that the senate -- further that the senate recess from 12:30 p.m. until 2:15 p.m. for the weekly caucus luncheons and the time for the adjournment or recess be counted postcloture with the matter before the senate, the tobacco legislation. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: tomorrow the senate will resume consideration of the tobacco legislation. tomorrow we will continue work through amendments. we have indicated from the very beginning that those amendments that argermane to the -- germane
to the bill, we will be happy to work on those. roll call votes could occur throughout the day. if we're able to reach an agreement on the burr-hagan substitute amendment. senators will be notified when the individual votes will be scheduled. if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it be adjourned under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until
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business initiatives, no government mandate, no government money. >> topics at today's pentagon briefing include the investigation of a battle in afghanistan last month that killed civilians. we also get reaction to the ongoing offensive against the taliban in pakistan. spokesman geoff morrell speaks with reporters for about 40 minutes. >> good afternoon. could to see you all especially after being away for a few weeks. just if you scheduling announcements and then i will be glad to take your questions. tomorrow morning secretary gates and chairman mullen testified before the senate appropriations subcommittee on defense, a two-hour hearing which we expect to be the last in this budget rollout. it is scheduled to begin at
10:30. second come tomorrow evening to secretary departs for the netherlands where he will spend all of wednesday and part of thursday in maastricht meeting with defense ministers from troop contributing nations in southern afghanistan. on thursday afternoon he will then fly over to brussels, where he will participate in the quarterly meeting of nato defense ministers. they will discuss a range of organizational and security issues confronting the alliance but as you might expect, the nato operations in afghanistan will likely dominate their discussions. third and finally, the secretary returns to washington d.c. on friday evening and then early saturday morning heads up to washington state were later that afternoon he will deliver the commencement address at the university of washington, which i believe is an open president although i will not beheading out there myself. and i think that is it. ann. >> what can you tell us about
the status of the investigation into the-- in afghanistan, where, where does the investigation stand and to what degree has the inquiry found u.s. forces culpable? >> the anchor aires stands, i think it is wrapped up. it is being briefed to a number of people within this building. i think the chairman was briefed on it last week, the secretary was briefed on at this morning by brigadier general thomas it was the investigative officer in charge. i thank centcom, who has commissioned the investigation, will ultimately determine how the findings will be rolled out so i don't know that i can share them with you here today. i can tell you having sat in on the briefing this secretary got that this incident was exhaustively investigated.
this briefing, in fact, the secretary took today, i think had been scheduled for half an hour. it went one hour and had to be rushed to conclusion, because they had many, many details to share with him. what it appeared to me as though what is that the personnel involved tick extraordinary care in tracking the militants that they had come under attack from. as you know this was originally an afghan unit that came in contact with taliban and in farha, and required back up from the marine unit. that even it came in and over the next several hours beat back this attack, killing several dozen taliban in the process, and required some close air support to ultimately prevail.
so, i think, as was noted i think some of the reports that have come up preliminarily about the investigation, that there were some problems with some tactics, techniques and procedures, or-- the way in which close air support was supposed to have been executed in this case, such that it leased with one of the aircraft involved, the b-1 bomber, that plane, because of how it takes its bombing routes, had to break away from positive idea of their target at one point to make its elongated approach. that is sort of the fundamental complaint that was rendered i believe it by this investigation. but i think what they found is that the numbers in terms of taliban killed and civilians who perished in this attack are very
similar to that-- those that some of the afghan defense officials believe are accurate. but, i am going to really leave it to centcom and their team there and general thomas to figure out how the old smedley present this final report to you, although i can tell you it's exhausted and it looks as though the guys on the ground were involved in this incident, took great pains to limit civilian casualties, to target those who would attack them but in the process of this bombing run, it looks as though they had to break away from the target at least for a period and there is no way to determine whether or not that had anything to do with the fact that civilian casualties did incur in this incident but they did note that is one of the problems associated with how this all took place. >> what about the early allegations that the taliban had killed some of these the vellis sins initially? what were some of the findings
on that? >> this was all prompted by the allegation that some former government of afghanistan officials had been beheaded by the taliban. afghan forces wanted to undertake an operation against the taliban who were responsible for the beheadings, asked for assistance from us. we provided a quick reaction force in the then they got in trouble. as it turns out they did, and the marine unit responded to back them up, and the events in the fall from there. you are talking about the allegation as to whether or not the taliban force people into their homes? i'm going to let them speak to that when they ultimately released the findings of this investigation. >> what were the total civilian casualties? >> again i am going to let them speak to the final numbers but they were greatly outnumbered by the talib k
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