POLICY AND PUBLIC INTEREST
Sandy Di Angelis 27, Sep 5 mins
5 mins
The Ritz Herald
U.S. Capitol, Washington D.C. © Eleven Photographs
Lawmakers push for Senate action on bill to eliminate animal testing mandate, after FDA policy reforms removed from larger legislative package set for passage

Today, Senators Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Cory Booker, D-N.J., introduced a modified form of their popular FDA Modernization Act in the hopes of passing the bipartisan, non-controversial bill in the Senate this week. The new bill is identical in wording to the version of the FDA Modernization Act approved in June by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Animal Wellness Action, the Center for a Humane Economy, and dozens of other organizations and businesses called on the Senate to pass the legislation this week.  If it clears the Senate, the organizations are calling on the House to take it up right away. The original House version of the FDA Modernization Act, H.R. 2565, was introduced by Representatives Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., Elaine Luria, D-Virg., and Nancy Mace, R-S.C., also has broad bipartisan support.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed its FDA legislative package for user fee reauthorization in a landslide vote of 392 – 28 in early June after the committee passed the measure 55 – 0. The Senate HELP Committee passed its version of the package in June. Senator Ben Ray Lujan, D-NM, succeeded in strengthening the FDA Modernization Act by adding language to amend the Public Health Service Act to remove the animal testing requirement for biosimilars. His original bill, the Reducing Animal Testing Act, is included as a provision in the Senate bill introduced today.

The amended legislation has the potential in the coming years to prevent the use of millions of animals and to deliver safer, more effective drugs to patients.

“Lawmakers from both parties recognize that the United States must lift an archaic animal-testing mandate for drug development and replace…

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Biden-Harris Administration Releases Bold Agenda to Reduce Emissions Across America’s Industrial Sector
The Ritz Herald

The U.S. Department of Energy released its “Industrial Decarbonization Roadmap”—a comprehensive report identifying four key pathways to reduce industrial emissions in American manufacturing. The roadmap emphasizes the urgency of dramatically cutting carbon emissions and pollution from the industrial sector, and presents a staged research, development, and demonstration…

Midterm Election Model Shows Republicans Have a 74% Chance of Winning the House; Democrats Have a 78% Chance of Retaining the Senate
The Ritz Herald

Today The Economist launched the third edition of its statistical forecasting model for American Congressional elections, which predicts how many seats in the House of Representatives and Senate each party is likely to win in this year’s midterm elections in the United States. The Economist’s midterm model simulates the…

Queen Elizabeth II Has Died Peacefully at Balmoral This Afternoon at Age 96
The Ritz Herald

Buckingham Palace confirms that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has died on Thursday at the age of 96. A statement from Buckingham Palace said, “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London…

U.S., Partners Conduct Mission in Middle East
The Ritz Herald

United States ground and naval units, as well as coalition and regional partner air forces executed a Bomber Task Force mission across the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, Sept. 4.

During the BTF, two B-52H Stratofortresses, assigned to Air Force Global Strike Command, conducted theater integration training and operations…

National Press Club Statement on Killing of Investigative Reporter Jeff German
The Ritz Herald

Following is a statement from Jen Judson, President of the National Press Club and Gil Klein, President of the National Press Club Journalism Institute on the weekend killing of Jeff German, an investigative reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

‘We were stunned and saddened to hear of the apparent murder…

5 mins
Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen H. Hicks tours the Pentagon’s Energy Expo, which showcases emerging energy technologies to advance the combat capabilities of the Joint Force, Sept. 21, 2022. © Lisa Ferdinando, DOD
The Ritz Herald
Prioritizing energy demand reduction in new systems acquisitions and upgrades to existing systems is not only good for the climate, it's also essential for warfighters, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen H. Hicks said

For the past week, the Pentagon’s central courtyard resembled a giant science fair featuring the newest energy saving technology, and Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen H. Hicks said she was impressed both by what this means for energy conservation and for warfighters.

The demonstrations in the courtyard were part of the Pentagon Energy Expo and featured contractors, Defense Department agencies, research labs and more. Hicks took reporters on a lightning tour of the courtyard and then spoke about the need for such innovation.

The deputy secretary has championed innovation in her many tours around the department and with contractors. “I have been to a number of sites — DOD and non-DOD — throughout the country to look at similar displays,” she said. “And I think just in general, I’m really blown away always by the incredible innovation that’s happening in the United States; and we in DOD want need to be a part of that.”

Hicks saw a drone that ran on hydrogen, a tactical autonomous vehicle, a rechargeable expeditionary power source, and a tactical electrification kit in her walk around the courtyard. She passed exhibits that touted new methods of battery recharging, hydrogen fuel cells, solar cells and more.

Hicks said energy…

2 mins
A member of the 111th Security Forces Squadron holds his weapon at the ready position while wearing Mission Oriented Protective Posture gear and body armor during a readiness exercise held by the 111th Attack Wing at Biddle Air National Guard Base in Horsham, Pennsylvania, Sept. 17, 2022. © Maj. Gordon Beecroft
The Ritz Herald
Airmen tested ability to support pre-deployment and post-deployment operations during a readiness exercise at Biddle Air National Guard Base

Pennsylvania Air National Guard Airmen of the 111th Attack Wing conducted a readiness exercise during an extended drill Sept. 15-17 at Biddle Air National Guard Base to test their ability to support pre-deployment and post-deployment operations.

The exercise is one of two major events that will test the wing this year, along with a capstone inspection in December.

During the exercise, each group and squadron was challenged to perform its duties while evaluated by the 111th ATKW inspector general and wing inspection team. They responded to simulated crises and enemy action at home station and in a deployed scenario.

“I can’t express properly how impressed I was with the robustness and rigorousness of the exercise that the IG put together and the great work they did to coordinate it all with our WIT team,” said Col. Deane Thomey, commander of the 111th ATKW.

Units across the wing worked diligently to set up base functions from scratch, essentially establishing a fully functional deployment location with communications, tents and entry control points as Airmen dealt with simulated crises.

In the home station scenario, the 111th ATKW executed its pre-deployment functions, ensuring that all Airmen were properly equipped before deploying.

“I saw everybody with great attitudes, energized and…

PMA Welcomes Federal Employee Pay Raise, Expresses Concern Regarding Inflation, Funding
The Ritz Herald

Executive Director Chad Hooper of the Professional Managers Association (PMA) – formed in 1981 by Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Managers as a national membership association representing the interests of professional managers, management officials and non-bargaining unit employees in the federal government and within the IRS – released the following…

U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Visits Indo-Pacific Bases
The Ritz Herald

U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. recently traveled to locations across the Department of Defense’s priority theater, reinforcing the U.S. and U.S. Air Force commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific and recognizing the contributions of Airmen and families serving there.

Brown was able to meet…

Nation’s Largest Truck Manufacturers Call for Investment, Coordination to Support ZEV Rollout
The Ritz Herald

Speaking jointly on a panel at the Green Transportation Summit and Expo, representatives from Daimler Truck, Navistar, PACCAR and Volvo Group outlined a shared vision for an industry-wide transition to medium- and heavy-duty (MHD) zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs).

“ZEV commercial vehicles are in production and ready for…

Deputy Secretary Hicks Discusses Roles for Universities in Nation’s Defense
The Ritz Herald

Last week Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks toured the Midwest, visiting U.S. Transportation Command in Illinois, the Air Force Research Laboratory in Ohio and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. As part of the trip, the deputy secretary also stopped by Purdue University in Indiana to meet…

PMA Applauds IRS Decision to Launch Safety Review Following Baseless Claims About IRA
The Ritz Herald

Executive Director Chad Hooper of the Professional Managers Association (PMA) – formed in 1981 by Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Managers as a national membership association representing the interests of professional managers, management officials and non-bargaining unit employees in the federal government and within the IRS – released the following…

4 mins
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© Drew Angerer
The four co-chairs served under Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald J. Trump and seek to work with communities to address the growing national crisis of hate-fueled violence and protect human dignity
By / Deputy Editor

During the United We Stand Summit at the White House to counter hate-fueled violence, a bipartisan group of former Directors of the White House Domestic Policy Council from the last three presidential administrations announced Dignity.us, a Citizens’ Initiative to Address Hate-Fueled Violence in America. The non-partisan effort addresses a disturbing and accelerating decline in mutual trust in America and an increase in targeted hate and violence. Hate-fueled violence, for which data was first collected in 1990, has reached levels not seen since the aftermath of 9/11 and undercuts the bonds of mutual respect that make self-government possible.

The initiative will act quickly to hear and learn from diverse points of view from around the country – including communities such as Buffalo, N.Y., Charleston, S.C., El Paso, Texas, Nickel Mines, Pa., Orlando, Fla., Pittsburgh, and Uvalde, Texas, that have drawn strength and resilience from the heart of suffering. It will then examine the evidence and develop a set of recommendations sourced from the nation and move with a sense of urgency toward implementation. The effort is also designed to support communities that often work in isolation in the aftermath of violence and can make common cause across communities in a spirit of national unity.

The initiative is co-chaired by John Bridgeland, Cecilia Muñoz, Melody Barnes and Joe Grogan (former Directors of the White House Domestic Policy Council under Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald J. Trump, respectively) and supported by the presidential centers or foundations of Presidents Barack Obama, George W….

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Following record-breaking rain, life-threatening flooding, and scorching wildfires throughout the nation, homeowners left picking up the pieces could be victimized a second time by dishonest contractors looking to make a quick, corrupt buck.

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Medicare Beneficiaries Overwhelmingly Support Policies to Protect Access to Medicare Home Health
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7 mins
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III met with families, Sept. 14, 2022 at the Pentagon during a National POW/MIA Recognition Day event. © Lisa Ferdinando, DOD
The Ritz Herald
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III met at the Pentagon with former prisoners of war, families of military members missing in action and staff from embassies of nations

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III met yesterday at the Pentagon with former prisoners of war, families of military members missing in action and staff from embassies of nations. The DOD works with these groups to account for missing American personnel and commemorate National POW/MIA Recognition Day.

“Every year on National POW/MIA Recognition Day, we gathered to honor American service members who were taken captive to stand with the families of the missing and the unaccounted for and to renew our commitment to bring home our missing heroes,” Austin said.

The Defense Department works to recover those who have been taken captive or who are lost in combat, Austin said. And earlier in the week, the remains of one such service member finally came home.

In 1943, During World War II, Austin said, Army Air Corps Lt. Col. Addison Baker led pilots on a low-flying attack on enemy-controlled oil fields near Ploiesti, Romania.

“As he neared his target, the enemy hit him with an anti-aircraft shell,” Austin said. “His plane was burning and damaged and he could have chosen to land. But Lt. Col. Baker was determined to complete the mission. He kept going until he hit his target. But afterwards, his…

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Senior Executives Association Urges House to Pass Preventing a Patronage System Act

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NAAUSA Statement on Protecting the Safety of Law Enforcement, Integrity of Justice System
The Ritz Herald

Steven Wasserman, President of the National Association of Assistant U.S. Attorneys (NAAUSA) – representing the interests of Assistant U.S. Attorneys (AUSAs) working in the 94 U.S. Attorney Offices – issued the following statement regarding attacks on federal law enforcement and the Joint Intelligence Bulletin on related threats:

“The unfounded attacks…

Noble to Begin Aviation FSG 53 Hardware & Abrasives Operations Under $1.2 Billion U.S. Defense Logistics Agency Contract
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George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group Deploys
The Ritz Herald

The aircraft carrier joins guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) and guided-missile destroyers USS Delbert D. Black (DDG 119), USS Farragut (DDG 99) and USS Truxtun (DDG 103) who recently departed from their homeports. Notably, Delbert D. Black is underway on her maiden deployment.

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