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Democratic Senate Staff Report Examines Costs of Proposed Border Wall; President Trump Signs Buy American and Hire American Executive Order; Trump Administration Warns “Sanctuary Cities” on Grant Funding

Legislative Activity Democratic Senate Staff Report Examines Costs of Proposed Border Wall On Tuesday, April 18, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee minority staff released a report detailing the costs of the Trump Administration’s proposed concrete wall along the United States’ southern border. The report, which claims the wall could cost nearly $70 … Continue Reading

President Trump Welcomes Argentine President to the White House and is Expected to Sign Additional Orders This Week; Congress Returns to Session and Focuses First on Averting a Federal Government Shutdown, While Holding Hearings on Russia, Syria, Afghanistan and the Asia-Pacific

Congress returns to Washington today after a two week recess. Both chambers must quickly pass legislation to fund the Federal Government through the end of FY 2017, before existing authority expires on 28 April. President Donald Trump signed a number of orders last week related to trade and financial services.   He signed an Executive Order on … Continue Reading

House Hearing Examines Enforcement of US Immigration Law; Armed Services Chair, Air Force Nominee Oppose CR; Trump Administration Calls on Jurisdictions to Enforce Immigration Requirements; Trump Administration Appeals Federal Court Ruling on Immigration Executive Order

Legislative Activity House Hearing Examines Enforcement of US Immigration Law On Tuesday, March 28, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security held a hearing titled “Restoring Enforcement of our Nation’s Immigration Laws” that featured the following witnesses: The Honorable Thomas Hodgson, Sheriff, Bristol County, Massachusetts; Jessica Vaughn, Director of Policy Studies, Center for … Continue Reading

President Trump Signed New Executive Orders Last Week, Focused on Trade and Energy; The President Will Host the Leaders of Egypt, Jordan and China This Week, While Congress Continues to Focus on Iran, Russia and North Korea

President Donald Trump will welcome Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and King Abdullah II of Jordan to the White House this week. He is expected to welcome Chinese President Xi Jinping to Mar-a-Lago later in the week. President Trump met last Thursday with Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen. According to the White House, the two … Continue Reading

Lawmaker Predicts Bigger Pentagon Budget, Chance of BRAC Round; Lawmakers Warn Full Year CR Would Disrupt Military Training; Trump Administration Releases Report on Compliance with Detention Requests

Legislative Activity Lawmaker Predicts Bigger Pentagon Budget, Chance of BRAC Round Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), believes that Congress will ultimately agree to fund the Department of Defense above the $603 billion requested by President Donald Trump for FY 2018, but not as high as some Republican … Continue Reading

President Trump Welcomes Danish Prime Minister to Washington; Secretary Tillerson Travels to Turkey and Brussels; Congress Continues to Scrutinize Russia and Iran

President Donald Trump focused last week on the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Healthcare Act, also known as Obamacare.  After the House of Representatives failed to advance the American Health Care Act (AHCA), President Trump indicated a next priority for the administration is tax reform. On Wednesday, President Trump called Prime Minister Theresa … Continue Reading

Administration Transmits FY 2017 Supplemental Funding Request to Congress; President Trump Names Boeing Executive as Deputy Defense Secretary; Federal Courts Stay Implementation of Revised Travel Ban

Legislative Activity Administration Transmits FY 2017 Supplemental Funding Request to Congress This week, the Trump Administration provided Congress with its supplemental appropriations request for the remainder of FY 2017.  The supplemental requests an additional $3 billion in funds for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including funds for US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) infrastructure and border … Continue Reading

President Trump’s FY 2018 Budget Request Cuts Foreign Assistance Account But Increases Defense Department’s Funding; President Trump Welcomes Iraqi Prime Minister This Week, While Secretary Tillerson Hosts the Anti-ISIS Global Coalition Partners in Washington; House Intelligence Committee Examines Alleged Russian Influence of the 2016 U.S. Elections

President Donald Trump met with Taoiseach Enda Kenny of Ireland last Thursday to discuss United States-Ireland economic and cultural ties as part of the White House’s annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration. President Trump welcomed German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the White House on Friday, where the President commended Germany’s contributions to the fight against ISIS. … Continue Reading

President Trump Welcomes German Chancellor to the White House; Senate Finance Committee to Hold a Hearing for Robert Lighthizer; Congressional Committees to Focus on Russia and Syria

President Donald Trump focused last week on health care reform and the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget proposal, with the skinny budget proposal due to be released this week.  President Trump spoke with President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority on Friday, President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya on Tuesday, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel … Continue Reading

Washington Awaits Details on the President’s FY 2018 Budget Proposal and Continues to Focus on Russia; the House is Scheduled to Take Up the Defense Appropriations Bill; the State Department Quietly Released the Human Rights Report, as well as the Narcotics Control Report Last Week

President Donald Trump gave an optimistic speech last Tuesday before a Joint Session of Congress that has largely been positively received.  The President said: “A new chapter of American Greatness is now beginning. A new national pride is sweeping across our Nation.  And a new surge of optimism is placing impossible dreams firmly within our … Continue Reading

President Trump to Address Congress; Senate to Vote on Ross’ Nomination; Pentagon to Submit Its Anti-ISIS Plan

President Donald Trump is preparing to release another immigration-related Executive Order (E.O.) that is expected to refine a previous directive that banned Syrian refugees from entering the United States and suspended the issuance of visas and admission into the United States for foreign nationals from seven countries of “particular concern.” The President will address a … Continue Reading

President Trump Will Welcome the Canadian and Israeli Prime Ministers This Week; The Senate Continues Working To Confirming Cabinet Members, Including the Next Treasury Secretary

President Trump hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe at the White House last Friday, discussing trade and security matters. Over the weekend, the two continued the dialogue while in Florida.  President Trump will welcome Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House on Monday and Wednesday, respectively.  He … Continue Reading

President Trump Speaks with Ukraine President and NATO Secretary General Over the Weekend; Iran Censured Last Week; Mattis Returns to Washington After a Trip to Japan and South Korea; President Trump Will Welcome Japan’s Prime Minister

Last Wednesday, the U.S. Senate approved Mr. Rex Tillerson to serve as the next Secretary of State. On his first day as Secretary of State, he met with German Vice Chancellor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sigmar Gabriel. Secretary Tillerson also spoke by phone with Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, … Continue Reading

New Executive Order Suspends U.S. Refugee Program, Visa Issuance; Lawmakers Call for Sequestration Repeal; Other Executive Actions

Legislative Activity Lawmakers Call for Sequestration Repeal Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH), a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, has enlisted other lawmakers in urging House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) to repeal Pentagon spending limits mandated by the 2011 Budget Control Act. Twenty-four Republicans have signed on to the letter, which seeks a floor … Continue Reading

Senate May Confirm Tillerson This Week; President Trump Spoke Last Week with Foreign Leaders, Including Russian President Putin; U.K. Prime Minister Visited Washington

The U.S. Congress is in session this week; the Senate is expected to vote on Mr. Rex Tillerson’s nomination to be Secretary of State. Nikki Haley was sworn in last week to be the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Gen. James Mattis was also sworn in as the next U.S. Secretary of Defense. Last … Continue Reading

Senate Armed Services Committee Unveils Subcommittee Leaders, Budget White Paper; Trump Defense and Homeland Security Officials Assume Duties

Legislative Activity Senate Armed Services Committee Unveils Subcommittee Leaders, Budget White Paper On Wednesday, January 18, the Senate Armed Services Committee announced subcommittee chairmen and ranking members for the 115th Congress, including for a newly-created panel on cybersecurity: Subcommittee on AirLand: Tom Cotton (R-AR), Chair/ Angus King (I-ME), Ranking Member Subcommittee on Cybersecurity: Mike Rounds … Continue Reading

President Trump Settles into the White House; The U.S. Senate Confirmed Gen. Mattis as the Next Secretary of Defense

On Friday, 20 January, Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America. In his remarks, President Trump stated: “Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families.” He added: “We will follow two simple rules: … Continue Reading

Senate Panels Prepare for Trump Cabinet Confirmation Hearings; Lawmakers Concerned About Future of DACA and DAPA Programs; Trump Transition Requests Information on Potential Border Wall

Legislative Activity Senate Panels Prepare for Trump Cabinet Confirmation Hearings This week, Senate lawmakers will begin a number of hearings to consider President-Elect Trump’s Cabinet nominees. On Wednesday, January 11, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing to consider the nomination of Gen. John Kelly to be Secretary of the … Continue Reading

Alleged Russia Cyber Aggression Examined; The Obama Administration Releases Exit Memos; Congress To Consider Trump Administration Cabinet Nominees This Week

The 115th Congress convened on Tuesday, 3 January. U.S. businessman Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on Friday, January 20. Russia –Aggression Scrutinized At the end of December, the Obama Administration announced punitive measures targeting Russia for what President Barack Obama characterized as the “Russian government’s aggressive … Continue Reading

Senate Expected to Act on the NDAA Conference Report; Iran Sanctions Extension Act Sent to President Obama’s Desk

The U.S. Congress will be in session again this week, primarily focusing on advancing a Continuing Resolution to fund the U.S. Government beyond 9 December. Last week, the Senate passed the Iran Sanctions Extension Act (H.R. 6269) by a vote of 99-0 on 1 December, sending the measure to President Obama’s desk. This week, the … Continue Reading

Washington Responds to the News of Fidel Castro’s Death; The Senate Foreign Relations Committee Will Focus on Iran; NDAA Has Yet to Be Addressed by Both Chambers of Congress

Last week, Washington hosted the final U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) under the Obama Administration. On Saturday, President Barack Obama issued a statement on the death of former Cuban President Fidel Castro, as did several Members of Congress. This week, the House of Representatives has noted a possible vote on the reconciled … Continue Reading

Congress Focuses on a Short-Term CR and Possibly Overriding the JASTA Veto; Washington Hosts the AGOA Summit This Week

President Barack Obama addressed the U.N. General Assembly last week, giving his final speech to the Assembly. He also participated in the Leaders’ Summit on Refugees and the U.S.-Africa Business Forum events in New York City. The White House released a fact sheet last Wednesday on U.S.-Africa cooperation with respect to trade and investment during the Obama … Continue Reading

President Obama To Address the U.N. General Assembly and Participate in Refugee- and Africa-Focused Events in New York City; The U.S. Congress Focuses on North Korea, Iran, South Sudan and the South China Sea, Apart From Funding the U.S. Government

U.S. President Barack Obama is in New York City for his speech to the U.N. General Assembly (UNGA) this week, as well as attend the Leaders’ Summit on Refugees and the U.S.-Africa Business Forum.  Secretary of the U.S. Department of State John Kerry is also in New York City this week, meeting on the margins of … Continue Reading

Congress Focuses on Iran, Syria, North Korea and Cyber Security, as well as Funding the Federal Government and Possibly Reconciling the Defense Authorization Measure; President Obama to Meet with State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma

Last week, President Barack Obama returned to Washington early Friday morning from his Asia-Pacific trip, as the U.S. Congress advanced S. 2040, Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), to his desk.  President Obama honored the victims of the 9/11 attack Sunday morning in a ceremony at the Pentagon. North Korea reportedly conducted its fifth … Continue Reading
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