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Congressional Hearings Will Focus on the State and Defense Department’s FY 2018 Budgets, While the Senate Focuses on an Iran Sanctions Bill

Most of Washington was focused on last Thursday’s Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, where former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) James Comey testified about circumstances that may have contributed to his termination.  President Trump announced on Wednesday that he was nominating Christopher Wray to serve as Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations … Continue Reading

President Trump Welcomes the Romanian President To the White House; Montenegro Formally Joins NATO; Secretaries Tillerson and Mattis Attend AUSMIN; Congress Remains Focused on Russia, As Former FBI Director Comey Testifies

President Donald Trump spoke by phone on Thursday with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, President Emmanuel Macron of France, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, and Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom, where he explained his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord on Thursday.  He further reassured the … Continue Reading

President Trump Travels Overseas to Saudi Arabia, Israel and Europe; Congress Focuses on Iran, Russia and Cyber Matters

President Donald Trump departed Washington Friday afternoon for Riyadh, kicking off a nine-day trip with stops in Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Europe. According to National Security Advisor Gen. H.R. McMaster, who previewed the President’s trip, the trip has three core purposes:  (1) reaffirm U.S. global leadership; (2) continue building key relationships with world leaders; and … Continue Reading

President Trump Welcomes Officials from the UAE, Turkey and Colombia, Before Departing Washington for His First Overseas Trip; Congressional Committees will hold Hearings Ranging from the Asia-Pacific to Africa to the Western Hemisphere and the Balkans

President Donald Trump signed two Executive Orders last Thursday, one related to strengthening the cybersecurity of federal networks and critical infrastructure and the other related to establishing a presidential advisory commission on election integrity.  He also met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday, discussing Syria, Ukraine, and other topics. President Trump fired Director … Continue Reading

The Senate Will Hold Hearings on North Korea, Russia and Cyber-Related Concerns; the Pentagon Readies its Afghan Strategy for the President

President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order last Thursday related to religion.  Later that day, he traveled to New York, New York, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea and to meet with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.  The President spoke with President Vladimir Putin of Russia by telephone last … Continue Reading

President Trump Will Welcome the Palestinian President to the White House and Meet with the Australian Prime Minister in New York City; Congress Will Hold Hearings on Human Trafficking, Remittances and International Development, While Also Focusing on a Longer-Term Funding Measure for the Remainder of Fiscal Year 2017

President Donald Trump welcomed Argentine President Mauricio Macri to the White House last Thursday. In a joint statement, the two leaders committed to expanding bilateral trade and investments; strengthening cooperation to counter narco-trafficking, terrorist financing, money laundering, corruption and other illicit finance activities; and increasing cooperation on cyber policy. President Trump will welcome Palestinian President … 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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Reconvenes, With the House Considering an Iran Sanctions Act Extension Measure and a Syria-Related Bill; President Obama Travels to Greece, Germany and Peru

Last week, U.S. Businessman Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on 8 November, in what many are describing as an upset.  President-Elect Trump’s transition team is now tasked with vetting possible Cabinet appointees and lower-level appointees, receiving briefings from the Obama Administration on the issues facing the … 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
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