Tag Archives: iraq

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’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

House to Vote on an Iran-Sanctions Bill and a Measure to Electrify Africa; Some Congressional Hearings to Focus on Countering ISIL and the U.S. Strategy for Syria and Iraq

The Senate was in session last week, while the House of Representatives remained in recess in observance of the Martin Luther King holiday.  On 16 January, Implementation Day of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran took effect, as did a prisoner swap.  Washington’s attention then quickly shifted to an impending historic blizzard … Continue Reading

Congress Returns to Washington and Focuses on ISIL, Russia; President Obama Attends the Climate Conference in Paris

Combatting ISIL – Syria and Iraq Crises After Turkey downed a Russian fighter jet over its territory last Tuesday, President Barack Obama maintained Turkey had a right to defend its airspace.  He spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that day, expressing U.S. and NATO support for Turkey’s right to defend its sovereignty.  The two … Continue Reading

U.S. Condemns Recent Terrorist Attacks Abroad; President Obama Travels to Turkey and the Asia-Pacific Region; ISIL Attacks Dominate the G-20 Summit

Terrorist Attacks – Paris and Beirut Last Friday evening, President Barack Obama addressed the nation as the press reported of numerous fatalities and injuries resulting from coordinated terrorist attacks at multiple locations in Paris, France.  The President immediately offered U.S. assistance to France and said the attacks were “an attack on all of humanity and … Continue Reading

Congress Continues to Focus on the Iran Nuclear Deal; The Administration Continues to Scrutinize Russia’s Activities; UNGA Opens in New York City

Iran Nuclear Deal On Thursday, 10 September, the Senate failed to pass a motion to invoke cloture on the resolution disapproving of the Iran nuclear deal (H.J.Res. 61) by a vote of 58-42. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) immediately filed a new motion, teeing up another vote on the measure this week. President Barack Obama … Continue Reading

President Obama Travels to Africa; Congress Continues to Scrutinize the Iran Deal, While the Senate Looks to Possibly Reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank

President Obama’s Africa Trip President Barack Obama travelled to Kenya this past weekend, where he met with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.  The Governments of the United States and Kenya issued a joint commitment to promote good governance and anti-corruption efforts in Kenya.  The White House also released fact sheets on: (1) Advancing Democracy, Human Rights, Gender Equality, Wildlife Conservation, … Continue Reading

Possible Announcement of a Comprehensive Deal with Iran; Greek Debt Crisis Still Unresolved; TTIP Negotiators Meet in Brussels; TPP Chief Negotiators to Meet at the End of the Month in Hawaii

Iran According to the press, the P5+1 negotiators and Iran plan to announce today that they have reached a historic deal that would address Iran’s nuclear program in return for sanctions relief. Though negotiators said that they had hoped to reach a nuclear agreement with Iran by last Friday, Secretary of State John Kerry announced … Continue Reading

Congress Returns Ready to Scrutinize Any P5+1 Agreement Reached with Iran; Ex-Im Bank Charter Expires, Possible Congressional Action in July; and the NDAA and Customs Bills are Expected to be Conferenced in July

Iran As was expected, the P5+1 countries agreed last week to extend their voluntary deadline for finalizing a comprehensive deal with Iran over its nuclear program by one week to 7 July. At a White House press briefing, President Obama acknowledged that hard negotiations remain, but it will ultimately be up to the Iranians to … Continue Reading

Senate to Act on Trade Measures, including TPA; Secretary of Defense to Attend NATO Defense Ministerial Meeting This Week in Brussels, While Ceasefire Violations Continue in Eastern Ukraine

TPA Moves Separately, Senate Vote Sequencing Outlined After the House Rules Committee approved a vote on a standalone Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill – unlinking it from the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) bill that previously failed in a vote – the House passed the measure last Thursday by a vote of 218 to 208. This … Continue Reading

House Passed TPA Last Week, To Vote Again on TAA This Week; The Senate Resumes its NDAA Floor Debate; Defense Secretary Carter to Testify Before a House Committee; Fighting Flares Up Again in Eastern Ukraine

Recap of Last Week’s House Action on Trade Legislation Last Friday, President Barack Obama made a last-minute trip to Capitol Hill in the morning to encourage support among Democrats for the bill containing Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), acknowledging to the press that the vote situation remained fluid. That afternoon, the … Continue Reading

President Obama Attends the G-7 Summit; House to Consider COOL Legislation and Possibly TPA; While the Senate Resumes its FY 2016 NDAA Floor Debate

G-7 Summit President Barack Obama arrived in Germany on Sunday to attend the G-7 Summit. The leaders are expected to review the current situation in Ukraine; discuss continued support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity; and underscore their support for a diplomatic solution based on full implementation of the Minsk agreements. Many expect the G-7 … Continue Reading

Congress Scrutinizes Iran, as the Deadline for a Final Deal Approaches; Ceasefire Violations in Ukraine Continue; Congress to Hold Hearings on ISIL; The House is Expected to Turn to Trade Measures At Some Point in June

Vice President Mourns Death of Son Late on Saturday, 30 May, the White House informed the public that Vice President Joseph Biden’s son, Joseph R. “Beau” Biden III , passed away after a two-year battle with brain cancer. He was 46 years old. Iran Despite media reports last week that yet another delay may be … Continue Reading

Senate to Begin Floor Debate of Its TPA Measure This Week; Congressional Committees to Focus on Nepal, Cuba, Extremism in the Middle East, and U.S. Trade Promotion Agencies

Trade Promotion Authority On Tuesday, 12 May, the Senate failed, on a largely party line vote, to pass a motion to proceed to H.R. 1314, which includes Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). After the failed vote, negotiations between Republicans and Democrats continued in earnest to chart a way forward for the TPA-TAA … Continue Reading

Senate to Vote on Motion to Proceed to TPA; House to Debate its NDAA Meaure, and Possibly Take Up the Senate-Passed Iran Bill; The Conflict in Eastern Ukraine Intensifies

TPA Update Last Wednesday, 6 May, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) filed a motion to proceed to a “shell” House-passed bill (H.R. 1314) for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), a procedural tactic used since TPA is a revenue measure and must originate in the House. The next day, the Majority Leader filed cloture on a … Continue Reading

President Obama Hosts Japan’s Prime Minister; Congress Shifts From Last Week’s Focus on Trade Measures to Iran (Senate) and the NDAA (House Armed Services)

Upcoming Head of State Visit This week, President Obama will host his eighth Head of State visit, welcoming Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the White House. Previous visits include: India (November 2009); Mexico (May 2010); China (January 2011); Germany (June 2011); Korea (October 2011); the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland (March 2012); and France … Continue Reading

Congress Focuses on TPA and Iran; TPP and TTIP Negotiators Meet This Week; President Obama Meets with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi

Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) On Thursday, 16 April, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) released a draft Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill – The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (“TPA-2015”). The bill includes objectives on currency manipulation, settlement of investor-state disputes, intellectual property protections, … Continue Reading

Congress Returns to Washington, Focuses on Iran, Russia, Yemen and Possibly TPA; President Obama to Host Iraqi and Italian Prime Ministers This Week in Washington

Iran With the Obama Administration facing months of international negotiations with Tehran for a comprehensive deal on Iran’s nuclear program, it also worked this week to ensure congressional actions do not compromise the diplomatic effort. Bipartisan lawmakers still believe Congress should have an up-or-down vote on any final accord reached with Iran. The Senate Foreign … Continue Reading

Senate Foreign Relations Committee to Focus on Ukraine and the AUMF against ISIL; Obama Administration Still Holding on New Sanctions Related to the Situation in Ukraine; Senate Republicans Write an Open Letter to Iran’s Leaders

The Senate is in session this week, while the House of Representatives is in recess. Russia/Ukraine Crisis During a Wednesday hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee last week, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland said Russia would face new consequences should it: (1) continue “fueling the fire” in any … Continue Reading

Defense Department Congressional Oversight Hearings Ahead

Secretary Carter to Testify on the Defense Department’s Budget This week, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter will testify this week on the Department’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Budget request. He is scheduled to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday and the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee on Wednesday. Sequestration In advance of congressional oversight … Continue Reading

Israel’s Prime Minister To Address Congress This Week, While Vice President Biden and Secretary Kerry Travel Abroad; Early Congressional Momentum on Renewing U.S. Ex-Im Bank Charter, While Action on Trade Promotion Authority Stumbles

Iran/Israel The disagreement between the Obama Administration and Prime Minister Netanyahu deepened last week. In advance of his address before a joint session of Congress this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the deal emerging from the ongoing P5+1 Talks will allow Iran to become a “nuclear threshold state.” National Security Adviser Susan Rice … Continue Reading

Secretary of State John Kerry to Testify Before Congress; U.S. Considering New Sanctions Related to the Ongoing Situation in Ukraine; A New Trade Promotion Authority Bill is Imminent

State Department’s FY 2016 Budget Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to testify this week before Congress on the Department’s FY 2016 Budget request and U.S. interests abroad.  The hearings will be held: On Tuesday, 24 February before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; On Wednesday, 25 February before the House Foreign Affairs Committee; and On … Continue Reading

The White House Hosts a Countering Violent Extremism Summit; Washington Closely Monitoring the Situation in Ukraine; Congress is in Recess

Upcoming Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Summit U.S. National Counterterrorism Center Director Nicholas Rasmussen reported last week that 20,000 foreign fighters are joining ISIL and other extremist organizations. Secretary of State John Kerry also observed that thousands of extremist fighters have been killed in Syria and in Iraq, including many foreign fighters. This week, the White House … Continue Reading
LexBlog