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Public Policy Briefing – July 28, 2020

Bipartisan negotiations aimed at producing the next major federal COVID-19 response legislation – delayed by more than a week of infighting between congressional Republicans and the White House – are finally underway. The baseline for the talks: HEROES vs. HEALS, pitting the US$3.5 trillion HEROES Act passed by the US House of Representatives in May … Continue Reading

House Armed Services Committee Introduces “By Request” NDAA Bill; Mattis and Dunford to Testify at Armed Services and Appropriations Hearings; Trump Administration Considering Expansion of Laptop Ban

Legislative Activity House Armed Services Committee Introduces “By Request” NDAA Bill On June 7, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) and Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) introduced H.R. 2810, the “by request” version of the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This procedural measure is traditionally the first step in the legislative process … Continue Reading

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

Lawmaker Introduces Defense Acquisition Reform Bill; Lawmakers Introduce Federal Immigration Legislation

Legislative Activity House Armed Services Chairman Introduces Defense Acquisition Reform Bill On May 18, Mac Thornberry (R-TX), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, introduced the Defense Acquisition Streamlining and Transparency Act (H.R. 2511), a defense acquisition reform bill. The draft legislation would allow the Pentagon to use e-commerce for commercial-off-the-shelf items and streamline the defense contract … 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

“Buy American” Executive Order Could Impact U.S. Foreign Military Sales;

Legislative Activity This Week’s Hearings: On Wednesday, May 17, the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces has scheduled a hearing titled “Military Space Organization, Policy, and Programs.” On Wednesday, May 17, the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Airland has scheduled a hearing titled “United States Military Small Arms Requirements.” On Thursday, May 18, the … 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

“Buy American” Provisions Could Impact Pentagon; Federal Judge Bars Government From Withholding Funds to Sanctuary Jurisdictions; Local Officials Meet With Attorney General, Senior ICE Official To Discuss Sanctuary Policies

Legislative Activity “Buy American” Provisions Could Impact Pentagon Former Defense officials are concerned that tightening “Buy American” provisions might affect the Pentagon’s ability to procure the best technology, following President Donald Trump’s April 18 Executive Order (EO) calling for an expansive review of existing federal procurement programs to increase government procurement of U.S.-made products. During a … 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

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 Signs Updated Executive Order on Travel to the US; DHS Secretary Condemns Attacks on Jewish Institutions

Legislative Activity This Week’s Hearings: On Wednesday, March 15, the Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing titled “Vows for Visas: Investigating K-1 Fiance Fraud.” On Wednesday, March 15, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has scheduled a business meeting to consider the nomination of the Honorable Elaine Duke to be Deputy Secretary, U.S. … 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

House Panel to Consider Proposed Changes to Investor Visa Program

Legislative Activity House Panel to Consider Proposed Changes to Investor Visa Program This week, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing to consider changes to the EB-5 investor visa program proposed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS).  The EB-5 program is designed to bolster the U.S. economy … 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

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Issues EO Implementation Memos

Legislative Activity This Week’s Hearings: On Tuesday, February 28, the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications has scheduled a hearing titled “The Future of FEMA: Recommendations of Former Administrators.” The witnesses will be announced. On Tuesday, February 28, the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence has scheduled a hearing … Continue Reading
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