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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

President Obama Returns Early From an Overseas Trip and Heads to Dallas; Congress Works to Wrap Business Before Summer Recess and Will Hold Hearings on the Human Trafficking Report, Zika, Cyber Concerns, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Turkey, and Pakistan, Among Other Topics; TTIP Negotiators Meet This Week

President Barack Obama travelled to Warsaw, Poland, at the end of last week to attend the NATO Summit and meet with Polish government officials.  In joint remarks to the press after a U.S.-EU meeting on Friday, President Obama emphasizing a close cooperation with the EU, including through the ongoing transatlantic free trade agreement negotiations, while … Continue Reading

“Brexit” Dominates, as the Financial Markets Roil – Secretary Kerry Heads to Brussels and London; President Obama Heads to Canada for the North American Leaders’ Summit; While the House is in Recess, Senate Committees Will Focus on the State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Measure and the Full Chamber May Consider the Zika Compromise Measure

President Barack Obama acknowledged from San Francisco early Friday morning that the British had exercised their sovereign rights and chosen to exit the European Union.  Washington awoke to the news and the corresponding negative reaction of the international financial markets soon after.  Secretary of State John Kerry changed his travel schedule, adding a stop in … Continue Reading

President Obama to Participate in the SelectUSA Investment Summit and the Global Entrepreneurship Summit; Congress to Examine the U.S. Economy

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden traveled to Orlando, Florida, last Thursday to meet with the families of the 49 victims of the shooting at a gay nightclub last weekend.  President Obama will participate in this week’s SelectUSA Investment Summit, which will be held in Washington, D.C.  Secretary of State John Kerry affirmed … Continue Reading

Senate NDAA Floor Debate Continues This Week; Congressional Hearings To Examine U.S. Policy Toward Russia, Libya, Egypt

President Barack Obama hosted Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India last week, and the Prime Minister addressed a joint session of Congress on Wednesday.  The United States and China held their annual Strategic & Economic Dialogue last week in Beijing, issuing a joint statement at the conclusion. Congress was in session last week and will … Continue Reading

Washington Hosts Indian Prime Minister; Senate NDAA Floor Debate Expected; Senate Committee to Examine Russia’s Record, While Other Congressional Committees Examine Terrorism Financing

Washington will welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India this week, with President Obama hosting him at the White House.  The U.S. Department of the Treasury designated North Korea as a primary money-laundering jurisdiction last week, imposing additional restrictions on the country’s financial sector. Congress was in recess last week in observance of the Memorial … Continue Reading

President Obama Travels to the Asia Pacific Region; Senate Expected to Debate its NDAA Measure; House Committee to Mark-Up the Senate-Passed FY 2016 State Department Reauthorization Bill; Some Congressional Committees to Focus on the Iran Nuclear Deal

President Barack Obama departed on Sunday for what will be his 10th trip to Asia, with scheduled stops in Vietnam and Japan.  The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) released its much-anticipated report reviewing the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s (TPP) implications to the U.S. economy last Wednesday.  The Administration immediately pointed to the report and called for Congress … Continue Reading

President Obama Looks Ahead To His 10th Trip Go Asia, After Hosting The Nordic Leaders Last Week; The House Will Debate The NDAA This Week, While the Senate Committee Markup Wrapped Last Week; Secretary Kerry Travels to Saudi Arabia, Austria, and Belgium

Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted the Nordic Leaders Summit in Washington, with the Leaders affirming shared fundamental values and areas of collaboration, while also spotlighting Russia’s military activities in the Baltic Sea region and confirming multilateral sanctions imposed on Russia will remain in place.  Secretary of State John Kerry attended the Global Anti-Corruption Summit … Continue Reading

President Obama Hosts the Nordic Leaders Summit; Senate NDAA Committee Markup Ahead, While Full Senate Attempts (Again) to Pass the MTB Reform Bill

Vice President Joe Biden hosted the U.S.-Caribbean and Central American Energy Summit last week, reaffirming the U.S. commitment to addressing energy security concerns in the Western Hemisphere.  President Barack Obama will host the Nordic Leaders Summit in Washington on Friday to deepen U.S.-Nordic cooperation and affirm the U.S. commitment to European security, trans-Atlantic trade and the … Continue Reading

The House Armed Services Committee Marks-Up the NDAA, While the Full House Considers an MTB Reform Bill; A Senate Committee Marks-Up the DIGIT Act, While President Obama is in Germany at the Hanover Messe

President Barack Obama travelled to Saudi Arabia last week, meeting with Saudi officials on Thursday and attending the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit on Friday to discuss crises in the Middle East.  The President then travelled to the United Kingdom (UK), where he urged the UK to remain in the EU ahead of its June … Continue Reading

Fighting Reportedly Escalates in Syria and Ukraine; House Armed Services Subcommittees to Mark-up the NDAA

Tension between the United States and Russia remains heightened, particularly after recent reports of close military encounters in the Baltic Sea.  The ceasefire agreements appear to be tenuous in both Ukraine and Syria, with intensified fighting reported in both countries. While in Washington for the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) annual Spring Meeting, … Continue Reading

Washington Hosts the Annual World Bank/IMF Spring Meeting, While the Obama Administration Examines the Global Steel Crisis; Congress Will Hold Hearings Focused on ISIL and the U.N. Peacekeeping Forces

The Obama Administration will focus this week on the global steel crisis, holding a public hearing on the topic.  Washington will also host the annual World Bank/International Monetary Fund (IMF) Spring Meeting. Both chambers of Congress will be in session this week.  A House subcommittee will consider a Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) reform measure on Thursday.  … Continue Reading

President Obama Addresses the Chief of Missions Conference; Iran’s Ballistic Missile Tests Continue to be Scrutinized; Ambassador Froman Heads to Brussels

President Barack Obama hosted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the White House last week for an official Head of State Visit, marking the close bilateral relationship between the two countries.  President Obama will visit the State Department today to deliver remarks at the Chief of Missions Conference.  Meanwhile, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman heads … Continue Reading

Senate Finance Committee to Examine Past Free Trade Agreements; Ceasefire Takes Effect in Syria

President Barack Obama signed the customs bill and Judicial Redress Act into law last Wednesday.  In addressing U.S. state governors last week, the President expressed optimism that Congress may act this year on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal.  Congress will be in session this week, with a number of defense-related hearings scheduled, as well as a … Continue Reading

U.S. President Announces Upcoming Trips to Cuba, Argentina, Vietnam and Laos; Congress Returns to Washington, Faces a Busy Week of Oversight Hearings, Including Testimony from the Secretaries of State and Defense

Early last week, President Barack Obama hosted the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Leaders in California and announced he will travel in May to Vietnam and Laos.  Back in Washington on Wednesday, the President announced another trip in March to Cuba and Argentina.  Congress was in recess last week, in observance of the Presidents’ … Continue Reading

Senate to Vote on a North Korea Sanctions Bill, While the House Focuses on Oversight Hearings; President Obama Hosts Italian President Mattarella and Releases His Budget Proposal; With the TPP Agreement Signed, Republicans Warns of Slow Congressional Process

U.S. President Barack Obama hosted Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos at the White House last Thursday, while U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal that day in New Zealand.  Some Republican Members warned that despite the U.S. signature the congressional process may take some time.  Last Tuesday, after missing an EU … Continue Reading

Washington Seeks to Protect the Homeland from the Rapidly Spreading Zika Virus; Ambassador Froman Heads to the TPP Signing Ceremony; Safe Harbor Negotiators Fail to Meet EU Deadline

Historic snowfall levels kept the U.S. Federal Government from officially reopening until Wednesday of last week.  President Barack Obama, however, met the day before with his health and national security teams to discuss the rapid spread of Zika and other mosquito-borne viruses in the Americas and steps being taken to protect U.S. citizens.  The President … 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 Focuses on Nonproliferation (Iran, North Korea); President Obama Focuses on the State of the Union Address

The House of Representatives reconvened in Washington last Tuesday.  The Senate reconvenes today.  President Barack Obama will address a joint session of Congress on Tuesday when he gives the annual State of the Union.  Last week, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget announced the President would release his Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Budget … Continue Reading

Congress Adjourns for the Year – Recap of Last Week’s Foreign Policy Matters; President Obama Departs Washington for the Holidays

Congress approved an Omnibus spending measure and tax extenders package last Friday, its final major hurdle before adjourning for the year.  The House is expected to return for the new congressional session on Tuesday, 5 January 2016, with the Senate to follow on Monday, 11 January. President Barack Obama departed Washington late Friday for his … Continue Reading

Before it Adjourns for the Year, Some in Congress Signal Discontentment with Iran and the JCPOA; Washington Also Remains Focused on Combatting ISIL; President Obama Heralds the Conclusion of an International Climate Agreement

Congress reconvened last Monday to work on advancing several priority measures – such as an Omnibus spending measure to fund the federal government, a tax extenders package, and the customs bill, among others – in anticipation of adjourning later this week for the year. San Bernardino Shooting The Federal Bureau of Investigation continues to investigate … Continue Reading

U.S. Visa Programs Under Scrutiny After Attacks in Paris and San Bernardino; Vice President Biden Travels to Ukraine

Combating ISIL On Sunday, in his third address to the nation from the Oval Office, President Barack Obama spoke of the terrorist attack last week in San Bernardino, California, where 14 Americans were killed.  He sought to address the broader threat of terrorism and how to ensure the homeland is safe from threats such as … Continue Reading
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