- DOMESTIC POLICY MATTERS
Congress is in pro forma session, with the House scheduled to reconvene fully on Tuesday, January 17th and the Senate on January 23rd. President Obama will give his State of the Union Address on January 24th. The Administration is expected to release the President’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget on February 6th.
Debt Ceiling. After a short delay at the request of Congress, President Obama officially requested a $1.2 trillion increase in the debt ceiling on Thursday. The House and Senate have 15 days to vote on the proposal. Under the terms of the Budget Control Act, the increase will occur unless both chambers reject it...
- FOREIGN POLICY MATTERS
Iran. On Monday, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed Iran has reached 20 percent uranium enrichment, the level needed for producing weapons-grade materials, at the Fordow facility. Iranian President Mamoud Ahmadinejad travelled to Latin American countries this week, avowing Iran’s nuclear programs are civilian in nature. Also Monday, a U.S. citizen and former Marine, Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, was sentenced to death by an Iranian court for allegedly being a CIA spy. The State Department strongly
condemned the death sentence verdict and again asserted the charges against Hekmati are a fabrication. On Wednesday, an Iranian atomic scientist was killed in an apparent bombing, which caused President Ahmadinejad to allege the United States and Israel may have had a role in the death. The United States disavowed any involvement. This week, Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner travelled to Japan and China to encourage both countries to cut off their dealings with the Central Bank of Iran. In response, Japan announced it will make further cuts to its oil imports from Iran. On Thursday, the State Department sanctioned three more foreign-based companies, based in China, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates, under the Amended Iran Sanctions Act...
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