This Week in Washington - May 18, 2012


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Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 Budget/Appropriations/Debt Ceiling. The House Appropriations Committee marked up the FY 2013 Defense, State-Foreign Operations, Military Construction Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security appropriations bills this week. Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Kentucky) said Thursday that he expects some spending bills to come to the floor after the House returns May 30th. The House Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee also approved its FY 2013 spending measure. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Subcommittee approved its FY 2013 draft spending measure, which is very similar to the House’s draft bill. The Senate on Wednesday voted down the House-adopted budget resolution championed by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) and a Republican-introduced budget resolution based on President Obama’s budget proposal. The votes were considered symbolic by Senate Democrats, who assert that spending levels for FY 2013 have already been set by last year’s Budget Control Act. On Tuesday, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) asserted he will not allow a future increase in the federal borrowing limit without equal cuts in spending and with no tax increases. President Obama then reportedly called for a “clean” debt ceiling increase during a meeting with Speaker Boehner and other Congressional leaders on Wednesday. According to the Treasury Department, the federal government is projected to hit its $16.39 trillion debt ceiling around the end of the calendar year...


U.S.-Burma Developments. On Thursday, President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton announced the United States will ease its bans on new investment in and financial exports to Burma, stating recent reforms warrant such a response. The President also announced U.S. Special Envoy to Burma Derek Mitchell as his nominee to be U.S. Ambassador to Burma, pending confirmation by the Senate. Thursday afternoon, Secretary Clinton held a bilateral meeting with Burmese Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin....

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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