In This Issue:
DOMESTIC POLICY MATTERS
Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 Budget/Appropriations. As Congress returns from recess on Monday, the House Budget Committee will consider legislation to replace the automatic spending cuts imposed by sequestration. House Budget Committee Democrats said this week the Republican-backed plan would undermine federal programs like Medicare and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee will mark-up its FY 2013 Defense Appropriations bill on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the House Appropriations State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee and the House Armed Services Committee plan to mark-up their FY 2013 Appropriations and authorization bills, respectively. Meanwhile, Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland) predicted this week that appropriations, sequestration, taxes and the debt ceiling will not be fully dealt with until after the November elections...
FOREIGN POLICY MATTERS.
One year after the death of Osama bin Laden, late Tuesday evening, President Obama addressed the nation from Bagram Air Force base in Afghanistan about transitioning to “a future in which Afghans are responsible for the security of their nation” and announced 23,000 soldiers from the 2010 troop surge will rotate home by the end of summer. President Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai signed a new Strategic Partnership Agreement, which Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Carl Levin (D-Michigan) said is a “big step toward ending a long war….” On Wednesday, Chairman Levin added any decision on the pace of withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan after the initial 23,000 troop drawdown should wait until fall. This week, the Administration also released some documents confiscated during the assault on bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan. On Monday, in defense of the legality of using unmanned aircraft to kill foreign terrorists, White House counterterrorism official John Brennan said part of the Administration’s rationale derives from The Authorization for Use of Military Force passed by Congress after September 11, 2001...
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