A Short-Term Budget

December 17, 2010 By Melissa Silverman

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced last night he was pulling the recently-released omnibus package for FY 2011. Reid said democrats could not muster the 60 votes necessary for passage, nor for the year-long Continuing Resolution (CR) passed by the House last week. Instead, the Senate will pursue a short-term CR funding the government into early next year, which would fund the International Affairs Budget at around $52.9 billion, a 10% cut from the President’s FY11 request, and $2.8 billion below the $55.7 allocated for the International Affairs Budget in the omnibus package.  As the current CR expires tomorrow, the Senate will need to pass the new short-term measure and send it back to the House for passage.


USGLC In the News

NGO community likes State’s QDDR but worried about implementation (Josh Rogin, the Cable blog, Foreign Policy Magazine) Several non-governmental organizations praised the State Department’s first- ever Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), which was released on Wednesday, while others pointed out what they see as the shortcomings of the document and worried about whether it could ever be implemented. “I have seen many exhaustive reviews during my time in both Congress and the Cabinet, and while no one may ever remember the acronym, the QDDR will have a tremendous impact in ensuring our civilian programs are more effective and efficient,” said U.S. Global Leadership Coalition Chairman Dan Glickman.

Development Community Reacts to QDDR’s Release (Ma. Rizza Leonzon, Devex Blog)

After more than fourteen months and several delays, the State Department on Dec. 15 unveiled the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, which maps out sweeping reforms of U.S. foreign relations and development aid. Below are some of the reactions from members of the aid community on the QDDR: “The QDDR lays out a coordinated plan to meet the global challenges we face as a nation in the 21st century.  It builds upon the efforts begun under the Bush Administration to recognize the critical role of our civilian agencies and guide our development and diplomacy programs to become more effective and efficient.” – U.S. Global Leadership Coalition Board Member Mark Green said in a statement.

Who’s in the News

Brooke Anderson to be named NSC chief of staff (Laura Rozen, Politico)

The White House announced Thursday that Brooke Anderson, a top administration official at the United Nations, has been selected as chief of staff and counselor of the National Security Staff. Anderson, the No. 2 official and ambassador for special political affairs at the U.S. Mission to the U.N., will start at the White House beginning Jan. 12. She succeeds Denis McDonough, who was named deputy national security adviser in October.

Smart Power

Cut Foreign Aid? Let Them Tell That To The Marines! (James Kunder, German Marshall Fund Blog)

On this side of the Atlantic, as in Europe, domestic budget pressures will lead to proposals to cut foreign development assistance – education improvements, more democratic governance systems, agricultural productivity, women’s rights – in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.  But, a recent poll of U.S. military officers suggests the important link for all TransAtlantic nations between that foreign aid and national security, and illustrates how well military officers themselves understand the correlation. In late September, the U.S Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) announced the results of a most unique and timely bit of research.  USGLC hired several well-known polling companies to conduct a survey of U.S. military personnel, on the topic of foreign aid, in which 606 current and retired officers participated.

Politics/Foreign Policy

Senate Democrats give up on earmark-laden spending bill (Paul Kane and Mary Beth Sheridan, Washington Post )Senate Democrats on Thursday abandoned their efforts to approve a comprehensive funding bill for the federal government after Republicans rebelled against its $1.2 trillion cost and the inclusion of nearly 7,000 line-item projects for individual lawmakers. After a day of backroom negotiations, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) announced that he could not overcome a Republican filibuster after GOP senators turned away from billions of dollars of so-called earmarks they had sought in the bill.

Ros-Lehtinen: Obama wrong to give ‘blank check’ to PA (Hilary Krieger, Jerusalem Post)

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, incoming chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, blasted the Obama administration on Wednesday for giving the Palestinian Authority a “blank check” while pressuring Israel, signaling that a Republican-led House would complicate one of the major prongs of the White House’s emerging strategy for moving forward with the peace process.

Editorial: The Afghanistan Review (New York Times Editorial Board)

For Americans, anxious about the war in Afghanistan, there is not a lot of comfort or clarity to be found in President Obama’s long-promised strategy review. For weeks, American officials have been talking about fragile progress, a small drawdown of troops starting next summer, and 2014 as the date when Afghans will take “the lead” for their own security. The unclassified version of the report released Thursday did not go any further, nor did President Obama in his remarks.