New Committee Assignments

January 11, 2011 By Melissa Silverman

Although legislative business has been postponed this week in light of the tragedy in Arizona, the new Congress is beginning to take shape. Several committee assignments with important implications for the International Affairs Budget were recently announced. Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-TX) will chair the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee. Other Republican members of the subcommittee are Jerry Lewis (R-CA), Frank Wolf (R-VA), Tom Cole (R-OK), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Charles Dent (R-PA) and Steve Austria (R-OH).  Also today, USGLC partner Tom Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, will give his annual “State of American Business” address.

Must Reads

Who’s In the News

Clinton Arrives in Yemen Under Secrecy (Mark Landler, New York Times)

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton landed here Tuesday on a diplomatically sensitive mission to broaden America’s relationship with this impoverished Arab country, a haven for Al Qaeda that has nurtured several recent terror plots against the United States.

Obama 2.0: Who will fill the top jobs in foreign policy? (Josh Rogin, the Cable blog)

The Obama administration’s foreign policy team can claim a few signature accomplishments in its first two years in office. Now, faced with a divided Congress and looking ahead to another presidential campaign only months away, the Obama administration is looking to make changes in several of its top national security and foreign policy posts.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen makes Haiti her first visit as foreign affairs chair (Lesley Clark, Miami Herald)

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen will make her first foreign trip as House Foreign Affairs Committee to Haiti, touching down Tuesday — one day before the anniversary of the earthquake.

Smart Power

Poverty reduction is not development (Rick Rowden, The Guardian blog)

In recent decades, earlier notions of development economics have been replaced with meeting the MDGs. But poverty reduction is not development. We seem to have suffered collective amnesia about the history of development.

Opinion: Foreign aid keeps the country from shaping its own future (Alex Dupuy, The Washington Post)

There is a dramatic power imbalance between the international community – under U.S. leadership – and Haiti. The former monopolizes economic and political power and calls all the shots. The Haitian state and the tiny but wealthy elite that rules the country also bear great responsibility for the abysmal conditions of the country before the earthquake, but they did not create those conditions alone.

Politics/Foreign Policy

Biden arrives in Kabul (Carol E. Lee, Politico)

Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Afghanistan on Monday on an unannounced trip to meet with Afghan and U.S. officials and as a follow-up on the administration’s review of President Barack Obama’s war strategy.

A year after earthquake, Haiti’s recovery remains gridlocked (Jim Wyss and Jacqueline Charles, McClatchy)  Twelve months after the world rushed to Haiti’s aid, the country is mired in reconstruction gridlock. Despite more than $10 billion in pledged aid and the good intentions of more than 10,000 aid organizations, its capital, Port-au-Prince, remains a sobering sight: More than 1 million people still live in more than 1,000 tent cities.