What’s next on nonproliferation and international security, in Washington and around the globe.
— Feb. 3: Mark Fitzpatrick of the International Institute for Strategic Studies headlines a talk on “Assessing the Iranian Nuclear Deal” in London. “The mood is optimistic in Iran and in most other concerned countries — with two notable exceptions among Iran’s most skeptical antagonists,” according to a description of the upcoming Arundel House discussion.
— Feb. 4: If Iran is your focus but you’re in D.C., a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nuclear negotiations might be of interest. Testimony is expected from Wendy Sherman, undersecretary of State for political affairs; David Cohen, undersecretary of Treasury for terrorism and financing; David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security; and Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. This is also to be live-streamed on the committee website.
— Feb. 4: Also in Washington, head over to the Capitol Visitor Center for a House Intelligence Committee hearing on worldwide threats. Though witnesses had not yet been announced at press time, those who can’t make it over to the session can view it webcast on the panel’s website.
— Feb. 4: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to meet for a hearing on President Obama’s nomination of Robert Wood to represent the United States at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. It’s also to be webcast online.
— Feb. 5: This week’s winner for innovative event titling: “Understanding al Qaeda and its Affiliates: A Global Threat or JV Squad?” It’s based on a recent remark by President Obama about the level of threat posed by the loosely affiliated terrorist groups: “If a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.” The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies discussion will feature issue experts Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Bruce Hoffman, Thomas Joscelyn and Jonathan Schanzer.
— Feb. 5: The Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation is sponsoring a talk by Rose Gottemoeller, the U.S. acting undersecretary of State for arms control and international security. The event in the Austrian capital is titled, “Previewing the 2014 NPT PrepCom” — a reference to Preparatory Committee meeting to be held in New York as plans coalesce for a major 2015 Review Conference on implementation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Expect discussion of global calls to convene a gathering in Finland to discuss a proposed ban on weapons of mass destruction from the Middle East, an initiative that stems from the most recent five-year NPT Review Conference in 2010 but has yet to come to fruition.
What We're Following See More »
President Trump’s portrayal of an effort to funnel more Medicaid dollars to Puerto Rico as a "bailout" is complicating negotiations over a continuing resolution on the budget. "House Democrats are now requiring such assistance as a condition for supporting the continuing resolution," a position that the GOP leadership is amenable to. "But Mr. Trump’s apparent skepticism aligns him with conservative House Republicans inclined to view its request as a bailout, leaving the deal a narrow path to passage in Congress."
Facebook "outlined new measures it is taking to combat what it calls 'information operations' that go well beyond the phenomenon known as fake news" on Thursday. Facebook acknowledged that there are governments using its platform as a tool to launch propaganda information campaigns and "manipulate public opinion in other countries. ... Facebook suspended 30,000 accounts in France ahead of last Sunday’s first-round presidential election."
Democrats in the House are threatening to shut down the government if Republicans expedite a vote on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, said Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer Thursday. Lawmakers have introduced a one-week spending bill to give themselves an extra week to reach a long-term funding deal, which seemed poised to pass easily. However, the White House is pressuring House Republicans to take a vote on their Obamacare replacement Friday to give Trump a legislative victory, though it is still not clear that they have the necessary votes to pass the health care bill. This could go down to the wire.
Members of Congress are eyeing a one-week spending bill which would keep the government open past the Friday night deadline, giving lawmakers an extra week to iron out a long-term deal to fund the government. Without any action, the government would run out of funding starting at midnight Saturday. “I am optimistic that a final funding package will be completed soon," said Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.