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CongressIranP5+1 TalksPoliticsWednesday, March 18, 2015

A Bumper Crop of Banana(s) Republicans | John Bradshaw

A Bumper Crop of Banana(s) Republicans By John Bradshaw March 18, 2015 | Huffington Post One of the ironies of life in Washington is that those most concerned with American credibility are often working the hardest to undermine it. Under the new “Cotton doctrine,” unveiled in the now-infamous letter from Senator Tom Cotton and 46 other Republican Senators to the government of Iran, America’s commitments are only good for as long as the President who signed them remains in office. This is the way banana republics do business, not the United States. It’s an approach unworthy of our diplomatic traditions, and one that damages our ability to work with other nations and exercise international leadership. As a former U.S. diplomat who served overseas under both… Read More ›

FY16 BudgetMedicareOCO BudgetWednesday, March 18, 2015

Republican Pentagon Proposal: Gimmicks Inside Gimmicks

Yesterday, House Republicans released a budget that included a massive increase in Pentagon spending to $613 billion for Fiscal Year 2016. The core of the proposal is a $39 billion plus-up to the Department of Defense by funding Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) accounts at artificially high levels so that OCO money can be spent on what should really be base-budget functions. Because OCO is not covered by the Budget Control Act spending caps, the proposal amounts to a massive budget gimmick that would skirt the budget caps on the Department of Defense by playing a budgetary shell game with funds roughly the size of the GDP of Lebanon. In fact, the gimmick is so brazen that it has been harshly criticized by top Republicans themselves.… Read More ›

AUMFIraqIslamic StateSyriaWednesday, March 18, 2015

Policy Analyst Bill French’s Testimony on ISIL and the President’s AUMF

Statement by Bill French, NSN Policy Analyst Congressional Progressive Caucus Forum on ISIL and the President’s AUMF Proposal March 16, 2015 Distinguished members of Congress, I am honored to join you to discuss the president’s proposed authorization for use of military force (AUMF) against ISIL. Over the next few minutes, I would like to outline how a number of key national security issues relate to considering the president’s proposed resolution and what kind of provisions it should – and should not – ultimately include as a result. In particular, I will focus on select aspects of how the U.S. military strategy against ISIL should inform congressional action on a potential AUMF. As I think all of us know, ISIL poses a very real national security… Read More ›

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