While you might not know it from the weather, there’s at least one sure sign it’s December in DC. No, we’re not referring to the oversized and ornamented evergreens on the Capitol and White House lawns, but to the recent mad dash by Congress to wrap up remaining legislative business before the end of session. Despite a year marked by bitter partisanship, Congress managed to arrive at an agreement to fund the federal government through the rest of FY2016.
CGD Policy Blogs
Policy wonks usually bemoan the lack of a functional budget and appropriations process. This year, however, CGD’s policy outreach team is (reluctantly) crossing its fingers for a continuing resolution—an outcome that seems increasingly likely with only eight legislative weeks before the end of the fiscal year.
In testimony last week before the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy, CGD’s Ben Leo called upon Congress to modernize how the United States supports economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa. The hearing was called to reflect on the progress since the August 2014 US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington and to address obstacles that continue to discourage greater private-sector engagement in the region.
The President’s FY16 budget request launches what is sure to be an especially excruciating budget and appropriations process this year with battles over sequestration cuts not yet resolved and Republicans in control of Congress.
President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address had a decidedly domestic focus, but a few key development issues made the cut (if not explicitly framed as such). While I wish I’d heard more, to follow our catalog of what we hoped would be included in the president’s remarks, here’s a quick recap of what we did hear:
President Obama delivers his sixth State of the Union address tonight before Congress. The media is sure to make much of the fact that the president’s constitutionally encouraged remarks will fall on the ears of a GOP-led House and Senate for the first time since he took office in 2009. But here at CGD, we’ll be listening less for signals of congressional engagement and more for commitments to global engagement.