WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Worried about possible U.S. aid cuts to the Palestinians, some American Jewish groups find themselves in the peculiar position of defending the funding, particularly money that supports Palestinian security forces.
The Congress has threatened to review the roughly $500 million in annual aid to the Palestinians if they seek full membership at the United Nations, a step opposed by Israel and the United States.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senior U.S. envoys will visit the Middle East this week to try to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians and avert a Palestinian bid for U.N. membership, the United States said on Tuesday.
The mission by U.S. Middle East peace envoy David Hale and senior White House aide Dennis Ross appears to be a last-ditch push to dissuade the Palestinians from seeking to upgrade their U.N. status this month, a step Israel strongly opposes.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A surge of U.S. civilian advisers into Afghanistan has cost $2 billion so far, a government watchdog said Thursday, calculating the price of an important part of President Obama’s war strategy.
U.S. development experts are not much cheaper than the cost of sending soldiers to Afghanistan, according to data in the audit by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR.
WASHINGTON, Sept 7 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s
pledge to boost America’s global standing by ramping up U.S.
diplomacy and development aid faces death by a thousand cuts as
lawmakers prepare to carve huge chunks out of U.S. overseas
spending to address budget shortfalls.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s State Department and
the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) could be
chopped back significantly.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A senior Republican lawmaker announced on Tuesday she was seeking to cut off U.S. funds to any United Nations organization that embraces an upgrade to the Palestinians’ diplomatic status this autumn.
Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen included the cutoff clause in legislation that would change U.S. financing of the United Nations so that Washington could choose the programs it wants to fund there, and the ones it does not.
WASHINGTON, July 20 (Reuters) – Afghan President Hamid
Karzai has banned U.S. government advisers from the Afghan
central bank, where they have worked for years to help develop
the country’s financial sector, a U.S. watchdog said on
The atmosphere at the bank had become “hostile” for U.S.
government advisers helping to train Afghan bank regulators and
identify money laundering and other financial crimes, said an
audit by the Special Inspector General For Afghanistan
Reconstruction, known as SIGAR.
In recent days some U.S. senators have been urging President Obama to consider military intervention to help Libyan rebels fighting Moammar Gaddafi.
Not Richard Lugar.
The top Republican on the Senate foreign relations committee said little while a senior member of his own party, John McCain, repeatedly urged the United States to pursue setting up a no-fly zone over Libya.
China’s President Hu Jintao was feted with full fanfare at the White House on Wednesday, with a 21-gun salute, honor guards and a state dinner. Things might not be quite so fancy on Thursday when he goes to Capitol Hill.
There he will see Republican Speaker John Boehner in the House of Representatives, then cross the Capitol to meet Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Neither bothered to attend Wednesday’s state dinner.
As she handed over the House Speaker’s gavel to the other party, Nancy Pelosi pointed out that the shoe was now on the other foot and the new Republican-led Congress would be judged by whether it creates jobs.
The California Democrat, now House minority leader, probably would like her old job back, and setting such a high performance bar for the Republicans now in charge of the House of Representatives might be one way to get it.
Republicans are lining up to throw punches at President Barack Obama.
The Democratic president has been trading verbal barbs with House Republican Leader John Boehner over economic and fiscal policy. Obama on Wednesday took several swipes at Boehner and charged that it was the Republicans who took the country into deficit when they were running things in Washington.
Boehner retorted that Obama should freeze all tax rates and cut “federal spending to where it was before all the bailouts, government takeovers, and ‘stimulus’ spending sprees.” Boehner is in line to become House Speaker if Republicans seize control of Congress in November elections.