The Week in Washington…

Posted on April 9, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized |

What’s happening, and what happened, this week in Washington

mark photo of cherry trees and dome

In our Nation’s Capital we are all tourists as locals and visitors alike flock to the Tidal Basin to marvel at the gentle loveliness of the Japanese Cherry Trees that grace our city. It is an annual tradition, a marvelous wonder of nature and the promise of change brought about the arrival of Spring that makes you forget about the harsh winter, and politics, at least for awhile. This year, the trees will reach their peak stage of blossoms on Monday, April 13th, which happens to be Thomas Jefferson’s birthday.

April 10, 2015

The Iran nuclear framework echoes in Washington

A framework for a deal aimed at preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power was reached between Iran and the P5+1 (the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany), setting the stage for battles over the deal in Tehran and Washington. President Obama hailed the framework as a significant breakthrough while Republicans dismissed it as a sell out.

Looking ahead: Negotiators face serious challenges in advance of a self-imposed June deadline for a final deal. And Congress has plenty of options to oppose the deal.

 

And on the Hill, complications could “nuke” the deal 

The indictment of New Jersey Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez continued to reverberate, as his successor Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) steps to the fore as chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. Cardin’s immediate concern will be the fate of legislation dealing with the Iran nuclear deal and the continuation of sanctions.

And what happens to Menendez’ staffers?

Looking ahead: Several bills are pending in Congress that could derail the framework.

 

The 2016 presidential race

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky launched his bid for the White House this week, joining Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas in the field of officially declared candidates for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. He’s a different kind of candidate, that’s for sure, but is that enough to become the Republican standard-bearer next year?

And if money is the key to a nomination, Governor Jeb Bush is the unannounced candidate who may have a lock on the GOP nomination because right now, he has successfully raised the cash. But is money everything? Who knows, but one thing is for sure, N.J. Governor Chris Christie wasted no time at CPAC painting Jeb Bush as the “elite candidate.”

Looking ahead: Who’s in Iowa?

 

The Supreme Court and Obamacare

President Obama said during an interview with CNN that the current Supreme Court case challenging Obamacare “is sort of the last gasp of folks who’ve been fighting against this for ideological reasons.” If Obamacare is struck down in the case, King v. Burwell, millions of people could lose benefits. The south will be especially hard hit.

And if Obamacare is overturned who gets the blame and will the public view this ideological and petty partisanship on their leadership?

Looking Ahead: The Court is expected to issue a decision in the case in June.

 

Selling Weapons in the Middle East

The White House recently lifted a hold on delivery of  large-scale weapons systems, including F-16 aircraft, Harpoon missiles, and M1A1 Abrams tank kits, to Egypt. This continues a major increase in arms sales by the United States to countries in the Middle East and Persian Gulf. While good news for defense contractors, is it good for regional stability?

 

Rulemaking 

The Federal Aviation Administration is actively soliciting your opinion on a variety of issues related to small unmanned aircraft systems, which is government talk for those remote controlled aircraft commonly called drones.

The Federal Communications Commission has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking aimed at implementing Section 102 of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act Reauthorization Act of 2014 (STELAR).

 

From the American Bar Association

Could technology create change to the most rigid of professions? Answers to your questions about Virtual Law Teams.

 

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