Project on Middle East Democracy
The POMED Wire Archives
Category: Congressional Hearing Notes (Senate)
POMED Notes: Hearing on Ambassadorial Nominees to Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, Turkey
July 23rd, 2010 by Jennifer
The U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations held a hearing yesterday to consider nominees for ambassadorial positions in Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, and Turkey. Many of the questions posed by the Committee focused on democratization, human rights, governance, and institution building. The Committee—headed by Chairman Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and ranking Committee member Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-IN) —requested the testimony of four nominees. The first panel consisted of James Franklin Jeffrey, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Iraq, while the second panel included Maura Connelly, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Lebanon; Gerald M. Feierstein, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Yemen; The Honorable Francis Joseph Ricciardone Jr., to be Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey.
POMED Notes: Sen.CFR - Iran Policy in the Aftermath of UN Sanctions
June 23rd, 2010 by Jennifer
The U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations held a hearing to discuss implementation of international and domestic sanctions against Iran. The hearing came in light of the UN Security Council’s adoption two weeks ago of Resolution 1929, imposing a fourth and more stringent round of sanctions on Tehran. The June 22 hearing sought primarily to address enforcement of the resolution in order to curtail Iran’s nuclear program, but human rights and democracy issues were also prominent throughout the discussion. The Committee—chaired by Sen. John F. Kerry
(D-MA), with ranking Committee member Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-IN) in attendance—requested the testimony of two individuals: William Burns, Under Secretary for Political Affairs at the Department of State;
and Stuart Levy, Under Secretary for Enforcement at the Department of the Treasury.
POMED Notes: “Iran Sanctions: Why Does the U.S. Government Do Business With Companies Doing Business in Iran?”
May 12th, 2010 by Josh
The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee held a hearing to explore the history, efficacy, and enforcement of sanctions that target companies who do business with both the United States and Iran. The committee invited three individuals to provide testimony: Danielle Pletka, Vice President of Foreign and Defense Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute; Joseph Christoff, Director of International Affairs and Trade at the Government Accountability Office; and Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL).
For POMED’s notes in PDF, click here
. Otherwise, continue below the fold.
POMED Notes: Foreign Policy Priorities in the President’s FY2011 International Affairs Budget
February 25th, 2010 by Chanan
The Senate Committee of Foreign Relations hosted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to discuss the FY2011 International Affairs Budget for the Department of State. Senator John Kerry (D-MA), chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations, commenced the hearing by thanking Secretary Clinton for her hard work and travels. Citing a range of issues from the need to fight HIV/AIDS to the importance of supporting diplomats in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, Kerry acknowledged that he “can’t think of a time in our history when we’ve had a greater need for energetic diplomacy to make the case for America globally.” For POMED’s notes in PDF, click here. Otherwise, continue below the fold.
POMED Notes: USAID Administrator Confirmation
December 3rd, 2009 by Jason
The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations held a hearing on Tuesday to consider the nomination of Rajiv Shah to be Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). In his opening remarks, Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) declared the mission of USAID “near the top of our list of priorities” and highlighted the committee’s efforts to reform foreign assistance through the Foreign Assistance and Revitalization and Accountability Act (S. 1524). Then, Ranking Member Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) reiterated the stated goal of Secretary Clinton to revitalize USAID into the “premier development agency in the world.” He also highlighted the “modest” bill S.1524 while recognizing the administration is also reviewing foreign assistance through both the State Department and the National Security Council.To see POMED’s PDF notes of the event, please click here. Otherwise, continue reading below the fold.
POMED Notes: “Exploring Three Strategies for Afghanistan”
September 18th, 2009 by Daniel
The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations held a hearing Wednesday exploring possible strategies in Afghanistan. The three witnesses representing alternative strategies were Dr. John Nagl, president of the Center for a New American Security, Dr. Stephen Biddle, Senior Fellow for Defense Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Rory Stewart, director of the Carr Center on Human Rights Policy at Harvard University.
The witnesses and senators discussed the goals of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan, especially the extent to which nation-building should be a priority. For POMED’s notes from the hearing, click here
POMED Notes: “Iraq: Report from the Field”
September 11th, 2009 by Jason
The U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Christopher Hill
, appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday to testify about the current status of American involvement in Iraq. Ambassador Hill emphasized the importance of Iraq to the greater Middle East as a potential “engine for regional stability and regional economic growth.” Towards this end, Ambassador Hill identified the support for “democracy and democratic institutions on a purely nonpartisan basis” as “imperative” for future relations between Iraq and the United States.
To see our complete notes of the hearing, please click here
Senate Appropriations Markup of State-Foreign Operations Bill
July 10th, 2009 by Blake
The markup for Fiscal Year 2010 Markup for the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations
Bill(click here for summary) took place yesterday afternoon chaired by Appropriations Committee Chair Senator Inouye (D-HI). The committee’s version of the bill includes far less than requested for the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a significant increase in funding for Yemen, and the expenditure of Economic Support Funds (ESF) to support reform in Iran, not requested by the President or included in the FY09 budget.
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) commented: “this bipartisan bill goes a long way to enhance the capacity of the Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development to carry out diplomacy and development programs in areas of critical importance, particularly Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and the Middle East.”
to read POMED’s notes on the markup and summary of relevant aspects of the bill.
POMED Notes: Foreign Policy Priorities in the President’s FY2010 International Affairs Budget
May 21st, 2009 by Jed
The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hosted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to discuss the FY2010 budget for the Department of State. The hearing was moderated by the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations, Senator John Kerry (D-MA). Senator Kerry praised Secretary Clinton for the work she’s done thus far and cited the twenty two countries and 70,000 miles she’s travelled as evidence of how hard she’s working. Kerry expressed enthusiasm in his assertion that “diplomacy is once again at the forefront of American foreign policy”.
POMED Notes: FY 2010 Budget for the Department of State
May 21st, 2009 by Jed
The Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs hosted
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to discuss the FY2010 budget for the Department of State. The hearing was moderated by Subcommittee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). Throughout the hearing, Secretary Clinton discussed her efforts to revitalize the role of the State Department which include investing in the people of the civil and foreign service at both State and USAID, pursuing sound policies, and building strong partnerships around the world. Members of the appropriations committee were very supportive of the budget and raised issues such as the situation in Pakistan, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Iranian nuclear program, funding for development aid, revamping public diplomacy and the ability for the State Department to reclaim the role of the chief operators of U.S. diplomacy from the Department of Defense.
For POMED’s full notes on this hearing click here
POMED Notes: Confirmation Hearing of Jeffrey Feltman and Robert Blake
May 15th, 2009 by Cecile
Yesterday, Ambassadors Jeffrey Feltman and Robert Blake appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for their confirmation as Assistant Secretaries of State for Near Eastern Affairs and South and Central Asia respectively. Senator Casey (D-PA) presided over the hearing and stressed the importance of these two regions to U.S. national security. During the Q&A the nominees fielded questions on Iran’s nuclear program, Arab-Israeli peace, prospects for a Palestinian unity government, and the ongoing crises in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
POMED Notes: U.S. Strategy Toward Pakistan
May 12th, 2009 by Cecile
Earlier today, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to discuss the administration’s new policy toward Pakistan. He focused on the importance of strengthening Pakistani democracy and providing the necessary resources to enhance civilian capacity. In light of the increased funding proposed by the Kerry-Lugar legislation and the emergency supplemental bill, some committee members expressed concern over the clarity of objectives and proper measures of accountability.
POMED Notes: Karl Eikenberry’s Confirmation Hearing
March 27th, 2009 by Cecile
Yesterday, Karl Eikenberry, a Lieutenant General who completed two tours in Afghanistan and served as Deputy Chairman of NATO, appeared before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations for a confirmation hearing to become the next U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan. Senator Warner
(R-VA), along with Senator Inouye (D-HI) introduced Eikenberry as the right man for the job due to his extensive military and academic accomplishments. Some commentators have noted that in addition to “knowing the country extremely well…[he] has put a strong emphasis on enhancing Afghan governance, in particular the Afghan army.”
POMED Notes: Chris Hill Confirmation
March 25th, 2009 by Eoghan
, a career diplomat
who led the U.S. delegation to the six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear program, appeared today before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations as President Obama’s nominee for Ambassador to Iraq. The confirmation hearing touched on issues such as corruption in the Iraqi government, diplomacy with Iraq’s neighbors, and the future of the Sunni “awakening councils.” Mr. Hill also discussed relevant lessons from his experience in the Balkans in the 1990s, and addressed criticism of his handling of human rights issues with North Korea.
POMED Notes: Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing on Iranian Political and Nuclear Realities
March 6th, 2009 by Cecile
On Tuesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee heard testimonies on the status of Iran’s nuclear program, its current political climate, and U.S. policy options. Witnesses included Frank Wisner, former Ambassador to Zambia, Egypt, the Philippines, and India; Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations; Mark Fitzpatrick, Senior Fellow for Nonproliferation at the International Institute for Strategic Studies; and Karim Sadjadpour, Associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. All agreed that comprehensive engagement that works toward confidence building on areas of mutual interest is the best policy option for the U.S.
For POMED’s notes on comments relevent to domestic political reform in Iran click here.
POMED Notes: Hillary Clinton’s Confirmation Hearing
January 14th, 2009 by Cecile
In her confirmation hearing yesterday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton outlined her view of “building a world with more partners and fewer adversaries.” She expressed a commitment to strengthening civil society in Iraq and removing troops as outlined under SOFA, focusing greater attention on increasing stability and the rule of law in Afghanistan, pursuing all diplomatic tools in dealing with Iran, and reaching a sustainable solution between Israel and Palestine.
POMED Notes: Senate Markup of State, Foreign Operations Bill
July 18th, 2008 by Stephen
Yesterday afternoon, the full Senate Appropriations Committee held a session to markup three of the annual appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2009: for State and Foreign Operations, Agriculture, and Defense. The markup of the State and Foreign Operations bill, which contains all funding for foreign assistance and nearly all funding for other international affairs programs, was considered rather quickly and approved by a 28-1 vote.
The bill grants $36.62 billion, which represents a $3.82 billion increase over the levels granted for FY08, but just over $1 billion less than the President’s budget request for FY09. Of note was the sharp reduction in funding for the Millennium Challenge Corporation, down from more than $1.5 billion a year ago to only $254 million to cover administrative costs. The committee has not yet released the full text or all details of the bill, but they have made available a summary of key points on their website
For POMED’s notes on yesterday’s markup, click here
POMED Notes: Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing with Petraeus/Crocker
April 10th, 2008 by Sharlina
POMED’s hearing notes
are now available for the appearance of General Petraeus
and Ambassador Crocker before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Iraq on Tuesday. Both testified to significant security improvements as a result of the troop increase in the summer of 2007 and argued that “fragile” progress has created an atmosphere of encouraged political reconciliation among varying groups. Members of the committee challenged the pair on issues of Iraqi sovereignty, the status of progress on eighteen political benchmarks, and reconstruction costs.
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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of POMED as an organization