Congress

Digging the debt hole a little deeper

Looking at the opening moves by the Republican House leadership as they exercise their new majority, you have to wonder how serious they are about deficit reduction.

Under the leadership of Speaker John Boehner, they approved rules requiring that all new spending increases must be offset by cuts in other programs.

Iran sanctions and business as usual

A bunch of Jewish groups are indignant about last week's New York Times report that “over the past decade the United States government has allowed American companies to do billions of dollars in business with Iran and other countries blacklisted as state sponsors of terrorism.” 

Israel aid boost on hold as budget paralysis continues

JTA is reporting that U.S. military aid to Israel for 2011, including extra funding for missile defense, is being delayed “following the Obama's administration's difficulty in passing the annual 2011 budget, which forced the president to sign a presidential order extending the current budget through March.”

No doubt President Obama's detractors in the Jewish community will paint this as more proof of his hostility to the Jewish state.

Ros-Lehtinen: Israel Aid Will Remain Top Priority

12/23/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Funding for Israel will remain a top priority in a Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives, a top GOP congresswoman said.

"Security assistance to Israel is a top priority for Republicans because our Members understand that it is a vital investment which enhances our nation's security interests and is a force-multiplier of our efforts to combat extremism in the Middle East," Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) said in a statement. "Charges to the contrary are baseless and politically-motivated."

Senate Ratifies START Treaty

12/22/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The U.S. Senate ratified a nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia that has been backed by a number of Jewish groups.

The Senate on Wednesday voted 71-26 to ratify the START treaty.

The vote -- 58 in the Democratic caucus and 13 Republicans -- was four more than the two-thirds majority needed for ratification.

The Obama administration and top Jewish Democratic senators had lobbied Jewish groups to express support for the treaty, saying it was critical to persuading Russia to isolate Iran.

Israel Aid Anxiety: Is It Overblown?

Suddenly I'm getting emails from Democratic lawmakers warning of possible cuts to Israel's big foreign aid allotment when the new Congress takes over in January – but I'm not sure I buy it.

Now the Jerusalem Post is reporting that “Democrats are blasting the prospect that a GOP-led House of Representatives might trim aid to Israel or consider it separately from the rest of the foreign aid budget,” citing as evidence comments by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen – the incoming Foreign Affairs chair – that it's not inconceivable the House GOP leadership could impose across-the-board aid cuts that would not exempt Israel.

The census, reapportionment - and Jewish political muscle

  You can bet a lot of pols in both parties are pouring over the 2010 census, released today in Washington.  While the numbers look good for Republicans and for Western and Southwestern states as the expense of Democrats and the Jew-rich Northeast, drawing too many conclusions about the impact of today's numbers on Jewish political clout is risky.

Political Insider challenged: AIPAC didn't push resolution on Palestinian unilateralism

 In the interests of honest reporting, I have to tell you: my blog headlined “big fight over non-binding resolution on Palestinian unilateralism” was misleading.

OMG, Obama not invoking God enough

A pop quiz: before you read this, tell me what the national motto of the United States is.

The reason I ask is that this just came across my desk: the Congressional Prayer Caucus has a new complaint about President Barack Obama.

Sullivan calls for Israel aid cut; ain't gonna happen

Over at the Atlantic, influential blogger Andrew Sullivan yesterday called for an end to U.S. aid to Israel after the collapse of Obama administration efforts to win a 90 day settlement freeze extension in return for a rich package of incentives.

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