PUBLIC POLICY UPDATE November 16, 2012 WASHINGTON UPDATE The House and Senate returned to action this week

to kick off their “lame duck” post post-election session. The House this week is considering a bill on Russia trade and human rights issues, along with a number of domestic bills, while the Senate is taking up several domestic matters. Committees in both chambers are holding hearings on the murder of four U.S. officials in Benghazi, Libya, in September. Meanwhile, negotiations continue behind the sc scenes regarding FY2013 appropriations and 13 averting the “fiscal cliff” with its 8.2 percent across-the-board “sequestration” budget cut. President board Obama and congressional leaders have held a series of press conferences in order to “position” ongressional themselves during the negotiations, but the discussions have not yet yielded any results. g InterAction staff and members have been meeting and talking with Congressional staff on an ongoing basis to learn as much as we can about the process and advocate for our accounts. While there are rumors that the FY 13 appropriations bills may reach the floor during the lame hile FY2013 duck session as part of an omnibus spending package, most insiders believe that would only happen if leaders strike a larger deal on the fiscal cliff. Stay tuned for more details. In leadership elections for next Congress, very little has changed. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (CA) has announced her intention to stay on as House Democratic Leader, and other leaders in both chambers are also expected to remain in place. Senate Republicans elected John Cornyn (TX) to e be their Whip, their second highest position, while House Republicans elected Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) as Conference Chair, their fourth highest leadership position. WA) fourth-highest HEARING SUMMARIES We will provide a summary of the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Benghazi in the next weekly update. ARTICLES AND REPORTS Al Jazeera Nov. 11: ECOWAS agrees to Mali interventi force WAS intervention At an emergency summit held in Nigeria, West African leaders agreed to send 3,300 troops, mainly from ECOWAS, to northern Mali. This decision was made amid growing concerns over the risk that Islamist extremists pose to the region’s stability. Leaders proposed a two-pronged two approach, encouraging dialogue as well as the use of troops troops. CNN Nov. 12: Police: 38 Kenyan officers killed in ambush involving cattl rustlers cattle This weekend, 38 police officers were killed in an attack by cattle rustlers in Baragoi, Kenya. The incident, described as the “worst single incident for Kenyan police in living memory,” took place when officers attempted to retrieve stolen cattle belonging to the Samburu tribe from the Turkana tribe. The mpted attack brings to light issues of inter intertribal tensions and the need for a more robust Kenyan police force. 1

IRIN Nov.13: CAMEROON: New cassava species could boost food security A new pest-resistant variety of cassava that yields about two to three times the amount as regular varieties has been the subject of praise as well as concern in Cameroon. On one hand, the new variety is viewed as a glimpse of hope for greater food security; on the other, rapid rotting, potential issues of taste and cassava’s short storage life remain a concern. Voice of America Nov. 14: US Stops Short of Recognizing Syrian Opposition Coalition Though U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton voiced support for the new Syrian opposition coalition, the U.S. is waiting to fully recognize it until it “proves its worth” and avoids the accusations and infighting of its predecessor. France has already recognized the group, and the Syrian government said the actions will prevent a negotiated solution with President Assad.
Disclaimer: Articles linked in the Update are intended to provide a dashboard view of newsworthy and topical issues from popular news outlets that will be of interest to readers of the Update. The articles are an information sharing vehicle rather than an advocacy tool. They are in no way representative of the views of InterAction or the U.S. NGO community as a whole.


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