It was a beautiful, barely-fall Friday in Washington, which made it all the more impressive that twelve members dropped in on a morning House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on the multilateral development banks (MDBs).
In testimony last week before the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy, CGD’s Ben Leo called upon Congress to modernize how the United States supports economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa. The hearing was called to reflect on the progress since the August 2014 US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington and to address obstacles that continue to discourage greater private-sector engagement in the region.
President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address had a decidedly domestic focus, but a few key development issues made the cut (if not explicitly framed as such). While I wish I’d heard more, to follow our catalog of what we hoped would be included in the president’s remarks, here’s a quick recap of what we did hear:
President Obama delivers his sixth State of the Union address tonight before Congress. The media is sure to make much of the fact that the president’s constitutionally encouraged remarks will fall on the ears of a GOP-led House and Senate for the first time since he took office in 2009. But here at CGD, we’ll be listening less for signals of congressional engagement and more for commitments to global engagement.
2015 is almost here. And while it looks as though we will be adding rather than crossing off items from our 2014 wish list for US development policy, we’re electing to remain optimistic about the year ahead. And check out Nancy Birdsall’s request for help updating her 2014 wish list here.
In what was perhaps another sign that the challenge of energy poverty is finding a voice in Congress, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power held a hearing recently on electricity access in the 21st Century.
Like many, we at CGD are using the start of 2014 to remember highlights of the past year and compile a wish list for the year to come. Here’s our best guess of what’s going to be hot and not in global development (and beyond) in 2014. Got a better dyad? Share it in the comments section below.
On Capitol Hill, this time of year is marked by hot, sticky weather and a mad scramble (or is it more of a leisurely stroll this year?) to advance the appropriations process before Members of Congress head back to their districts for the August recess. There’s little doubt that the current political and budget climate, complete with automatic sequestration cuts, is complicating this already herculean task.