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Transition 2012

A guide to foreign policy and the 2012 U.S. presidential transition.

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Fiscal Cliff Update: The Lingering Uncertainty

by Toni Johnson
Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Speaker of the House John Boehner the first day of the 113th Congress in Washington January 3, 2013. (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters) Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Speaker of the House John Boehner the first day of the 113th Congress in Washington January 3, 2013. (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters)

Congress was able to come to a last minute deal to stave off going over the so-called fiscal cliff, with President Obama signing a compromise fiscal package into law on January 2, 2013. 

This chart compares several alternative fiscal cliff proposals with the final compromise legislation courtesy of the Washington Post’s Wonkblog: Read more »

Video Brief Roundup: Foreign Aid, Global Economy, and Trade

by Newsteam Staff

These videos are from a series with CFR fellows and other experts on vital foreign policy and national security topics that will face President Barack Obama in his second term. They were recorded during the campaign and originally posted as part of the President’s Inbox, a collection of materials on issues that will face the next president beginning next year.

Isobel Coleman on Foreign Aid

Isobel Coleman, director of CFR’s Civil Societies, Markets, and Democracy Initiative says the incoming administration will have to retain the relevancy of U.S. foreign aid programs in an environment where the role of official foreign assistance from governments has dramatically reduced. The next administration will likely continue to shift aid resources away from Iraq and Afghanistan, and away from middle-income countries towards poorer countries, Coleman says.

Read more »

Fiscal Cliff Update: Dueling Press Conferences

by Newsteam Staff
Sens. Schumer and Harkin discuss Boehner's Plan B on fiscal reform in Washington December 19, 2012. (Gary Cameron/Courtesy Reuters) Sens. Schumer and Harkin discuss Boehner's Plan B on fiscal reform in Washington December 19, 2012. (Gary Cameron/Courtesy Reuters)

President Obama gave a press conference Wednesday during which he answered questions on the fiscal cliff, saying:

[U]p until about a couple of days ago, if you looked at it, the Republicans in the House and Speaker Boehner I think were in a position to say, we’ve gotten a fair deal.  The fact that they haven’t taken it yet is puzzling and I think a question that you’re going to have to address to them. Read more »

Fiscal Cliff Update: The Problem in Graphic Detail

by Newsteam Staff
President Obama hosts bipartisan meeting with Congressional leaders in the White House November 16, 2012. (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters) President Obama hosts bipartisan meeting with Congressional leaders in the White House November 16, 2012. (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters)

In Foreign Affairs, Sam Pepple uses data from the Tax Policy Center to illustrate what’s actually being negotiated when it comes to the fiscal cliff. The graphic details the tax increases and cuts that are being discussed and shows how tax rates would be affected if there is no deal reached before the end of the year. Read more »

Fiscal Cliff Update: Concessions, a New Offer, and a Plan B

by Newsteam Staff
Speaker of the House John Boehner arrives for negotiations on the "fiscal cliff" with President Obama at the White House December 13, 2012. (Joshua Roberts/Courtesy Reuters) Speaker of the House John Boehner arrives for negotiations on the "fiscal cliff" with President Obama at the White House December 13, 2012. (Joshua Roberts/Courtesy Reuters)

House Speaker John Boehner proposed a “plan B” (WashPo) Tuesday morning that will raise taxes on those making over $1 million in case no comprehensive deal is reached on the fiscal cliff by the end of the year. Boehner said that President Obama’s most recent proposal is still not “balanced” and hopes to bring his “plan B” to a vote by the end of the week, reports the Washington Post: Read more »

What They’re Saying: The Fiscal Cliff and Obama’s Nominations

by Newsteam Staff
Senator Hagel speaks during a news conference in Omaha March 12, 2007. (Dave Kaup/Courtesy Reuters) Senator Hagel speaks during a news conference in Omaha March 12, 2007. (Dave Kaup/Courtesy Reuters)
On the Fiscal Cliff

Hal Movius, a social psychologist specializing in negotiation and visiting professor at the Darden Graduate School of Business, writes in TIME that while the fiscal cliff negotiations are often cast as a two-party conflict between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, the situation is “quite different”: Read more »

Fiscal Cliff Update: Polls Show Support for Obama

by Newsteam Staff
House Speaker John Boehner at the Capitol, December 13, 2012 (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters). House Speaker John Boehner at the Capitol, December 13, 2012 (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters).

A new ABC News/Washington Post poll released Wednesday shows that 49 percent of the U.S. public approves of President Obama’s handling of the fiscal cliff negotiations (CNN), and 25 percent approve of House Speaker John Boehner’s actions. Read more »

Fiscal Cliff Update: Second Round of Proposals

by Newsteam Staff
Community organizations and labour groups hold a demonstration for their views in handling of the 'Fiscal Cliff' December 10, 2012. (Joe Skipper/Courtesy Reuters) Community organizations and labour groups hold a demonstration for their views in handling of the 'Fiscal Cliff' December 10, 2012. (Joe Skipper/Courtesy Reuters)

President Obama made a new fiscal cliff proposal (CBSNews) on Monday and Republicans made another counteroffer on Tuesday. Specifics of the proposals have not been released other than that Obama’s offer calls for $1.4 trillion in new revenue, down from $1.6 trillion. Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner continued to press him to identify specific spending cuts. Read more »

Fiscal Cliff Update: Obama Takes Campaign to Michigan

by Newsteam Staff
President Obama watches as a turbocharger is attached to a diesel engine under construction as he tours the Daimler Detroit Diesel plant December 10, 2012. (Jason Reed/Courtesy Reuters) President Obama watches as a turbocharger is attached to a diesel engine under construction as he tours the Daimler Detroit Diesel plant December 10, 2012. (Jason Reed/Courtesy Reuters)

President Barack Obama took his fiscal cliff campaign to Michigan (AP) Monday, where he spoke to an audience at the Daimler Detroit Diesel Plant about manufacturing in the United States and discussed his plan to reduce the deficit and avert the cliff. Read more »

Fiscal Cliff Update: Boehner and Obama Still Negotiating

by Newsteam Staff
House Speaker Boehner speaks during a news conference on the fiscal cliff in Washington December 5, 2012. (Yuri Gripas/Courtesy Reuters) House Speaker Boehner speaks during a news conference on the fiscal cliff in Washington December 5, 2012. (Yuri Gripas/Courtesy Reuters)

House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama met privately at the White House Sunday to discuss the fiscal cliff (LATimes), their first face-to-face meeting in over three weeks. Details of the meeting have not been made public, but “it was the clearest sign yet that after a week of public posturing and dire warnings intended to sway public opinion, the private negotiations may be producing progress,” report the LA Times. Read more »