The recent interim deal with Iran has been variously described as “halting,” “freezing” and even “rolling back” Iran’s nuclear program. These terms, however, are a mischaracterization. Not only does Iran continue to accumulate enriched uranium under the interim deal, but it is actually possible for Iran to progress closer to an undetectable nuclear weapons capability without violating the terms of the agreement. Slowing the acceleration of most, but not all, aspects of Iran’s progress towards nuclear capability would be a more accurate characterization of the deal struck in Geneva.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu arrived in Washington last Sunday for a series of meetings with White House officials, including his counterpart Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and National Security Advisor Susan Rice. The ongoing crisis in Syria received special attention, but talks touched on the wide range of issues of interest to both parties: from Turkey’s relations with its neighbors to its missile defense deal with China; negotiations for the U.S.-European Union Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership; and domestic developments in Turkey.
A new report by the Congressional Budget Office out yesterday may have created confusion about the timing of the next debt limit event.
Last month, Congress and the president passed legislation to temporarily suspend the debt limit. What does that mean and when will they next have to address it? BPC has answers to these important questions.
Americans pause this week to remember the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. While that moment will always be etched in our nation’s collective memory, there is a much less well-known 50th anniversary milestone this month, one that relates to registration and voting, which should be celebrated as one of the sparks of the modernization of election administration.
A new report out from the Office of Management and Budget describes that the October 1-16 federal government shutdown shaved 0.2 to 0.6 percentage points off of the growth of economic output in the fourth quarter of 2013 and cost the federal government $2 billion in wages to furloughed employees. Another paper from the Council of Economic Advisors reports that the combination of the shutdown and the last minute debt limit deal reduced private-sector jobs by 120,000.
Today, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing to examine federal regulation of mobile medical “apps” and health software. The hearing focused on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) final guidance on medical apps published in September 2013 and the Sensible Oversight for Technology Which Advances Regulatory Efficiency (SOFTWARE) Act of 2013—bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Representatives Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Dr. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), Gene Green (D-TX), and Greg Walden (R-OR) in October 2013.
Two weeks ago, Iran arrived at an international agreement over its nuclear program. But it was not the interim deal with the United States that Secretary of State John Kerry suggested was within reach during the last round of talks in Geneva. Nor was it the agreement on the structured approach that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had been seeking to resolve outstanding questions about Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Instead, this agreement, called a “Framework for Cooperation,” was a much more limited and less ambitious promise by Iran to tell the IAEA about some of the nuclear activities it was planning for the future. Rather than an omen of cooperation, the framework reveals the difficulty of getting a deal that credibly addresses Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.