There is a well-known adage that politics stops at the water's edge, but this tends to be more hope than reality. American history is filled with examples in which political disagreement at home has made it difficult for the United States to act, much less lead, abroad.
After more than a decade of war and several years of a deep financial crisis, many Americans are asking whether the country should focus more of its attention—and more of its resources—at home. That said, the impulse to lead is still strong in both political parties and most polls show that Americans still feel both a moral and strategic imperative to remain fully engaged in the world.
Senator Patty Murray, Senate Budget Committee Chairman, presented this document, "Foundation for Growth: Restoring the Promise of American Opportunity," at the mark-up of the concurrent resolution on the budget for FY 2014, on March 13, 2013. See also the House Budget Committee budget for FY 2014, presented by Congressman Ryan.
Congressman Paul Ryan, Chairman of the House Budget Committee, presented this document, "Path to Prosperity: A Responsible, Balanced Budget," on behalf of the House Budget Committee on March 12, 2013. See also the Senate Budget Committee's proposal, presented by Senator Patty Murray.
Short Description: The automatic cuts in U.S. federal government spending, known as the "sequester," will negatively impact the U.S. economy in the short run and will not solve the long-term challenge of putting the United States on a sustainable budget path, says CFR's Robert Kahn.
After their loss last year, Republicans are grappling over what to do next -- and when it comes to foreign policy, small-government conservatives worried about debt are squaring off against big-military conservatives fearful of defense cuts. Fortunately, the GOP does not need a total makeover; what it needs is a renegotiated modus vivendi between the two competing camps, each of which has valuable things to teach the other.
Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Ben Bernanke presented these prepared remarks to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on February 26, 2013. The committee provides a webcast of the whole hearing.
Throughout Chuck Hagel's marathon confirmation hearing, America's decade-long war in Afghanistan was noticeably overlooked. But it is curious to see the next secretary of defense receive so few inquiries from senators about the war whose end he will presumably oversee in the coming years, says Gayle Tzemach Lemmon.
Shannon K. O'Neil says after Republicans' election-year drubbing, the United States has an historic opportunity to fix its broken immigration system. And the arguments against reform simply don't hold up anymore.
Julia E. Sweig says the recent "fiscal cliff" deal marks the end of the grand bargain, and "the new normal in Washington is one of hyper partisanship, in which the Republicans have learned that if they wait long enough the Democrats will soften at the end of negotiations."
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.