Swoop: Washington’s World: March 22nd – March 28th, 2010

Swoop: Washington’s World: March 22nd – March 28th, 2010
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“A tumultuous moment awaits the Obama Administration. As we go to press, the health care vote in the House of Representatives is to be held late on March 21st. Indications are that the Administration will win the necessary majority, albeit narrowly and after an extremely messy process. If the bill passes and then survives its subsequent Senate re-vote, the Administration will gain a new lease on life. A series of new reform bills covering financial reform, energy, education and immigration will follow. By contrast, if the bill fails, serious questions will arise about the Administration’s viability. Obama himself, who delayed an overseas visit to lobby for passage, will be seriously weakened. Either way, the Administration will face a daunting political challenge in the November mid-term elections. Republican strategists tell us that they see increasing prospects of winning control of the House and making strong gains in the Senate. Democratic leaders are less pessimistic, but still acknowledge that they face substantial losses. Despite this intense focus on the domestic agenda, the sudden rise in tensions between the US and Israel continues to attract attention. Israeli representatives in the US are trying hard to defuse the matter. Prime Minister Netanyahu will do the same during his visit to Washington when he and Secretary of State Clinton will both address the March 21st-23rd AIPAC conference. Based on our conversations with Administration and Congressional officials, our assessment is that both sides are looking for a formula to return relations to their normal closeness. Efforts are also underway to repair disagreements with China on the currency question. This may prove less easy, given the still anemic growth in employment which is fuelling popular discontent with foreign, especially Chinese, imports. In the meantime the 7th anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq passed almost unnoticed. Short of a major deterioration in internal Iraqi security, the Administration is determined to maintain its withdrawal schedule.”

Source: http://theswoop.net/sys/index.php?PHPSESSID=9f5378f1ea2fe34571c7d12c5021cc44