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Washington Update


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Following a tumultuous campaign season, Americans will have elected a new president and Congress just a week before the CIEE Annual Conference. Where does the new president stand on privately funded exchange programs? What does the new composition of Congress mean for the budget process? What about immigration issues? How might exchanges fare? Who are the most likely people to run the critical congressional committees? What about the impact of the presidential campaign on public perception?  Come learn about these issues and what the international exchange community can do to promote greater understanding and support of its programs.

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Washington Update

  1. 1. WASHINGTON UPDATE Ilir Zherka, Executive Director
  2. 2. Our mission: As the voice of international exchange, the Alliance promotes the growth and impact of exchange programs and the effectiveness of its members by engaging in advocacy, providing member development opportunities, and building public awareness of the power of exchanges. We believe in the power of exchanges to connect people in profound ways across cultures, borders, and generations. By doing so we: • Increase mutual understanding • Support U.S. national security & foreign policy • Strengthen the U.S. economy About the Alliance
  3. 3. Activities and Issues Advocacy, Member and Program Development, Public Awareness:  Appropriations for Department of State international exchanges  J-1 visa regulations  Engage with: Congress, Department of State, U.S. Embassies and Consulates and other stakeholders
  4. 4. President-Elect Donald J. Trump Campaign underpinnings: - Anti-establishment - Isolationism - Rigged system Called for termination of J-1 SWT program in August 2015 but:
  5. 5. Vice President-Elect Mike Pence • Governor of Indiana • Former Member of the House of Representatives (2001- 2013) • “Bridge to the Establishment”  Pence as “CEO”, Trump as “Chairman of the Board”  Pence = deficit-hawk, ideological-evangelical
  6. 6. Potential Trump Cabinet  Secretary of State o Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich o Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) – Foreign Relations Committee Chair o Former Ambassador to the UN John Bolton  Secretary of Defense o Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) o Former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley o Former Sen. Jim Talent (R-MO)  Attorney General o Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani o NJ Governor Chris Christie  Chief of Staff: Reince Priebus  Senior Counselor & Chief Strategist: Stephen Bannon
  7. 7. New Congress – Friends SENATE  Patrick Leahy (D-VT) – SFOPS  Lindsay Graham (R-SC) – SFOPS  John Boozman (R-AR) – SFOPS  Roy Blunt (R-MO) – SFOPS  Ron Johnson (R-WI) – SFRC HOUSE  Kay Granger (R-TX) – SFOPS  Nita Lowey (D-NY) – SFOPS  Charlie Dent (R-PA) – SFOPS  Ed Royce (R-CA) – HFAC  Eliot Engel (D-NY) – HFAC  Steve Pearce (R-NM) – Caucus  Jim Himes (D-CT) – Caucus  Rob Bishop (R-UT) – Tax Deduction  Joe Crowley (D-NY) – Tax Deduction
  8. 8. New Congress – Roles  Speaker Paul Ryan – face challenges?  Foreign Relations o Will Chairman Corker (R-TN) take a cabinet post?  State-Foreign Operations Subcommittees o Senate: • Will Sens. Graham (R-SC) and Leahy (D-VT) remain in leadership positions? o House: • Rep. Granger may change committees and vacate Chairmanship • Rep. Lowey likely to stay on as Ranking Member • Committee member Tom Rooney (R-FL) could assume leadership position if Granger vacates
  9. 9. Trump Administration  Focus on Defense Spending o Very likely at the expense of Non-Defense (programs and staffing)  Threat to federally-funded & private-sector State Department exchanges  No Agreement on Immigration Reform o If any action, likely “nibbling” around security issues
  10. 10. Challenges Ahead  Debt Ceiling Expires in March 2017  Immigration Reform o “Extreme vetting” o Visa bills o Labor issues o Anti-trafficking issues  Relationships with International Allies
  11. 11. Time to Take Action  Key Elements of a Campaign:  Identify decision-makers and opinion-makers who are important to you  Create and share information/reports showing impact in their communities  Connect them to exchange participants  Data collection and dissemination is CRITICAL
  12. 12. Messaging 1. Exchange programs support U.S. national security & foreign policy interests 2. Exchange programs strengthen the U.S. economy 3. Exchange programs increase mutual understanding
  13. 13. Connect Visitors to Officials  Add elected officials and the media to your mailing lists for periodic positive exchange updates  Take exchange participants and hosts to visit with elected officials and their staff  Invite elected officials and the media to local events, e.g. J Day, panel discussions  Recognize an elected official with an award  Engage in Advocacy, e.g. town hall meetings, letter-writing campaigns, in- person meetings, phone calls
  14. 14. International Exchange & Study Caucus • Goal: Raise awareness of the importance & benefits of international exchange and study programs, both for Americans traveling abroad and for international citizens coming to the U.S. for meaningful exchange experiences. • Bipartisan: 12 Republicans, 19 Democrats • Alliance Role: Briefings, Monthly Exchanges Digest Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT)
  15. 15. Stay in Touch! Ilir Zherka, Executive Director Laine Cavanaugh, Manager for Public and Member Affairs 202.293.6141
  16. 16. THANK YOU