Adam Isacson

Still trying to understand Latin America, my own country, and why so few consequences are intended. These views are not necessarily my employer’s.

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Legislation

12 points about the “Border Security for America Act of 2017”

The House Homeland Security Committee meets tomorrow to mark up (draft and vote on) H.R. 3548, the “Border Security for America Act of 2017.” It calls for $14 billion in new border-security spending, mostly at the U.S.-Mexico border. The legislation might not go anywhere, but it’s still teachable. It includes a few items that are worth support, […]

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Statement on the House’s Homeland Security Appropriations Bill

The House Appropriations Committee meets at 10:30 to “mark up” (approve the draft of) the bill that will fund the Homeland Security department in 2018. The bill includes the Trump administration’s full request of $1.6 billion to build 74 miles of border wall, 60 of it new. It also has $100 million to hire 500 more […]

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Who are the House’s border hardliners and reformers?

I asked my “narrowdown.org” congressional web database which members of Congress most consistently sign on to legislation or letters, or join caucuses, having to do with U.S.-Mexico border security. The result was the below list of 19 “hardliners” and 20 “reformers” in the House of Representatives. Of the 19 hardliners, 18 are Republicans who won […]

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Hopefully this 2018 foreign aid budget request is dead on arrival in Congress

The Trump administration issued its 2018 budget request to Congress today. We’ll have a proper memo out about this tomorrow. For now, here’s a crude graphic that shows pretty clearly how radical and irresponsible the foreign aid part of the request is. The Homeland Security request, meanwhile, proposes to build 74 miles of border wall […]

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“Peace Colombia” aid is still in the 2017 appropriation

The table of aid to Colombia following this paragraph comes from the explanatory statement for the State Department and foreign aid part of the 2017 budget bill (PDF). It reflects the deal struck in Congress on Sunday to fund the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year, averting a government shutdown. And here is […]

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Podcast: “The Border Wall and the Budget”

The Trump White House came dangerously close to shutting down the U.S. government over funding for its proposed wall along the border with Mexico. Here I explain the budget process, what we know of the administration’s wall-building plans, and why it’s a bad idea. I think this one came out pretty well. The White House’s […]

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Some trivia about Congress and Latin America

I derived these using “Narrow Down Congress,” a web-app I coded over the holidays. It does one thing: find members of Congress who match more than one category. I invite you to play around with it. The House and Senate Foreign Relations/Affairs Committees have subcommittees for the Western Hemisphere. They have a combined 23 members. […]

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How would you even begin to cut foreign aid by 29 percent?

The Trump administration’s 2018 budget request is out. Though the next year’s budget request to Congress is normally due the first Monday in February, a new administration is traditionally given a few months (usually until sometime in April) to come up with the whole thing. The document that came out today is called the “skinny […]

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