New Republican led Congress could impact U.S. foreign policy

World Today

In Washington, D.C. next week, the political spotlight will be back on Capitol Hill, where U.S. lawmakers return for a new session with a Republican Party majority. Concerns loom over what this will mean for American foreign policy including: The possibility of additional sanctions against Russia, Iran nuclear talks, and the fight against ISIL. CCTV America’s Jessica Stone reported this story from Washington, D.C.

When the Republican Party took control of the U.S. Senate in the midterm elections last year, it signaled the potential for more division in Congress and a tough road ahead for White House policies around the world.

New Republican led Congress could impact U.S. foreign policy

In Washington, D.C. next week, the political spotlight will be back on Capitol Hill, where U.S. congressional lawmakers return for a new session dominated by the Republican party. Concerns loom over what this will mean for American foreign policy including: the possibility of additional sanctions against Russia, Iran nuclear talks and the fight against ISIL. CCTV America's Jessica Stone reported this story from Washington, D.C.

As the fight against ISIL heads into its second year, the fight in Iraq and Syria could be affected by American politics on Capitol Hill.

Former Republican presidential candidate John McCain, R-Ariz. is predicted to take over leadership of the influential Senate Armed Services Committee.

It’s expected McCain will push the White House to change its strategy toward Syria. Recruiting and arming Syrian opposition, he said, means being willing to take out Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, which the Obama administration has so far been unwilling to pursue.

As the White House resisted sending combat troops to Iraq, McCain also said he supports boots on the ground.

It is likely McCain will introduce legislation to restore Pentagon budget cuts, affecting the U.S. military posture in the Middle East and Asia.

With negotiations on an Iran nuclear deal set to restart this month, the White House could come to the table facing the prospect of new sanctions courtesy of Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the predicted incoming chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He’s already proposed a law that would give Congress the final say on a deal.

“If and when they reach an agreement, let’s bring all the details out into the open. Let’s examine the agreement in its entirety, and let’s determine if it’s in our national security interest,” Corker said.

While Russia is already feeling the pinch of U.S. and EU sanctions, Corker has proposed a new and tougher round.

“I really feel like the sanctions have been very hollow,” Corker said.

Negotiations toward a Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement could get a boost if Congress passes a measure to speed up the passage of an ultimate deal.

Expected incoming Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah has proposed the Trade Promotion Authority legislation to make it easier to negotiate trade deals with an up or down vote.

“Our bill empowers Congress, but it also empowers negotiators,” Hatch said. “Its approval will help them conclude high-standards agreements that will open new markets for US exports.”

A speedier path to passage of a free trade deal is one of the rare areas of agreement between the White House and Capitol Hill.


Eleanor Clift of The Daily Beast discusses US foreign policy

CCTV America interviewed Eleanor Clift a political reporter at the online news magazine, The Daily Beast about the impact of the Republican-controlled House and Senate on U.S. foreign policy.

Eleanor Clift of The Daily Beast discusses US foreign policy

CCTV America interviewed Eleanor Clift a political reporter at the online newsmagazine, The Daily Beast about the impact of the Republican-controlled House and Senate on U.S. foreign policy.


Dean Baker of Center for Economic and Policy Research discusses minimum wage increase

Another impact of the new Republican-controlled Congress is the fate of a federal minimum wage increase. Twenty states and Washington, D.C. have or will raise minimum wage in 2015. CCTV America interviewed Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research about the latest policy changes.

Dean Baker of Center for Economic and Policy Research discusses minimum wage increase

Another impact of the new Republican-controlled Congress is the fate of a federal minimum wage increase. Twenty states and Washington, D.C. have or will raise minimum wage in 2015. CCTV America interviewed Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research about the latest policy changes.