The President and Congress gave themselves some more breathing room on the budget by agreeing to a new, three-week continuing resolution (CR) to replace the one that expired on March 18. This new CR gives them until April 8 to figure out the next steps to come to an agreement on the fiscal year 2011 budget. And whatever happens beyond that could have major ramifications for any organization that does business with the federal government, or whose bottom line is contingent upon government action.
US policy in the Middle East has long been torn between rhetorical support for democracy and a practical desire for stability. And for US businesses, this ambiguity presents both challenges and opportunities.
Democracy has been seen as important because it is a fundamental American value, and because it has offered an all-purpose answer to the region’s problems: Why is so much of the region underdeveloped? No democracy. Why is there so much corruption? No democracy. Sympathy for Islamic extremism? If only there were democracy to afford moderate alternatives.
In Washington, decisions being made in Congress and the White House command everyone’s attention. But often overlooked are the profound ramifications of decisions in the 50 state capitals around the country. Governors have strong connections to the businesses operating and creating jobs in their states, and simultaneously have a direct line to the federal policymakers crafting the rules of the road. For those reasons alone, outreach to governors should be part of any smart government relations strategy.
For Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta, the past few weeks have been champagne time. His firm, the Podesta Group, represents the winners of two of the most high-priced and fiercely fought lobbying battles in years.
The firm’s clients include the Boeing Co., which last week beat out EADS North America for a $35 billion defense contract to build a new generation of aerial tankers.