The newly-elected Republican House and Senate is facing several problems related to foreign aid and other issues dealing with foreign policy and international relations.

For instance in 2014, due to the influx of illegal immigrants from Mexico and Latin America, Republicans proposed to stop sending aid to countries such as El Salvador, Guatamala and Hondouras. Instead of providing foreign aid, Republicans proposed to provide funding for initiatives that would protect the border states.

President Barack Obama’s strategy in congress is “play offense” against the majority GOP Congress. This includes using his veto power to stop legislation of the XL pipeline and increased sanctions on Iran.

“We in the administration believe that, at this time, increasing sanctions would dramatically undermine our efforts to reach this shared goal” of reducing Iran’s nuclear weapon capacity, said Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, at a Louisville event with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) earlier this week.

The situation worsens as Democrats and Republicans further divide over social issues.

The United Nations Population Fund is the branch of the United Nations that supports development of programs and clinics that provide reproductive services for women. This institution needs funding to cut down on unplanned or unexpected pregnancy. The strict policy enacted by Ronald Reagan mandates that non-governmental organizations providing support for women cannot even mention abortion let alone refer them to doctors.

The order was rescinded by Bill Clinton in 1993 and then reinstated during George W. Bush’s administration. The bill is also known as the “gag rule” and is an example of the volatility of bipartisan politics in Washington.

“The global gag rule has had a dire impact on vulnerable women by allowing critical family planning programs in the developing nations to be held hostage by the ping pong game of U.S. partisan polices,” said Brian Dixon.

Obama also stated, “I’m not going to spend the next two years on defense; I’m going to play offense,” he said, at his speech to Democrats. Obama has made it clear that he is not laying down for his last term in office.

– Maxine Gordon

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