Statement of Donald R. Wolfensberger Before the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform

Understanding the Federal Budget Process

How does the federal budget process work?  Is the system truly broken and, if so, how should Congress address the dysfunction? Aaron Jones, Director of Congressional Relations at the Wilson Center, provides historical context and insight in this edition of Wilson Center NOW.


The Class of ’74: Congress After Watergate and the Roots of Partisanship

Scholars often dismiss the so-called “Watergate Babies” – the large group of Democrats elected to the House of Representatives in the aftermath of the scandal that drive Richard Nixon from the presidency – as having had little respect for the institution of Congress or its leaders.

A Conversation with Congressman Adam Kinzinger: The Way Forward for America’s Longest War

Nearly 16 years after U.S. troops entered Afghanistan, the country faces a raft of major security challenges. The Taliban insurgency, which now controls more territory than at any time since 2001, has never been stronger. ISIS has developed a presence, while al-Qaeda remains resilient. Afghan security forces, while much improved, have struggled mightily to manage these threats despite continued U.S. assistance.

WC-16-06T Congressional Relations Assistant

Title: Congressional Relations Assistant
Agency: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Job Announcement
Number: WC-16-06T SALARY: $39,000 Per Year
OPEN PERIOD: Thursday, October 29, 2015 to Thursday, November 12, 2015
Series: AD-303

Major Duties

Kerry in Cuba: Can Relations Become “Normal”?

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will take an historic trip to Havana, Cuba on August 14th to raise the stars and stripes at the U.S. embassy for the first time in over 50 years. He will be the first Secretary of State to travel there in 70 years. His visit brings to a close the first stage of diplomatic normalization with Cuba that began last December when Presidents Obama and Castro announced their intentions to do so.

What Stood Out From Obama’s Speech on Iran Deal at American University

President Obama is likely to get his Iran deal through Congress, but that’s because of his advantages in congressional math, not thanks to his powers of persuasion. Wednesday’s address was no uplifting moment like that at American University in 1963 when President John F. Kennedy delivered his “we all breathe the same air” speech in an effort to market the advantages of agreements with the Russians.

How Not to Sell the Iran Nuclear Deal

The Iran nuclear deal is effectively done. The chances that Congress will be able to block the agreement appear remote. The White House appears able, in at least one house, to hold off the two-thirds majority required to overturn a presidential veto. It’s also likely that the International Atomic Energy Agency will give Iran passing grades on its report on the past military dimensions of Tehran’s nuclear program and will certify by year’s end that Iran is complying with provisions of the agreement.

What Happened to the Trade Deal?

Niccolo Machiavelli wrote way back when that it is much safer for a leader to be feared than loved if he cannot be both. With the House defeat Friday of the fast-track trade package, largely thanks to Democratic votes, it appears that President Barack Obama may no longer be either with members of his own Party.