Director’s Desk

Kristin Nicholson | January 9, 2019

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! All of us at GAI enjoyed a nice break over the holidays and hope you did as well. Unfortunately, we’ve returned to an ongoing partial government shutdown that does not look poised for a quick resolution. With nine federal agencies shuttered to varying degrees for nineteen days and counting, the real-world impacts are increasing.

Over 800,000 federal employees are either furloughed or performing their duties without pay, and thousands of private contractors have been forced to stop working, with little hope of compensation. Meanwhile, many recipients of federal aid – from farm payments to housing assistance to food stamps – face a delay or loss of benefits.

President Trump addressed the nation last night from the Oval Office, amplifying his push for border wall funding. In Congress, House Democrats will continue to move multiple funding bills in an attempt to re-open agencies, but Majority Leader McConnell has shown no inclination to bring them to the Senate Floor. We will be closely following any shutdown developments, and I hope you’ll listen to last week’s GAI podcast , which features Senior Fellows Laura Blessing, Mark Harkins and Josh Huder discussing the latest machinations on the Hill.

This month’s newsletter brings a feature from GAI’s Fellow and resident expert on all things intel, Katina Slavkova. Katina’s piece examines the largely-broken intelligence oversight capacity of Congress and offers  several substantive proposals for improvement. If you’re interested in a deeper dive into Congress’s relationship with the intelligence community, you might want to check out our 4-day class on the Hill for the IC, or our research seminar on Congress and Intelligence Policy.

We send our thoughts to all those experiencing challenges due to the shutdown, and we hope to see you soon.


Categories: Director's Desk, Updates