A Quaker Lobby in the Public Interest
President Obama: The First 100 DaysPresident Franklin D. Roosevelt entered the White House in 1933 with a tremendous amount of political capital and a huge set of problems. Roosevelt used his first 100 days in office to mobilize Congress and the people of the United States to address the challenges of his day. The first 100 days of the Obama administration will be equally critical.
Find out more about the agenda FCNL is lobbying for in this memo and in the following issues of the Washington Newsletter:
- Nuclear Weapons: Time for a Renewed Vision (July/August 2008)
- Reclaiming the Balance of Power: An Agenda for the 111th Congress (October 2008)
- Transition and Opportunity in 2009 (November/December 2008)
- The Responsibility to Prevent (January 2009)
Preventing War1/22/09: Expand U.S. Diplomatic Presence
Just two days after he was sworn in, President Barack Obama chose to visit the State Department. By making this visit and in his remarks, the new president emphasized the importance of rebuilding the U.S. diplomatic capability around the world. The White House website also identifies diplomacy as a priority for the new administration: "Obama and Biden will stop shuttering consulates and start opening them in difficult corners of the world -- particularly in Africa. They will expand our foreign service, and develop our civilian capacity to work alongside the military."
Iraq/Iran and the Middle East
Nuclear Disarmament1/20/09 - Move toward a Nuclear-Free World:
The White House website includes this objective in the administration's foreign policy agenda: "Obama and Biden will set a goal of a world without nuclear weapons, and pursue it. Obama and Biden will always maintain a strong deterrent as long as nuclear weapons exist. But they will take several steps down the long road toward eliminating nuclear weapons. They will stop the development of new nuclear weapons; work with Russia to take U.S. and Russian ballistic missiles off hair trigger alert; seek dramatic reductions in U.S. and Russian stockpiles of nuclear weapons and material; and set a goal to expand the U.S.-Russian ban on intermediate-range missiles so that the agreement is global."
Banning Cluster Bombs
Civil Liberties1/22/09 - Ban Torture:
President Barack Obama issued executive orders outlawing torture, banning secret CIA prisons, and calling for the closure of the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay. He also explicitly revoked former President George W. Bush's order that attempted to limit U.S. interpretation of the relevant parts of the Geneva Conventions.
Good Government1/21/09 - Revive the Freedom of Information Act:
In a memo to heads of federal agencies on the Freedom of Information Act, President Obama wrote, "The Government should not keep information confidential merely because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because errors and failures might be revealed, or because of speculative or abstract fears."