Any Congress, particularly a hostile Congress, has the power to give any sitting president a major national security migraine -- and the incoming House GOP leadership has proven their determination to do just that.
At stake is America's ability to effectively address the global challenges of the 21st century. And the timing is important: in just two months, the eyes of the world will be on the Millennium Development Goals Summit.
Obama's speech was a call for a new spirit of global partnership, emphasizing that real progress in lifting millions out of poverty and countering transnational threats cannot be made by governments alone.
Leading lights of the aid movement -- Geldof, Bono, Sachs and Easterly -- continue to bicker with politicians and amongst themselves without taking a visible role in reform of the levers of assistance.
Why are both parties, who have repeatedly spoken in favor of increasing foreign assistance, now so quick to propose slowing down or canceling aid that can help fight urgent disease threats and restore America's battered image abroad?