5. January 2020 Extemp Topics

By NFHS on February 17, 2020 resources Print


January 2020



1. Were Democrats too limited in issuing only two articles of Impeachment against President Trump?

2. Will President Trump’s Executive Order defining Jewish people as a nationality help reduce anti-Semitism on America’s college campuses?

3. Will Pete Buttigieg’s disclosures about his prior consulting work help or hurt his candidacy?

4. Will the Federal Reserve Board need to further cut interest rates in the coming year?

5. Should former felons have full voting rights?

6. Is William Barr fit to serve as Attorney General?

7. Should Electoral College voters be bound by the winner of a state’s Presidential election?

8. Should the United States cease training of Saudi soldiers at US facilities?

9. Is Harvey Weinstein’s settlement with his accusers a win or a loss for the “Me Too” movement?

10. Should states be allowed to impose work rules for Medicaid recipients?

11. Should the federal government have the power to negotiate pharmaceutical prices?

12. Should the FAA face criticism for the failure to catch flaws in the Boeing 737 Max?

13. Did the FBI act properly in its handling of the Russia inquiry?



1. What is at the root of America’s increase in anti-Semitic activity?

2. What will be the consequences of denying flu vaccines to immigrants detained at the U.S. southern border?

3. What explains the persistence of rumors that Jeffrey Epstein did not kill himself?

4. What can Michael Bloomberg do to convince Democratic voters that he shares their values?

5. What are the implications of a federal court decision declaring Samoans US citizens at birth?

6. What will be the impact of the House impeachment vote on the outcome of the 2020 elections?

7. How will the passage of a Senate resolution, recognizing the Armenian Genocide, impact US relations with Turkey?

8. What must a North American trade pact do to bring auto industry jobs back to the United States?

9. Who will be the next Democratic candidate to drop out of the Presidential race?

10. What must the top-tier candidates do to win the Democratic caucuses in Iowa?

11. What would the federal government have to do to make free college work?

12. How would resumption of the federal government’s use of the death penalty impact its application in the states?



1. Do the results of the UK elections suggest the country is heading toward a break-up?

2. Was Greta Thunberg deserving of being named Time’s Person of the Year?

3. Are world citizens prepared to curtail meat production to save the environment?

4. Is ISIS still a threat on the African continent?

5. Should countries with active volcanos ban tourism around these sites?

6. Can the Interim Bolivian president bring peace to his country?

7. Did Aung San Suu Kyi err in choosing to represent her country at the International Court of Justice?

8. Can Alberto Fernandez solve Argentina’s economic crisis?

9. Will Israel elect a Prime Minister who is under indictment?

10. Will Iran’s protest movement bring about change in the government there?

11. Should China worry about world scrutiny of its activities in Xinjiang?

12. Will the revolution in Sudan end conflict in the Darfur region?

13. Is Moldova falling into Russia’s sphere of influence?


1. How will the passage of India’s citizenship bill impact sectarian relations in the country?

2. What can the world community do to react to Iran’s killing of protesters?

3. What are the implications of European nations’ claims that Iran has nuclear-capable ballistic missiles?

4. What accounts for the sudden disdain Kim Jong Un is showing toward Donald Trump after months of mutual praise?

5. What will it take to quell Alberta, Canada’s, secessionist movement?

6. What will be the economic impact of Cuba’s reintroduction of the U.S. dollar?

7. What compromises would Ireland have to offer to bring about reunification with Northern Ireland?

8. What must the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong due to remain viable?

9. What can be done to lessen Iranian influence in Iraq?

10. What can France do to resolve its pension crisis?

11. What must Russia do to mend fences with Europe?

12. What must the new leaders of the Social Democratic Party do to win the next German elections?



At four points during the year, the monthly extemporaneous speaking questions will include a section on a variation of question formats.  These questions are designed to provoke thought about alternative methods of formatting questions for variety and to improve accessibility to a broader range of students.

Experimental – Triads

1. Should the European Union encourage Scottish moves toward independence from the United Kingdom?

2. Should the United Kingdom intervene diplomatically with China to protect the interests of its former colony, Hong Kong?

3. How will Myanmar’s trial at the International Court of Justice effect the welfare of refugees in Bangladesh?

4. Is China’s repression of Tibet a model for its activities in Xinjiang?

5. Can the United States reach a deal with the Taliban without the cooperation of the Afghan government?

6. How will diplomatic tensions between South Korea and Japan impact America’s security interests in Asia?

7. How have Chinese pressure on the government of Hong Kong impacted China’s ability to strengthen economic ties with Taiwan?

8. How will the intervention of Russia in the conflict between Libya’s Government of National Accord and the Libyan National Army impact the balance of power in the conflict?

9. How will domestic turmoil in Iran impact the conflict between Saudi Arabia and Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen?

10. How has the controversy over US relations with Ukraine impacted negotiations between Ukraine and Russia to end their conflict?

11. How has President Trump’s warm relations with Turkey’s president Erdogan impacted the NATO alliance?

12. How are Emmanuel Macron’s recent statements impacting the relationship between the United States and the EU?