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This Week in Washington - Week of April 24, 2017

April 25, 2017

This Week in Washington is different this week. It’s the end of a two week Congressional recess period, the end of the Trump Administration’s first 100 days, and the beginning of the push for tax reform. Jim Miller has the cover article this week, entitled “The Road to Tax Reform - or Tax Reduction.” Steve Gordon begins a series of articles remembering the 1986 Tax Reform Act – who was involved, what was involved, and how it finally came together. Steve also brings us Heard on the Hill. Dana Marston shares a glimpse at the GOP’s “Better Way” tax reform plan, according to the Tax Foundation and other think tanks, a look at the President’s recent Executive Order on H-1B visas, and a recent rule from HHS outlining regulatory changes designed to stabilize health insurance markets. She’s also provided a calendar of upcoming Congressional hearings and legislative mark-up sessions.

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TS Partner Blake Fulenwider discusses ACA’s future before Georgia Bar Association

April 19, 2017

At the invitation of the Georgia Bar Association, Total Spectrum Partner Blake Fulenwider spoke before their Health Law Section on April 18 to discuss the latest on repeal and replace of the Affordable Care Act. With a focus on Georgia, Blake discussed the state’s perspective on developments at the federal level as well as planning by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce with regard to Medicaid expansion. Blake is also slated to offer his thoughts on ACA repeal and replace on May 5, when he’ll speak at the American Academy of Pediatrics' Georgia Chapter spring meeting of pediatric nurses and practice managers associations. Click below for additional meeting details.

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This Week in Washington - Week of April 17, 2017

April 18, 2017

The Senate is in recess this week, and so is This Week in Washington. We will be back next week with a larger issue summarizing where things stand inside the beltway and where things might be going.

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This Week in Washington - Week of April 10, 2017

April 11, 2017

This week was the last week before a two-week Congressional recess and district work period. It was also a very successful week for the new Administration. Republicans are hoping that this week saw the signs that the President and the Administration have steadied the ship, turned the corner, and can use their momentum to tackle tax reform and infrastructure. Larry Smith has this week’s cover stories, highlighting the confirmation of Justice Gorsuch and an update on trade and NAFTA. Al Jackson provides an update on defense appropriations activity. Steve Gordon discusses the President’s wins last week and the things that need to be dealt with when Congress returns in “Heard on the Hill.” Steve continues with his Profile of Key People: An introduction to the People who drive the Policy Wagon. This week he introduces us to Senator John Thune of South Dakota—Chairman of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, a member of the Finance Committee and Chairman of the Republican Conference – the third ranking leadership position among Republican Senators. Dana Marston provides glimpse at which states have the most at stake in renegotiating NAFTA.

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This Week in Washington - Week of April 3, 2017

April 5, 2017

The Trump Administration is 75 days old today. There is no question that it’s been a rocky start with almost a daily push and pull between noise (extraneous messaging) and news (his agenda). Cable news shows focus on the noise and the ongoing investigations about Russia’s involvement in the past election are making TV stars out of some of the key members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. The Administration needs a ‘win’ – and it will get a big one this Friday when President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch is approved by the U.S. Senate. In our headline article, Larry Smith describes the case between Volks Constructors and OSHA and how Congress and the Administration are using the Congressional Review Act to get some of the regulatory relief that’s been promised – and that can be achieved. Larry also updates NAFTA and Trade. Steve Gordon talks about progress on the Administration’s key legislative agenda in Heard on the Hill, and he begins a profile series introducing us to key people in Washington who drive the policy wagon. Dana Marston provides a quick look at the $18 billion in proposed budget cuts FY2017, as well as a glimpse at the White House’s new Office of American Innovation. We’ll also provide a calendar of Capitol Hill’s upcoming hearings and meetings.

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This Week in Washington - Week of March 27, 2017

March 28, 2017

Two events – the repeal and replace of Obamacare and the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch – were the only two things on everybody’s mind last week. Thursday, our plans changed when Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) said he would join with other Democrats to filibuster the Judge Gorsuch’s nomination, a move that could complicate his confirmation. Then hopeful Republicans turned nervous about healthcare, and then the wheels came off the wagon.

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This Week in Washington - Week of March 20, 2017

March 22, 2017

The talk around Washington last week centered on snow (not a lot for transplanted Midwesterners but more than plenty for other people), the Congressional Budget Organization’s report on the House Republican’s plan to replace Obamacare, and the President’s proposed budget cuts outlined in the Administration’s Skinny Budget. Steve Gordon summarizes these and several other things in “Heard on the Hill,” then spotlights this coming week’s most important events. NAFTA and Trade reviews the recent G20 trade meetings. Dana Marston provides pictorial overviews showing an updated Cabinet, agency funding under the proposed ‘skinny’ budget from the Trump Administration, and the judicial record of Judge Neil Gorsuch, nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court.

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This Week in Washington - Week of March 13, 2017

March 14, 2017

Republicans for years called for the ‘repeal and replace’ of Obamacare, but it was never going to happen with a Democratic majority in the Senate and President Obama in the White House. Now it could. House Republicans and President Trump are working on their bill. Not everyone is on board, and there are major potholes (for example, how to handle Medicaid). Steve Gordon summarized the back and forth – and what comes next – on health care reform and other subjects in “Heard on the Hill.” Jim Miller has an important update on tax reform, Larry Smith provides the latest on NAFTA and trade, and Dana Marston gives an overview on the House health care plan, the President’s executive orders, and the Administration’s revised travel ban.

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This Week in Washington - Week of March 6, 2017

March 7, 2017

Last week sent a record number of folks in Washington to their chiropractor with whiplash injuries and to their internist with stomach cramps. Each day was a spin cycle of highs, lows, noise, and news. We focus on news – items that impact members of the Arizona Chamber. Our lead story this week is on immigration, written by Total Spectrum partner Andy Ehrlich. John McKechnie, Total Spectrum’s Senior Partner, wrote an update on Dodd Frank and Financial Deregulation. Al Jackson, a strategic consultant to our firm, updates us on defense issues and the defense appropriations bill. Chairman Kevin Brady of the House Ways and Means Committee has a fascinating and excellent comment on trade negotiations in our NAFTA Box. Dana Marston updated her graphic on the President’s Cabinet, and has next week’s calendar. “Heard on the Hill” returns with a summary of what we saw and heard last week – including a summary of the Obamacare repeal and replace language that was released Monday night.

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This Week in Washington - February 27, 2017

February 28, 2017

Our feature this week is the second half of our interview with Congressman Erik Paulsen, in which we asked him questions about trade/NAFTA and healthcare. Dana Marston provides a look at this week’s calendar and an update on the progress and the slow pace of confirming the President’s Cabinet, and I’ll summarize what we Heard on the Hill last week. President Trump will give his first major address tonight to Congress. Make no mistake – it marks a major transition for the new Trump Administration. The pregame is over. The legislative season begins. We’ll provide a summary of the President’s Speech and Congressional reaction to it in next week’s edition of This Week in Washington.

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