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This Week in Washington - November 11, 2020

November 11, 2020

This Week, we lead with Patrick Robertson’s Washington Whispers. Patrick notes that President Trumphas the right to explore all of his legal options, but in the meantime it is important to watch and think about the ideas and agenda of the Biden Team as they address transition of the administration, filling cabinet positions, continuing COVID response, prioritizing infrastructure, and if – or how – to reform the Senate. I cover the upcoming lame duck and how both the Senate and the House look after last week’s elections, as well as an overview of Georgia’s January 5 runoff elections, in Heard on the Hill. Erik Paulsen has written a fascinating – albeit frightening – article about future ‘super-bugs’. Ramona Lessen monitored two Senate hearings – one before the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs committee focusing on the oversight of financial regulators, and another of the Commerce Science and Technology committee on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

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This Week in Washington - Special Issue November 6, 2020

November 7, 2020

Thanks for your interest in Washington, D.C., and thanks for reading this VERY special issue of This Week in Washington. This past Tuesday’s election was monumental. Over 65% of eligible Americans voted – the highest percentage since 1908. More people voted absentee than ever before, and the level of interest in Tuesday’s election was as high as I have ever seen it. This special issue will bring you up to date on what we know, and what we still do not know about the outcome of key races. I joined with former Congressman Erik Paulsen, Michael DiMaria, and Todd Smith to summarize the unfolding presidential election, key senate races, and the big surprise over in the House of Representatives. Andy Ehrlich and Dana Marston summarize the upcoming Senate runoff in Georgia, and Michael DiMaria also provides a top-line view of what happened at the state level in Arizona.

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This Week in Washington - October 28, 2020

October 28, 2020

We decided to do a bonus This Week as a clean-up-and-button-down issue before next week’s elections. In Heard on the Hill, Erik Paulsen and I summarized ‘No Judge Left Behind’ and the successful confirmation of Justice Barrett. We also look at the reason why the COVID stimulus bill couldn’t happen before the election, what’s behind all the optimism about a COVID vaccine, the Congressional Review Act and how it could be used next year, and the outlook for a continued Republican Senate majority from the perspective of Republican strategists. Al Jackson reports on prospects for defense appropriations over the next four years under a Trump or Biden Administration, and with a Republican or Democratic Majority in the Senate. Total Spectrum Spotlight features part two of our interview with Neil Newhouse, co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies. Neil is an outstanding pollster with over 40 years of experience. He is a pro’s pro and a wonderful communicator. We had a wonderful response to part one of the interview, and I am sure you will find part two just as informative and interesting.

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This Week in Washington - October 14, 2020

October 14, 2020

“Heard on the Hill” looks at the last mile of this Congress, with a particular focus on additional stimulus legislation by discussing what happened, what did not happen, and why. We look over the fence at the upcoming lame duck session, cover some odds and ends, preview the “Art of Polling” interview in Total Spectrum Spotlight, and cover the changes in campaign finance over 40 years in a section we call It’s Raining Money. “Washington Whispers” takes a deep dive into the battle for the control of the U.S. Senate. It breaks the races into four tiers, and shows why national interest in which party controls the Senate has never been greater. Ramona Lessen covered three hearings – one before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation about a pathway to a vaccine, another before the House Small Business Subcommittee on Investigation and Regulations about preventing fraud and abuse in the Paycheck Protection Program, and finally the opening of this week’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Honorable Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to be an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court. Ramona has condensed her reports but provides links for those who want to read and watch further. I urge you to watch the part one of our Total Spectrum Spotlight interview with Neil Newhouse, co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies. Neil provides real insights about what does - and what does not – make a reliable poll and how his art changes with the times.

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Joe Biden Keeps Everyone Guessing on Wall Street Regulation: McKechnie weighs in

October 13, 2020

“Broadly, the Biden campaign’s proposals for the financial sector are being written with an eye to meeting the expectations of the Democratic progressive base without spooking moderates who worry about expanding regulatory powers,” writes the Wall Street Journal on October 13, 2020. John McKechnie, Senior Partner for Total Spectrum and financial services lobbyist, weighs in.

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This Week in Washington - September 30, 2020

September 30, 2020

Erik Paulsen and Steve Gordon cover the October surprise in September, the last push for additional COVID legislation, the upcoming lame duck session, and significant developments at the Labor Department, the Small Business Administration, and the IRS – all that and more in Heard on the Hill. Steve also takes another look at issues surrounding the U.S. Postal Service with a very relevant interview of an industry insider, and shares a link to an insightful research report from the American Enterprise Institute separating fact from fiction. Al Jackson shares his expertise in providing a Defense Update, and Ramona Lessen provides brief summaries of two Congressional hearings: one before the House Financial Services Committee focusing on the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve Oversight, and a second of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee with an update on the federal response to COVID-19.

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