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This Week in Washington - September 21, 2018

September 21, 2018

It’s fair to say that people in Washington are focused on the Supreme Court nomination, the upcoming election, funding the government, and concern over trade negotiations. Steve Gordon talks about the Supreme Court confirmation battle from the perspective of politics, the down-to-the-wire work on the Fiscal Year 2019 budget, and trade concerns in Heard on the Hill. Larry Smith goes deeper yet on trade and NAFTA in his Trade Update, though be forewarned – the short-term doesn’t look rosy. Dana Marston takes a look at China’s latest retaliatory tariffs and which states sit best, from a fiscal perspective, should another recession creep up on us.

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This Week in Washington - September 17, 2018

September 17, 2018

Washington listened last week to predictions about Hurricane Florence and talk about the upcoming elections. We focus this week on key legislative and agency activity that’s expected before the election or after the election in a lame duck session. Steve Gordon covers it in Heard on the Hill. Jake Ostenso’s Agency Watch digs into two potential rule changes being considered by the EPA. Dana Marston shares this week’s limited legislative schedule. She also looks deeper at the world’s response to recent tariffs instituted by the U.S. and compares House and Senate versions of an opioid bill that may well pass today. Next week Jim Miller will sum up the Judiciary Committee’s vote on Judge Kavanaugh and what the vote means for a final confirmation vote on the Senate floor. We’ll also have a report on trade.

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This Week in Washington - September 7, 2018

September 7, 2018

Some events so rivet Washington that they become touchstones in our memory. We’ll always remember 9/11 and President Reagan’s funeral. Now we can add to that list Senator John McCain’s death and funeral at the Washington Cathedral. Steve Gordon attended the funeral, and he reflects on Senator McCain’s service at the Cathedral and Senator Kyl’s return to Washington in Heard on the Hill. Jim Miller reports on the Kavanaugh hearings in Miller Time. Al Jackson provides an update on the defense appropriations process. Dana Marston shares next week’s hearing schedule, along with some insight into a proposed update to NAFTA, a long-shot legal challenge to Obamacare, and a new approach to rein in Medicare spending. This morning the Labor Department announced August job numbers. The nation’s economy added 201,000 jobs, exceeding the projected increase of 195,000, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.9 percent. Hourly wage earnings were up year-over-year by 2.9 percent. We greatly appreciate your comments and suggestions.

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TWIW - Special Edition - Remembering Senator John S. McCain III

August 27, 2018

Washington mourns with Arizona and a grateful nation the passing of Senator John McCain. Everyone who had contact with Senator McCain has his or her own recollections and reflections. Steve Gordon was a consultant to Senator McCain’s campaign committee for most of the 1990’s and he shares his thoughts with us. We join with so many others in extending our thoughts and prayers to the McCain family.

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This Week in Washington - August 24, 2018

August 24, 2018

All eyes are focused on trade and NAFTA, and Larry Smith brings us up-to-date. Steve Gordon talks and types about what he’s heard this week in Heard on the Hill. Jake Ostenso has this week’s Agency Watch. Dana Marston – back from salmon fishing in Alaska – looks at where student borrowers are struggling most, and breaks down a bipartisan bill to address the opioid crisis which the Senate hopes to pass after Labor Day. This morning, we received the exceedingly sad news that Senator John McCain is suspending treatment for his brain cancer. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Senator and his family. The Senate is scheduled to adjourn and leave town for Labor Day. We will not publish next Friday, but we will be back in your inbox on September 7th. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday.

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This Week in Washington - August 17, 2018

August 17, 2018

The House of Representatives continues its August recess. The Senate is in session and is working on judicial appointments and the appropriations packages for the next fiscal year. (spoiler alert: There will not be a government shutdown in September because both Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Schumer have roughly agreed on the terms and the outcome). We’re adjusting our format this week. Steve Gordon converts his Heard on the Hill column to People on the Hill – and begins a series of interviews with people in Washington who represents segments of the Arizona business community. NAFTA discussions are ongoing with the clock ticking. Senator Orrin Hatch, Chairmanof the Finance Committee, gave an important speech in Utah this week on the value of free trade. It’s worthwhile reading – and we’ve linked to it here. Dana Marston is in Alaska fishing for salmon. Ramona Lessen has pulled together a visual on Foreign Direct Investment in US Industry Sectors, another one on Trading Tariffs on US Goods, and a third for the TWIW weekly calendar.

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Inside Democracy - August 17, 2018:  Q&A with Rep. Hank Johnson

August 17, 2018

U.S. Representative Hank Johnson represents the Fourth Congressional District of Georgia, which includes portions of DeKalb, Gwinnett and Newton counties and all of Rockdale County. He has served in the House of Representatives since 2007 and currently serves on the Judiciary Committee and the Transportation Committee. We recently asked the Congressman to visit with us and our Inside Democracy readers.

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This Week in Washington - August 10, 2018

August 10, 2018

This week we had planned to only publish Steve Gordon’s Heard on the Hill column. The Senate has been in recess all week, the House is on its’ August recess, and the pace of official Washington has slowed. But there are several key areas to report on – so report we are doing. Larry Smith’s update on Trade and NAFTA takes center stage. Al Jackson updates on Defense Appropriations and Steve Gordon submits this week’s Heard on the Hill. Steve Gordon will be back again next Friday with his Heard on the Hill – and will be joined by other members of the Total Spectrum team as events in Washington dictate.

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This Week in Washington - August 3, 2018

August 3, 2018

August has come to Washington. The House of Representatives are on recess for the month and the Senate went on a one-week recess. Steve Gordon is in Washington – and has prepared a timely ‘Heard on the Hill’ – which includes off-the-record discussion with a Senate Appropriator and news about trade and taxes. Steve will report again next Friday, and we will be back to full staff in two weeks. We greatly appreciate your comments and suggestions – and our loyal readers.

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This Week in Washington - July 27, 2018

July 27, 2018

Trade negotiations and NAFTA is on everybody’s mind, so Larry Smith has the lead with his update on trade/NAFTA. Jim Miller talks about Tax Reform 2.0 in this week’s Miller Time. Steve Gordon talks about the things people are talking about in Heard on the Hill, and Jake Ostenso shares another edition of Agency Watch. Dana Marston provides next week’s (somewhat limited) legislative calendar, as well as looks at GDP growth in the 1st quarter by industry, changes in a career training grant program, and breaks down the volume of opioid prescriptions by congressional districts.

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