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This Week in Washington - Week of June 19, 2017

June 20, 2017

Thanks for your continued interest in Washington, D.C., and for reading This Week in Washington. John McKechnie describes the House bill designed to reform Dodd-Frank. Larry Smith updates us on trade and NAFTA. Steve Gordon describes last week’s bravery at the ballpark as well as what is being said about the legislative agenda in Heard on the Hill. Dana Marston provides insight into Iowa’s attempts to restructure and stabilize its health insurance market, as well as run-down of this week’s legislative markups, meetings, and hearings on Capitol Hill.

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This Week in Washington - Week of June 12, 2017

June 13, 2017

The pace of Washington stalled last week as the legislative agenda was replaced by all things Russia. The Senate is working behind the scenes to make healthcare work because they know what is at stake. Tax reform/reduction is next up. Steve Gordon covers it all in Heard on the Hill. Steve also captures the thoughts of Senator John Thune (R-SD), Chairman of the Senate Republican Caucus and the Senate Commerce Committee. Larry Smith reports on the latest in trade/NAFTA. We profile this week Senator Lamar Alexander and Senator Mike Enzi. Dana Marston provides this week’s calendar of hearings and markups, as well as a look at the rise in household debt. She also digs into the recent U.S.-Mexico sugar accord, which some say sets the stage for NAFTA re-negotiations later this year.

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This Week in Washington - Week of June 5, 2017

June 7, 2017

Congressional recess periods like we had last week are a time to back away, get a little rest and get even more perspective. Most Congressional staffers as well as folks in the advocacy and political communities who remain in Washington after Congress adjourns take a collective deep breath – then begin to organize their thoughts and plan for the next Congressional work period. We focus this week on trade and defense. Larry Smith brings us up to date on trade and NAFTA news, and Jake Ostenso reports on a briefing by the Bipartisan Policy Group which featured Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross; Jack Gerard, CEO of the American Petroleum Institute; and Charles Bowling Jr., Chairman of the Corn Board of the National Corn Growers Association. Al Jackson provides a thorough review of the President’s budget proposal for defense. Dana Marston shares an early look at data behind NAFTA renegotiations, growth in the trade deficit, and a calendar of upcoming hearings and markups. Steve Gordon summarizes where we are on key legislative proposals and talks about prospects and distractions in Heard on the Hill.

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This Week in Washington - Week of May 29, 2017

May 31, 2017

Thanks for your continued interest in Washington, D.C. and This Week in Washington. This is our abbreviated Memorial Day report. Steve Gordon talks about taxes, health care, the Trump budget, a new energy bill, the upcoming special election in Georgia, all things Russian, and the sounds of Washington over the Memorial Day holiday in this week’s Heard on the Hill. Larry Smith updates us on Trade and NAFTA, and Dana Marston provides some info on GDP growth through the first quarter of 2017. We’ll be back with a full complement of reports in next week’s This Week.

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This Week in Washington - Week of May 22, 2017

May 23, 2017

It was by every measure a whirlwind week. Steve Gordon talks about the Elephant in the Room – the problems that are being caused and the opportunities that could be created for the legislative agenda -- in Heard on the Hill. Jim Miller discusses both the opportunities and challenges for tax reform. Larry Smith covers the Robert Lighthizer’s first week as US Trade Representative, which was also a very busy week for trade and NAFTA. Jake Ostenso – new to Total Spectrum – covered the Ways and Means Committee’s first hearing on tax reform, and his report is also in this edition. Dana Marston provides some insight into Senate work on their version of a health care bill and division over Medicaid cuts, the Department of Interior’s review of national monuments, and signs of economic growth at the state level.

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This Week in Washington - Week of May 15, 2017

May 16, 2017

This week’s cover story is on trade. It’s written by Larry Smith, who updates us on the confirmation of the US Trade Representative, the required first step to begin the NAFTA renegotiation process, and also describes US/China trade talks. Jim Miller answers a key question about pass through entities and how they fit into discussions about tax reform or reduction. Steve Gordon provides the second part of his interview with Mike Joyce, Senior Vice President of the American Trucking Association – this portion on the importance of trade between the U.S., Mexico and Canada. Dana Marston highlights another one of the Senate leaders – Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri. With Mr. Lighthizer’s confirmation as U.S. Trade Representative, the Trump Cabinet is complete - Dana also provides one last update on that, as well as some insight to Senate discussions of health insurance credits.

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Todd Smith named among 2017’s Political Influencers for Georgia

May 15, 2017

Total Spectrum Partner Todd Smith is named as one of the most well connected lobbyists in Washington, D.C. for Georgia interests by James Magazine. Congratulations, Todd!

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This Week in Washington - Week of May 8, 2017

May 10, 2017

Last week was a busy one in Washington. Glenn Hamer and a group of Chamber members joined the Greater Phoenix Economic Council in a trip to Washington, D.C. for a series of meetings. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate passed legislation appropriating funds for the government through the end of September. The House Financial Services Committee continued their work on Dodd-Frank reform. And – oh yes – the House of Representatives passed their version of healthcare legislation that would repeal and replace Obamacare. HR 1628 – The American Health Care Act – is significant both as a legislative product and as part of the legislative and political process, so we’re going to examine the bill both ways. Todd Smith and Blake Fulenwider, Total Spectrum’s newest partners, are both experts in health care legislation, and have taken the lead in a review of what’s in the House bill. Steve Gordon discusses the legislative and political impact of the House healthcare bill, the legislation that kept the lights on in government, and some of the other things he heard last week in Heard on the Hill. John McKechnie, Total Spectrum’s Senior Partner, writes about the bill that was passed out of the House Financial Services Committee to modernize Dodd-Frank.

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This Week in Washington - Week of May 1, 2017

May 2, 2017

Thanks for your continued interest in This Week in Washington. Glenn Hamer and a group of Chamber members have joined a GPEC delegation trip to Washington this week for meetings on and off the Hill, including a meeting with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. We’ll lead this week's issue with an interview with Mike Joyce, Sr. Vice President and Chief Legislative Advocate for the American Trucking Association. Steve Gordon interviewed Mike to find out how the ATA is viewing discussions on trade, taxes, and other key legislative issues. Jim Miller provides an update on the budget, healthcare, and taxes. Larry Smith reviews the twists and turns of NAFTA. Steve Gordon tells us what he has ‘Heard on the Hill’. Dana Marston provides two charts exploring President Trump’s tax proposal, seeing its potential impact on both corporate tax rates and corporate repatriation. She also shares the latest on the Administration’s cabinet confirmations and a schedule of upcoming hearings and legislative markups.

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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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