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This Week in Washington - January 21, 2021

January 21, 2021

Thanks for your interest in Washington, and welcome back to the special inauguration issue of This Week in Washington. I attended my first inaugural in 1985 and subsequently in 1989, 2001, and 2005. Inaugurals are celebrations for the winners. But for all of us, inaugurals celebrate the continued victory of American democracy.

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Parents fight for justice after son’s murder, securing Maryland policies to his legacy

January 19, 2021

After their son, 2nd Lt. Richard Collins III, was killed days before graduating from Bowie State University, parents Dawn and Rick Collins vowed to protect future Americans. They discussed their mission and the foundation they started in their son’s memory on NBC’s TODAY show on January 13. Total Spectrum Strategic Consultants Barbara Wiley Cosgriff and Alvin B. Jackson are honored to work with Dawn and Rick Collins to ensure the 2LT Richard W Collins III Foundation (The Foundation), delivers on its mission. The Foundation was established by the Collins family to honor the brief life of their son and to pursue justice on Richard’s behalf and on behalf of other families who have suffered a similar fate. During the period following Richard’s murder and the December 2019 trial of his murderer, the Foundation spearheaded two major legislative successes in the Maryland State Legislature.

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Ramón Valadez joins Total Spectrum

January 13, 2021

Michael DiMaria, Partner and Southwest Regional Director of Total Spectrum, is pleased to announce that Ramón Valadez is now a Partner and the Southern Arizona Director for Total Spectrum, a rapidly expanding public affairs firm with offices in Washington, D.C.; Phoenix; Atlanta; Denver; and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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This Week in Washington - January 7, 2021

January 7, 2021

I knew it would be a significant week. The big event was Tuesday’s runoff elections in Georgia because they were winner-take-all, the results set to determine the shape of government and the direction of federal policy for the next two years. The other event – Wednesday’s Congressional certification of the electoral college results – is typically ceremonial. A great number of speeches were planned and there were certainly questions about how Vice President Pence would handle his function, but we knew how the story would end. What I didn’t know is what would happen before the Presidential election results were certified.

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This Week in Washington - December 16, 2020

December 16, 2020

The legislative year is days away from wrapping up. Erik Paulsen and I summarize the three things that must get completed – the omnibus spending bill, COVID relief, and the National Defense Authorization Act – and take a look forward to the U.S. Senate in 2021 in “Heard on the Hill.” Patrick Robertson takes a last look back at the November elections, and Steve Ruhlen takes a first look forward at the 2022 midterm elections. Al Jackson gives us a defense update, and Ramona Lessen shares a hearing report, covering a recent Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation subcommittee hearing on COVID’s impact on the live event entertainment industry. Our Total Spectrum Spotlight features Erik Paulsen and Patrick Robertson discussing the anticipated focus of the Biden Administration in the first 90 to 100 days.

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This Week in Washington - December 9, 2020

December 9, 2020

The proposed COVID relief discussions have started to pick up momentum. The agreed upon top line is $908 billion, and many of the sections have also been agreed to by the negotiators. It is fair to say that funding for state and local governments and liability reform are the main sticking points. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) and the Trump Administration have asked that individual stimulus checks be included in the proposed legislation, but that would balloon the cost beyond the agreed-upon top line amount of $908 billion.

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This Week in Washington - December 2, 2020

December 2, 2020

We are in the dog days of this Congressional session. The lame duck session which began this week is important, but just as important is the pandemic and the real prospect of safe and effective vaccines, control of the Senate and the runoff elections next month in Georgia, and an ultimate decision on last month’s presidential election. Former Congressman Erik Paulsen and I cover these subjects and more in Heard on the Hill. Steve Ruhlen, our Appropriations expert, summarizes the ongoing struggle to fund the federal government. Al Jackson, our expert on defense, brings us up to date on all matters in the defense sector. Ramona Lessen provides a summary of yesterday’s important Senate Banking Committee hearing featuring testimony from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. Erik Paulsen also addresses the need for Congress to enforce trade laws, and I took a look at November’s biggest and most surprising Senate victory. Our Total Spectrum Spotlight interview is with Todd Smith, Chairman of Total Spectrum’s Georgia Group. Todd knows Georgia down to the soles of his shoes, and our short interview with him about the Georgia Senate runoff elections is both enjoyable and informative.

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