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This Week in Washington - November 9, 2018

November 9, 2018

Steve Gordon was in professional politics for more than 36 years. We asked him to write a summary of the 2018 midterm election based on his experience and his conversations with key objective political observers. We hope you find it interesting. Congress will reconvene next week for the Lame Duck Session. We’ll have a special summary of what needs to be done and what might get done in next week’s edition of This Week in Washington.

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This Week in Washington - October 16, 2018

October 16, 2018

The House of Representatives adjourned October 4th. Majority Leader McConnell vowed to keep the Senate in session until the end of October. But Senator McConnell and Minority Leader Schumer reached an agreement on Thursday night, and the Senate adjourned. Steve Gordon writes about how this agreement got done. He also points out one of the Senate’s biggest accomplishments during 2017 and 2018, a key fight coming during the lame duck session, and what he has heard on key Senate races – all of that in Heard on the Hill. Jim Miller writes about tax issues that are bound to be debated during the post-election session in Miller Time. Dana Marston dives into logistics of midterm elections, and takes a look at what made it in – and what was left out of - the final opioid relief package passed by the House and Senate. We’re going to sit back and watch the last few weeks of the campaigns and plan our coverage of the lame duck session. We’ll send out a special edition if a situation warrants and we will return on November 16th.

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This Week in Washington - October 8, 2018

October 8, 2018

We delayed last week’s edition until today so we could cover and sum up Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination process and Jennifer Duffy’s appearance at last Friday’s Arizona Manufacturers Council. Steve Gordon covered them both and talks about the things that should have been noted and talked about in Heard on the Hill. Larry Smith has really good news in this week’s Trade Update. Al Jackson reports on the recently passed 2019 Defense Appropriations bill, and potential changes in the defense space should Democrats gain control of one or both chambers of Congress. Dana Marston brings next week’s abbreviated Senate hearing and meeting schedule and takes a dive into trade – both with our neighbors to the north and south, but also with Japan. The House is out of session, but the Senate is in and will remain so at least another week or so. Our next issue will circulate a week from today.

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Inside Democracy - October 3, 2018:  Q&A with Rep. Austin Scott

October 3, 2018

In this edition of Inside Democracy: From the Peach State to the Potomac, we highlight Congressman Austin Scott. Representative Scott represents the Eighth Congressional District of Georgia, which covers the mid-south portion of Georgia. Congressman Scott has offices in Warner Robins and Tifton. He has served in the House of Representatives since 2011 and currently serves on the Agriculture Committee and the Armed Services Committee. We recently asked the Congressman to visit with us and our Inside Democracy readers.

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This Week in Washington - September 28, 2018

September 28, 2018

Supreme Court nominations used to be fairly tame events, but those days are gone. We said that if the special Judiciary Committee hearing occurred yesterday it would generate huge ratings in Washington – and the hearing and the ratings didn’t disappoint. Steve Gordon reports on Thursday in Washington and other trends and pending events in Heard on the Hill. Jake Ostenso updates us on his Agency Watch. Dana Marston provides a next week’s Senate calendar, then looks at tariffs’ impacts upon state imports as well as trade with Mexico, last year’s particularly harsh flu season, and one of several appropriations bills. Next week’s This Week will publish on Monday, October 8th.

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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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TS Partner Jesse Weathington on Georgia’s Certificate of Need Regulations

September 20, 2018

Total Spectrum Georgia Director Jesse Weathington gave a presentation to the Georgia House Rural Development Council on certificate of need regulations. Weathington was invited to testify by the Council due to his extensive history with the issue and gave the council a description of how state-level regulations affect cost, quality, and access to health care services in rural and urban markets.

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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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