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This Week in Washington - March 9, 2022

March 9, 2022

The House of Representatives is trying to pass today a $1.5 trillion omnibus appropriations bill. The President and the House Democratic leadership wanted to include $15 billion in additional pandemic relief funding, but Republicans correctly objected to additional funding without an audit to determine where the trillions previously appropriated had gone. House Democrats from several states objected to the legislative maneuvering because they thought their states were getting shortchanged on COVID aid, so the Speaker pulled COVID from the appropriations bill. A number of things could happen – but two things are for sure. The first is that funding for the federal government runs out Friday night, so they have a continuing resolution ready if they get to a ‘break the glass in an emergency’ moment. The second thing that is for sure is that Steve Ruhlen, my colleague who has spent years working and understanding the appropriations process, will explain it all in his update article. Heard on the Hill covers Washington’s reaction to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a possible new legislative agenda for Senate Democrats, final passage of postal reform in the Senate, and a few parting words about the end of the worst part of COVID. Congressman Erik Paulsen served on the House Ways and Means Committee and as Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee. He is concerned about the impact of our ever-growing national debt on each of us, and I think you will be concerned too when you read his article. Ramona Lessen monitored two hearings for This Week. The first is timely, given this weekend’s shift to Daylight Savings Time. You can see her coverage of a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce entitled, “Changing Times: Revisiting Spring Forward and Fall Back.” The second hearing was before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee on examining mandatory arbitration in financial services products.

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This Week in Washington - February 23, 2022

February 23, 2022

Washington is quiet – in fact, it’s beyond quiet. Both the Senate and the House are on a state or district work week. Congressional staff, folks involved in partisan politics, and people in the advocacy world are taking a few days to catch their breath. Add in the thousands of folks who have not yet returned to their offices, and you get a real sense why both Capitol Hill and downtown Washington are listless. Restaurants are near-empty (except for Valentine’s Day), retail stores are holding on, and cabs are virtually non-existent. But this is a very eerie quiet because there’s a lot of things happening below the surface and across the ocean.

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This Week in Washington, Georgia Edition - February 11, 2022

February 11, 2022

Total Spectrum Spotlight brings you an exclusive interview with Senator John Thune, the Republican Whip in the U.S. Senate and #2 in Senate Republican leadership. Senator Thune has announced that he would be running for another term in the Senate, thus making things even further interesting come November. With so much going on - Russia threatening Ukraine, rising prices and inflation in the U.S., health mandates being imposed on businesses, worker shortages, and President Biden’s legislative agenda stalling out – Congressman Erik Paulsen hears Senator Thune’s perspectives and insights on these topics and more, plus the legislative agenda for this mid-term election year. Steve Gordon’s Heard on the Hill covers subjects as diverse as a postal reform bill, a continuing resolution to keep the government open for another month while appropriators try to reach an agreement on a new budget, Supreme Court Associate Justice Breyer’s retirement, what it’s like to try to run a legislative agenda in a 50-50 Senate, and what Washington, D.C. is like two years after the start of the pandemic.

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This Week in Washington - February 9, 2022

February 9, 2022

Senator John Thune’s announcement that he was staying in the Senate was music to the ears of those who believe that Republicans can pick up a couple of seats in November’s election and regain the majority. Congressman Erik Paulsen interviewed Senator Thune last Monday, and we sent it out as a special edition of This Week. Some people missed this important interview, so we have been asked to include it in this week’s edition. Heard on the Hill covers subjects as diverse as a postal reform bill, a continuing resolution to keep the government open for another month while appropriators try to reach an agreement on a new budget, Supreme Court Associate Justice Breyer’s retirement, what it’s like to try to run a legislative agenda in a 50-50 Senate, and what Washington, D.C. is like two years after the start of the pandemic.

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This Week in Washington - February 3, 2022

February 3, 2022

Total Spectrum Spotlight brings you an exclusive interview with Sen. John Thune, the Republican Whip in the U.S. Senate and #2 in Senate Republican leadership. With so much going on - Russia threatening Ukraine, rising prices and inflation in the U.S., health mandates being imposed on businesses, worker shortages, and President Biden’s legislative agenda stalling out – Congressman Erik Paulsen hears Senator Thune’s perspectives and insights on these topics and more, plus the legislative agenda for this mid-term election year.

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This Week in Washington - January 26, 2022

January 26, 2022

Patrick Robertson starts off this edition with his Washington Whispers. Congressman Erik Paulsen writes about the important need to increase private investment in renewable energy. Al Jackson updates us on Defense and related appropriations issues, and Steve Gordon continues surveying the scene for this year’s legislative calendar and the November elections in today’s Heard on the Hill.

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This Week in Washington - January 12, 2022

January 12, 2022

About once a year I restate our vision of providing an accurate view into congressional activity, the Administration’s actions, and national politics exclusively for members of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. My perspective is as of a Republican, as is that of Congressman Erik Paulsen. Patrick Robertson provides his as a Democrat. This week’s Heard on the Hill is a benchmark report on where Republicans and Democrats are as we start a reelection year. It focuses on Senator John Thune’s decision to run for reelection, and how this election year could have been impacted if he had announced his retirement. Our friend Al Jackson provides his monthly Defense Update, and Ramona Lessen shares the schedule of hearings and happenings on Capitol Hill.

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This Week in Washington - December 20, 2021

December 20, 2021

Senator Joe Manchin said on yesterday’s Fox News Sunday hosted by Brett Baier that he couldn’t support President Biden’s Build Back Better Plan. His announcement was a body blow to the President’s social infrastructure proposal, and probably was a mortal blow. But the bill’s momentum had already stalled. Most people heard air leaking out of the legislative balloon, and Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) held the pins.

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This Week in Washington - December 15, 2021

December 15, 2021

Patrick Robertson’s insightful article looks at one cause of President Biden’s slipping poll numbers. Congressman Erik Paulsen dives into causes of the spike in inflation, and Ramona Lessen shared a glimpse at a hearing held this week before the Senate Banking Committee on stablecoins.

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This Week in Washington - December 8, 2021

December 8, 2021

We lost Bob Dole last weekend – a giant of a man who was one of the last of the Greatest Generation. His passing brought back memories for me and so many others of working with Leader Dole, and of a different time. I have included many of these memories in my tribute to Senator Dole. Congressman Kevin Brady served as Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and played an oversized role in passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017. He is currently the Ranking Member of Ways and Means and is a masterful legislator on the issues before this committee. Congressman Erik Paulsen spent some time with his friend and former colleague, and his interview with Congressman Brady is in today’s Total Spectrum Spotlight.

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