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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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CFPB narrows sights on revenue from overdraft and non-sufficient funds charges

December 2, 2021

A recent report by the CFPB that shows that banks rely heavily on overdraft and non-sufficient funds (NSF) revenue, per a December 1 article by CU Today, a credit union industry trade publication. John McKechnie, Total Spectrum Senior Partner and longtime representative of credit unions and other financial institutions, is quoted in the article, offering that “[n]ew regulations aimed at overdrafts have been inevitable since there was a change in leadership at CFPB earlier this year. Plus, the marketplace is evolving rapidly in the direction of eliminated or restricted ODP. The challenge for credit unions will be to deal with this changing environment, and our track record of being responsive to consumer needs will come in handy here.”

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This Week in Washington - November 24, 2021

November 24, 2021

Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Washington, D.C. has emptied out, and everyone is ready for a break. I decided that I wanted to catch up with Congressman Erik Paulsen, my Total Spectrum colleague, and my friend of 30 years. I hope you enjoy the article we called Three Egg Omelet and Crisp Bacon: A virtual breakfast with Steve Gordon and Congressman Erik Paulsen.

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This Week in Washington - November 10, 2021

November 10, 2021

Heard on the Hill covers last week’s gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey – the outcome of each election, and the impact that their surprise outcomes are already having on legislative activity and the plans for next November’s off-year elections. I also reviewed the suspense in the House of Representatives before the bipartisan infrastructure bill finally passed and I highlighted two very recent economic reports – one that is encouraging and one that is concerning. Kia Motors has a strong presence in the United States with investment and jobs at its manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia. In this week’s Total Spectrum Spotlight, my colleague and friend Congressman Erik Paulsen interviewed Christopher Wenk, Vice President of Government Affairs at Kia, discussing how policies in Washington impact the industry and what we can expect to see in electric and autonomous vehicle innovation.

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This Week in Washington - October 27, 2021

October 27, 2021

In this edition of This Week, we cover two late-breaking developments in Democrats’ attempt to fund and pass the Build Back Better social infrastructure proposal. Patrick Robertson’s Washington Whispers continues his excellent coverage of activity on the social infrastructure bill Democrats want to pass in the Senate using the reconciliation process, the bipartisan infrastructure bill, funding the government for this fiscal year, and the need to raise the debt ceiling. Congressman Erik Paulsen writes about why Senate and House Democrats must drop their proposal to control prescription drug pricing. Al Jackson shares his Defense Update, and Ramona Lessen provides summaries of two Congressional hearings – one on security issues in Afghanistan and central/south Asia, and a second focused on cyberattacks on planes, trains, and pipelines.

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This Week in Washington - October 13, 2021

October 13, 2021

We are nearing the end of President Biden’s first year in office, and we’re about to enter 2022, which will feature next November’s off-year election. The legislative agenda will begin to bump into the political agenda. Today’s Heard on the Hill features trend lines of current polls and the back story of how the debt ceiling bill passed the U.S. Senate. This week’s Total Spectrum Spotlight is with Senator John Barrasso, MD (R-WY). As Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, Senator Barrasso is the third ranking member of the Republican Senate Caucus. He serves on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. My friend and colleague Congressman Erik Paulsen spent some of his August in Wyoming with the Barrassos and recently taped a wonderful interview with the Senator.

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This Week in Washington - September 29, 2021

September 29, 2021

Our goal is to provide you with all the information you need in a timely manner on the issues that are important to you. Our goal is also to publish on a regular schedule. Most of the time we can achieve both goals… but this week we simply can’t catch lighting in a jar. Providing you a complete summary of this week’s events is absolutely critical, so we are adjusting our schedule. Today’s This Week includes an article from Congressman Erik Paulsen about a Ways and Means proposal that is not good news for many small businesses, and Al Jackson shares an update on all things defense. Ramona Lessen summarizes two recent Senate hearings – one on CARES Act Oversight of the Treasury and Federal Reserve, and another reviewing the administration of laws under jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. On Friday, October 1st, you’ll hear from us again, including Patrick Robertson’s summary and analysis of the week’s events in his Washington Whispers.

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