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This Week in Washington - November 20, 2019

November 20, 2019

There are not a lot of days left in this legislative year. Steve Gordon writes about what must pass, what should pass, and what will get pushed into next year in Heard on the Hill. Al Jackson has prepared an update on Defense and the Defense Appropriations. Steve Gordon then presents an interview that he recently did with Richard Sawaya, who is the Vice President of the National Foreign Trade Council and Director of USA *Engage, a coalition that promotes alternatives to unilateral trade sanctions. Dr. Sawaya makes a strong case that sanctions are not effective. Ramona Lessen, the Executive Director of our Washington office, has included the Congressional Committee hearing calendar for the week of November 18th. We’ll be off next week enjoying Thanksgiving with our families. We hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving too. We’ll be back the first week of December with This Week.

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This Week in Washington - November 8, 2019

November 8, 2019

Dana Marston is our Business Partner at Total Spectrum, and she has been the Editor of This Week since we started in January of 2017. This week Dana added a new title to her business card: Mom. Commander Alex McConnell and Dana Marston (Mr. and Mrs. Alex McConnell) had a baby girl this week – Gatsby Alexandra McConnell. Mom, Dad, and Gatsby Alexandra are all tired, but doing very well. Steve Gordon covered all the other news around the Washington in his Heard on the Hill. Ramona Lessen, the Executive Director of our Washington office, is subbing for Dana for the next few months, and has included the Congressional Committee hearing calendar for the week of November 11th. We’ll be back next week with more of This Week.

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This Week in Washington - October 30, 2019

October 30, 2019

This week’s cover story is on the progress (or lack of progress) on this fiscal year’s appropriation process, and there is no better person to watch and explain it than Steve Ruhlen. In a career that spanned over 20 years on Capitol Hill, Steve served former House Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Henry Bonilla (R-TX) as his Chief of Staff, and he also was Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-TX), the current ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee. You’ll enjoy Steve’s article – and articles that he’ll write in the future. Steve Gordon summarized what’s he’s heard in today’s Heard on the Hill.

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This Week in Washington - October 16, 2019

October 16, 2019

Al Jackson brings us up to date on defense and defense appropriations issues. Steve Gordon summarizes recent trade activity, discusses Secretary Chao’s initiative to support rural infrastructure, waves the flag about the Washington National’s pennant run, and reports on what he is hearing in Heard on the Hill.

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This Week in Washington - September 24, 2019

September 24, 2019

Steve Gordon highlights last week’s Arizona Chamber Fly-in, summarizes progress on trade and appropriations, and has a special nomination for the ‘I haven’t heard that in a long time’ award – all in his Heard on the Hill. Dana Marston looks into Americans’ top health care priorities, rates of student cannabis vaping, and progress in congressional appropriations.

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This Week in Washington - September 17, 2019

September 17, 2019

Steve Gordon talks about what people who work with Congress do when Congress is on recess, and provides Total Spectrum’s list of what Congress must do, should do, or could do between now and the end of the year. Al Jackson brings us an update on defense appropriations. Dana Marston shares highlights of this week’s legislative calendar, then takes a look at the ongoing appropriations process, a surge in federal cannabis lobbying, and variances in medical treatment for homeless veterans with opioid addictions. We’ll have a full schedule this week with members of the Arizona Chamber flying into Washington today, and we’ll report on some of who they saw and some of what they heard next week in This Week.

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This Week in Washington - July 29, 2019

July 29, 2019

The House of Representatives approved the Budget and Debt Ceiling agreement – and then adjourned for their August break. The Senate is in this week and will consider the budget agreement and a series of confirmation votes before they leave Washington. Al Jackson reviews activity on the upcoming Defense Appropriations bill. Steve Gordon covers the budget and debt ceiling agreement, the Senate’s floor agenda this week, trade news on USMCA and China, and a look at Federal Election Commission reports for the 2nd quarter from key Senate incumbents and their challengers. Steve provides a summary of the Surface Transportation Bill that was just released by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee…and closes with a note on Dan Coats – all in Heard on the Hill. We’ll follow the Senate and House out of town. But we’ll be back in a few weeks on a preview of what looks like a busy September and October. As always, thanks for your notes and suggestions. We’ll be back in a few weeks with the next edition of This Week.

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This Week in Washington - July 16, 2019

July 16, 2019

Late June and early July thunderstorms have turned into hot and muggy days and humid nights – the kind of weather that has forced Congress out of Washington during the summer since the beginning of our nation. The House of Representatives is scheduled to begin their August recess on July 26, and the Senate is scheduled to recess a week later on August 2. There are many issues that could be addressed before Congress leaves, and there a two absolutely critical problems that must be resolved. Steve Gordon talks about the need to lift the debt ceiling and to come up with a two-year budget agreement, as well as good economic news, trade and USMCA, and a new interim final rule on immigration. All this and a little politics in Heard on the Hill. Dana Marston shares this week’s calendar of hearings and markups, then takes a look at air quality across the U.S. and an outstanding ACA lawsuit that may end up before the Supreme Court in 2020.

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This Week in Washington - June 27, 2019

June 27, 2019

John McKechnie writes about the retirement savings reform bills being discussed and worked on in both the Senate and the House. Steve Gordon reports on progress toward passage of USMCA, on the President’s Healthcare Executive Order, on infrastructure and the Highway Trust Fund, and politics in Heard on the Hill. Dana Marston dives into the USMCA from a couple angles, looking at public support for the trade agreement and how the House Ways and Means Committee is examining its labor provisions. She also looks at China’s tariff treatment on goods it imports from countries other than the U.S., as well as possible water/ground contamination on military bases due to the use of chemical fire retardants. Congress will be leaving town for the July 4th holiday, as will we. Congress will return on July 8th, and we’ll be back that week with This Week. Have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July holiday.

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This Week in Washington - June 17, 2019

June 17, 2019

Steve Gordon participated last week in meetings with acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and a senior member of the Republican Senate Caucus. Both provided a clear picture of what’s possible this year, and notes from both meetings and other odds and ends are in Steve’s Heard on the Hill. Dana Marston takes a look at Members named to the House Democrats’ Trade Working Group, charged with negotiating key elements of the proposed U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement with the U.S. Trade Representative. She also looks at Congress’s tackling of a backlog of maintenance needed within the National Park Service.

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