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This Week in Washington - July 8, 2020

July 8, 2020

Sean Callinicos is a policy expert and government relations expert in health care, but he has a special focus in the vaccine industry. He was Assistant Vice President for Federal Government Affairs for Sanofi Pasteur during the avian and swine flu crises, and his work helped open the door for the development of America’s vaccine industry. Steve Gordon and Ramona Lessen interviewed Sean to learn about his experiences at Sanofi Pasteur and to discuss the current state of our vaccine industry. The House of Representatives Financial Services Committee held an oversight hearing last week on the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve’s response to the pandemic. The invited guests were Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell. John McKechnie, Total Spectrum’s Senior Partner and financial services expert, provided a summary and overview, and Ramona Lessen monitored the entire hearing.

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This Week in Washington - June 25, 2020

June 25, 2020

Steve Gordon and former Congressman Erik Paulsen report on COVID-19 and the pushes and pulls felt by members of Congress as they try to legislate and campaign during a full year of crises compacted into six months. Steve and Erik also include thoughts from Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO). Al Jackson provides his monthly update on Defense and Defense Appropriations. We are preparing a special interview with Sean Callinicos, an exceptional lawyer who has years of public policy experience in healthcare. Sean worked with Congress many years ago to lay the foundation for America’s vaccine industry, and his thoughts on the race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine are timely.

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This Week in Washington - June 10, 2020

June 10, 2020

Steve Gordon and Erik Paulsen discuss the first economic reports from America’s reopening, Congress and the Administration’s view on additional COVID-19 legislation, last week’s signing of changes to the Paycheck Protection Program, two Executive Orders, and a new feature we’re calling ‘This and That’ – all that in Heard on the Hill. Steve Ruhlen, our appropriations expert, provides an update and predictions on the appropriations process during this election year. Steve Gordon responded to protests in his former home state of Minnesota, in Washington, D.C., and throughout most of the country with a special article he calls A Cry for Change. Dana Marston takes a deep dive into a few varied topics, including transportation funding legislation, growth in solar power, mortgage servicing, and WHO funding - and how the U.S.’s departure may impact the organization.

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This Week in Washington - Michael DiMaria joins Total Spectrum

June 1, 2020

It is with great pleasure that I announce today that Michael DiMaria has become a Partner and Southwestern Regional Director of Total Spectrum. He will continue to serve on the Board of Directors of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Michael is one of Arizona’s most effective and respected policy strategists, with a wide array of experience at the federal, state, and local levels. He has an extensive record of accomplishment and a proven ability to both create and execute legislative and regulatory agendas.

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This Week in Washington - May 28, 2020

May 28, 2020

The Senate is out of Washington on a planned home state work week. The House of Representatives is in session, although 70 members of the House have filed public letters with the House Clerk asking to vote by proxy so they would not have to travel to Washington during the public health emergency. Steve Gordon and Erik Paulsen talk about the mood in Washington in this most unusual year, the first signs of economic recovery, the next major COVID-19 legislation and more in Heard on the Hill. With his years of experience working with the Pentagon, defense contractors, and defense appropriation legislation, Al Jackson has filed a report on defense and defense appropriations issues. Dana Marston shares a primer on Congressional coronavirus aid legislation to date.

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This Week in Washington - May 12, 2020

May 12, 2020

COVID-19 continues to impact our families, our communities, our state, and our country. It created a health crisis, which created an economic crisis – and Washington’s necessary response to both crises may indeed cause a fiscal crisis. Steve Gordon and Erik Paulsen bring you up-to-date on how the Administration and Congress continue to respond to these crises in “Heard on the Hill.” Dana Marston shares highlights of this week’s Congressional hearings, then takes a closer look at the latest unemployment figures, how COVID-19 disrupted this tax filing season, and shares useful briefing sheets on the municipal bond market and the strategic national stockpile.

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This Week in Washington - April 29, 2020

April 29, 2020

It is a pleasure to welcome former Congressman Erik Paulsen to Total Spectrum and to This Week in Washington. Those of you who met Erik when he represented Minnesota in Congress and served on the House Ways and Means Committee know of both his intellect and uncommon common sense. There has been a great amount of discussion about the significant amount of our health care needs that are manufactured overseas. A bipartisan group of Senators passed a bill – which ultimately became part of the CARES Act – that asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to assess the vulnerability and dependence that overseas production of our health care products puts on our country. Steve Gordon and Erik Paulsen interviewed Joe Carson, a supply side expert, to get his thoughts and ideas on this in our cover story. In Heard on the Hill, Steve Gordon writes about our health crisis, our economic crisis, and our fiscal crisis and how Congress and the Administration are reacting to them. Dana Marston looks at COVID-19 in other ways: the USDA’s plans to assist commodity markets, trends in retail sales due to the virus, and concentrations in COVID-19 diagnoses across the country.

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This Week in Washington - April 16, 2020

April 16, 2020

The health crisis surrounding COVID-19 and the economic crisis resulting from the decision to shut down America to prevent the spread of the virus continues to impact almost every American. Steve Gordon’s Heard on the Hill summarizes where we are in both crises by the numbers, Washington’s response so far, the additional response that’s sure to come, and thoughts on Standing up America. Ramona Lessen found a speech from her former boss, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, MD, in which he predicted in 2005 a viral pandemic and made recommendations on how America should both prepare and deal with it. Dana Marston takes a closer look at a few policy changes to ensure our medical workforce can best respond to COVID-19, at who is getting a CARES Act stimulus check, and emergency money allocated to help carry out America’s elections.

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This Week in Washington - April 6, 2020

April 6, 2020

Arizona has so far escaped the worst effects of the COVID-19, thank goodness. But we are all affected by the impact of the economic shutdown. Steve Gordon, Stephen Ruhlen, and Mike Joyce wrote Heard on the Hill, which focuses on the economic crisis, the recently passed stimulus bill 3, and the discussion around additional stimulus bills 4 and 5. Al Jackson provides a defense update, and Dana Marston looks at the coronavirus’ projected impact on the travel industry, the national mortality rate, unemployment, and finally, a downward trend in gasoline prices. COVID-19 will impact on our health care, our economy, our lives, and our politics. We will continue to cover it from all sides in the next issue of This Week.

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This Week in Washington - March 26, 2020

March 26, 2020

The unparalleled events of the last few weeks required an unparalleled response from Washington. Stimulus 3.0 – which the Majority Leader and others are correctly calling a relief bill – provides over $2 trillion in relief, and was passed unanimously by the Senate, and will be passed on Friday by the House of Representatives. The total appropriated in 1.0, 2.0, and now 3.0 is now over $2.308 trillion. Of interest - Stimulus 3.0, at $2.2 billion, is the largest single injection of federal cash into the economy in U.S. history. Steve Gordon and Todd Smith summarize 3.0 -- the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economy Security Act, and provide links to the entire piece of legislation and key sections. Dana Marston looks at coronavirus’ transmission, rates of growth both here and abroad, and how it’s affecting both patients and industries. She also takes a dive into the Defense Production Act. The Senate delayed its planned recess to work on and pass this bill, and then recessed. Members of the House have been working in their districts this week but will pass 3.0 by voice vote on Friday and will return to Washington after Easter. We will monitor activity while the Senate and House are out of town. Stay healthy.

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