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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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This Week in Washington - September 15, 2021

September 15, 2021

I decided to approach our first issue since the August break by using Heard on the Hill to provide an overview of the major and controversial items that are on the legislative agenda. The most significant event on this month’s calendar was the 20th anniversary of the 9-11 attack. I assembled three of my Total Spectrum team members – Todd Smith, Steve Ruhlen, and Ramona Lessen – and we talked about our experiences and reactions that day. Todd was over in the House of Representatives, Ramona was in the Senate, Steve Ruhlen was in the White House, and I was a political consultant working in my office two blocks from the Senate. Each of us had different experiences but our reactions were quite similar. It was a great conversation, and I hope you enjoy reading it.

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This Week in Washington - August 11, 2021

August 11, 2021

There was a flurry of last-minute activity in the Senate over the last few days, and I summarized what happened this week – and what happens next – in this week’s Heard on the Hill. My colleague Congressman Erik Paulsen was a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and served as Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee. He has written a series of articles this year about the economy, and his latest is about President Biden’s proposed 15% global tax and how it could hurt American workers.

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This Week in Washington - July 28, 2021

July 28, 2021

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Congress’s continuing discussions on infrastructure remains this week’s hot topic. Patrick Robertson’s Washington Whispers details the latest on all the moving parts of an agreement and how the August recess weighs on the process. Congressman Erik Paulsen writes about the risks – immediate and long-term – of relinquishing intellectual property protections on medicines like the COVID-19 vaccines. Al Jackson shares recent progress of the House and Senate versions of the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act. Ramona Lessen reviews two recent Senate committee hearings covering cryptocurrencies and the implementation and enforcement of the USMCA (U.S.-Mexico-Canada) trade agreement.

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This Week in Washington - July 14, 2021

July 14, 2021

Heard on the Hill covers the continuing and changing-by-the-minute story of the President’s traditional and social infrastructure agenda. We also wade into the President’s 20-page executive order on competition. Congressman Erik Paulsen writes about six tax incentives that will play a major role in the President’s agenda. Steve Ruhlen brings us up to speed on the appropriations process for the 2022 fiscal year. Ramona Lessen reviews a recent House Small Business Agriculture and Rural Development Subcommittee hearing on economic recovery in rural America.

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This Week in Washington - June 23, 2021

June 23, 2021

Patrick Robertson writes about the round-and-round (and round) negotiations we’ve seen on infrastructure in this issue’s Washington Whispers. Todd Smith and Blake T. Fulenwider take a closer look at the Supreme Court’s latest defense of the Affordable Care Act, Al Jackson updates us on activities impacting the defense sector, and Ramona Lessen summarizes a Senate Commerce hearing on building resilient networks. Congressman Erik Paulsen has a special and vitally important Total Spectrum Spotlight interview with Jay Timmons, the President and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers. This is the last This Week for our friend and colleague Erica Wrublik, who is leaving the Arizona Chamber. Dana Marston and I wrote a short article about Erica’s great help and assistance in producing This Week and Total Spectrum Spotlight.

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This Week in Washington - June 9, 2021

June 9, 2021

Americans – finally and thankfully – are coming out of our COVID cocoons. One of the things I have been thinking about over this past year is how a changing society is forcing some changes on Congress, and sometimes how the structure and traditions of Congress are pushing back. It is an important subject, and not just an academic or historical one, because we are seeing it play out in the Senate in its deliberations over the President’s infrastructure bill. Heard on the Hill is about the potholes on the road to an infrastructure bill, but it is really about the struggle between ‘want to’ and ‘can do’… and how this bill ultimately gets done. Ramona Lessen provides reviews of two key legislative hearings – one before the Senate Finance Committee on the IRS budget for 2022, and another of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee discussing threats to our critical infrastructure.

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This Week in Washington - May 19, 2021

May 19, 2021

There is an exceptionally high level of distrust between Republicans and Democrats in this Congress. Patrick Robertson writes in Washington Whispers about how this distrust and the ghosts of past negotiations could impact the current attempt to develop bipartisan legislation. Congressman Erik Paulsen writes about the Biden Administration’s proposal to increase taxes on the wealthy, and how it would impact people who are not so wealthy. Al Jackson brings us up to date on the Biden Administration’s national security budget in his Defense Update. Total Spectrum Spotlight is designed to bring you interviews with news makers and news shapers – and Congressman Drew Ferguson (R-GA) is both. A graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in dental medicine, Congressman Ferguson founded a successful family dental practice and was Mayor of West Point, Georgia before being elected to Congress. He is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Chief Deputy Whip for House Republicans. Erik Paulsen’s interview with Congressman Ferguson is both entertaining and informative.

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This Week in Washington - May 5, 2021

May 5, 2021

This is a recess week in Washington – at least for the Senate – so I took the time to reflect rather than report in Heard on the Hill about President Joe Biden and Senator Tim Scott. The President gave his State of the Union message last week and Senator Scott gave the Republican response; two very different speeches by two very different individuals. Congressman Erik Paulsen wrote an article on the President’s estate tax proposal and the impact it will have on family businesses, ranches, and farms. Total Spectrum Senior Partner John McKechnie has been working in and with the financial services sector for over 30 years. He has written an update on pending activity in the Senate and House Financial Services Committees. Ramona Lessen provides briefs on two House hearings held this week, one on lowering the cost of prescription drugs and another on climate and energy research at the Department of Energy.

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