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This Week in Washington - September 16, 2020

September 16, 2020

The NEW This Week in Washington starts now. We lead off with Patrick Robertson’s first “Washington Whispers” column. Erik Paulsen recently wrote an op/ed in Newsweek about the need for our trade agreements to prioritize American intellectual property, and we are reprinting it here. I write about what happened in August and some of the things to watch as we go forward toward the election in “Heard on the Hill”. Al Jackson provides an update on defense, and Ramona Lessen reports on a Senate Homeland Security hearing in August on the U.S. Postal Service. And finally, Steve Gordon interviews former Congressman Erik Paulsen in our inaugural episode of Total Spectrum Spotlight, our newest feature bringing you short but meaningful video interviews with both news makers and news shapers.

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This Week in Washington - August 13, 2020

August 13, 2020

This week we have a special ‘Cleaning off the Desk’ version of Heard on the Hill. Ramona Lessen covers a recent House Subcommittee hearing discussing the urgent need for a national plan to contain the novel coronavirus. Dana Marston shares some detail on vaccination strategies, G-20 energy recovery funding, and an early look at health care policies supported by former Vice President and likely Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. My Total Spectrum colleagues are taking some time off, and I am going to follow them out of town. We will be back right after Labor Day, or before if circumstances warrant. Stay well.

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This Week in Washington - August 5, 2020

August 5, 2020

In this week’s Heard on the Hill, Steve Gordon and Erik Paulsen cover the process, negotiations, and the progress toward the next COVID-19 recovery legislation. They share an interview with Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), and provide updates on bringing pharmaceutical manufacturing back to the U.S., last evening’s Kansas Republican Primary Election – the first battle for control of the U.S. Senate – and they report on the race for a COVID-19 vaccine in an update that’s appropriately titled ‘The Cavalry Is REALLY coming.’ Al Jackson brings us up to date on defense issues, while Ramona Lessen reports on a hearing held before the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on the PACT Act and Section 230, the law that helped create the Internet and an examination of proposed reforms.

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This Week in Washington - July 22, 2020

July 22, 2020

The overriding subjects consuming Washington are COVID-19, the shutdown that has caused economic distress and hardship for millions of Americans, the development of vaccines that will lift us out of this fog, and the upcoming elections. Steve Gordon and Erik Paulsen cover the beginning of negotiations for the next legislative response to COVID-19 and the first important election in the race for control of the U.S. Senate in Heard on the Hill. Ramona Lessen covered Tuesday’s hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee entitled ‘Efforts to develop a safe, effective, and accessible COVID-19 vaccine’, and she’s included key portions of the three-hour hearing in her report. We are pleased to introduce Patrick Robertson to Arizona, though he travels to Arizona each year. He is new to the Total Spectrum family, but he is not new to Washington, D.C. Patrick is a licensed attorney who served on the staff of former Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) for nine years, the last five as the Senator’s Deputy Chief of Staff. Patrick has now been in Washington’s private sector for more than 12 years representing a range of clients including Fortune 50 companies, small associations, the government of a U.S. territory, and other companies and entities. He is an expert on tax, commerce, trade, telecom, and transportation issues, and we asked him to write his first article for This Week on independent restaurants – and a way to help them.

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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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