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This Week in Washington - February 24, 2021

February 24, 2021

Patrick Robertson reports on the status in Congress of the Biden Administration’s proposal for COVID relief, and well as their plans for infrastructure and immigration reform in “Washington Whispers.” Todd Smith and Congressman Erik Paulsen report on the Administration’s healthcare wish list. Al Jackson provides his monthly defense update, and Ramona Lessen provides an overview of yesterday’s Senate hearing on the January 6th attack on the Capitol. We received a significant number of requests asking us to reshare our Total Spectrum Spotlight interview with Senator Mark Kelly, and we are pleased to oblige. Please mark your calendars - Congressman Erik Paulsen and Patrick Robertson will present a 2021 Outlook from Capitol Hill in a March 3rd webinar from 10:00 AM to 10:30 AM MST as part of the Arizona Chamber’s Virtual Leadership Series.

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This Week in Washington - February 10, 2021

February 10, 2021

Today’s “Heard on the Hill” focuses on the new Democratic majority, pendulum politics, some off-the-record comments from a member of the Republican Senate Leadership, and concludes with a tip of our hat to Glenn Hamer. Steve Ruhlen, our budget and appropriations expert, takes a closer look at budget reconciliation. You will not want to miss today’s Total Spectrum Spotlight. My colleague Congressman Erik Paulsen sat down for an exclusive and candid interview with Senator Mark Kelly, where he talked about his priorities and first impressions of life in the Senate.

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This Week in Washington - January 27, 2021

January 27, 2021

This is the fourth anniversary of This Week, so “Heard on The Hill” is devoted to some of the new features you will see this year and thanking all those who have made this milestone possible. Patrick Robertson covers early action in the Senate in “Washington Whispers,” and Al Jackson provides an update on defense. Be sure to watch Total Spectrum Spotlight for a discussion on rural broadband opportunities with resident telecom experts Michael DiMaria and Jim Campbell.

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This Week in Washington - January 21, 2021

January 21, 2021

Thanks for your interest in Washington, and welcome back to the special inauguration issue of This Week in Washington. I attended my first inaugural in 1985 and subsequently in 1989, 2001, and 2005. Inaugurals are celebrations for the winners. But for all of us, inaugurals celebrate the continued victory of American democracy.

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This Week in Washington - January 7, 2021

January 7, 2021

I knew it would be a significant week. The big event was Tuesday’s runoff elections in Georgia because they were winner-take-all, the results set to determine the shape of government and the direction of federal policy for the next two years. The other event – Wednesday’s Congressional certification of the electoral college results – is typically ceremonial. A great number of speeches were planned and there were certainly questions about how Vice President Pence would handle his function, but we knew how the story would end. What I didn’t know is what would happen before the Presidential election results were certified.

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This Week in Washington - December 16, 2020

December 16, 2020

The legislative year is days away from wrapping up. Erik Paulsen and I summarize the three things that must get completed – the omnibus spending bill, COVID relief, and the National Defense Authorization Act – and take a look forward to the U.S. Senate in 2021 in “Heard on the Hill.” Patrick Robertson takes a last look back at the November elections, and Steve Ruhlen takes a first look forward at the 2022 midterm elections. Al Jackson gives us a defense update, and Ramona Lessen shares a hearing report, covering a recent Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation subcommittee hearing on COVID’s impact on the live event entertainment industry. Our Total Spectrum Spotlight features Erik Paulsen and Patrick Robertson discussing the anticipated focus of the Biden Administration in the first 90 to 100 days.

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This Week in Washington - December 9, 2020

December 9, 2020

The proposed COVID relief discussions have started to pick up momentum. The agreed upon top line is $908 billion, and many of the sections have also been agreed to by the negotiators. It is fair to say that funding for state and local governments and liability reform are the main sticking points. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) and the Trump Administration have asked that individual stimulus checks be included in the proposed legislation, but that would balloon the cost beyond the agreed-upon top line amount of $908 billion.

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This Week in Washington - December 2, 2020

December 2, 2020

We are in the dog days of this Congressional session. The lame duck session which began this week is important, but just as important is the pandemic and the real prospect of safe and effective vaccines, control of the Senate and the runoff elections next month in Georgia, and an ultimate decision on last month’s presidential election. Former Congressman Erik Paulsen and I cover these subjects and more in Heard on the Hill. Steve Ruhlen, our Appropriations expert, summarizes the ongoing struggle to fund the federal government. Al Jackson, our expert on defense, brings us up to date on all matters in the defense sector. Ramona Lessen provides a summary of yesterday’s important Senate Banking Committee hearing featuring testimony from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. Erik Paulsen also addresses the need for Congress to enforce trade laws, and I took a look at November’s biggest and most surprising Senate victory. Our Total Spectrum Spotlight interview is with Todd Smith, Chairman of Total Spectrum’s Georgia Group. Todd knows Georgia down to the soles of his shoes, and our short interview with him about the Georgia Senate runoff elections is both enjoyable and informative.

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This Week in Washington - November 11, 2020

November 11, 2020

This Week, we lead with Patrick Robertson’s Washington Whispers. Patrick notes that President Trumphas the right to explore all of his legal options, but in the meantime it is important to watch and think about the ideas and agenda of the Biden Team as they address transition of the administration, filling cabinet positions, continuing COVID response, prioritizing infrastructure, and if – or how – to reform the Senate. I cover the upcoming lame duck and how both the Senate and the House look after last week’s elections, as well as an overview of Georgia’s January 5 runoff elections, in Heard on the Hill. Erik Paulsen has written a fascinating – albeit frightening – article about future ‘super-bugs’. Ramona Lessen monitored two Senate hearings – one before the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs committee focusing on the oversight of financial regulators, and another of the Commerce Science and Technology committee on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

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This Week in Washington - Special Issue November 6, 2020

November 7, 2020

Thanks for your interest in Washington, D.C., and thanks for reading this VERY special issue of This Week in Washington. This past Tuesday’s election was monumental. Over 65% of eligible Americans voted – the highest percentage since 1908. More people voted absentee than ever before, and the level of interest in Tuesday’s election was as high as I have ever seen it. This special issue will bring you up to date on what we know, and what we still do not know about the outcome of key races. I joined with former Congressman Erik Paulsen, Michael DiMaria, and Todd Smith to summarize the unfolding presidential election, key senate races, and the big surprise over in the House of Representatives. Andy Ehrlich and Dana Marston summarize the upcoming Senate runoff in Georgia, and Michael DiMaria also provides a top-line view of what happened at the state level in Arizona.

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