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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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This Week in Washington - March 16, 2020

March 16, 2020

We are again this week exclusively focusing on the health care challenge caused by Covid-19. Steve Gordon in Heard on the Hill writes about the impact of shutting down America to prevent the spread of the Covid-19, and the economic stimulus bills that will help bring cash and confidence to rebuild our economy. Ramona Lessen spent 34 years as executive assistant to three U.S. Senators, during which time she saw 9/11, the Anthrax scare, and the 2008 financial crisis. We asked her to write about her memories of these events, and what we can learn from them as we go through March Sadness and March Challenge. Al Jackson provides an update on Defense appropriations, and Dana Marston shares infographics on the spread of Covid-19, the reasoning behind social distancing, and a map showing where employment has grown during President Trump’s tenure thus far. We’ll publish as often as events warrant. Stay well.

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This Week in Washington - March 3, 2020

March 3, 2020

We were going to discuss several subjects that are beginning to gain some traction in Congress – but they can wait until the next edition. We decided to devote this week to the new strain of Coronavirus – COVID 19 – and its potential impact this year on our health, our economy, and maybe November’s elections. Steve Gordon devotes this week’s Heard on the Hill to COVID 19 – and the federal government early response.

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This Week in Washington - February 11, 2020

February 11, 2020

It’s an election year. Campaigns for President, U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives will take place at a time when Americans are sharply divided. These divides have been in full display in Washington over the past few weeks, and Steve Gordon provides some context following a historic impeachment trial and the State of the Union address – plus some legislative and regulatory news – in Heard on the Hill. It is not often the we become part of the week’s storyline in Washington, but we did this past week when we announced that former Congressman Erik Paulsen (R-MN) had joined Total Spectrum. Congressman Paulsen was in Congress from 2009 through 2019 where he served on the House Ways and Means Committee with Arizona’s Congressman David Schweikert and was the Chairman of Congressional Joint Economic Committee. Steve Gordon will interview Erik Paulsen for next week’s This Week.

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This Week in Washington - January 21, 2020

January 21, 2020

This is our 3rd anniversary edition. Three years ago, we began This Week by reporting on the inauguration of Donald J. Trump. We have been pleased to report to the members of the Arizona Chamber almost every week on the successes and the problems… the noise and the news… in Washington, D.C. during President Trump’s first two years in office. Our founders created a structure that divided equally the power of government between the Administration, Congress, and the Judiciary. Historians will look back and review the decisions of the Supreme Court, as well as actions (and sometimes the inaction) of a Democratic House and a Republican Senate. But there is no question that it has been – from inauguration day right up to today -- President Trump’s Washington. That is not a partisan statement. It is an honest one. President Trump has controlled or been a major part of the news and the noise for the past 3 years. How else to explain that last week, a) USMCA passed in the Senate; b) Phase One of the US-China Trade agreement was signed into law; and c) The House passed and sent Articles of Impeachment of the President to the Senate. Presidents – fairly or unfairly – get either credit or blame for the economy. The jobs report for December continued its wonderful run and the stock market continues to break records. Everyone will look at the last three years in Washington from their own vantage point. But President Trump clearly has been the major driver of news and noise in Washington since his inauguration – and last week was no exception. In this 3rd anniversary edition, I provide some perspective on how USMCA passed and who gets special awards for persistence and valor… what was in the Phase One agreement with China… updates on the economy… and the process and key players in the impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump. Also, in this edition is my colleague Al Jackson’s monthly update on Defense and Defense Appropriations issues.

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This Week in Washington - December 20, 2019

December 20, 2019

This was the last week of the 2019 Congressional calendar. Steve Gordon wraps up what only can be described as a wild week in Heard on The Hill. Calm of Christmas Washington, DC this Friday morning is quiet, and all of the activity of this week is in the rear view mirror. A great migration took place yesterday out to Reagan National Airport and stragglers like us will be heading out this weekend. It is a sincere joy to put Heard on the Hill together each week and to describe some of the thoughts and activity in Washington. We’ll be off now through the holidays and will return when Congress does the week of January 6, 2020. On behalf of Steve Gordon, Ramona Lessen, Dana Marston, and all the Total Spectrum partners who contribute to This Week, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and all best wishes for a healthy, happy, and successful New Year.

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This Week in Washington - December 12, 2019

December 12, 2019

We live in a polarized world where ‘compromise’ is a dirty word for some and out-of-date for others. Yet the breakthroughs on USMCA and the 2020 Appropriations funding came through hard fought negotiation where everybody got some and everybody can say they won. Steve Gordon reports on USMCA, Appropriations, Judges, the economy, and next year’s Impeachment trial in the Senate that will begin the week of January 6th – all in this week’s Heard on the Hill. Al Jackson discusses the 2020 Defense Appropriations agreement. Ramona Lessen has linked to the Senate and House Calendars for 2020 – and are shown here. We’ll be back next week to wrap up the year before we wrap up our presents.

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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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