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This Week in Washington, Georgia Edition - June 11, 2021

June 11, 2021

Americans – finally and thankfully – are coming out of our COVID cocoons. One of the things we 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. Steve Gordon writes in Heard on the Hill about the potholes on the road to an infrastructure bill, and how it is really about the struggle between ‘want to’ and ‘can do’… and how the bill ultimately gets done. Jesse Weathington provides an update on the latest in Georgia with his Gold Dome Report. 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, Georgia Edition - May 21, 2021

May 21, 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. Jesse Weathington provides an update on the latest in Georgia with his Gold Dome Report. And, be sure to check out the Infographs for an in-depth look at current hot topics. 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 informative and thought provoking.

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This Week in Washington, Georgia Edition - May 7, 2021

May 7, 2021

This is a recess week in Washington – at least for the Senate – so, Steve Gordon 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. 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. To get a feel for both sides of these two issues, take a look at the livestream of these two hearings. Jesse Weathington provides an update on the latest in Georgia with his Gold Dome Report, and 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. As always, be sure to check out the Infographs for an in-depth look at current hot topics.

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This Week in Washington, Georgia Edition - April 23, 2021

April 23, 2021

Arguably, there is nothing generating more interest and more intensity in Congress right now than President Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal and the equally massive corporate tax increase which Democrats want to use to pay for their plan. We asked Patrick Robertson to summarize some of the corporate tax changes Democrats are talking about as part of this infrastructure proposal – and then to tease us with some of the changes to the individual tax code that are being discussed for their next legislative agenda. Al Jackson brings us up to date on defense issues, and Ramona Lessen highlights two Senate hearings: one to consider the nominations for Deputy Secretary of HHS and Administrator of CMS, and a second focused on the American Jobs Plan. Congressman Kevin Brady, former Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and now the committee’s Ranking Member, recently announced his retirement from Congress at the end of 2022. Congressman Erik Paulsen served with Congressman Brady and they were housemates in Washington. Erik wrote a wonderful short article about his friend, colleague, and mentor Congressman Brady – which we think you will appreciate. Jesse Weathington provides an update on the latest in Georgia with his Gold Dome Report. As always, be sure to check out the Infographs for an in-depth look at current hot topics. Total Spectrum Spotlight focuses on Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), who serves on four Committees – Appropriations; Commerce, Science, and Transportation; Environment and Public Works where she is the Ranking Member; and Rules and Administration. She is point person on assembling the Republican response to the administration’s infrastructure proposal and is recognized for her legislative reach and effectiveness. And, finally, we want to let you know about a new addition to the Total Spectrum team. We are excited to announce that Blake Fulenwider has joined Total Spectrum as Partner and Total Spectrum Georgia’s Chief Health Policy Advisor. Blake has spent more than a decade advising, creating, and administrating health care policy for a Georgia Congressman and two Georgia Governors. He was also successful as a healthcare advocate and consultant during his first stint with Total Spectrum. Jesse and I have worked with Blake both in and outside of federal and state government. He is top notch, and we are not only proud to call him our friend, but we can now call him one of our Partners here at Total Spectrum. For those who don’t know Blake, Total Spectrum’s Managing Partner, Steve Gordon, gives an introduction which highlights Blake’s background and achievements.

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This Week in Washington, Georgia Edition - April 9, 2021

April 9, 2021

The cherry blossoms are out and tourists are slowly beginning to return to Washington. Congress is on recess, so we thought that we would take a deep look at the Administration’s infrastructure proposal, the American Jobs Plan. Steve Veverka is one of the newest members of the Total Spectrum team. He currently divides his time between Mesa, Arizona and Minneapolis, Minnesota. In his article, Steve top-lines many of the provisions of the infrastructure proposal. Heard on the Hill looks at the plan from the Administration’s perspective and that of Senate Republicans and suggests some things to watch as this bill works its way through Congress. Jesse Weathington provides an update on the latest in Georgia with his Gold Dome Report. Be sure to check out the Infographs for an in-depth look at current hot topics.

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This Week in Washington, Georgia Edition - March 26, 2021

March 26, 2021

Patrick Robertson talks about the next items on the Senate’s legislative agenda and the future of the filibuster in “Washington Whispers.” Congressman Erik Paulsen writes about the new challenges being confronted by America’s small businesses. Al Jackson provides a defense update, and Ramona Lessen shares details from a March 17th hearing of the Senate Finance Committee entitled, “Covid-19 in the Nation’s Nursing Homes – a National Tragedy.” As always, Jesse Weathington provides an update on the latest in Georgia with his Gold Dome Report. And, of course, be sure to check out the Infographs for an in-depth look at current hot topics. Also, Total Spectrum Spotlight features an interview with Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), who has served as a key member of both House and Senate Republican Leadership. He sits on three key committees and is the former chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health, Human Services, and Education. Senator Blunt announced that he will not seek reelection to the Senate in 2022, so we asked him to share some of his reflections, views on current issues, and his vision going forward. In this discussion with Congressman Paulsen and Michael DiMaria, you will see why Senator Blunt is getting the recognition and praise he richly deserves as a “legislator’s legislator.”

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This Week in Washington, Georgia Edition - March 11, 2021

March 11, 2021

Steve Gordon’s Heard on the Hill covers three big items in Washington – Senator Roy Blunt’s announcement that he will not run for re-election; the passing of the American Rescue Plan, the latest COVID emergency legislation; and the possible return of legislative earmarks. Jesse Weathington provides an update on the latest in Georgia with his Gold Dome Report. Total Spectrum Partner and Southwest Regional Director Michael DiMaria provides some thoughts on data privacy. Congressman Erik Paulsen writes about why tax hikes are the wrong medicine for a struggling economy in his article originally printed last week by the Washington Examiner and reprinted by Real Clear Politics. Ramona Lessen summarizes a hearing held this week by the Senate Banking, Housing,and Urban Affairs Committee entitled ‘Who Won on Wall Street – GameStop,Robinhood, and the State of Retail Investing.” As always, make sure to check out the Infographs for an in-depth look at current hot topics. Our Total Spectrum Spotlight this week is a replay of the webinar hosted last week by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce featuring Total Spectrum’s Strategic Consultants Erik Paulsen and Patrick Robertson.

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This Week in Washington, Georgia Edition - February 25, 2021

February 25, 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 this week’s Senate hearing on the January 6th attack on the Capitol. Jesse Weathington provides an update on the latest in Georgia with his Gold Dome Report.

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This Week in Washington, Georgia Edition - February 11, 2021

February 11, 2021

In today’s Heard on the Hill, Steve Gordon focuses on the new Democratic majority, pendulum politics, and some off-the-record comments from a member of the Republican Senate Leadership. Steve Ruhlen, our budget and appropriations expert, takes a closer look at budget reconciliation. In the Total Spectrum Spotlight, our colleague, former 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. Jesse Weathington provides an update on the latest in Georgia with his Gold Dome Report. As always, make sure to check out the Infographs for an in-depth look at current hot topics.

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This Week in Washington, Georgia Edition - January 22, 2021

January 22, 2021

This is a special inauguration issue of This Week in Washington. Inaugurals are celebrations for the winners. But for all of us, inaugurals celebrate the continued victory of American democracy. Today’s edition covers Inaugural Week 2021– the environment, the swearing in ceremony, and Day One of the Biden Administration. In upcoming editions, we will take closer looks at the Biden Administration’s legislative directions and new committee assignments in both the House and the Senate.

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