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This Week in Washington, Georgia Edition - September 17, 2021

September 17, 2021

We 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. Jesse Weathington gives us the latest in Georgia with his Gold Dome Report. The most significant event on this month’s calendar was the 20th anniversary of the 9-11 attack. Steve Gordon assembled three of the Total Spectrum team members – Todd Smith, Steve Ruhlen, and Ramona Lessen – and talked about the experiences and reactions of that day. Todd was in the House of Representatives, Ramona was in the Senate, Steve Ruhlen was in the White House, and Steve was a political consultant working in his office two blocks from the Senate. Each of us had different experiences but our reactions were quite similar. It was a great conversation, and we hope you enjoy reading it.

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This Week in Washington, Georgia Edition - August 13, 2021

August 13, 2021

There was a flurry of last-minute activity in the Senate over the last few days, and Steve Gordon summarizes what happened this week – and what happens next – in this week’s Heard on the Hill. Our 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, Georgia Edition - July 30, 2021

July 30, 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. Jesse Weathington gives us the latest in Georgia with his Gold Dome Report, and Ramona Lessen reviews two recent Senate committee hearings covering cryptocurrencies and the implementation and enforcement of the USMCA (U.S.-Mexico-Canada) trade agreement. 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 - July 16, 2021

July 16, 2021

In Heard on the Hill, Steve Gordon covers the continuing and changing-by-the-minute story of the President’s traditional and social Infrastructure agenda. He also wades 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. Jesse Weathington gives us 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.

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

June 25, 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. Of course, Jesse Weathington gives us 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. 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.

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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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