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A Month in Review:

June 2015



TPA Passing
President Barack Obama signed the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill into law after the Senate voted in favor of the measure 60-38. With the passage of TPA, President Obama can now complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a regional free trade agreement with 11 other nations across the globe. It estimated that the agreement will add to the 11.7 million American jobs already supported by American exports.
SCOTUS and the Affordable Care Act
In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) allowed for federal tax credits for eligible Americans nationwide using federal marketplaces instead of just those with their own state exchanges as many opponents of the legislation had interpreted. This decision saved the health care law that might be the defining legislation of President Obama’s administration. If the Court had ruled otherwise, the income-based subsidies that help to make health insurance more affordable would have been rendered void in 34 states and made the ACA basically ineffective.
SCOTUS Decision on Gay Marriage
In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that states cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions. The deciding case, Obergefell v. Hodges, stemmed from an Ohio man’s suit because he was not allowed to put his name on his late husband’s death certificate. Concerning the ruling, President Obama stated that it “will strengthen all of our communities” by offering dignity and equal status to all same-sex couples.
Congressional Black Caucus Resolution on Confederate Flag
On Thursday June 25th, the Congressional Black Caucus introduced resolution H. RES 344, calling for the removal of the Confederate flag from all government property and selling of confederate paraphernalia. The Confederate flag is seen as a symbol of racial segregation, black oppression and the inhumanity of slavery since its inception. This resolution comes in the wake of the June 17th massacre of 9 black members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church by a white supremacist.
Amazing Grace
President Obama delivered the eulogy during the memorial service for South Carolina State Senator Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who was one of nine victims of the racially motivated shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. At one point in his eulogy, the President began to sing the opening hymns of the “Amazing Grace” at which point the crowd stood to their feet and joined him. The President’s kind words and comforting tone allowed him to tactfully discuss several key issues including gun control, the Confederate flag and race relations in the United States.
Firm Updates.
Updates from IMPACT Strategies.

Impact Strategies and D & P Creative Strategies Announce Strategic Partnership
IMPACT Strategies and D& P Creative Strategies announced their highly anticipated strategic partnership. As the leading Latino political strategy firm in the Washington DC metropolitan area, D & P Creative Strategies is a powerful force within the government relations field. Founded in 2004, D & P Creative Strategies is known for "consulting with a social conscience."
“Diversity makes the difference—period. Diversity of ideas and perspective is imperative, which is clear in the missions of both firms,” said Angela Rye, Principal and CEO of IMPACT Strategies. “In today’s highly political climate, our strategic partnership will maximize our effectiveness and yield tremendous results for our clients. We are excited to partner with D&P to provide an innovative approach to the nation’s many political challenges.”

Client Updates.
Recent client news.

On June 2, Microsoft Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Microsoft Brad Smith issued a statement praising the passage of the USA Freedom Act in the U.S. Senate.
See the full statement here.  

On June 10, The Microsoft & Policy Center hosted their 7th Tech Fair Open House. Top researchers from Microsoft introduced their breakthrough technologies and how they will impact society. Guests were able to see the latest innovations in technology, education, healthcare, and the environment.
Read more here.  

On June 22, Microsoft is dedicated to effective online enforcement to identify and act on instances of infringement. The company hopes to use the search engine Bing to 1) adjust the ranking algorithm using information from copyright takedown notices, and 2) making improvements to auto-suggest and related search suggestions.
Read more here.  

On June 24, Microsoft executive vice president and general counsel for Microsoft Brad Smith issued a statement after the passage of the Trade Promotion Authority legislation. His statement applauded the bipartisan passage of the TPA.
See the full statement here.  

On June 24, In light of the mass shooting in Charleston of nine African Americans, eBay has announced that it will ban the sale of Confederate flag merchandise to prohibit items that "promote or glorify hatred, violence, and racial intolerance."
Read more here.  

On June 29, eBay discusses the importance of the passing of the Trade Promotion Authority bill. eBay supports the TPA for its ability to modernize trade agreements and it thanks President Obama and Congress for passing the legislation
Read more here.  

As of next month (July 2015) , eBay and PayPal will officially be two separate publicly traded companies. This will allow both companies to capitalize on their respective growth opportunities in the global commerce and payment industry.
Read more here.  

On June 15, PayPal’s VP Global Brand and Communications Officer Christina Smedley recently attended the Forbes Women’s Summit. The summit brought awareness to the lessons for new women entrepreneurs. The panel introduced by Smedley included Ivanka Trump, Sarah Blakely, and Jennifer Hyman.
Read more here.  

On June 3, In response to the introduction of the Patriot Employer Tax Credit Act by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry issued a statement encouraging the Fight for $15.
See the full statement here.  

On June 25, Executive Vice President Valarie Long issued the following statement regarding sexual abuse of immigrant women in the janitorial industry
See the full statement here.  

On June 26, In response to the Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry issued the following statement.
See the full statement here.  

On June 30, In response to word that the Obama administration will move to make millions more workers eligible for overtime pay, SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry issued the following statement.
See the full statement here.  

On June 30, NEA President Lily Eskelsen García, AFT President Randi Weingarten, CTA President Eric C. Heins, AFSCME President Lee Saunders and SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry issued the following joint statement in response to U.S. Supreme Court granting cert to Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association.
See the full statement here.  

On June 11, In a letter to Congressional Leaders, ITI announced it will score the Congressional Votes for TPA. As the only technology trade group to score votes, ITI demonstrated its support for trade and how it will positively impact the growth of the tech field.
Read more here.  

On June 11, ITI President and CEO Dean Garfield highlighted the need for the House vote to pass the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015
Read more here.  

On June 24, ITI Vice President of Government Affairs, Vince Jesaitis applauded the Senate’s Bipartisan Vote on TPA, which sent the bill to the President’s desk for signage.
See the full statement here.  

On June 25, ITI along with a number of multi-tech companies and associations joined a letter urging the Senate to support and implement bipartisan legislation, in the form of S. 1600, the Judicial Redress Act. Introduced by Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the legislation would extend privacy protections under the Privacy Act of 1974 to citizens of certain allied countries.
Read more here.  


On June 3, The City of Seattle’s Office of Immigrant Refugee Affairs recently released their annual report.
See the full report.  

June 30 to July 5 - Made in Seattle Week is a week designed to celebrate the great things made in the city of Seattle. Different people from backgrounds and industries will come together through panels, discussions, presentations, and fireside chats. The first day will be Trending in Tech, where keynote speakers from major tech companies from Seattle will discuss innovation.
Read more here.  


In June, The US Census Bureau has awarded OST a contract worth up to $241 million. OST will support the Enterprise Solution Framework in multiple offices and programs throughout the USCB. OST will help the Census to fulfill its mission as the leading source of quality data about the Nation’s people and economy.
Read more here.  

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