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Governing a

Divided Nation


How will the new U.S. President

and Congress move forward after
one of the most bitter campaigns in
American history?
What issues are likely to be tackled?
Who are the winners and losers?

about the 2016
U.S. Presidential



Governing a Divided Nation

Under Trump, the Future of Defense
Remains Relatively Uncertain


Making a Case for American Trade



A Trump Foreign Policy: From Bluster

to Reality


From Deleted Emails to Cybersecurity

How President-elect Trump Will Shift
Tech Focus


A Guide to the Trump Administration


Election Results Point To Vast Changes

In U.S. Economic Policies & Big Increase
In The Deficit


Trump & Obamacare: What Does Repeal

& Replace Really Mean?


Under Trump Enviros Gear Up

for a Fight


Would Bernie Have Won?


Infrastructure Spending:
Its Gonna Be Yuge Maybe

Governing a Divided Nation

Michael Petruzzello
Managing Director

Michael Petruzzello is
managing director of the
office and national
director of public affairs
for MSLGROUP North

Washington D.C. based Qorvis

MSLGROUP has always prided
itself on a campaign-style approach
to public affairs and advocacy. Our
people are campaign people, having
worked on dozens of campaigns, from
small-town mayor to President of the
United States. We deploy strategies
that are nimble and opportunistic to
get our clients heard in a competitive
media environment and a crowded
legislative arena. As we look back at
one of the most unusual Presidential
elections in American history, we are
pleased to share some of our insights
and offer some advice for our clients
on how to apply the lessons of this
unprecedented election.

Lets Be Frank: No One Saw This

Coming, Because No One Was
Looking in the Right Place
It is a mistake to characterize Trump
voters as exclusively working class,
or rural, or non-college educated.
Trump voters are culturally isolated

Governing a Divided Nation

Michael Petruzzello, Managing Director, Qorvis MSLGROUP

and feel politically alienated. A

September study of Trump voters
by Jonathan T. Rothwell of Gallup
discovered that those who view
Trump favorably disproportionately
live in racially and culturally isolated
zip codes and neighborhoods.

It appears that Donald Trump

won the election by motivating
low-propensity white voters in
traditionally blue states. These voters
rarely voted in previous elections,
because their votes were not large
enough to effect the outcome, and
were cancelled out by votes from
major metropolitan centers. Whether
these were rural voters in Wisconsin

Governing a Divided Nation

and Michigan, small town voters in

Pennsylvania, or exurban voters in
Florida, these low-propensity voters
shifted the outcome in enough states
to decisively rewrite the political map
and elect Donald Trump the next
President of the United States.
Trump motivated these voters
by focusing on issues that had
previously been ignored a political
system rigged to benefit elites at
the expense of working Americans,
trade deals that failed to account for
economic dislocation in American
manufacturing, and crumbling
infrastructure that is incompatible
with Americas status as a world
power. These issues can form the
basis of a new political coalition
provided that Congress is able to
address them.
Trumps appeal was not limited to
concerns about economic anxiety.
Although Trump received more
support from Latinos and African
Americans than Romney did in
2012, many pollsters attribute this
to growing demography rather than
actual support. Trump appealed to
anti-immigrant sentiment at a time

Michael Petruzzello, Managing Director, Qorvis MSLGROUP

when net migration from Mexico to

the United States is near zero. He
appealed to law and order and fears
about crime, despite the fact that
the violent crime rate is lower than it
has been at any time since 1970. A
substantial part of Trumps support
came from people who unfortunately
equate the growing demographic
diversity of the United States with
national decline. Trumps appeals
to racial resentment will complicate
a large variety of issues from
immigration to voting rights to
criminal justice reform.

Advice for Governing a

Divided Nation
When we counsel clients, we often
remind them that If you dont know
where youre going, any train will
take you there. There is no
off-the-shelf, one-size-fits-all solution.
Furthermore, the needs of a changing
electorate require a dynamic, evolving
public affairs strategy. Begin the
development of your strategy with
rigorous research, so that your
advocacy campaign is well-informed

Governing a Divided Nation

and well-targeted. Here are some

other takeaways from the 2016
presidential election:

Institutional Trust Needs to Be

From Iraq to Katrina to the Great
Recession, key institutions have
been under enormous strain over the
past 15 years. The 2016 election has
exposed vulnerabilities in still more
institutions. From private servers
to Wikileaks, our cybersecurity
protections have been exposed as
vulnerable. Both major political
parties were seriously challenged by
outsiders. Bernie Sanders pushed
the Democratic Party to the left,
while Donald Trump nearly broke the
Republican Party in half. Americas
media and electoral institutions
seemed unprepared to handle the
challenge Trump posed to our
Any institution corporations, trade
associations, NGOs could find their
own legitimacy and competency
challenged next. Effectively
managing reputation goes far beyond

Michael Petruzzello, Managing Director, Qorvis MSLGROUP

communications. In an always-on
media environment, it is critical for
organizations to invest time and
resources in building reputation and
trust. Managing an organizations
reputation requires much more than
risk assessment. It requires true
engagement of a large and diverse set
of stakeholders. It requires listening.
Only then can you effectively
communicate, create advocates and
drive change.

Connect emotionally early

and often and with simple,
personable messages
Love him or hate him, Trump
inspired emotional reactions from
American voters. Whats more,
Trump dominated the media cycle
despite being outspent in paid
media by Clinton by 63 percent.
So not only were his messages
driving significant reaction from
voters, but those messages were
everywhere, all the time. Sound bites
like Make America Great Again
and Crooked Hillary were shared
across traditional and social media,
and became rallying cries for his

Governing a Divided Nation

Ignoring a Crisis Does Not Make

It Go Away
Hillary Clinton never had a
satisfactory answer for her use of a
private email server. Moreover, no
high-profile Clinton staffer was ever
fired or disciplined for setting up the
email server in the first place. The
email scandal, as well as aftershocks
from Benghazi and accusations
of impropriety within the Clinton
Foundation built up confusion at best
and out-and-out resentment at worst
among voters. Had Clinton addressed
these questions outright, she may
have clarified questions so as to
convert undecideds.

Michael Petruzzello, Managing Director, Qorvis MSLGROUP

Focus on a Few Big Things and

Do Them Well
The voters assume that everyone
seeking help from Washington
has a hidden agenda that they
are trying to play a rigged game
at voters expense. To succeed in
this environment, public affairs
campaigns must prioritize consensus
over conflict. It is ineffective to march
up to Capitol Hill and point out how
YOU have a problem. It will be far
more persuasive to show demonstrate
how we the people have a problem,
and a solution. Appeals to the public
interest will trump appeals to special

Governing a Divided Nation

Michael Petruzzello, Managing Director, Qorvis MSLGROUP

Under Trump, the Future of Defense

Remains Relatively Uncertain

Keith Strubhar
Senior Vice President

Keith Strubhar is a

What does the future hold in the

defense sector with the Trump
victory and a Republican Congress?
As with all questions this soon after
an election, it may take some time to
get a definitive answer, but lets take
a quick look.
One thing is for sure, the Defense
sector will be in shock for months
to come as it tries to figure out what
a Trump administration means and
how to position for it.

senior vice president at

MSLGROUP, based in the
Washington, D.C. office,
with more than 20 years
experience specializing
in aerospace, defense and
energy. Prior to joining
MSLGROUP, Strubhar
served as Director of
Communications at

Since Trump was never forced to

offer specific details on issues of
importance to defense during the
campaign, voters and pundits were
left guessing as to how his world
view would translate into results in
the many sectors that make up our
complex military.


Under Trump, the Future of Defense Remains Relatively Uncertain

Keith Strubhar, Senior Vice President, Qorvis MSLGROUP

in the Pentagon budget will need to

be implemented that will keep DoD at
the approved level.

We can be fairly certain that Trumps

win likely means future budget
requests above sequestration
spending caps for the Defense
Department based on his campaign
rhetoric of rebuilding our military.
Now, whether Congress goes along
with or fights Trump, with Democrats
pushing for equal gains for domestic
spending and many fiscal hawk
Republicans wanting to lower
spending overall, remains to be seen.

Additionally, much of the DoD funds

are already tied up in appropriations
for large military platformsthink
F-135 Joint Strike Fighter, Zumwalt
Class Destroyers, and Ballistic
Missile Defense to name a few. Will
Trump be able to win over Congress
and have them shift funds (or
appropriate new funds) with only a
single seat majority in the Senate
and with each congressional member
vying for their own projects? Who
knows? However, if past is prologue
as it generally is in D.C., I would not
bet the ranch on it.

No doubt it will be a tough fight due

to the reality of defense funding.
Congress and the White House either
have to comply with the existing
caps on military spending ($609.9
million in fiscal 2017) or will need to
raise the limit. If that doesnt occur, a
sequester an automatic reduction

Under Trump, the Future of Defense Remains Relatively Uncertain

Keith Strubhar, Senior Vice President, Qorvis MSLGROUP

So, does Trump have any other

options? He does, because, as is
typical in Washington, there is a
potential back door. Congress and
the president could agree to continue
to use the Overseas Contingency
Operations (OCO) fund to get around
the caps and avoid a sequester. This
fund is a separate pot of funding
operated by the DoD and State
Department that was originally
used to finance the wars in Iraq
and Afghanistan. It does not count
against the caps, and has been used
in the past to prevent a sequester.
Trump campaigned on the crushing
of ISIS and the OCO fund could
allow him to propose growth by
funding the technology, resources
and material it would take to defeat


So, who will be the winners in

the defense sector with the new
administration? Hard to tell for sure,
but companies that can demonstrate
they can employ commercial off the
shelf (COTS) technology in the areas
of cyber, communications, unmanned
platforms, security and training
could be big winners by helping to
squeeze costs out of DoD programs
and allowing for more growth. The
big defense contractors will still be
winners with any growth as they
have the long-term contracts and are
the ones that can manufacture the
military hardware we need to project
power globally. Finally, another group
of winners will be military personnel,
their families and veterans. Trump
spoke directly to these groups in
his campaign and was very clear in
his promises to provide them more

Under Trump, the Future of Defense Remains Relatively Uncertain

Keith Strubhar, Senior Vice President, Qorvis MSLGROUP

Making a Case for American Trade Again

Matt Lauer
Executive Vice President,

President-elect Donald J. Trump

made throwing out Americas
international and trade agreements
a hallmark of his campaign. His
election is a rebuke to the globalists
who have been part of the American
presidency for the past 70 years. Free
traders are in for a rough ride over the
next term.


In the first 100 days,

Matt J. Lauer is an Executive Vice
President of MSLGROUP and leads
its international practice from the
Washington, D.C. office. He is the
former Executive Director of the U.S.
Advisory Commission on Public
Diplomacy at the Department of
State. He is an advisor to the board
of Mercuria Energy Trading, one

I will announce my intention to

renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw from the
deal under Article 2205. I will announce
our withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific
Partnership, I will direct my Secretary of
the Treasury to label China a currency

of the worlds largest commodities

trading corporations, and developed
the Swiss companys public affairs
strategy in its acquisition of the
commodities trading unit of J.P.
Morgan Chase & Co. Connect with
him on Twitter: @MattJLauer


Making a Case for American Trade Again

Matt Lauer, Executive Vice President, Qorvis MSLGROUP

said Trump.
President Trump may be hostile to
agreements that foster the flow of
goods and services between nations,

business globally, such as Apple,

Microsoft, Nike, Lockheed Martin,
PricewaterhouseCoopers, and
Caterpillar, to name a few. In turn,
American business would advance
U.S. soft power and influence around
the world.

but this philosophy does not seem to

apply to American energy.
Energy producers and traders will
have an easier time in the Trump
administration. The crude export ban
that was lifted by President Obama
will stay. And, many regulations
of fossil fuels will be lifted. This
could bode well for coal, crude, and
gas exports. Theoretically, this will
increase production of energy and
create new jobs in energy-producing
regions of the country. Under a
Trump administration, America may
become a leader in carbon-based
energy exports, but a protectionist in
the export of goods and services.
Before this election, many American
leaders believed that the opening of
foreign markets would benefit U.S.
businesses that are already doing


Making a Case for American Trade Again

Matt Lauer, Executive Vice President, Qorvis MSLGROUP

Since the enactment of the North

American Free Trade Agreement
(NAFTA) 25 years ago, trade has
powered the growth of businesses,
jobs, and the economynot to
mention strategic relationships with
Americas trading partners. Between
1993 and 2015, trade between the
U.S., Canada and Mexico soared from
$297 billion to $1.14 trillion. This
boosted corporate profits, increased
job growth, and expanded the
economies of all three countries. It
also lowered prices for consumers.
For the past eight years, President
Obama has been one of the strongest
defenders of trade with the passage
of the Colombia, Panama, and
Korea Free Trade Agreements; the
conclusion of the Trans-Pacific
Partnership (TPP); and the start

of the Transatlantic Trade and

Investment Partnership (TTIP)
negotiations with the European
Despite these successes, the word
trade became a bad one. The
populist campaigns of Trump and
Senator Bernie Sanders attacked
the bipartisan consensus on free
trade. These candidates and their
supporters persuaded many Middle
Americans that protectionism is the
key to jobs and a stronger economy.
A survey by the Chicago Council on
Global Affairs found that Trumps
attacks on trade have changed
Republican attitudes far more than
Senator Bernie Sanders rhetoric
influenced Democrats. The survey
found that 55 percent of Democrats
and 59 percent of Republicans agreed
with the statement that Trade is
good for the U.S. economy in 2004.
By 2016, those numbers reversed
68 percent of Democrats think trade
is good for the economy (a 13-point


Making a Case for American Trade Again

Matt Lauer, Executive Vice President, Qorvis MSLGROUP

increase), compared to just 51 percent

of Republicans (an 8-point decline).
With respect to specific trade deals,
the gap between Republicans and
Democrats are equally pronounced.
Trade has always had supporters
among Democrats and Republicans,
but now trade seems to be a pariah
among base voters regardless of
party identity.

Trumps win in the election leaves

the future of the Transatlantic Trade
and Investment Partnership (TTIP)
up in the air as the president-elect
has given few details on his position
on the ongoing negotiations with the
European Union, while his broader
anti-trade rhetoric has simmered
expectations that the deal will come
to fruition.

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

detractors and supporter alike see
the Pacific trade deal as effectively
dead citing the president-elects
opposition to it and the unwillingness
of Republican congressional leaders
to bring up the controversial deal for
a vote in a lame-duck session.
The burden is now on American
corporations and free traders to
explain to the American public and
the Trump Administration how trade
creates jobs, reduces international
conflicts, and advances American
global interests including stability
and peace with our trading partners


Making a Case for American Trade Again

Matt Lauer, Executive Vice President, Qorvis MSLGROUP

It is time for those who benefit from

trade to make the case for trade
because we know everyone benefits
from it. This election may have set
the case for trade back a few years,
but if we can talk about the benefits
of global trade, we can continue to
move our nation forward.

A Trump Foreign Policy: From Bluster

to Reality

Gregory Lagana
Executive Vice President,

Gregory Lagana is an
Executive Vice President at

What will American foreign policy

will look like in a Donald Trump
administration? There is anxiety
in the U.S. and abroad because
Mr. Trump did not lay out a
comprehensive vision during the
campaign. Instead, he gave us
unconnected pieces of his mind on
subjects ranging from ISIS, Putin and
trade agreements to our obligations
to our allies. And some of those
pieces of mind threatened to unravel
years of established thinking and

Qorvis MSLGROUP based

in Washington, DC.


A Trump Foreign Policy: From Bluster to Reality

So everyone is wondering, and

for good reason: How will the
Trump administration approach
the modern world, with its many
complex and interconnected
challenges? Will a President Trump
respect longstanding alliances and
structures? Will he act rashly? Will
he be prone to isolation, confrontation

Gregory Lagana, Executive Vice President, Qorvis MSLGROUP

or cooperation? Allies will look for

reassurance, and adversaries can be
expected to probe for the limits of
cooperation and confrontation.

American foreign policy may change

from one administration to another,
but our interests remain the same,
and that keeps shifts in foreign
policy within a narrow bandmore
emphasis on military strength in one
administration or morality in another,
for example, but no seismic shifts.
And that wont change. We still have
an interest in working with other
nations to combat radical Islamic
terrorism. We still have an interest
in the security of Europe. And we
still have an interest in building and
maintaining a robust global economy.


A Trump Foreign Policy: From Bluster to Reality

Those interests and others will drive

policies and test assumptions and
pieces of anyones mind. Trump has
said he thinks our allies should share
more of the burden of our mutual
defense, but he hasnt questioned the
alliances or the reasons for them.
That means we will still work
with Japan and South Koreaand
Chinato contain North Korean
threats. It means we will keep our
commitment to Europe, including
the Baltic States and the nations that
once formed the Warsaw Pact. Trump
will want to try to develop a more
cooperative relationship with Russia,
as the Obama administration did,
but that effort will have to confront
Putins desire to reclaim Russian
greatness, which he does not believe
he can do as a junior partner to the
U.S. What we cant know is how far
Putin will go in testing Trump.
In Syria, Trump has said that he
wants to defeat ISIS first, then worry
about the Assad regimebasically,
kill the wolf thats on the sled first.
That fits nicely with Russian policy,

Gregory Lagana, Executive Vice President, Qorvis MSLGROUP

except that the Russians dont seem

to be interested in removing Assad.
It sheds light on the complicated
nature of these relationships: We may
conflict with Russia or China in some
areas, but we need their cooperation
in others. The Middle East is a tangle
of conflicting interests involving
Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel, Iran,
Iraq and others, and there are no easy

So the new president will put his

instincts to the test with his foreignpolicy team, as other presidents have,
and the names mentioned so far
include people who understand these
complexities and the institutions,
alliances and priorities that help us


A Trump Foreign Policy: From Bluster to Reality

navigate them. I dont expect Donald

Trump to say never mind about
anything, but we should expect him
to temper, alter or even reverse some
of the positions he has taken even
while he goes full-steam ahead with
others. The facts on the ground,
the actions of our adversaries, and
the enduring nature of our national
interests will require the conviction
to be reinforced by an open mind and
Rhetorical bombs and harsh
generalities spoken in the heat of a
campaign are one thing, but there are
nearly 200 national governments in
the world, each taking actions in their
own interests, and dangerous nonstate actors like ISIS and other terror
groups. From now on, every word out
of Trumps mouth, and even what he
doesnt say at times, will matterto
friends, to adversaries, and to global
markets. And we can expect them
to act accordingly, for better or for

Gregory Lagana, Executive Vice President, Qorvis MSLGROUP

From Deleted Emails to Cybersecurity

How President-elect Trump Will Shift Tech Focus

Cara Lombardi
Executive Vice President,

Cara specializes in tech

and government IT.
Served as vice president
and general manager

Technology and its role in the

presidential campaign seemed
to be everywhere you looked this
election season. Unfortunately, it
wasnt the conversation we were
hoping for. Instead of substantive
IT policy discussions, coverage
fixated on WikiLeaks, private servers,
hacked emails and early morning
Tweetstorms. While pages and pages
could be (and have been) written
about each of those topics, I want
to focus more on technology policy
and what the next four years under a
Donald Trump presidency may
look like.

at Market Access
International. Proud
Virginia Tech Hokie.


There is no doubt that one of

the biggest technology priorities
during a Trump presidency will be
cybersecurity. If 2016 has taught us
anything, its that cyberattacks can
be so much more than just consumer
data and credit card information
there is the threat of state actors
using technology to attack America.

From Deleted Emails to Cybersecurity How President-elect Trump

Will Shift Tech Focus
Cara Lombardi, Executive Vice President, Qorvis MSLGROUP

Trump focused much of his

technology talk during the campaign
trail on cybersecurity, and outlined a
plan for what he intends to do about
it when he takes office in January.
According to his campaign
platform, one of his first actions
will be to establish a Cyber Review
Team comprised of military, law
enforcement officials and individuals
from the private sector. This team
will conduct audits of the countys
current cyber landscape and provide
recommendations on how to address
vulnerabilities. He has advocated
for cyber awareness training for
all government employees, and
increased coordination between
federal, state, and local law
enforcement in their responses to
cyber threats.


Trump has also called for more of

a focus on cybersecurity when it
comes to national defense. He will
look to the Secretary of Defense and
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for
recommendations on how to improve
U.S. Cyber Command, focusing on both
offensive and defensive cyber strategies.
Advanced cyber capabilities will play an
important role in how the DoD, DHS and
IC realize Trumps vision to rebuild our
military and promote regional stability.

But what about the rest of tech?

What does a Trump administration
mean for other technology issues such
as high-tech exports, patent reform,
IT modernization and the Internet
of Things? Today, it is fuzzy. Take
IT modernization for example. The
Modernizing Government Technology
(MGT) Act, which was co-authored by
Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) and Rep. Gerry
Connolly (D-VA), passed in the House
earlier this fall. The Senate did not act
on it before the election recess and is not

From Deleted Emails to Cybersecurity How President-elect Trump

Will Shift Tech Focus
Cara Lombardi, Executive Vice President, Qorvis MSLGROUP

likely to in a lame-duck session since it

will be focused on passing a continuing
resolution. Essentially the bill calls for
funds for government agencies to use
to replace or update their outdated IT
systems to deliver smarter, more userfriendly services to the American people.
However, there is some disagreement
in terms of where the funding will come
from, and with a Trump administration
focused on cutting costs and creating
a leaner, more efficient federal
government, the bill could face some
But lets be clear: the foundation for
good cybersecurity practices lie in an
up-to-date IT infrastructure, so one
would presume that Trump would favor
federal IT modernization to support his
cybersecurity policies. Trump, similar to
most newly elected presidents, will look
for some easy legislative wins during his
first 100 days in office legislation that
has bipartisan support, such as MGT, is
a great place to start.

One area of uncertainty is around

technology as it relates to the economy
and education. Generally speaking,
technology cybersecurity in particular
is a growing field with many
employment opportunities. In fact,
more than 200,000 cybersecurity jobs
in the U.S. are unfilled and postings
have been up 74 percent over the past
five years (Source). Filling these jobs
requires candidates to have the proper
education. Trump has spoken at length
about the America economy and its need
for growth, as well as the need to create
more jobs for the American people.
Because of that, there is a good chance
that Trump would support legislation
designed to grow employment in the
technology and cybersecurity sectors
or provide education and training to
adequately equip people for these jobs.
However, it likely wont be a major
priority given that it is not currently a
point of discussion in his plan for job
creation as opposed to infrastructure and
traditional manufacturing.
In conclusion, what we know for sure
about technology policy under President
Trump is that there will be an increased


From Deleted Emails to Cybersecurity How President-elect Trump

Will Shift Tech Focus
Cara Lombardi, Executive Vice President, Qorvis MSLGROUP

focus on cybersecurity, particularly

when it comes to national defense.
There is a good chance he will support
federal IT modernization, even if only
to provide an adequate foundation
for his cybersecurity policies. And,
implementing policies that encourage
technology jobs and education appears
to be consistent with Trumps desire
to grow the American economy.
Unfortunately, for many other technology
issues, including the growing concern
that the FCCs net-neutrality regulation


will be in jeopardy, the future is unclear.

We can only hope that Trump will view
technology and innovation as ways
to advance Americas place in todays
competitive global market.

From Deleted Emails to Cybersecurity How President-elect Trump

Will Shift Tech Focus
Cara Lombardi, Executive Vice President, Qorvis MSLGROUP

A Guide to the Trump Administration

Qorvis MSLGROUP provides a
first look at the people and players
behind the most unlikely presidential
campaign in American history.
For each person mentioned here,
we have included a bio, a photo,
and representative institutions and
organizations affiliated with that
person, so that the reader may better
understand the relationships that
influence the people who in turn are
influencing President Trump.
Like the Trump business
organization, the Trump campaign
is an opaque web of interlocking
relationships. While we have
endeavored to make as a thorough
a search as possible, with material
available in the public record,
any such record is bound to be


A Guide to the Trump Administration


The information gives an

overview of the following:
The Trump Family
Power Players:
Persons of Accomplishment Who
Joined the Trump Inner Circle
Early, and Will No Doubt Have
Considerable Influence Over His
The Trump for President Finance
From Which President Trump is
expected to draw his Ambassadors
and Economic Advisors
Domestic and Foreign Policy
Global Business Relationships:
Publicly Disclosed Business Ties
Donald Trump has to hotels, real
estate and other investments in
Europe, Asia and the Middle East
Members of the Trump Transition


A Guide to the Trump Administration


Election Results Point To Vast Changes In

U.S. Economic Policies & Big Increase In
The Deficit

Stan Collender
Executive Vice President,

Stan is an Executive
Vice president in

The combination of a Donald Trump

presidency and a Republican House
and Senate means that many, and
perhaps all, of the brakes that have
limited economic policymaking in
Washington the past 8 years will be
removed in the next Congress.
GOP control of the White House
and Congress means that the
congressional budget process that
had been abandoned on Capitol
Hill will be the vehicle for major tax
reductions and spending increase the
next few years.

Washington, D.C. office

and Director of Financial
Sector Communications
in the United States.
He can be reached at stan.
com and 202-683-3131.
Follow him on Twitter at


Although there may be some

resistance from the House Freedom
Caucus over the spending that isnt
offset, the Trump budget policies
could increase the federal deficit to
between $900 billion and $1 trillion a
year by fiscal 2018. Federal national
debt held by the public could quickly
rise to 90% or more of GDP.

Election Results Point To Vast Changes In U.S. Economic Policies &

Big Increase In The Deficit
Stan Collender, Executive Vice President, Qorvis MSLGROUP

In fact, the congressional budget

process is the ideal legislative
vehicle to enact much of the Trump
economic program. By law, a
congressional budget resolution
cannot be filibustered in the Senate,
so the Republican majority there
should be able to pass a fiscal
blueprint and then compromise
it with the one that will likely be
adopted by the smaller but still
substantial GOP House majority.

Passing a budget resolution will

then enable Congress to use the long
moribund reconciliation process to do
everything from tax reform, to major
tax cuts, to repealing a substantial
part of the Affordable Care Act, to
significant increases in military and
infrastructure spending. Presidentelect Trump supported all of these
during his campaign.
Any combination of these policies
or even moderated versions of these
policies would put U.S. fiscal policy
directly at odds with the Federal
Reserve. The higher deficit would be
stimulative at the same time the Fed
is expected to continue to implement
a mildly restrictive monetary policy
by slowly but steadily raising interest
The Fed could decide to raise interest
rates faster and higher in response
to the Trump fiscal policy, and that
would raise federal spending on
interest on the national debt (and
increase the deficit) even further
as previously low-cost short-term
Treasuries are re-borrowed at the


Election Results Point To Vast Changes In U.S. Economic Policies &

Big Increase In The Deficit
Stan Collender, Executive Vice President, Qorvis MSLGROUP

suddenly much higher rates. Indeed,

interest on the national debt may
well be the fastest rising part of the
federal budget during the Trump
As it has in the past, a large external
economic, military or foreign policy
shock could change this outlook. For
example, as it did during the Clinton
administration in 1993, the bond
market could threaten to push interest
rates to politically unacceptable levels
in response to Washingtons muchgreater borrowing needs.


But given the crisis fatigue that has

set in over the past decade and a half
in the United States, the intensity of
the just-completed election campaign
and the Trump administrations
probable desire to implement its
plans quickly, the shock will have
to be quite substantial to derail the
economic policy changes that now
seem almost certain to move forward.

Election Results Point To Vast Changes In U.S. Economic Policies &

Big Increase In The Deficit
Stan Collender, Executive Vice President, Qorvis MSLGROUP

Trump & Obamacare: What Does Repeal &

Replace Really Mean?

Chuck Alston
SVP, Director of Health Policy
and Public Affairs,

Chuck is an expert in
healthcare policy and
has worked as executive
director of the Democratic
Leadership Council. He
was a Nieman Fellow in
Journalism at Harvard.

A pledge to repeal and replace

Obamacare was the Trump
campaigns central message on
health care. While the catchphrase
captures the discontent many feel
about the U.S. health care system,
what a slogan cant capture is the
hard road that lies ahead for the new
president and Congress as they seek
to make good on Trumps promise.
The repeal part alone is hard
enough, for Obamacare is far more
than an insurance scheme. Rather,
the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
was 2,000 pages of legislation that
touched on every aspect of health
care access, delivery and payment,
not just the insurance exchanges and
subsequent premium increases that
have become its flash point.
Moreover, the ACA is now six years
in the making, touching millions of
lives with its expansion of access
to insurance through the exchanges
and Medicaid, and influencing how


Trump & Obamacare: What Does Repeal & Replace Really Mean?

Chuck Alston, SVP, Director of Health Policy and Public Affairs, Qorvis MSLGROUP

billions of dollars are spent with

doctors and health care systems,
so it will require more scalpel than
sledgehammer to repeal it. More
importantly, repeal would not address
the underlying fundamentals that
spurred the ACA in the first place:
high cost health care delivered
through a broken delivery system.

Heres what we know so far:

A Trump transition team statement
outlines a thin plan, proffering
solutions such as special insurance
pools for high-risk, high-cost
patients and cross-state sales of
insurance policies that, depending
on which analyst is talking, are at
best unproven and at worst have
demonstrably failed. It calls for:
expanding the states role in
running the Medicaid healthinsurance programs for the poor
eliminating the mandate that
individuals buy health insurance or
pay a penalty

But if repeal is hard enough,

replace is even harder. Trump
promised during the campaign only
that something terrific would take
Obamacares place.


allowing individuals to fully

deduct health insurance premium
payments from their tax returns
and use tax-free Health Savings
Accounts (HSAs) that would be
allowed to accumulate and pass on
to heirs

Trump & Obamacare: What Does Repeal & Replace Really Mean?

Chuck Alston, SVP, Director of Health Policy and Public Affairs, Qorvis MSLGROUP

The president-elect told The Wall

Street Journal he will maintain
popular features such as preventing
insurers from denying coverage
because of patients existing
conditions and permitting parents to
provide coverage for their children up
to age 26.

What the plan doesnt address is far

more important, including the central
question of what to do about the 20
million people who get their coverage
through Obamacare, as well as the
plethora of changes in the underlying
structure of how the country pays for
and delivers care.
When it comes to coverage, Trump
and the Republican Congress are
unlikely to toss 20 million people
overboard without replacing their
coverage and what they try to
replace it with will be subject to an
intense political fight on Capitol Hill,
where Democrats still have a say in
the Senate.

The plan doesnt address the rising

cost of prescription drugs, leaving out
suggestions Trump made during the
campaign trail, such as allowing the
importation of drugs or permitting
Medicare to negotiate drug prices.


As for delivery and payment reform,

Medicare has been at the forefront
of efforts to reward hospitals and
doctors based on the value of the
services they provide instead of the
traditional volume-based system,
an initiative called value-based
purchasing that is designed to
improve outcomes, improve the
overall health of the population and
reduce costs.

Trump & Obamacare: What Does Repeal & Replace Really Mean?

Chuck Alston, SVP, Director of Health Policy and Public Affairs, Qorvis MSLGROUP

Trump could eliminate or tinker with

the thousands of pages of regulations
the Center for Medicare & Medicaid
Services has issued to implement
this change. Nonetheless, payers
such as large employers, labor unions
and states were fed up with the
payment and delivery system before
Obamacare came along, and they
are likely to continue pushing for
change no matter what happens in

a mad scramble as insurers,

hospitals, doctors, device makers,
pharmaceutical companies, and
other stakeholders fight to protect
or increase margins, and employers
and consumer advocates seek to
manage their costs. Second, add
the word revenue after the words
repeal and replace, and you get a
clear picture of how self-interest that
will govern the fight ahead. In other
words, repeal his revenue, and dont
replace it with mine.

While the bottom line wont come

into view until at spring, there are
two things to keep in mind for the
time being. First, the stakes could
not be higher. At 17.5 percent of
GDP, health care is now a $3 billion
slice of the economy, guaranteeing


Trump & Obamacare: What Does Repeal & Replace Really Mean?

Chuck Alston, SVP, Director of Health Policy and Public Affairs, Qorvis MSLGROUP

Under Trump Enviros Gear Up

for a Fight

Sheila McLean
SVP/Director U.S. Citizenship &

Environmental leaders from around

the world gathered this week in
Morocco to flush out details of the
Paris climate change accord despite
fears that the work will be undone by
President-Elect Donald Trump and a
Republican-led Congress. Trump is
expected to move quickly to reverse
the Obama/Clinton climate agenda,
including pulling out of the global
climate agreement.

Sheila leads Corporate

and Brand Citizenship
practice for MSLGROUP
North America. She has
delivers award-winning
integrated programs that
inspire action. She was
former director of safety
and environmental affairs
at DaimlerChrysler,
Communications Officer at
the Mott Foundation, state
policy advisor and reporter.
@sgmclean8 | sheila.


Under Trump Enviros Gear Up for a Fight

Sheila McLean, SVP/Director U.S. Citizenship & Sustainability, MSLGROUP

Trump has put Myron Ebell, a wellknown climate skeptic, in charge of

the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) transition working group,
a move that has drawn the ire of
The Trump plan calls for lifting
restrictions on the production of shale
oil, natural gas, and coal, approving
controversial pipeline construction
projects and opening federal lands
to oil and gas exploration and coal
mining. He has also promised to
block implementation of the Clean
Power Plan requiring utilities to lower
carbon emissions.
The EPA is likely to be starved of
funding and power as Trump rolls
back federal regulations. Funding
of basic research and development
at the Department of Energy (DOE),
meanwhile, will be reduced, raising
fears of a brain drain of scientists.
While environmentalists and
progressives are anxious and
disheartened by all this, the news is
not all bad. Investments in renewable
energy especially solar and wind


Under Trump Enviros Gear Up for a Fight

are expected to continue. Both

solar and wind have seen significant
price drops, making them cost
competitive with dirtier forms of
energy and therefore very attractive.
Utilities and corporations who have
bet big on renewables and other
environmentally-friendly innovations
are unlikely to walk away from their
Companies are unlikely to back away
from their carbon commitments given
the risks associated with climate
change, growing competition and
regulatory requirements elsewhere in
the world. That means investments
in green product innovations like
electric vehicles, energy efficiency
tools and water treatment and
conservation technologies will
continue to be made by the private
And donations to leading advocacy
groups have risen dramatically over
the last week. The Sierra Club said
it had registered 9,000 new monthly
donors over the last week more
new donors than the organization

Sheila McLean, SVP/Director U.S. Citizenship & Sustainability, MSLGROUP

added in the previous 10 months.

Advocacy groups including the Sierra
Club, Greenpeace, the Climate Reality
Project and the Natural Resources
Defense council have vowed to fight.

The fight is certain to heat up in the

2018 mid-terms when a number of
Democratic incumbents in energyrich states that Trump won will face
challenges. These include Sen. Heidi
Heitkamp in North Dakota (wind,
shale oil), Sen. Joe Manchin in West
Virginia (coal), Sen. Bob Casey in
Pennsylvania (fracking) and Sen. Bill
Nelson in Florida (offshore drilling).

David Doniger, director of the climate

program at NRDC told Reuters: We
are going to fight these rollbacks,
if that is what they do, each step
of the way. Its going to be a legal
battle but its also going to be a
battle in the court of public opinion.
Whatever people voted for, they did
not vote against climate action, clean
air, clean water, and environmental


Under Trump Enviros Gear Up for a Fight

Sheila McLean, SVP/Director U.S. Citizenship & Sustainability, MSLGROUP

Would Bernie Have Won?

Welcome to the election

from hell.

Joshua B. Gardner
Vice President,

Joshua Gardner is a
Vice President Qorvis
MSLGROUP, focusing on CSR
and corporate communications.
Gardner joined MSLGROUP

That was my intro to a piece

I co-wrote with several former
colleagues for a major magazine this
past May, just a month before I joined
We were a rag-tag group of market
researchers led by an even more
rag-tag founder and CEO. The five
of us our founder/CEO included
crisscrossed the country listening to
and talking with American voters.

from Luntz Global Partners,

where he managed all aspects
of client engagement, including
research, strategy, and message
development. Whether working
with Fortune 500s, professional
sports teams, or candidates
seeking elected office, Gardner
helped them build their brands
and shape their reputations with
the language that wins.


Would Bernie Have Won?

Joshua B. Gardner, Vice President, Qorvis MSLGROUP

What we heard then should have

prepared us for what happened this
November. But all we could come up
with was that opening line. To be fair,
it was the election from hell.

But we didnt need to visit Cleveland

or Los Angeles to see how bad things
had become. There was ample proof
that our politics now reside in an
intellectual cul-de-sac. People only
want to hear themselves pontificate,
or listen to those who confirm, affirm,
and validate.

Still unsure? Ask yourself:

How many Democrats regularly
listen to Fox News?
How many Republicans frequently
tune into MSNBC?
Thirty years ago, voters rewarded
politicians who spoke with vision
and compassion about a shining
city on a hill, a thousand points
of light, or, I feel your pain. As
recently as four years ago, we sought
presidential candidates who were
ultimately respectful, presidential,
and statesmanlike.
Today? Both candidates in this years
general election were so equally
distrusted and despised by polarized
sections of the electorate that their
most effective message was, Well, at
least Im not [insert other candidate].


Would Bernie Have Won?

Joshua B. Gardner, Vice President, Qorvis MSLGROUP

That was my conclusion then back

when I was part of that rag-tag
group trying to put American voters
beliefs into words. And sadly, it
remains my conclusion today. Since
Donald Trump blithely rode down
an escalator, voters have demanded
that politicians give voice and volume
to their outrage. Anything less is
politics or pandering.
As I said, I got it wrong. My job was
to listen to them, and I didnt hear a
single word. But Im not alone. Never
has the political class/industry/elite
so misread the electorate and so
misunderstood American priorities.
The echo chamber of journalists,
politicians, corporate leaders and
the international community kept
reassuring itself that there was no
way a man like him could win, even
in times like these.

But for decades, millions upon

millions of Americans have felt
looked down upon and left behind.
They are mad as hell, and Donald
Trump got it.
Bernie Sanders got it, too.
Bernie echoed Americans fears of
a rigged system and spoke to their
frustrations about a government
that doesnt have the courage to take
on Wall Street and the billionaire
class. But what Bernie got even
better was how to communicate those
shared fears and frustrations.

Here are the four ways Bernie

did that:

He talked about ACTION,

When your language centers around
what you believe, intend to do, or
even can do, many will assume
theyre just hearing more empty
promises. Make them trust you
through directness and decisiveness.
It sets you apart from just about
everyone else in Washington, on
Wall Street, and on Main Street.


Would Bernie Have Won?

Joshua B. Gardner, Vice President, Qorvis MSLGROUP

He talked about their

daily struggles.
The most effective way to connect
with voters especially when they
are so angry is to present your
argument through their eyes. Take
the debate out of the distant and
discouraging halls of Congress and
into the homes of real Americans.
Simply put: your language must
humanize, personalize, and

He told them he got it.

Its a simple phrase. Three words, in
fact: I get it. And yet such a simple
phrase can be the most powerful
opening. Any speaker can disarm a
skeptical audience or calm an angry
crowd by leading with empathy
showing that you have compassion.

He focused on
what YOU deserve.
Bernie didnt forget that people are
scared and angry. But he also knew
that negative attacks would only
get him so far. Instead, he offered
solutions. Americans want to know

that the problems they see can be

fixed, and our job is to not merely
tell them what is wrong; we must tell
them ways to make it RIGHT.
Theres so much more Bernie Sanders
did, and so much more that he didnt
do. He lost the Democratic primary,
after all. But along the way, he proved
how the right words at the right
time can have an impact. Just like
Donald Trump.
And just like Donald Trump, Bernie
Sanderss supporters came to his
rallies in force full-throated and
ready to let him know just how much
they cared. In fact, turnout in the
2016 Democratic primary rebounded
from 2012 lows.


Would Bernie Have Won?

Joshua B. Gardner, Vice President, Qorvis MSLGROUP

Whether that rebound was a result

of voters enthusiasm for Sanders is
hard to say. But whats clear is that
Hillary Clinton wasnt able to get
out the vote herself and that she lost
both Democrats and independents to
Trump, while Sanders had notorious
luck with independent voters.
Ill chalk that up to Bernie Sanderss
language. But then Ive been wrong

Infrastructure Spending: Its Gonna Be

Yuge Maybe

Elissa Dodge
Executive Vice President

Additional federal spending on

infrastructure shouldnt be an issue
in the next Congress. After all, there
is widespread, bipartisan agreement
that there is a tremendous need for
infrastructure improvements and
President-elect Trump has said
improving our nations crumbling
roads, bridges and third world
airports is a top priority for him. But
those hoping for a significant boost
in federal spending for infrastructure
shouldnt celebrate just yet.

Elissa leads corporate

reputation and public
affairs clients, as well as
StreetBuzz, MSLGROUPs
national grassroots network.
She received Women in
Government Relations highest
honor- Distinguished Member
Award 2012; has worked at
the U.S. Supreme Court, and
has the secret-keeping skills
to prove it.


The most recent report card

from the American Society of Civil
Engineers gave America an overall
D+ on infrastructure and said a $3.6
trillion investment would be needed
by 2020 (i.e. by the next presidential
election). Thats most certainly not
going to happen. But we do have a
president-elect who has a penchant
for construction and has made

Infrastructure Spending: Its Gonna Be Yuge Maybe

Elissa Dodge, Executive Vice President, Qorvis MSLGROUP

a commitment to increasing job

opportunities in America. In fact,
infrastructure was the only major
policy issue discussed in any depth
during Trumps victory speech on the
night of the election:

We are going to fix our inner cities and

rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels,
airports, schools, hospitals. Were going
to rebuild our infrastructure, which will
become, by the way, second to none.
And we will put millions of our people to
work as we rebuild it.,

infrastructure plan, but offered

little more in the way of details.
Then, in his Contract with the
American Voter, he announced
his intentions to leverage publicprivate partnerships, and private
investments through tax incentives
to spur $1 trillion in infrastructure
investment over ten years. At one
point, Trump promised to cancel
billions in global warming payments
to the United Nations, and use that
money to support Americas vital
environmental infrastructure. Most
recently, his transition website says
his administration will seek to invest
$550 billion to ensure we can export
our goods and move our people faster
and safer.
Even if the details on the final
amount are murky, the investment
commitment is there.

During the campaign, Presidentelect Trump first said he would at

least double Clintons $275 billion


The fact that America desperately

needs infrastructure improvements,
and that we have a President-elect
who campaigned on the issue
and that we have traditionally had
bipartisan support for investment
clearly arent reasons for concern.

Infrastructure Spending: Its Gonna Be Yuge Maybe

Elissa Dodge, Executive Vice President, Qorvis MSLGROUP

The concern is over the same issue

that stymied action in previous
years: how to pay for the additional
infrastructure spending that nearly
everyone would like to do.
Long-term infrastructure planning
has been held up in recent years
as Congress passed short-term
extensions for transportation
authorizations. Congress has not
raised the gas tax in more than two
decades, as promoting user fees are a
good way to get yourself voted out of
office. And the Republican-controlled
Congress under President Obama
said they would not pass any plan
that increased the deficit, requiring
offsets instead.
After years of stop gap bills, the 2015
highway bill the Fixing Americas
Surface Transportation Act that
eventually added $305 billion, was
delayed for months as Congress
struggled to come up with offsets
which were ultimately a hodgepodge
including changes to custom fees and
passport rules for applicants who
have delinquent taxes, contracting
out some tax collection services


to private companies and using

dividends paid to the Treasury by the
Federal Reserve Bank.
Lets assume for a moment that the
Republican-controlled Congress
under a Republican president loosens
the reigns and allows for some deficit
spending without offsets which is
entirely possible. Possible doesnt
mean easy, including (especially!)
with Republican members of
Congress, and it doesnt mean
Trump will get to the significant
spending amounts he wants.
Take what newly re-elected House
Speaker Paul Ryan said just before
the election when asked whether
he would help Trump pass a $550
billion, or more, infrastructure
program. Ryan laughed loudly and
slapped his hand on the arm rest of
his chair. Just so you know, we just
passed the biggest highway bill since
the 1990s.
While Trumps infrastructure plans
are still somewhat vague, two of
his economic advisors created
a blueprint to explain how the
President-elect could finance the

Infrastructure Spending: Its Gonna Be Yuge Maybe

Elissa Dodge, Executive Vice President, Qorvis MSLGROUP

infrastructure spending with private

investor money backed by tax credits
that theoretically would add nothing
to the deficit.
Under the plan, private firms would
put up about 20% of the cost and
borrow the rest. The government
would provide tax credits to cover
82% of their investment. To offset
the cost of credits, U.S. corporations
who have parked profits overseas
in order to avoid taxes would be
encouraged to invest those profits in
infrastructure in exchange for a lower
tax rate.

But is this plan really viable? The

outlook is hazy.
Even with tax credits, private
investors will only take on major
infrastructure projects if they have
a guaranteed revenue stream (i.e. a
user fee like a toll) to make them
profitable. So, if you live in a major
urban area, you may see a new bridge
or highway. But if you live in a less
populated area that actually needs
real infrastructure investment, its
less likely a private investor will want
to get involved without access to
permanent user fees.
And by the way, if by infrastructure
you are thinking beyond roads and
waterways to our aging electrical
grid, insufficient broadband access
and cyber security, those are also
projects that dont lend themselves to
tolls or other fees.
If public-private partnerships and the
idea of corporate repatriation sound
familiar thats because they should.
These ideas have been suggested by
both Democrats and Republicans at
various times before. And yet here
we are.
Democrats, Republicans,


Infrastructure Spending: Its Gonna Be Yuge Maybe

Elissa Dodge, Executive Vice President, Qorvis MSLGROUP

Independents and everyone in

between know that building new
infrastructure is a critical part
of Americas growth strategy.
Every $200 billion in additional
infrastructure expenditures creates
$88 billion more in wages for average
Americans and increases real GDP
growth by more than a percentage
point. And each GDP point creates
1.2 million additional jobs.
The need for infrastructure
improvements in the U.S. is crystal
clear, and the case can certainly
be made to encourage repatriation,
create an infrastructure bank/fund
that support public projects with
private investing, and/or increase
the deficit to get us there. But for
President-elect Trump, much like
landing on a runway at LaGuardia, it
is unlikely to be a smooth ride.


Infrastructure Spending: Its Gonna Be Yuge Maybe

Elissa Dodge, Executive Vice President, Qorvis MSLGROUP

For more information, reach out to info@qorvismsl.com

1201 Connecticut Avenue NW
Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036

Michael Petruzzello,
President, Qorvis MSLGROUP
T: +1 202-496-1000