S-3 Public Affairs | March Look-Ahead

The Bipartisan Budget Act Congress passed last month provides funding through March 23. 

Senate is expected to consider: nominations; funding the federal government, gun control legislation, S.2155, the bipartisan Dodd/Frank reform legislation, and S.1693, the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act. Also on the agenda is FAA extension/reauthorization and flood insurance.

House is expected to consider: funding the federal government; FAA extension/authorization.


February 28-March 1: Rev. Billy Graham to lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda
March 1: Federal Reserve Chairman Powell testifies before the Senate Banking Committee; Securities and Exchange Commission closed meeting; U.S. Chamber of Commerce 2018 Aviation Summit
March 4-6: America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference in Washington, DC
March 6: Texas primaries; House Appropriations Committee hearings on the FY19 budget for the Departments of Labor and Treasury; seventh round of NAFTA renegotiations in Mexico City conclude; Roll Call Live/CQ News event on healthcare.
March 7: House Appropriations Committee hearings on the FY19 budget for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Navy and Marine Corps; Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett testifies before the Joint Economic Committee
March 7-8: America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) National Health Policy Conference in Washington, DC
March 8: SEC Investor Advisory Committee quarterly meeting
March 9: Bureau of Labor Statistics releases monthly jobs report
March 9-18: South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference & Festivals in Austin, TX
March 13: Pennsylvania 18th Congressional District special election
March 14: House Ways and Means Tax Policy Subcommittee hearing to evaluate recently expired tax provisions; Federal Innovation Summit in Washington, DC
March 18: Russian presidential election
March 20-21: Federal Open Market Committee meeting
March 20: Illinois primaries
March 22: Federal Communications Commission’s monthly open meeting
March 23: Government funding expires
March 26-April 6: House and Senate in recess

Politico Influence | What lobbyists thought of the State of the Union

By Marianne LeVine and Theodoric Meyer

With David Beavers and Garrett Ross

STATE OF THE UNION OFFERS FEW POLICY SPECIFICS ON INFRASTRUCTURE: Although many on K Street were watching the State of the Union address to see whether President Donald Trump would offer more specifics on his plan to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure, the speech did not expand much on the president’s 2017 joint address to Congress. “The president set high expectations but was light on details,” said Stephen Martinko, government affairs counselor at K&L Gates. He added that while “the State of the Union was a strong signal that after more than a year of waiting, it’s now time for real work to begin on infrastructure,” much of that will depend on Congress. Jim Tymon, director of policy and management at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, told PI that he was mostly satisfied with the speech and did not expect much more information, but said that he was concerned that the president did not talk about addressing the long-term insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund as part of his infrastructure plan.

– The (trillion-dollar) question that remains for lobbyists (and Congress) is how the infrastructure project gets funded. In Tuesday night’s speech, Trump called for $1.5 trillion in funding, up from a previous request for $1 trillion. “I’m not sure if that increase … means that there’s additional federal dollars or that means that they’re counting on additional state, local or private sector dollars to make up that difference,” Tymon said.

– Reception to the speech was positive. Mike Ference, partner at S-3 Public Affairs, said in an email statement that Trump recognized that “the path forward on legislation this year must be bipartisan” by “outlining his framework for an infrastructure package.” Lisa Kountoupes, president of Kountoupes Denham Carr & Reid, said that “this was a strong speech that was well received by the President’s supporters.” She added that the big question that remains is whether “the White House will be able to compromise and work with Democrats to get the votes they need to enact the legislation everyone is interested in.” Steve Elmendorfa founder of and partner at Subject Matter, said that the speech “was different than past State of the Unions in that there was not a long forward-looking agenda, which is always disappointing for K Street.”

Continue reading at Politico…

S-3 Expands Congressional Reach; Adds Matt Bravo

Washington, DC – S-3 Public Affairs today announced the addition of Capitol Hill veteran Matt Bravo, who most recently served as Floor Director to House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA). He will start work with the firm in 2018.

“Matt Bravo has been a critical part of our Whip Office team from the start, and as floor director he has helped bring about many hard-earned legislative victories to the benefit of the American people. In more than a decade working on Capitol Hill, Matt has developed strong relationships with members of Congress and staff on both sides of the aisle, and while his counsel and friendship will be missed, I know Matt’s experience and expertise will serve him well in the next phase of his career,” said House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA).

Top Lobbyist 2017

The S-3 team was again recognized in The Hill’s Top Lobbyist list for our deep reach throughout Congress and Washington, DC. Learn more about our growing team here.

The Hill
Top Lobbyists 2017: Hired Guns
November 2, 2017
Rob Collins and Mike Ference, S-3 Group

“With close ties to House and Senate leadership, S-3 is well-positioned to help blue-chip clients in the biggest policy battles.”

POLITICO Influence

By Theodoric Meyer

FIRST IN PI – S-3 PUBLIC AFFAIRS ADDS BARRASSO AIDE: Arjun Mody, a top aide to Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), is leaving the Hill to join S-3 Public Affairs as a principal. Mody is currently the policy director for the Senate Republican Policy Committee, which Barrasso chairs. Barrasso praised Mody is a statement, saying he had “rewritten the playbook on running an effective policy committee for Senate Republicans.” He’ll start later this month. Mody is the third recent hire for S-3, which has also brought aboard Kate Dickens, a former chief of staff to former Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), and Todd Wooten, a former senior tax and energy counsel to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on the Finance Committee.

Continue reading at Politico…

Supreme Court confirmation week: Neil Gorsuch’s game plan

By Ryan Lovelace

Judge Neil Gorsuch’s team, anticipating roadblocks as he prepares for Senate confirmation hearings this week, is executing a carefully crafted plan to gain Democratic support for his Supreme Court nomination.

“The biggest challenge you have is don’t let him get too far away from who he is,” said Rob Collins, a strategic adviser to the White House on the confirmation battle. “Everyone, politicians, human beings, they’re at their best when they’re authentic. And if he, just based on his incredible track record and acumen for the law, if he presents his case just as he believes it, as he sees it, he’ll do great. He’s one of the most genuine, authentic people I’ve ever met. He’s impressive. I think when the American people see the hours upon hours of testimony he’s going to deliver, they’ll realize he’s an impressive, smart, earnest guy.”

Continue reading at Washington Examiner… 

S-3 Expands Its Reach, Firm Adds Bipartisan, Bicameral Professionals

Washington, DC– S-3 Public Affairs today announced the addition of two team members, Todd Wooten and Kate Dickens, both seasoned Hill veterans.

S-3 Public Affairs takes a holistic approach to public affairs. Recognizing the changing landscape and playbook in DC, the firm is anchored by the best policy, media and political minds. Working as an integrated team, we stay ahead of the game in a quickly moving environment, delivering the best insights, strategy and ultimately wins for clients.

“Todd and Kate bring with them decades of Hill experience, adding particular expertise and reach in the U.S. Senate,” said John Scofield, Managing Partner at S-3 Public Affairs. “This year has proven that to win you need to stay ahead of the conversation at every turn- House, Senate, White House, agency, and media. The addition of Kate and Todd positions our firm and our clients for continued success in a dynamic and challenging political climate.”


Todd Wooten has served on three Senate Committees for four different Senators. Prior to joining S-3, he served as Senior Counsel for Energy and Tax on the Senate Finance Committee and coordinated the Committee’s outreach to businesses and organizations. Todd brings additional Senate experience from his time at the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee and as the Legislative Director for Senator Debbie Stabenow.

Todd was also the Director of Southeast Climate Resource Center at Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University. In that capacity, Todd worked to bring Duke’s resources to policymakers throughout the region with a specific focus on local governments. Before his time at Duke, Todd served as senior director for governmental issues at Van Ness Feldman, an energy policy law firm based in Washington, D.C., and prior to that, as legislative counsel to Senator Blanche Lincoln.

Kate Dickens joined S-3 after serving almost two decades working in senior positions for leading Republicans in both the House and Senate. Most recently as chief of staff to former Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), Kate oversaw the Senator’s political, policy, and communications operations and helped lead bipartisan negotiations that led to legislative victories on trade, healthcare, and national security. Immediately prior to joining S-3, Kate volunteered for the presidential transition operation for the 2017 Inauguration.

Kate’s congressional experience also includes serving as legislative director to then-Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE), a foreign and domestic policy aide to then-Rep. Connie Morella (R-MD), and almost a decade of experience building bipartisan coalitions as the executive director of the House Republicans’ Tuesday Group caucus.

About S-3 Public Affairs

Anchored by John Scofield, Mike Ference, Rob Collins, and Amos Snead, S-3 Public Affairs brings together the best in government and public relations to develop and execute a comprehensive and cohesive strategy for our clients.