July 13, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
Confirmations CrisisCorporate CrackdownDepartment of JusticeEthics in Government
Only Through Change Can We Save Our Institutions Now
So the rollercoaster ride continues, deep into the summer. Thankfully, while Congress is in session—and these next three weeks of negotiation are expected to be deeply consequential for the future of the clean energy transition—the Supreme Court is not. (Well, let’s hope they don’t abuse the “Shadow Docket” [pdf]). We shouldn’t have to hear from them again until the first Monday of October. But of course, after months of waiting with heightened anxiety for Dobbs v. Jackson, West Virginia v. EPA, and many other rulings to drop, the Supreme Court had to leave us with something new to worry over as they headed out the door for summer vacation: Moore v. Harper.
July 08, 2022
The Extraordinary (Time) Costs of Senate Republican Nomination Blockades
There are at least 366 presidentially appointed positions requiring Senate confirmation that are still awaiting a nominee or have nominees already going through the long, arduous, confirmation process. However, a process that has long been notorious for how time-consuming and antiquated it is, is intentionally being made even more difficult by nefarious Republican bad actors that are weaponizing Senate rules against supremely qualified nominees specifically to hinder the health of the federal government and to devastate President Biden’s agenda.
July 08, 2022
Top SEC Enforcement Officials Take A Swing Through The Revolving Door
In another notable swing through the revolving door between government and BigLaw, two top Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement officials recently joined Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP as partners. They join former SEC general counsel Robert Stebbins and former CFTC commissioner Christopher Giancarlo as government alumni at the firm.
July 06, 2022
The State of Independent Agency Nominations - Update for Spring 2022
The Revolving Door Project has warned continuously of the extraordinary consequences inherent to failing to staff the federal government. Now, more than a year and a half into Biden’s presidency, staffing failures across the government have borne many of the bitter fruits which we warned of, and continue to undermine the Biden administration’s agenda.
July 01, 2022 | The American Prospect
In The Wake Of "Dobbs," Biden Leans on Familiar Excuses for Inaction
During his campaign, now-President Biden loved likening his image to that of FDR. But when a rogue U.S. Supreme Court threatened to overturn the sweeping reforms of FDR’s New Deal, Roosevelt directly challenged their gross power grab by threatening court expansion coupled with expansive judicial reforms. The controversial move paid off; the Court subsequently backed down and FDR preserved the slate of New Deal–era reforms that kept the working class alive during the depths of the Great Depression and formed the basis for much more broadly shared prosperity in the subsequent decades.
June 30, 2022
ClimateCongressional OversightEthics in GovernmentExecutive BranchIndependent Agencies
RELEASE: Impact of Supreme Court’s EPA Decision Can Be Minimized Through Decisive Executive Counteractions
Today the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited opinion in West Virginia v. EPA, curbing the EPA’s authority to establish carbon emissions caps under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act. It is a significant blow, and is further evidence of how far this empowered, extremist Supreme Court will go to erode the functions of our government and contravene the public interest. But it is not a lethal blow. Many tools to stave off the climate crisis and facilitate an equitable energy transition remain available to the EPA, to the White House, and to Congress.
June 29, 2022
Biden Must Take On Refineries To Lower Gas Prices
Rising gas prices may not be a problem of the Biden administration’s making, but they are a problem it cannot afford to ignore. People across the country are feeling their effects, with some groups like gig workers and those in the trucking industry – which has seen an increase in layoffs as gas prices have risen – suffering more acutely. In the face of these difficult conditions, it is essential that the Biden administration take decisive action to ease the pain people are feeling right now and, in the medium-term, address the structural factors that created this crisis.
June 28, 2022
RELEASE: New Report Finds Extensive Revolving Door To Corporate Interests Undermines Robust Anti-Monopoly Enforcement
The Revolving Door Project published a new white paper, “The Revolving Door In Federal Antitrust Enforcement,” which presents new evidence of the extent and impact of the revolving door at both the leadership and staff levels between the Department of Justice Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission and corporate-aligned entities.
June 28, 2022
Rogue Regulator: Biden Cedes Chance to Enlist FMC in Inflation-Fighting Agenda
Biden had a chance to change the commission undermining his inflation messaging. Instead, he demurred.
June 28, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
Like Frogs In Boiling Water
In times like this, I find myself suspicious of language. The very act of stringing sentences together seems to aid and abet inertia; there is something far too “business as usual” about paragraphs. On Friday I sweated in a sea of protestors. We gathered to share our grief, our rage, our exhaustion. What was missing was a plan. The sound system wasn’t working, or was too weak to reach most of the crowd; we stood and listened to the distant crackle of magnified anguish we couldn’t quite make out, and we cheered when others cheered, and we read each other’s signs, and we fervently, ironically, sadly, gratefully agreed. But now what?
June 23, 2022 | The American Prospect
President Biden’s Best Agency Is Starved for Cash
Two months after Ithaca, New York, became the first city to unionize all of its Starbucks locations, Starbucks announced a dramatic alteration to its business plan for the city: It was closing a shop with one week’s notice. The coffee leviathan stated the store was closing due to “efficiency” concerns and would not guarantee new jobs for the location’s workers.
June 21, 2022
Coalition Urges the EPA to Rein in Rogue Federal Agencies via NEPA
We, the undersigned organizations, urge the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to revive the use of its authority to refer environmentally destructive federal projects to the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), and specifically call on the EPA to refer recent decisions made by the Tennessee Valley Authority and the United States Postal Service.
June 15, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
Justice Is Blind, and So Is Merrick Garland
Punch for punch, the debasement of Attorney General Merrick Garland is without historical correlate. The self-defeating adherence to ideological centrism (often indistinguishable from passivity in the face of elite resistance), paired with his masochistic devotion to the status quo, represents the kind of Blue Dog/New Dem totem that could have only emerged from a lab. Corporatist Democrats believed during the Obama years, as they do now, that through the ritual sacrifice of their Democratic ideals, they could resurrect the corpse of a forgotten age when left and right joined hands to strangle the everyday citizen. That union never happened after the GOP realized they could simply steamroll Democrats like Garland who refuse to open their eyes to the Conservative onslaught, even when it was punching them in the face.