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October 31, 2022

Toni Aguilar Rosenthal

Blog Post Congressional OversightDepartment of Homeland SecurityDepartment of JusticeEthics in Government

A Crisis Of (Un)Accountability: Amidst Profound Political Cruelty, Ethics Matter More Than Ever

The news was flooded in September with images, reports, and increasingly abhorrent context for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ trafficking of migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard as a political stunt. DeSantis’ actions, and those of his aides, are of course potentially illegal, as was asserted by a Texas sheriff who opened a criminal investigation into the spectacle. This latest sadistic political posturing came at the cost of real people fleeing real persecution, but there is also a crucial piece of this awful puzzle that hasn’t been fully explored. Why did Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agents, funded by federal dollars, allegedly forge documents for migrants knowing (even if the migrants themselves didn’t) that their flights were not destined for the locales DHS agents made their immigration proceedings beholden to?

October 28, 2022

Hannah Story Brown

Hack WatchNewsletter Ethics in GovernmentGovernment CapacityIndependent AgenciesRight-Wing Media

Hack Watch: Debunking the Big Budget Bogeyman

It seems pretty incontestable that a big part of the media’s job is “informing the public of things they need to know.” Accordingly, the media’s coverage of how the government spends money is a spectacular example of how it fails. Congress has enabled a vacuum of sensible, accessible information about the appropriations bills it’s supposed to pass each year to fund government activity, and the media has not stepped in to fill the void.

October 26, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter

Hannah Story Brown

Newsletter

2022 ElectionCorporate Crackdown

Politicking Is Storytelling; Stories Need Conflict

Much has been made of recent polls showing the erosion of support for Democrats ahead of the midterms, tied to voters’ profound economic pessimism. As always, wading through the morass of bad takes (looking at you, Ross Douthat) can put many off the task of meaning-making about public political opinion altogether. Our line of thinking in these final weeks before the election remains much the same as it was back in January, when our Jeff Hauser and Max Moran outlined an argument for what Biden’s message should be.

October 17, 2022

Toni Aguilar Rosenthal

Blog Post Executive BranchIndependent Agencies

Independent Agency Update Summer 2022

Personnel is policy, which means that the people who make up our federal institutions matter. Which means that the partisan Republican assault on the staffing up of the federal agencies that regulate so much of the public’s everyday life also matters greatly. Unfortunately, as we have highlighted for months and will continue to highlight for as long as it persists, the federal government is being gutted from the inside out by a blockade of overdue qualified leadership. 

October 14, 2022

Hannah Story Brown Timi Iwayemi Fatou Ndiaye

Blog Post

Executive BranchGovernment CapacityIndependent Agencies

Omnibus Awareness Month in Review

If Congress regularly met its own deadlines, then October—the first month of the fiscal year—would also be the first month when federal agencies could implement their new and improved budgets. Unfortunately, the modern Congress regularly fails to pass an omnibus spending package for the next fiscal year, which bundles several appropriations bills for different parts of the federal government into one whole-of-government budget, by the end of the previous fiscal year. This autumn is no different.

October 05, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter

Hannah Story Brown

Newsletter

Government CapacityIndependent Agencies

Another Eleventh-Hour Stopgap Spending Bill

October means a lot of things in the political world: the end of a fiscal year and the beginning of a new one; SCOTUS returning from a long recess; and, every two years, the final stretch before a general election. If the congressional appropriations process worked as designed, October would also be the month when federal agencies began implementing their new budgets for the next fiscal year. If only things could work so smoothly.