October 05, 2020
September 2020 Update on the State of Independent Federal Agencies
Over the past several years, President Trump’s assault on governing norms, from his refusal to reveal information about his finances to his glee in firing those who are not sufficiently loyal to him, has sparked public outcry. One set of norm violations, however, has received relatively little attention from the media or from Senate Democrats.
September 30, 2020 | American Prospect
The Debate We Had Vs. The Debate We Needed
Tuesday’s debate, sadly, was much more about Trump’s performative unruliness than any insight into either candidate’s plan (or lack thereof) for running the executive branch. While he had some decent moments amidst Trump’s freak show act, this was a particular disappointment for Joe Biden. The best, potentially landslide-generating argument against Trump is not that he is a horrible person. Swing voters were reminded of that by Trump’s performance all evening, but few needed the reminder.
September 25, 2020
Coalition Of 23 Organizations Call For Robust Fiscal Policy From Next Administration
The candidates should maintain an unflinching commitment to fiscally support programs that promote the general welfare of the country, meeting our healthcare, housing, employment, and education needs, especially in struggling communities of color.
September 24, 2020 | The American Prospect
Re-Fund the EPA
The wildfires and hurricanes plaguing the United States in the last month reflect the massive societal implications of climate change. Understanding the importance of this moment, Vice President Joe Biden has proposed a $2 trillion climate plan designed to transition the economy away from greenhouse gas emissions. The plan calls for an emission-free power sector by 2030, as well as an environmental justice component to address how climate policies have failed communities of color. Parts of Biden’s plan will require new legislation and others will deputize numerous federal agencies. But a major share of responsibility for success will fall on the Environmental Protection Agency.
September 22, 2020 | The New Republic
What a Defiant Democratic Party Looks Like
On Friday night, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death shocked an already reeling country. What came next, however, was sadly unsurprising. Mere hours after Ginsburg’s passing, McConnell had already affirmed that he would hold a vote for Trump’s nominee to fill the vacancy, contravening the ersatz standard he set out in 2016. Or, as Senator Chris Murphy put it, “Nobody’s word means anything in this place anymore. All that matters is raw power.” It’s a bit of a belated realization: Republicans are unafraid to use their power to achieve their desired ends. Will Democrats respond in kind?
September 18, 2020 | Salon
Democrats Are Overlooking a Big Opportunity to Increase Voter Turnout and Take on the Trump Machine
The anxiety over changes and irregularities with the United States Postal Service (USPS) in August finally spilled over. A functioning postal service undergirds many of our society’s most basic functions, so there was no shortage of reasons to be alarmed. However, one concern—the threat to November’s election—overwhelmingly rose to the top. And the public outcry over that threat pushed a normally lethargic House majority into action, winning some mild but incomplete reversals from USPS.
September 17, 2020 | American Prospect
Biden's Big Test: Selecting A White House Chief of Staff
Steve Ricchetti may be subtler and smarter than “Rahmbo,” but he would be no less of a threat if placed in charge of the Biden White House.
September 17, 2020
The Revolving Door Project on Foreign Policy
For too long, American foreign policy decisions have been controlled by the wealthy and well-connected, trampling on the rights and interests of regular people, both at home and abroad. These decisions, including corporate negotiated trade deals and continued engagement in armed conflict abroad, have failed all but a small clique of committed warhawks, defense contractors, and international corporations.
September 09, 2020 | American Prospect
Biden Stiff-Arming Big Tech Would Be Good Politics, Policy
If Biden, should he be elected, chooses not to fill his administration with the usual former industry executives, lawyers, and lobbyists, he will likely be making one of the most universally popular choices of any president in recent history.
September 08, 2020
August 2020 Update on the State of Independent Federal Agencies
Over the past several years, President Trump’s assault on governing norms, from his refusal to reveal information about his finances to his glee in firing those who are not sufficiently loyal to him, has sparked public outcry. One set of norm violations, however, has received relatively little attention from the media or from Senate Democrats. Quietly, Trump and Mitch McConnell have undermined independent agencies’ functionality by slow-walking nominations. And, in particular, they have undermined the norm of statutorily-mandated political balance on many independent agency boards in a move that could keep regulatory power in Republican hands for years after Trump leaves office.
September 03, 2020 | American Prospect
Mick Mulvaney: A Frustrated Wrecking Ball
It might be a shock to hear that government is “not good” at financial deregulation, given how it’s seemingly the one thing that’s popular on both sides of the aisle. But Mulvaney’s complaint is instructive; he’s frustrated that the civil servants who actually make the executive branch run happen to care about doing their jobs properly.
September 01, 2020
Revolving Door Project Seeks to Uncover Politicization of Career Hiring Under Trump
Today, the Revolving Door Project is introducing a new initiative to uncover and draw attention to the ways the Trump administration may be seeking to interfere with the federal government’s ability to effectively serve the public interest over the long-term. RDP has issued Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for the resumes of new hires at 10 federal departments and agencies. We seek to determine if hiring for career positions has been subjected to political influence. It is our hope that, by identifying potential instances of politicization, we can build political support for efforts to reverse any damage.
August 20, 2020 | The Daily Beast
Nancy Pelosi Needs to Do More to Save the Postal Service—and the Election
The crisis at the Postal Service has been building and accelerating for months with virtually no official response. Over the past two weeks, however, it reached a crescendo that even the country’s remarkably confrontation-averse opposition party could not ignore. In a matter of days, overwhelming grassroots pressure pushed House Democrats from seemingly having no plan to executing a rapid return to Washington, D.C., getting a hearing with the postmaster general on the calendar for next week and winning a promise from Louis DeJoy to cease operational changes until after the election.
August 19, 2020
The Revolving Door Project On Aggressive Climate Action From The Executive Branch
Incalculable, world-historic pain and suffering are already happening as a result of the climate crisis. Yet the forces of big business responsible — most especially the fossil fuel industry, but also Big Ag, the military-industrial complex, and others — continue to spend tens of millions every year blackmailing American leaders into softballing or even ignoring the literal end of the world as we know it.
August 18, 2020 | American Prospect
The Way To Enact A Biden Foreign Policy Agenda? Personnel.
Rather than turning to neoliberal veterans of the Clinton and Obama administrations who have bounced between government positions and the private sector, Biden should appoint those with a proven track record of effectively advancing the public interest.