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July 17, 2020

Eleanor Eagan Jeff Hauser

Blog Post

Congressional Oversight

Oversight of Congressional Oversight: Assessing the House Ways and Means Committee

Last fall, Democrats ran and won on an anti-corruption platform. The Revolving Door Project (RDP) is committed to ensuring that members of the new majority fulfill their promises to bring accountability to Trump, his powerful allies, and corporate bad actors. Oversight is an incredibly powerful tool that can shine a light on overlooked issues, unearth answers about clandestine misbehavior, and generate consensus around reforms.

July 14, 2020

Eleanor Eagan

Blog Post

Independent Agencies

June 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.

July 13, 2020 | The American Prospect

Eleanor Eagan Jeff Hauser

Op-Ed

Congressional Oversight

Trump’s Tax Returns Remain Hidden. Blame Richard Neal.

Don’t let the headlines fool you. The Supreme Court’s decision last Thursday in Trump v. Mazars doesn’t deserve much celebration. Although the Court upheld Congress’s right to investigate the president as a general matter, it placed new restrictions on that power and punted on the specific question at hand: Can Congress get immediate access to President Trump’s financial records through his accounting firm? With the case potentially headed for many more months of litigation, there is a significant chance the president’s records will not be made public before the election this fall.

July 10, 2020

Press Release

Congressional Oversight

Supreme Court’s Decision in Trump v. Mazars Underscores Costs of Rep. Neal’s Delays

In a pair of decisions released this morning, the Supreme Court rejected President Trump’s claims of “absolute” immunity from criminal investigation or congressional scrutiny. The victory, however, is incomplete and underscores that Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal’s delays in requesting Trump’s tax returns likely cost the American people dearly in terms of presidential transparency.

July 08, 2020 | In These Times

Miranda Litwak

Op-Ed

Executive Branch

How The Trump Administration's Small Business Program Has Failed Communities Of Color

Trump’s SBA not only failed to support businesses struggling the most in the midst of the pandemic, but it failed to fulfill its purpose as defined by Congress. When it first created the agency, Congress specifically outlined the SBA’s obligation to support entrepreneurs from socially disadvantaged groups, who faced (and continue to face) limited access to credit, lower credit scores, a lack of relationships with financial institutions and lower levels of personal wealth.

June 19, 2020 | Washington Monthly

Andrea Beaty

Op-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionAnti-MonopolyFTC

How Biden Can Prove He’s Serious About Busting Corporate Monopolies

At the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, Americans quickly learned just how unprepared the country was for a pandemic. One of the most alarming revelations was that the U.S. had nowhere near the number of ventilators and other life-saving medical equipment it needed to fight the virus. That’s largely because of a surprising culprit: the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

June 17, 2020

Andrea Beaty

Blog Post

FTCRevolving DoorTrade Policy

“Career” Trade Reps Solicit USMCA Consulting Gigs from Auto Industry

Jason Bernstein and Fred Fischer, both Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representatives, reached out to auto industry representatives offering to “assist companies directly with their USMCA implementation needs,” according to Bloomberg’s report. The report did not confirm whether Bernstein and Fischer asked for or received clearance to contact the auto companies, while ethics experts speculate that offering such services while still employed by the government might breach federal ethics requirements.

June 08, 2020 | The American Prospect

Max Moran

Op-Ed

Revolving Door

Rahm Emanuel, The Worst Man For The Moment

If Emanuel gets Biden’s ear during the transition, he will do everything possible to protect the powerful and sink the ambitions of the populist base. But, again, it isn’t clear if Emanuel is overstating his supposed influence to, in Ruthhart’s words, “keep himself relevant.”

June 04, 2020

Eleanor Eagan

Blog Post

Consumer ProtectionFinancial RegulationRevolving Door

A Brief Introduction to Your New Comptroller of the Currency

Last month, Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting, announced that he would be stepping down from his post effective May 29. The former First Deputy Comptroller of the Currency, Brian Brooks, has taken his place in an acting capacity. Although he is now one of the country’s top banking regulators, Brooks – who only joined the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) – remains a relatively unknown figure. Here is what we know (and more troublingly, what we don’t know) about the new acting Comptroller.

June 04, 2020

Andrea Beaty

Blog Post

Anti-MonopolyBigLawFTC

Another BigLaw Alum Ascends at the FTC

In late May, the Federal Trade Commission promoted Patty McDermott to Deputy Assistant Director of the Anticompetitive Practices (ACP) division. The ACP division’s work “involves not only stopping illegal conduct but also shaping the law,” making McDermott’s new position one of interest to corporations overseen by the FTC, beyond run-of-the-mill enforcement.

June 02, 2020

Eleanor Eagan

Blog Post

Independent Agencies

May 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.