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May 10, 2022

Toni Aguilar Rosenthal

Blog Post Government CapacityIndependent AgenciesIRS

The IRS Has Finally Been Given The Power to Rebuild. It’s Not Enough.

In March, six months after the start of Fiscal Year 2022, Congress finally passed an omnibus funding agreement that brought agencies out from under the shadow of Trump-era austerity (although still fell far short of enacting the funding levels that most agencies require to meet their responsibilities to the public). Critically, in the case of at least one agency, the omnibus did not just grant the money to hire new staff, but the means to do so much more quickly. At the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Congress greenlit the use of direct hiring authorities to empower the agency to temporarily forgo some of the more onerous aspects of the federal hiring process as well as to facilitate a quick rebuilding of the IRS’ notoriously depleted ranks. With this designation, Congress acknowledged that staff shortages at the IRS had reached a state of emergency and thus acted accordingly. 

May 09, 2022

Max Moran

Newsletter Corporate Crackdown

CORPORATE CRACKDOWN UPDATES: 5/9/22

Closing in on toxins, the EPA is ramping up its enforcement by banning the use of weedkiller diuron and increasing its detection of PFAS chemicals in public water. Plus, the SEC’s new ‘Cyber Unit’ and DOL officials are keeping a close eye on the inclusion of cryptocurrency in Fidelity’s 401k plan.

May 04, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter

Daniel Boguslaw

Newsletter

Corporate CrackdownDepartment of JusticeEthics in GovernmentIndependent Agencies

With SCOTUS In Flames, Something Is Wrong With The White House Fire Alarm

Monday’s wrenching news that the Supreme Court is set to overturn Roe v. Wade marks a final leg in Republicans’ long march to theocratic rule, bringing conservatives far closer to consolidating total power even before the reckoning of 2024, when the GOP is set to launch a barrage of anti-democratic incendiary balloons at an already scorched Constitution. The highest judicial body in the land has emerged from its terrifying chrysalis, emboldened by dark money groups and transformed into a bludgeon aimed at the most basic constitutional rights and federal agencies that regulate our air and water, our work and labor rights, and the vast public health apparatus of the United States government. 

April 28, 2022

Toni Aguilar Rosenthal

Blog Post Independent AgenciesIRS

Who Is The IRS’ Chief Counsel? Under Biden, No One.

enforcing the U.S. tax code. Much has been written regarding the IRS’ gutting over the years. The agency has been systematically defunded, deresourced, and attacked by political operatives for decades, at a grave cost to the basic functionality of our government, and to the benefit of only the richest Americans. These trends were only exacerbated under the Trump administration, which was hyper-focused on dismantling the tax system to benefit its corporate and billionaire cronies. Unfortunately, the Trump administration’s destructive influence remains pervasive throughout the IRS, with Trump’s Commissioner, Charles Rettig, still installed as the governing head of the agency while finishing a 5-year term (at the pleasure of the president) set to expire in 2022.

April 27, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter

Eleanor Eagan Hannah Story Brown

Newsletter

ClimateCongressional OversightCorporate CrackdownIndependent Agencies

More “Terrifying” Enforcement Please

On Earth Day 2021, President Biden affirmed his administration’s commitment to bold climate action that would set the world on a path to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming. In the days leading up to this year’s Earth Day, in contrast, his Interior Department announced that it would reopen oil and gas lease sales on public lands. That’s bad enough. At least as alarming, however – if not more, quite frankly – is what his administration still isn’t doing to avoid catastrophic climate change.

April 25, 2022

Dorothy Slater

Blog Post 2020 Election/TransitionClimateEthics in GovernmentExecutive BranchJeff ZientsRevolving Door

What You Need To Know About The Contenders For Biden’s Next Chief Of Staff

Nearly halfway through President Biden’s second year in office, with midterms on the horizon and senior staff either burning out or eager to sell out, “Transition 2.0” — the rapid departure of said senior staff with an influx of new personnel — is growing closer. One position we’re keeping a close eye on is Biden’s next Chief of Staff. Currently filled by Ron Klain, this is Biden’s de facto power broker. He helps the president make decisions and acts as a gatekeeper for the many, MANY forces, good and bad, who’d like to influence the president.

April 25, 2022 | The New Republic

Mekedas Belayneh

Op-Ed ClimateExecutive BranchIndependent AgenciesUSPS

How Biden Can Halt the U.S. Postal Service’s Gas-Guzzling Plan

Just days after his inauguration, President Biden promised to use the federal government’s procurement authority to achieve a zero-emission fleet of government vehicles. This spring, however, that’s led to a standoff with the United States Postal Service—an independent agency overseen by a Trump-aligned postmaster general who wants to replace 225,000 out-of-date mail delivery trucks with fresh gas-guzzlers, to the tune of $11.3 billion.

April 25, 2022 | The American Prospect

Max Moran Fatou Ndiaye

Op-Ed Congressional OversightPharma

Where's The Congressional Champion On Pharma Patent Abuses?

But for all of this, neither party’s congressional leaders have directly challenged the main legal mechanism that accounts for those high costs—namely, intellectual property. You’d think members of Congress would recognize the political salience of picking a fight with one of the most hated industries in America. So why isn’t anyone on Capitol Hill even talking about intellectual property’s role in driving high drug prices, and taking the PTO to task to do something about it?

April 20, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter

Eleanor Eagan Daniel Boguslaw

Newsletter

CabinetCorporate CrackdownEthics in GovernmentRight-Wing Media

RDP Meets Its Evil Twin

Here at Revolving Door Project, we spend a significant portion of our time working to explain how and why executive branch positions matter. Our team members have collectively published tens of thousands of words detailing the tools executive agencies have to help regular people and insisting that this administration make full use of them.