May 11, 2020
Private Equity is Making COVID-19 in Nursing Homes Even Worse. A President Biden Could do Something About it.
Private equity (PE) owned nursing homes have a bad reputation. The industry’s, by now infamous, cost-cutting strategies have been shown to lead to measurable declines in patients’ health, safety, and wellbeing when undertaken in the nursing home context. The Carlyle Group’s acquisition of HCR ManorCare in 2011, for example, left patients with “overdoses, bedsores, [and] broken bones” before driving the company into financial ruin.
May 11, 2020
New “Power Map” Preserves Record Of Bundlers and Donors In 2020 Primary
By breaking down high-dollar support by sector, this tool encourages users to draw direct lines between big money fundraising and a president’s choices regarding personnel and executive power.
May 11, 2020
International Antitrust Response to Coronavirus
The Pandemic Anti-Monopoly Act would preemptively stop harmful mergers that not only affect American consumers, but economies all over the world that rely on the same global supply chains. Undoubtedly, companies looking to acquire struggling businesses during the pandemic will try to take advantage of the “failing firm” argument to justify acquisitions. But what actions have lawmakers and antitrust enforcement officials in other countries undertaken to prevent predatory mergers while businesses struggle?
May 07, 2020
Why is Congress Ignoring EIDLs?
Over the past several weeks, the SBA has been criticized for its administration and oversight of its Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which offers forgivable loans designed to be spent on payroll expenses. But little attention has been paid to the SBA’s second COVID-response loan effort: the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. EIDLs provide small businesses affected by disasters with emergency loans. Over the past few decades, the SBA has provided EIDLs after major disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and 9/11.
May 06, 2020 | The American Prospect
Apple Gets A Boot In Joe Biden's Door
On April 30, the Biden campaign announced to surprisingly little fanfare that it had selected a committee of advisers who’d help pick his running mate. The only non-politician of the bunch is Cynthia Hogan, Apple’s top lobbyist since April 2016.
May 06, 2020
RDP Bemoans Big Pharma Merger Facilitated by Revolving Door BigLaw Lawyers
Revolving Door Project Executive Director Jeff Hauser said, “This anti-competitive merger further entrenches Big Pharma at the expense of all Americans. Big Pharma’s playbook here is no less dangerous for having become rote: They hire well-connected revolving door FTC alumni to secure approval for mergers that undermine the public interest. To restore the public interest at the FTC, we will need to end the FTC-to-BigLaw pipeline that has helped bring about an economy that works well for rich investors rather than American consumers or workers.”
May 05, 2020
April 2020 Update on the State of Independent Federal Agencies
The Agency Spotlight is a unique tool which tracks appointments to agency leadership positions through the confirmation process and beyond. In order to elevate this tool we release monthly summaries of topline statistics that capture the state of the independent federal agencies.
May 01, 2020
The SBA's Office of Advocacy: What is it and Why is it Relevant?
The Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy (“Advocacy”) is a little known corner of the executive branch that wields a surprising amount of power, particularly in the regulatory process. This research memo explores the powers Advocacy possesses, how the office gained this power, and the potential Advocacy may have in a progressive administration to be a strong anti-consolidation voice in the regulatory process.
April 29, 2020
Amazon Won’t Play Fair In Commerce Or Congress
Last week, the Wall Street Journal revealed that contrary to stated company policies, Amazon looks at proprietary information generated for third-party sellers on the platform when developing its house-brand offerings. Cases described to the Journal include Amazon engineers peeking at the total sales, profit margins, and shipping costs for a popular third-party car trunk organizer which sells on Amazon Marketplace. Amazon later used that data to help design its own, rival product. Third-party sellers have long believed that Amazon wasn’t looking at this information because…Amazon said it wasn’t looking at this information. Instead, the tech giant’s control of both the Marketplace and its own house brands grants it an anti-competitive advantage over smaller sellers who depend on Amazon’s marketplace to survive. They can’t check all of their competitors’ stats on a whim to figure out how to drive them out of business.
April 28, 2020
The SBA Was Never Prepared to Handle This
Many Americans might not have heard of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) before COVID-19. In fact, the small executive agency has been involved in the federal government’s response to some of the largest economic crises and natural disasters over the past two decades. This time around, the SBA has been thrust front and center as it attempts to administer one of the largest loan programs in our nation’s history. But if our Congressional leaders had spent time understanding the SBA’s limitations, perhaps they would have paused before giving the agency free rein to hand out billions of taxpayer dollars.
April 28, 2020
In Interview, Donna Shalala Does Nothing to Alleviate Progressives' Concerns
Nancy Pelosi shocked onlookers earlier this month when she named freshman Representative Donna Shalala (D-FL) to the CARES Act oversight panel. Shalala had not expressed interest in the position publicly, nor does she possess specialized expertise in financial policy, congressional oversight, or law enforcement. Pelosi’s choice discouraged those holding out hope that a spirited set of appointees could somewhat overcome the panel’s structural disadvantages.
April 28, 2020
Ted Kaufman Hates The Revolving Door. Now He Must Do Something About It.
If he truly cannot stand the conflicts of interest, revolving doors, and regulatory capture of Washington, then he currently holds perhaps the single most powerful job to do something about it.
April 22, 2020
Watchdog Groups: Rep. Donna Shalala Must Step Down From Bailout Oversight Commission
The Revolving Door Project and Demand Progress Education Fund have sent a letter to House Democratic Leadership demanding that they seek the resignation of Representative Donna Shalala (D-FL) from the Congressional Oversight Commission that is charged with overseeing the recently-passed coronavirus bailout.
April 22, 2020
Letter: Watchdog Groups Call On Democratic Leadership To Encourage Shalala Resignation
Recent news reports concerning Rep. Shalala’s potential conflicts of interest and possibly illegal or unethical activities raise significant concerns about her ability to discharge her duties, her judgment, and her ability to be viewed as conducting her oversight duties impartially and without distraction.
April 21, 2020
This Time Around, Congress Must Implement Meaningful Oversight of SBA Loan Programs
Congressional leaders have finally reached a deal to replenish the SBA COVID response loan programs temporarily after days of negotiations. Putting aside the tragically narrow parameters of this deal, House Democrats should only be acceding to further funding these ill-designed programs after they have secured effective oversight of the Trump Administration’s heretofore bumbling execution of the law.