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May 16, 2019

Eleanor Eagan Jeff Hauser

Blog Post

Congressional OversightFinancial RegulationRevolving Door

The Oversight Options Available to the House Financial Services Committee

Eleanor Eagan and Jeff Hauser
The financial industry has been the driving force behind some of the most damaging economic trends of our time. In spite of this fact, since the spasm of reform reflected in the Dodd Frank Act, financiers have faced very little scrutiny from lawmakers. Instead of regulating the industry, many governing officials from both parties have chosen to collect campaign checks in exchange for helpful votes. Maxine Waters has rejected this complacency in favor of aggressive oversight. The committee’s failure to oversee the industry for so long, however, has left a significant backlog of issues to examine, in addition to the plethora of new and novel issues emerging under this administration. In an effort to help advocates and members of the public understand the scope of the task that the House Financial Services Committee (HFSC) faces, the Revolving Door Project has compiled a list of problems that deserve the committee’s scrutiny.

May 06, 2019

Eleanor Eagan Jeff Hauser

Letter

Congressional Oversight

Groups Call for Oversight of BB&T-SunTrust Merger

On Thursday, May 2nd, the Revolving Door Project, in conjunction with the Demand Progress Education Fund and Color for Change, submitted a comment to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Federal Reserve System Board of Governors regarding the proposed merger between Branch Banking and Trust Company (BB&T) and SunTrust Bank. This comment raised numerous concerns related to the implications of this merger, the largest since the financial crisis, and the integrity of the process by which it will be approved. We believe that these concerns warrant an elevated level of scrutiny for this merger.

April 24, 2019 | Washington Monthly

Jeff Hauser Eleanor Eagan

Op-Ed

Congressional Oversight

House Democrats Are Failing to Investigate the White House

The Mueller report is a chronicle of corruption. It outlines attempted collusion between Trump’s closest advisors, including his son and campaign chairman, and the Russian government. It shows that Trump routinely lied about his actions and asked those around him to lie on his behalf. It details a president who told his subordinates to end the entire investigation. The report is especially astonishing given that it didn’t even touch on Trump’s many other potential crimes. From his brazen violations of the Emoluments Clause to his decision to steal emergency funds for his border wall, Trump has been a threat to the rule of law since the moment he was inaugurated.

April 04, 2019 | BuzzFeed News

Jeff Hauser Eleanor Eagan

Op-Ed

2020 Election/Transition

Mayor Pete Understands Norwegian. Does He Understand The Presidency?

In a matter of weeks Pete Buttigieg rose from relative obscurity to national prominence. A successful CNN town hall in early March launched him into the 2020 conversation, and an impressive first quarter fundraising haul made clear he is a serious candidate. His youth, charisma, and dizzying ascent have some thinking he’s a top contender to inherit Barack Obama’s mantle.

We worry that Jimmy Carter might be the more apt comparison.

April 01, 2019 | InsideSources 

Jeff Hauser

Op-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionAnti-Monopoly

Warren’s American Plan to Rein in Tech Monopolists

Senator Elizabeth Warren’s technology platform reflects a common sense populist rejoinder to the failed bipartisan antitrust consensus. If big corporations elbow the little guy, there is probably a rational reason for their corporate violence and it probably isn’t to benefit consumers or the broader economy. (Unless, of course, you like having your data stolen and traded like a commodity, believe start-ups should have no aspiration other than to be absorbed by a bigger company, or think small business is un-American and passe.)

March 25, 2019

Jeff Hauser

Blog Post

Congressional Oversight

Mueller's End Ratchets Up Pressure on Richard Neal to Request Trump's Taxes

Jeff Hauser
In the coming days, advocates and lawmakers will fight to ensure that the findings of Mueller’s team are made public so that the American people may assess for themselves the results of the Special Counsel’s two-year investigation. Even as this important work unfolds, however, we must also acknowledge the limitations of the Special Counsel’s investigation. That’s why we renew our call from early January for Representative Richard Neal (D-MA) to perform his constitutional obligations and request Trump’s tax returns without any delay.

March 14, 2019

Jeff Hauser

Blog Post

Congressional Oversight

Coalition Asks Pelosi: Make Ways & Means Committee Do Its Job

Yesterday a coalition of good government and progressive groups sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi urging her to “to take every available step to ensure that the House Ways and Means Committee fulfills its Constitutional obligation to provide stringent oversight.” You wouldn’t think such a letter would be necessary. Given the broad public outcry at different rules for the rich and everyone else, you would think a Democratic Party seeking to reclaim the mantle of populism would naturally pursue opportunities to discover the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” of tax evasion.

March 13, 2019

Jeff Hauser

Letter

Congressional Oversight

Speaker Pelosi: We Urgently Need Energetic House Ways & Means Committee Oversight

Dear Speaker Pelosi,
We are writing you as organizations who believe that fairness and equity in both the writing and implementation of tax law is of critical importance. Our commitment to fairness is why we urge you to take every available step to ensure that the House Ways and Means Committee fulfills its Constitutional obligation to provide stringent oversight. 

March 13, 2019 | The American Prospect

Jeff Hauser Eleanor Eagan

Op-Ed

Congressional Oversight

Richie Neal and Trump’s Taxes

As most House Democrats enthusiastically jump on the long-dormant congressional oversight train, one senior lawmaker has conspicuously chosen to stay on the platform. Under the leadership of Representative Richard Neal, the House Committee on Ways and Means has shown none of the zeal for oversight exhibited by its counterparts.

March 04, 2019

Jeff Hauser

Blog Post

Congressional Oversight

Revolving Door Project Reacts to Richard Neal's Announcement: Late and Weak

Jeff Hauser
Don’t let the headline (“House Democrats prepare case to request Trump tax returns”) fool you: Richard Neal’s announcement of a plan to issue a request letter for Trump’s tax returns comes distressingly late — and projects to be vastly too modest in scope. Revolving Door Project, which has helped lead the way in spotlighting Neal’s shirking the need for serious Congressional oversight, notes the following problems with the request as reported by NBC News.

March 01, 2019

Eleanor Eagan Jeff Hauser

Blog Post

Congressional Oversight

NY State Lawmakers Show How We Can Advance Reform in Face of Federal Gridlock

As federal policymakers shrink away from their campaign promises to request President Trump’s tax returns, state lawmakers are stepping up to take their place. On January 24, the New Jersey Senate passed a bill that would bar presidential and vice-presidential candidates from appearing on the ballot unless they released five years of federal tax returns. Meanwhile, there is growing momentum in New York for the TRUTH ACT, a bill which would require state tax authorities to release tax returns for any officials elected statewide, from State Comptroller and Attorney General up the ranks through to the President of the United States. That bill now has 78 cosponsors in the NY State Assembly (a majority) and 28 in the State Senate (four shy of a majority). If passed, New York state tax authorities will be required to release Trump’s tax records within 30 days. Those records would not just include income earned in New York state but worldwide income as well.

February 26, 2019 | The American Prospect

Jeff Hauser Eleanor Eagan

Op-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionClimateRevolving Door

BlackRock’s ‘Greenwashing’ Threatens to Undermine Climate Action

Fake environmentalism is an especially rampant and worrisome form of corporate propaganda—indeed, there is even a specific term for it. Scientific American defined the “essence” of “greenwashing” as efforts “falsely conveying to consumers that a given product, service, company or institution factors environmental responsibility into its offerings and/or operations.” If you want an idea of how empty these promises tend to be, consider that Donald Trump once signed a “Business Leaders” letter in The New York Times urging then-President Obama to aggressively push for climate action at the 2009 Copenhagen talks.

February 25, 2019

Jeff Hauser

Public Comment

Anti-MonopolyIndependent AgenciesRevolving Door

Comment by Jeff Hauser to FTC on Proposed Consent Agreement in the Matter of Staples/Essendant, Inc.

The proposed merger between Staples and Essendant has been the target of a great deal of deserving criticism. The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) decision and proposed consent agreement do not fully take into account the significant potential direct and indirect anti-competitive effects of this merger.

February 24, 2019 | Al Jazeera

Jeff Hauser

Op-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionCongressional Oversight

Americans Should Fear Trump Apathy

Figuring out what is and is not an emergency in Donald Trump’s America is far from straightforward.

On February 15, in order to get funds to build a wall along the southern border of the United States, Trump declared a “national emergency”. And he did this even though the situation at the border is in no meaningful sense getting worse, let alone deteriorating rapidly enough to constitute an “emergency”. In fact, border crossings are actually declining, and as commentators across the ideological spectrum noted, Trump’s own words make clear that there is no “national emergency.”