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December 21, 2020

Mariama Eversley Miranda Litwak

FOIA Request

2020 Election/TransitionAnti-Monopoly

From Civil Rights Giants to Dairy Farmers, Tom Vilsack for USDA is Bad Politics

Biden has long marketed himself as the unity candidate who could appeal to large swaths of the American electorate. So his selection of his old friend Tom Vilsack as USDA Secretary, whose only unifying characteristic is the disdain he has received from a broad coalition of advocacy groups, is perplexing to say the least.

December 08, 2020

Miranda Litwak

Blog Post

2020 Election/Transition

Tom Vilsack: The Wrong Choice for USDA Secretary

The Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is a hugely underappreciated and powerful position. The USDA’s programs and regulations touch policy areas far beyond traditional agriculture, impacting climate change, food policy, immigration, antitrust issues, rural development, and racial justice. Biden’s choice to lead the USDA must be ready and willing to employ the USDA’s power and pursue the following policy goals.

November 18, 2020 | The Guardian

Miranda Litwak Max Moran

Op-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionRevolving Door

Biden's Cabinet Could Do A Lot — If He Resists The Urge To Fill It With 'Consensus' Picks

For corporate America, divided government is a blessing. A dysfunctional legislature will struggle to pass laws raising corporate taxes or cracking down on corporate malfeasance. But just as importantly, by pushing the narrative that no progressives could ever get anything through a Republican-controlled Senate, corporate executives can position themselves as bipartisan “consensus” picks for powerful cabinet posts and regulatory jobs.

October 21, 2020

Miranda Litwak

Blog Post

2020 Election/Transition

The Fed’s Neglect of State and Local Governments Will Cost Us

Last week, the Congressional Oversight Commission — charged with overseeing $500 billion in federal coronavirus aid — finally published its fifth report. Disagreements between Republican and Democratic commissioners delayed its release. The Commission described in detail the blatant prioritization of Wall Street over everyday Americans of Jerome Powell’s Fed. Here’s what we learned:

October 14, 2020

Jeff Hauser Timi Iwayemi Miranda Litwak Pete Sikora

Blog Post

2020 Election/TransitionClimateFinancial Regulation

How Biden's Treasury Department Could Fight Climate Change

The fossil fuel industry depends on financial institutions to survive. And banks, for their part, pull in big profits from underwriting climate disaster. That’s why, if Joe Biden wins in November, his pick for Treasury Secretary must be an aggressive advocate for climate action. The Treasury Department has untapped capacity to push financial institutions and insurance companies to take the risks of the climate crisis seriously. While his legislative proposals elicit proper close scrutiny, his choice of Treasury Secretary is arguably among Biden’s most important climate policy decisions.

September 17, 2020

Timi Iwayemi Miranda Litwak

Blog Post

2020 Election/TransitionForeign Policy

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.

August 10, 2020

Jeff Hauser Max Moran Andrea Beaty Miranda Litwak

Blog Post

Anti-MonopolyEthics in GovernmentRevolving DoorTech

The Revolving Door Project on Fighting Monopoly Power

Congress and the antitrust enforcement agencies have given unprecedented attention to the monopoly issues surrounding Big Tech in recent months. The scrutiny is one step toward rebalancing our increasingly concentrated economy, especially in the time of COVID-19, when small businesses are struggling to survive and corporations are further entrenching their power. But the problem of economic concentration extends far beyond Big Tech. It defines almost every corner of our economy. With the upcoming election and a potential shift in power, Joe Biden has an opportunity to reduce economic consolidation across the board, using executive branch powers including, but not limited to, reforming the antitrust enforcement agencies.

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.

May 20, 2020 | Talking Points Memo Cafe

Miranda Litwak

Op-Ed

Anti-Monopoly

We Can’t Let Him Get Away With It: Trump Chose Wall Street Over Main Street

In an advertisement released earlier this month, the Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump PAC, claimed that the Trump administration bailed out big banks via its coronavirus stimulus legislation (the CARES Act), leaving Main Street to suffer the effects of the pandemic. “Trump bailed out Wall Street, not Main Street,” a grim voice-over tells the viewer. President Donald Trump quickly took to Twitter hurling insults at the leaders of the PAC. Soon after, Politifact reported the advertisement’s claim was false, and Facebook subsequently labeled the advertisement “partially false.” But the Lincoln Project’s statement is true by any measure: The Trump administration played a central role in crafting the CARES Act, a piece of legislation that has bailed out Wall Street and not Main Street. The designers of the CARES Act must be held responsible for their actions.

May 07, 2020

Miranda Litwak

Blog Post

Anti-MonopolyCoronavirus

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 01, 2020

Miranda Litwak

Report

Anti-MonopolyIndependent Agencies

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 28, 2020

Miranda Litwak

Blog Post

Congressional Oversight

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.