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November 24, 2022 | The American Prospect

Max Moran Hannah Story Brown

Blog Post

ClimateEthics in GovernmentFinancial Regulation

Quants, Carbon, And Climate Change

Both EA and popularism appeal to a desire for mathematical rigor and objective calculation, whether it’s calculating lives-saved-per-dollar or playing probabilities in politics.Both EA and popularism appeal to a desire for mathematical rigor and objective calculation, whether it’s calculating lives-saved-per-dollar or playing probabilities in politics.

October 28, 2022

Hannah Story Brown

Newsletter

Ethics in GovernmentGovernment CapacityIndependent AgenciesRight-Wing Media

Hack Watch: Debunking the Big Budget Bogeyman

It seems pretty incontestable that a big part of the media’s job is “informing the public of things they need to know.” Accordingly, the media’s coverage of how the government spends money is a spectacular example of how it fails. Congress has enabled a vacuum of sensible, accessible information about the appropriations bills it’s supposed to pass each year to fund government activity, and the media has not stepped in to fill the void.

October 14, 2022

Hannah Story Brown Timi Iwayemi Fatou Ndiaye

Blog Post

Executive BranchGovernment CapacityIndependent Agencies

Omnibus Awareness Month in Review

If Congress regularly met its own deadlines, then October—the first month of the fiscal year—would also be the first month when federal agencies could implement their new and improved budgets. Unfortunately, the modern Congress regularly fails to pass an omnibus spending package for the next fiscal year, which bundles several appropriations bills for different parts of the federal government into one whole-of-government budget, by the end of the previous fiscal year. This autumn is no different.

August 25, 2022 | Democracy Journal

Eleanor Eagan Hannah Story Brown

Op-Ed

Department of JusticeEthics in GovernmentFinancial RegulationIndependent Agencies

Enforcement: The Untapped Resource

Chronic underfunding means that the agencies with the most laudable missions—the ones seeking to protect ordinary Americans from profit-driven exploitation—often struggle to go up against powerful corporate interests. Strengthening funding for enforcement to protect Americans from environmental, health, consumer, and labor standards violations is an existing, easily justifiable tool for changing that balance of power.

August 19, 2022 | The American Prospect

Toni Aguilar Rosenthal Hannah Story Brown

Op-Ed

Congressional OversightEthics in GovernmentExecutive BranchRevolving Door

Where Has Congress Been on Trump Holdovers?

The public hearings conducted by the House Select Committee have exceeded many Democrats’ expectations, not only as conversation-changing political theater, but also as a venue to uncover vital information. For example, the country now knows that Secret Service text messages from January 6th were deleted from phones shortly thereafter in what the agency has called a “planned migration.” This is what congressional oversight activities should do: extract truths from the halls of power and pursue public accountability accordingly.

August 19, 2022 | InsideSources

Max Moran Hannah Story Brown

Op-Ed

Department of JusticeEthics in GovernmentExecutive Branch

Open Letter to President Biden on Executive Gun Control Actions

Dear President Biden:

Since the horrific mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, nationwide calls for stronger gun control have intensified. On May 30, you told reporters that popular legislative proposals like an assault weapons ban and stricter background checks are up to Congress, saying, “I can’t dictate this stuff.”

August 08, 2022 | Washington Monthly

Hannah Story Brown

Op-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionClimateDepartment of JusticeIndependent Agencies

Why Is Merrick Garland Sticking with Donald Trump on Climate Lawsuits?

It started with Boulder in early February. Then came Baltimore and San Mateo in April. Now Honolulu and Maui are the latest municipalities to overcome a crucial legal hurdle in their fight to make fossil fuel companies pay for their role in climate change. After years of obstruction, it looks like state courts will hear arguments from these cities—as well as several states—that big energy companies knowingly concealed and misrepresented the harms of their products, contributing to climate damages these regions face. Five federal appeals courts have green-lit suing the fossil fuel giants in state court, where these state and local governments have a better chance of prevailing. The stakes are massive: requiring fossil fuel companies to foot the bill for climate change–related damages to U.S. cities and states could easily run into the tens of billions.

July 29, 2022 | The American Prospect

Hannah Story Brown Glenna Li

Op-Ed

Congressional OversightEthics in GovernmentIRSRevolving Door

It’s Past Time to Replace IRS Chief Charles Rettig

Earlier this month, The New York Times broke the story that former FBI director James Comey and his former deputy director Andrew McCabe, both loathed and eventually fired by President Trump, also both underwent rare and intensive tax audits under the National Research Program, which studies tax compliance and calculates the “tax gap” (the difference between legally owed tax and what is actually paid). Out of around 154 million annual tax returns, the National Research Program selected just 5,000 tax returns in 2017 and 8,000 in 2019 to audit. Neither man knew the other had undergone the same audit until a Times reporter told them.

June 30, 2022

Hannah Story Brown

Press Release

ClimateCongressional OversightEthics in GovernmentExecutive BranchIndependent Agencies

RELEASE: Impact of Supreme Court’s EPA Decision Can Be Minimized Through Decisive Executive Counteractions

Today the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited opinion in West Virginia v. EPA, curbing the EPA’s authority to establish carbon emissions caps under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act. It is a significant blow, and is further evidence of how far this empowered, extremist Supreme Court will go to erode the functions of our government and contravene the public interest. But it is not a lethal blow. Many tools to stave off the climate crisis and facilitate an equitable energy transition remain available to the EPA, to the White House, and to Congress. 

May 16, 2022

Andrea Beaty Eleanor Eagan Nika Hajikhodaverdikhan Sion Bell Hannah Story Brown

Blog Post

2020 Election/TransitionAdministrative LawDepartment of Justice

The Trump Administration Made a Mockery of the Law. Why Hasn't Biden Tossed its Cases?

Donald Trump and his Department of Justice consistently made a mockery of the law throughout his four years in power. And while their laughable reasoning and indefensible positions were struck down at a historic rate, many cases were still waiting for Biden. The new administration tossed out a handful immediately but an alarming number remain, either in some form of pause or advancing forward with the Biden administration adopting Trump’s position.

May 16, 2022

Hannah Story Brown

Press Release

2020 Election/TransitionAdministrative LawDepartment of JusticeEthics in Government

Biden DOJ Is Still Advancing Trump Positions, New Data Shows

Well over a year after President Biden’s inauguration, his administration continues to defend and advance Trump-era legal positions, according to an updated analysis released by the Revolving Door Project today. RDP’s long-running litigation tracker, documenting court cases in which the Biden administration has inherited and chosen to advance Trump-era legal positions, has been brought up-to-date to include new instances where the legal advocacy of Merrick Garland’s Justice Department on environmental, immigration, education, and other issues runs counter to the administration’s commitments.