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March 09, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
The Seeming Minutiae that Matters Greatly
The Biden administration is continuing to ramp up economic pressure on Russia through a far-reaching sanctions regime. However, even as many experts praise the United States’ measures, particularly those aimed at Russian oligarchs’ overseas wealth, they are also questioning how effective they will be in the face of loopholes and implementation challenges.
March 04, 2022 | The American Prospect
To Unify the Country, Biden Must Name Corporate Villains
With his approval numbers continuing their steady decline and a potentially bruising midterm contest looming, President Biden used his first State of the Union address to lay out a policy agenda that enjoys overwhelming popular support. Yet, as intuitive as that approach appears on its face, it’s a safe bet that the speech will not make a lasting difference for Biden or his party’s political fortunes. That’s in part because most of the policies that Biden touted require congressional approval and have no discernible path forward in the 50-50 Senate (not to mention the fact that only a small fraction of Americans tuned in to listen).
February 23, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
To Scare Monopolies, DOJ Antitrust Division Needs Reinforcements
The Department of Justice Antitrust Division is once again stepping up its efforts to tackle the corporate greed that is helping to drive the recent spike in inflation. On Thursday, the Department announced that it would be bringing new scrutiny to supply chain profiteers. This is the latest indication that Jonathan Kanter’s Antitrust division is serious about tackling corporate consolidation and its ill-effects across the breadth of the economy. In recent months, the division has also set its sights on BigTech, shipping and rail, and meat, among other industries. It has simultaneously promised to change its approach to enforcement by bringing lawsuits instead of seeking settlements and begun the process of updating the guidelines it uses to review mergers. Altogether, that’s a big agenda.
February 16, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
Congressional OversightcryptocurrencyDepartment of JusticeEconomic PolicyFinancial Regulation
Is Crypto Experiencing Inflation in the Price of Revolvers?
Inflation, it’s all anyone can seem to talk about. With prices rising at their fastest rate in more than three decades, the White House is understandably looking for ways to get things under control. Rhetorically, they’ve pointed their finger at corporate greed, highlighting the stark contradiction between companies’ claims that price hikes are unavoidable and their record profits (which, by definition, mean they can raise prices faster than their costs are rising). Action to follow that diagnosis, however, has been more muted. That is not because they don’t have options at their disposal.
February 09, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
Compounding Delays Inflict Deep Wounds
The federal government isn’t out from under the reign of Trump-era austerity yet and it looks like it won’t be for at least another month. Congressional appropriators have signaled that they will not have an omnibus spending deal in place by the time the current government funding agreement expires on February 18. They plan to enact a short-term funding agreement through March 11 to buy more time to reach a final deal.
February 03, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
From Shriveled Enforcement to OLC Opinions, Trump Stench on Exec Branch Remains
It seems that each passing day brings another example of how chronic underfunding of government is threatening the Biden administration’s ability to make good on its promises to the public. On the campaign trail, for example, Biden pledged to hold polluters accountable. But, according to a new analysis from Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) referrals to the Justice Department fell to their lowest level in three decades in 2021 and were fully one-third lower than in 2020. A lack of capacity may also be undermining the EPA’s ability to quickly and effectively deploy new infrastructure funds for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure programs, lead pipe replacement, and cleanup of PFAS contaminants.
January 26, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
Don’t Continue Downplaying Continuing Resolution’s Import
We don’t know much about the new Build Back Better – what will be in it, if it has any chance of passing – but one thing is certain: it’s not moving anytime soon. That, combined with the voting rights bill’s recent defeat at the hands of Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, has many Democrats looking to executive action as their last best hope to deliver for regular people and hold on to majorities in the House and Senate this November.
January 21, 2022 | The American Prospect
The Government Is Still Operating Under Trump’s Budget
A lot has changed in the year since President Biden took office. Across the executive branch, leaders who believe in the power of government to advance the public interest have replaced predecessors who were intent on dismantling the institutions they led. Unsurprisingly, policy priorities have shifted as well, with regulators embarking on ambitious new rulemakings and ramping up enforcement.
But there is one troubling constant looming above all of these changes: President Trump’s holdover budget is (basically) still in place, leaving the Biden administration to implement a bold new agenda with funding levels negotiated and approved by an administration that was determined to make that impossible.
January 20, 2022
Revolving Door Project Examines Agency Capacity
The Revolving Door Project is fighting for an executive branch whose every corner is working tirelessly to advance the broad public interest and not to further entrench corporate power. That means scrutinizing the federal government’s highest ranks and applying pressure to keep them free of undue corporate influence. It also means interrogating whether the institutions those political leaders steer have the provisions they need to fulfill their missions.
January 20, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
Eleanor Eagan Toni Aguilar Rosenthal
2020 Election/TransitionDe-TrumpificationExecutive BranchRevolving Door
One Year On
It has now literally been a year since President Biden officially took office, yet Donald Trump’s legacy lives on across the federal landscape. Trump’s threat to governmental stability and Democratic policy priorities particularly endure in the bad-actor figures his administration installed in termed positions and within the federal bureaucracy.
January 19, 2022
The State of Independent Agency Nominations - Update for Fall 2021
Since the start of the year, we have warned that failure to promptly fill vacant and expired seats on independent agency boards would undermine the Biden administration’s agenda across many issue areas. Now, as executive branch policymaking kicks into high gear across this administration, we are seeing examples of this warning becoming a reality.
January 12, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
Pelosi Turns a Political Slam Dunk to a Troubling Liability
With Omicron surging, Build Back Better sputtering, and the latest voting rights push facing long odds, it’s no secret that Democrats are in desperate need of a win to prove their worth. So what did Democratic leadership do when one such opportunity – enthusiastically championing a move to ban members of Congress from trading stocks – fortuitously fell into its lap? You guessed it…Speaker Nancy Pelosi mocked and immediately rejected it.
January 10, 2022
Congressional OversightEthics in GovernmentFederal ReserveFinancial Regulation
The Public Still Needs Answers About The Fed
Federal Reserve officials’ conduct has cast doubt on the institution’s credibility to provide these answers. It is, therefore, critical that members of the media and of Congress seek independent answers.
January 05, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
The Stones that Paved the Way to 1/6
Tomorrow marks one year from when rioters stormed the Capitol building in an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election. In the 364 days since that horrific event some things have certainly changed: the presidency has successfully changed hands, almost 200 insurrectionists have plead guilty, and a handful of Trump’s associates have been held in contempt of Congress for their refusal to testify before the select committee. And yet, in other respects, progress has been woefully incomplete. Key officials from the Trump administration remain in place, the federal government continues to defend many of Trump’s seemingly indefensible legal positions, and Trump and his inner circle have not faced consequences for inciting the insurrection.
December 22, 2021 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
Confirmations CrisisCongressional OversightDe-TrumpificationGovernment Capacity
New Year’s Resolutions for Official Washington
The jury’s still out on whether Build Back Better is really, truly dead. Some think that there’s still a deal to be made after Senator Joe Manchin unceremoniously blew up negotiations over the weekend. Others argue that, if Manchin isn’t satisfied with a bill that has already been thoroughly hacked and chiseled to conform to his demands, he won’t accept anything. But whichever camp you fall in, it’s clear that the landmark legislation is unlikely to remain the only topic in town next year. (Indeed, as important as the needs requiring BBB are, the executive branch is always also critical). As our political leaders prepare for the post-Build Back Better world, we ask that they consider making the following resolutions for the New Year.