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December 16, 2021
Watchdog Requests Secretary of Commerce Raimondo Release Records of Meetings with Big Business
Now more than ever, with rumors swirling that Raimondo is considering a bid for the White House in 2024, it is critical to see exactly which corporations and lobbyists Raimondo has met with in recent months.
December 15, 2021 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
Confirmations CrisisDepartment of JusticeFinancial RegulationIndependent AgenciesSEC
Biden’s Bank Regulators Play Hardball
Late last Thursday, a Democratic majority on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) board announced that it had voted to take comment on the agency’s process for reviewing bank mergers, a policy that fits neatly within the Biden administration’s whole-of-government approach to competition. On its face, this is wholly unremarkable. But what should have been just another early step towards meeting this administration’s goals quickly turned into an all out war thanks to the FDIC’s Trump holdover chair Jelena McWilliams.
December 13, 2021 | The American Prospect
The Trump Officials Still Running Biden’s Justice Department
We are rapidly approaching the one-year anniversary of January 6, and Attorney General Merrick Garland has yet to give any sign that his Justice Department is independently investigating former President Trump and his fellow instigators. This is, by far, Garland’s most high-profile failure when it comes to accountability for the prior administration, one that more observers have begun to notice. But it is not the only one.
December 08, 2021 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
To Get A Promotion, Would-Be Candidates Should Consider Doing Their Jobs
Biden hasn’t even reached the end of his first year in office and already eyes are turning to the likely contest between Vice President Kamala Harris and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg for the 2024 Democratic presidential nomination (provided, of course, that Biden steps aside). Prospective voters are being inundated with stories of palace intrigue, invaluable information about the would-be candidates’ preferences (Harris doesn’t like to use Bluetooth, Buttigieg loves electric bikes), and speeches and media appearances in which the Vice President and Secretary boost Build Back Better (despite neither having a substantive role in its passage). Notably missing from this deluge, however, is much discussion of how well either one is performing the job they currently hold. That seems to us among the most relevant considerations as prospective voters mull giving either a promotion.
December 07, 2021
Watchdog Requests Correspondence Concerning Senior DOJ Officials’ Recusals
Today, the Revolving Door Project issued Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for records reflecting any ethics advice given to any Senate-confirmed Department of Justice (DOJ) officials. The Project also requested any ethics advice given to Chief of Staff to the Deputy Attorney General Anita Singh, whose husband is a member of Google’s antitrust defense team at law firm Vinson & Elkins. The Project is interested in which potential conflicts of interest do or don’t trigger ethics concerns within the Department, particularly as Big Tech companies engage in a cynical and specious campaign to use ethics rules to tie the hands of antitrust enforcers.
December 01, 2021 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
Biden Team Overcomplicates Presidency
The end of Biden’s first year in office is fast approaching and the optimism that characterized its start is long gone. Supply chain problems, stalled legislation, a new COVID-19 variant, and nomination woes (both self-imposed and external) are all weighing on the collective national mood. Some are even starting to conclude that, regardless of what steps the administration takes in the coming year, Democrats are doomed to lose both houses of Congress next fall.
November 17, 2021
ClimateDepartment of JusticeExecutive BranchFederal ReserveIndependent AgenciesTreasury Department
After Infrastructure Week
Congressional selfies and self-congratulations inaugurated the week, but a lot of hard work remains to translate the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s (IIJA) policies into real-life results. Given that those policies are (generously) middling and that the most promising ones are underfunded, turning these into winning programs will demand energy, creativity, competence, and a strong commitment to the public interest.
November 05, 2021 | The American Prospect
A Missing Link in the Fight Against the Climate Crisis
With his legislative climate agenda hanging in the balance, President Biden turned to executive action this week in his attempt to “assert American leadership” at COP26 in Glasgow. On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced sweeping new rules to curb methane emissions. Those standards, which the agency estimates would eliminate a greater volume of emissions between 2023 and 2035 than those emitted from all U.S. passenger cars and commercial planes in 2019, were rightly applauded. For now, however, these are just estimates. Ensuring that they turn into real-life emissions reductions that meet or exceed expectations will require that agencies have the capacity to promptly write strong new rules and, then, enforce them.
November 02, 2021
Climate Capacity Crisis: Attrition at Climate Agencies and Immediate Steps to Address It
It has been over nine months since President Donald Trump left office, but on climate policy the federal government continues to show the scars from his disastrous presidency. At a moment when we do not have even a second to waste to avoid catastrophic climate change, agencies are struggling to build back better after attacks on scientific integrity and agency budgets left them without sufficient staff capacity and expertise. While the Biden administration has consistently affirmed its support for the federal workforce through rhetoric and action, New York Times reporting from this summer makes clear that the rebuilding is still not happening fast enough.
November 02, 2021
New Report Details How Reduced Staff Capacity Will Hamper Climate Action
This administration has consistently affirmed its commitment to rebuilding the federal workforce. But with only 98 months left until 2030, at which point we will need to have cut U.S. emissions in half to avoid climate catastrophe, it should be clear that there’s no time to waste turning words to action.
October 28, 2021
Watchdogs Request Fed Communications And Calendars For Continuing Ethics Inquiry
President Biden is nearing a decision on a Federal Reserve Chair nomination, but the Revolving Door Project’s work will not end with the conclusion of the reappointment fight.
October 20, 2021 | The American Prospect
Who’s Really Running Justice?
It was never a secret that Attorney General Merrick Garland was among the key Biden administration figures opposing Jonathan Kanter’s nomination as assistant attorney general for antitrust. Ultimately, however, Garland did not get his way; the appointment went to Kanter rather than to one of the many Big Tech–allied BigLaw partners whom Garland favored. In view of Kanter’s career as a plaintiff’s lawyer, his nomination was rightly celebrated as a decisive victory by antitrust reformers and BigLaw opponents alike. But it was just one battle in a broader war for renewed anti-monopoly enforcement and a DOJ eager to build back better in every policy area.
October 18, 2021 | The Hill
The Senate confirmation process is broken — Senate Democrats can fix it
Biden’s agenda are falling victim to arcane Senate rules, and not just the filibuster. Dysfunction is slowing the Senate confirmation process to a crawl too, producing a backlog hundreds of nominees deep. For as long as these delays keep permanent officials out of their intended roles, they will limit the scope and ambition of the Biden administration’s agenda. Senate Democrats must act to change them.
October 15, 2021 | Talking Points Memo
The Jan. 6 Committee Has The Right Idea: Now Congress Should Subpoena Zuckerberg
Facebook continues to lie to the public with abandon. That is one of the main takeaways from the Facebook whistleblower’s testimony last week. Even now, having been called out, Facebook is frantically working to obscure and underplay its own dishonesty.
October 07, 2021
Is the Federal Reserve’s Inspector General Really Independent?
The Revolving Door Project makes a point of watching independent agencies, those oft-overlooked entities, closely. As a result, we’ve had reason to give a great deal of thought to the purpose and meaning of “independence” in the agency context. As “independence” is invoked as a shield in other settings, that thinking may prove instructive.