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April 14, 2021

Henry Burke

Blog Post

2020 Election/TransitionGovernment Capacity

Biden’s Build Back Better is Behind Schedule

On the campaign trail, Biden was reluctant to criticize any aspect of the “Obama-Biden” administration’s record. Since taking office, however, he has made perfectly clear that he is aware of, and has learned from, many of its mistakes. Having watched how an anemic stimulus package in 2009 delivered a slow, faltering recovery and political carnage, the Biden administration chose to go big with its economic response. This initial, consequential departure has earned Biden accolades and prompted a “growing narrative that he’s bolder and bigger-thinking than President Obama” (a narrative Biden reportedly loves). But while Biden may be surpassing Obama legislatively, he is lagging behind him when it comes to the pace of nominations, delaying policy implementation and preventing his administration from reaching its full potential.

March 31, 2021

Newsletter

2020 Election/TransitionGovernment CapacityIndependent Agencies

They’re Building Back Better; We Still Urge Faster!

Jockeying to shape the upcoming infrastructure package is well underway. Our attention, however, is on an important deadline this Sunday. April 4 is the last day for lawmakers to introduce Congressional Review Act resolutions to strike eligible Trump rules from the books. If they don’t meet this deadline, the Biden administration will have to undertake a lengthy administrative process to reverse those regulations. By forcing Biden to dedicate resources to these rollbacks and delaying the start of new rulemakings, failure to act now could set this administration back on everything from civil rights and financial regulation to housing and environmental regulation.

March 30, 2021

Miranda Litwak

Newsletter

2020 Election/Transition

REVOLVING DOOR SPOTLIGHT 3/30/21

Welcome to our supplemental newsletter, the Revolving Door Spotlight. Here, we review the open jobs in the Biden administration we have our eyes on, as well as the would-be revolvers vying for those jobs. To learn more about which agencies and positions specific industries are seeking to influence, as well as the industry-tied individuals who might seek to lead them, check out our Industry Agenda reports here and our Personnel Map here.

March 22, 2021 | Democracy Journal

Jeff Hauser David Segal

Op-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionExecutive Branch

Building Back Better (Than Expected)

The nominations that President Biden has made thus far serve as a guidebook to the years ahead. By analyzing those picks, we see a vivid picture of where we can expect strong executive actions to take on the corporate monopolies and polluters choking the American economy—and where we can anticipate division between the progressive base and corporatist establishment actors.

March 17, 2021

Elias Alsbergas Vishal Shankar

Report

2020 Election/TransitionDefenseExecutive BranchForeign PolicyRevolving Door

The Industry Agenda: Military-Industrial Complex

A powerful collection of weapons manufacturers and defense contractors are shaping American foreign policy by lobbying policymakers and funding hawkish think tanks to keep U.S. defense spending the highest in the world. Their influence-peddling efforts prioritize the defense industry’s profits over countless lives and pressing domestic priorities like universal healthcare. Our Elias Alsbergas and Vishal Shankar explain how the military-industrial complex seeks to influence the executive branch and which defense industry allies are seeking jobs in the Biden Administration.

March 17, 2021

Newsletter

2020 Election/TransitionGovernment CapacityIndependent Agencies

The Financial Conflicts Lurking Around the Corner

Almost two months after he took office, Biden’s Cabinet is nearing completion. Nearly all of the six remaining spots seem set to be filled in relatively short order. Now, with the senior-most leadership in place, more permanent hiring for other political roles is likely to accelerate. And with that in mind progressives and good government groups are engaging in another push to ensure that public interest-minded officials populate all levels of political leadership. On Thursday, 46 groups sent a letter to Chief of Staff Ron Klain asking that new hires at the Justice Department not hail from BigLaw and that those with connections to firms who have already been hired recuse from policy and personnel decisions that could impact former clients. When asked whether the Biden administration would heed that call, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki was noncommittal. That’s disappointing — demanding recusals from BigTech and BigLaw tied hires should be a no-brainer (and, in fact, it’s already a step down from our preferred solution, which is not to appoint them at all) — but, if there’s one thing the administration should know by now, it’s that we’ll not be letting them off the hook when it comes to conflicts of interest.

March 16, 2021

Dorothy Slater

Blog Post

2020 Election/TransitionClimateFinancial RegulationIndependent Agencies

A Slam Dunk Climate Opportunity For Biden: Five Open Seats On The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board

President Biden is being presented with a straightforward, simple opportunity to make good on his promise to take a whole-of-government approach to fighting climate change. Appointing climate leaders who will take urgent climate action even if their job descriptions do not explicitly mention the environment is one of the easiest and most important ways Biden can display integrity.

March 16, 2021

Zena Wolf

Blog Post

2020 Election/TransitionAnti-Monopoly

Revolver Spotlight: Einer Elhauge

Reports that Harvard Law Professor Einer Elhauge is being considered for a role in the Biden Administration should be treated with extreme caution due to his history of ties to Big Tech and work for the Republican Florida legislature in 2000. Although we at RDP applaud Elhauge’s recent pivot to support strengthening antitrust laws, we urge the Biden Administration to hold appointees to the highest possible standard. In particular, helping promulgate the absurd theory in 2000 that state legislatures can overrule elections conducted under laws they have passed should be disqualifying for any individual attempting to serve in the Biden Administration.