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February 01, 2021
The Bush Administration twisted the government’s neutral hiring process to staff the career civil service with right-wing ideologues. We don’t yet know if Trump did the same thing. And we won’t find out without help from Congress.
January 19, 2021 | Slate
Over four years, federal workers were ignored, subjected to retaliation, and fired for articulating politically inconvenient truths or standing in the way of President Donald Trump’s attacks against the public. By all accounts, that is set to change under President-elect Joe Biden. But while new attacks may not be forthcoming, the fissures from old ones will remain, threatening the federal government’s structural integrity unless the next administration and Congress take action. For all that we know about Trump’s assaults on the federal workforce, there is likely more that remains hidden. Up to this point, Democratic leadership has failed to make combating or uncovering these incursions a priority. For the sake of the Biden administration’s success, that will need to change.
December 03, 2020 | The American Prospect
How Democrats Can Stop Trump’s Transition Sabotage
Donald Trump’s attempted coup shouldn’t draw attention away from his administration’s day-to-day corruption. His post-election firing of federal officials who have contradicted him and installation of unqualified loyalists shows that Trump will try to salvage the loss with internal sabotage of the incoming administration. With less than two months to go, things will only get worse, unless Democrats use the upcoming spending negotiations to stop him.
December 01, 2020
His lawlessness, cravenness, and wanton destruction of our economy and planet have been ably documented by dedicated journalists — yet surely, there is still more corruption and social devastation that was simply never reported or found while Trump was in office.
November 09, 2020 | The American Prospect
Donna Shalala Encapsulated Pelosi’s Embrace of Passivity as a Strategy
Democrats were expected to expand their House majority, but instead saw many seats slip through their hands. With several races uncalled, the majority could be cut by as much as seven to ten seats.
That includes the seat of Nancy Pelosi’s close ally Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL), whom Pelosi chose for the CARES Act’s Congressional Oversight Commission (which monitors the Federal Reserve bailout). Shalala’s course over the past two years, from part of the promising blue wave to low-energy oversight leader, is the story of Democratic leadership in the 116th Congress in a nutshell.
November 02, 2020 | Talking Points Memo
A Lame Duck Trump Admin Will Do All It Can To Pilfer Before Jan. Dems Must Be Ruthless In Thwarting It.
The way tomorrow’s election will go remains highly uncertain. If Trump loses, however, there is no doubt that his administration will set about destroying and pilfering all that it can. Already, as they stare down the barrel of electoral defeat, Trump and his entourage are previewing their lame-duck plan to shovel every federal dollar they can to family and friends.
October 23, 2020 | Public Seminar
Donald Trump Politicized the Federal Bureaucracy: The Next President Needs to Reverse That
In an effort to mitigate the political damage from failing to contain the virus and manage its corollary crises, the White House recently mandated that the Department of Agriculture include a signed letter from Donald Trump inside food boxes, claiming credit for the federal program providing food to families in need. The move effectively politicized the taxpayer funded program as a tool of the president’s own self-promotion just a month before the election. Even worse, the department’s inclusion of the letter has jeopardized the program’s operation, as distribution sites fear they will be improperly engaging in political activity.
September 22, 2020 | The New Republic
What a Defiant Democratic Party Looks Like
On Friday night, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death shocked an already reeling country. What came next, however, was sadly unsurprising. Mere hours after Ginsburg’s passing, McConnell had already affirmed that he would hold a vote for Trump’s nominee to fill the vacancy, contravening the ersatz standard he set out in 2016. Or, as Senator Chris Murphy put it, “Nobody’s word means anything in this place anymore. All that matters is raw power.” It’s a bit of a belated realization: Republicans are unafraid to use their power to achieve their desired ends. Will Democrats respond in kind?
September 18, 2020 | Salon
Democrats Are Overlooking a Big Opportunity to Increase Voter Turnout and Take on the Trump Machine
The anxiety over changes and irregularities with the United States Postal Service (USPS) in August finally spilled over. A functioning postal service undergirds many of our society’s most basic functions, so there was no shortage of reasons to be alarmed. However, one concern—the threat to November’s election—overwhelmingly rose to the top. And the public outcry over that threat pushed a normally lethargic House majority into action, winning some mild but incomplete reversals from USPS.
August 20, 2020 | The Daily Beast
Nancy Pelosi Needs to Do More to Save the Postal Service—and the Election
The crisis at the Postal Service has been building and accelerating for months with virtually no official response. Over the past two weeks, however, it reached a crescendo that even the country’s remarkably confrontation-averse opposition party could not ignore. In a matter of days, overwhelming grassroots pressure pushed House Democrats from seemingly having no plan to executing a rapid return to Washington, D.C., getting a hearing with the postmaster general on the calendar for next week and winning a promise from Louis DeJoy to cease operational changes until after the election.
August 05, 2020 | The American Prospect
The Big Tech Hearings Could Be a Model for Corporate Accountability
In 2018, Democrats ran and won on a platform to hold President Trump and his cronies accountable. Many observers expected to be treated to a full schedule of oversight programming in the succeeding Congress, with a nearly endless stream of smug incompetents being caught in their lies and obfuscations. Some even dared to hope that the oversight fervor might spill over to another breed of smug incompetents: corporate CEOs. But, alas, the promised enthusiasm for oversight never seemed to materialize, let alone spread to new targets. (As usual, House Financial Services Committee chairwoman Maxine Waters, who confronted big bank CEOs within months of assuming control of her committee, stands out as a rare exception).
July 28, 2020
House Must Grill Tech CEOs About Hiring Through The Revolving Door
We urge the Antitrust Subcommittee to aggressively question each CEO about their hiring practices, and pass sweeping ethics reforms to close this revolving door once and for all.
July 24, 2020
House Democrats Must Do More to Hold Trump's Cabinet Accountable
During the 2018 midterms, Democrats promised to act as a much-needed check on a lawless president. Over a year and a half later, however, it is evident they have failed. From the moment House Democrats took control, Revolving Door Project (RDP) has been watching to see that they uphold their promises ready to elevate examples of good oversight and highlight areas where they were falling short. Unfortunately, there have been very few opportunities to do the former and an abundance of examples of the latter.
July 24, 2020
Cabinet Oversight Tracker
For each member of Trump’s Cabinet, the Cabinet Oversight Tracker records the date on which they last testified before their House committee of jurisdiction, the total number of times they’ve testified before that committee since January 2019 and the number of days they have gone without testifying.
July 17, 2020
Oversight of Congressional Oversight: Assessing the House Ways and Means Committee
Last fall, Democrats ran and won on an anti-corruption platform. The Revolving Door Project (RDP) is committed to ensuring that members of the new majority fulfill their promises to bring accountability to Trump, his powerful allies, and corporate bad actors. Oversight is an incredibly powerful tool that can shine a light on overlooked issues, unearth answers about clandestine misbehavior, and generate consensus around reforms.