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April 28, 2020

Miranda Litwak

Blog Post

Congressional Oversight

The SBA Was Never Prepared to Handle This

Many Americans might not have heard of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) before COVID-19. In fact, the small executive agency has been involved in the federal government’s response to some of the largest economic crises and natural disasters over the past two decades. This time around, the SBA has been thrust front and center as it attempts to administer one of the largest loan programs in our nation’s history. But if our Congressional leaders had spent time understanding the SBA’s limitations, perhaps they would have paused before giving the agency free rein to hand out billions of taxpayer dollars.

April 28, 2020

Eleanor Eagan Jeff Hauser

Blog Post

Congressional Oversight

In Interview, Donna Shalala Does Nothing to Alleviate Progressives' Concerns

Nancy Pelosi shocked onlookers earlier this month when she named freshman Representative Donna Shalala (D-FL) to the CARES Act oversight panel. Shalala had not expressed interest in the position publicly, nor does she possess specialized expertise in financial policy, congressional oversight, or law enforcement. Pelosi’s choice discouraged those holding out hope that a spirited set of appointees could somewhat overcome the panel’s structural disadvantages.

April 21, 2020

Jeff Hauser

Press Release

Congressional Oversight

This Time Around, Congress Must Implement Meaningful Oversight of SBA Loan Programs

Congressional leaders have finally reached a deal to replenish the SBA COVID response loan programs temporarily after days of negotiations. Putting aside the tragically narrow parameters of this deal, House Democrats should only be acceding to further funding these ill-designed programs after they have secured effective oversight of the Trump Administration’s heretofore bumbling execution of the law.

April 09, 2020 | The American Prospect

Eleanor Eagan

Op-Ed

Congressional Oversight

Congress Must Have Skipped the First Three Seasons of Trump Reality Show

The coronavirus pandemic created an imperative for action that even Mitch McConnell could not ignore. In the space of just a few weeks, Congress passed three major pieces of legislation, including the largest fiscal package in this country’s history. Now, however, lawmakers have hunkered down in the safety of their in-district homes, while the Trump administration sets about administering newly appropriated funds with little challenge. It is doing a predictably poor job.

March 13, 2020 | The Daily Beast

Eleanor Eagan Jeff Hauser

Op-Ed

Congressional Oversight

Trump is Screwing Up His Response to the Coronavirus. House Democrats are Screwing Up their Response to Trump.

Trump’s coronavirus speech proves, once and for all, that the emperor is never going to put on clothes. We have a government without anyone meaningfully in charge of anything other than making Trump and his cronies rich. Banning flights from Europe (and excluding the United Kingdom, where the health minister(!) has tested positive for the novel coronavirus and is self-isolating) indicates Trump’s xenophobia is now guided by throwing darts.

March 06, 2020 | Talking Points Memo

Eleanor Eagan

Op-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionCongressional Oversight

Congressional Democrats Exhibit Symptoms Of A Spinelessness Pandemic

Public health officials agree: coronavirus’ spread is no longer a matter of if but when. The only question now is, how bad is it going to get? The answer will rest on the efficacy of the government’s response, its ability to get resources where they need to be, keep the public informed and react quickly to new developments. The bad news? We have a president whose team is uniquely ill-suited to lead this process. The good news, however, is the government is larger than the executive.

January 13, 2020

Eleanor Eagan

Letter

Congressional OversightIndependent AgenciesRevolving Door

The Revolving Door Project and Demand Progress Call On Lawmakers to Investigate Revolving Door's Influence on SEC's WeCompany Review

On January 13, the Revolving Door Project and the Demand Progress Education Fund called on the Chairs and Ranking Members of the House Financial Services and Senate Banking Committees to “open an investigation into the Securities and Exchange Commission’s review of WeCompany’s aborted Initial Public Offering (IPO) and the integrity of its investigation into potential securities fraud within that same company.”

November 19, 2019

Eleanor Eagan

Blog Post

Congressional Oversight

Committee on Ways and Means Must Investigate Opportunity Zones

Lawmakers sold opportunity zones as a solution for this country’s poorest communities but, two years into the program, that claim does not seem to be holding up. Rather than infusing poor communities with much-needed cash, it seems that many zones are padding the already bursting pockets of some of the country’s wealthiest individuals. No story has better embodied the mismatch between the program’s intent and actual outcome than ProPublica’s report, out last week, detailing how a luxury apartment development in a superyacht marina came to qualify for the tax break. 

November 07, 2019

Eleanor Eagan

Blog Post

Congressional OversightFinancial Regulation

Freshman Democrats Seek to Make Corporate Oversight Routine Again

Eleanor Eagan
Rep. Ayanna Pressley introduced legislation last week to require the CEOs of the country’s largest banks to testify before Congress at least once per year. While this might seem a perfectly run-of-the-mill measure from an outside vantage point, it is a marked departure from this Congress’ aversion to most oversight (especially of corporations). Indeed, most members of Congress have shown no appetite for the type of populist, corporate oversight for which we at the Revolving Door Project have advocated. Pressley, along with a handful of other freshman Democrats (and Rep. Maxine Waters) are notable exceptions. It is long past time that their approach became more mainstream. 

November 01, 2019 | Talking Points Memo

Jeff Hauser Eleanor Eagan

Op-Ed

Congressional Oversight

The Impeachable Offense That Democrats Should Stop Ignoring

For the better part of this year, House Democrats have been consumed by a battle over how best to use their newfound power. One side called for impeachment from the start. The other side insisted that Democrats focus on kitchen table issues like health care. But the choice has always been false; the House can and should do both. In addition to the active impeachment inquiry into Trump’s efforts to influence the 2020 election, there should be a second, no less serious impeachment inquiry into Trump’s efforts to undermine Obamacare.

October 19, 2019 | Washington Monthly

Jeff Hauser Eleanor Eagan

Op-Ed

Congressional Oversight

House Democrats Are Failing to Protect Farmers from Trump

Times are tough for American farmers. Everything from corporate consolidation to falling commodity prices is making it harder to get by. Strange, then, that the person most responsible for safeguarding their wellbeing, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, brought the following message to a gathering of Wisconsin dairy farmers: “In America, the big get bigger and the small go out. I don’t think in America we, for any small business, we have a guaranteed income or guaranteed profitability.” In other words, he was telling the farmers: you’re probably screwed and there’s nothing you can do about it.