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March 25, 2019

Jeff Hauser

Blog Post

Congressional Oversight

Mueller's End Ratchets Up Pressure on Richard Neal to Request Trump's Taxes

Jeff Hauser
In the coming days, advocates and lawmakers will fight to ensure that the findings of Mueller’s team are made public so that the American people may assess for themselves the results of the Special Counsel’s two-year investigation. Even as this important work unfolds, however, we must also acknowledge the limitations of the Special Counsel’s investigation. That’s why we renew our call from early January for Representative Richard Neal (D-MA) to perform his constitutional obligations and request Trump’s tax returns without any delay.

March 14, 2019

Jeff Hauser

Blog Post

Congressional Oversight

Coalition Asks Pelosi: Make Ways & Means Committee Do Its Job

Yesterday a coalition of good government and progressive groups sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi urging her to “to take every available step to ensure that the House Ways and Means Committee fulfills its Constitutional obligation to provide stringent oversight.” You wouldn’t think such a letter would be necessary. Given the broad public outcry at different rules for the rich and everyone else, you would think a Democratic Party seeking to reclaim the mantle of populism would naturally pursue opportunities to discover the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” of tax evasion.

March 13, 2019

Jeff Hauser

Letter

Congressional Oversight

Speaker Pelosi: We Urgently Need Energetic House Ways & Means Committee Oversight

Dear Speaker Pelosi,
We are writing you as organizations who believe that fairness and equity in both the writing and implementation of tax law is of critical importance. Our commitment to fairness is why we urge you to take every available step to ensure that the House Ways and Means Committee fulfills its Constitutional obligation to provide stringent oversight. 

March 13, 2019 | The American Prospect

Jeff Hauser Eleanor Eagan

Op-Ed

Congressional Oversight

Richie Neal and Trump’s Taxes

As most House Democrats enthusiastically jump on the long-dormant congressional oversight train, one senior lawmaker has conspicuously chosen to stay on the platform. Under the leadership of Representative Richard Neal, the House Committee on Ways and Means has shown none of the zeal for oversight exhibited by its counterparts.

March 04, 2019

Jeff Hauser

Blog Post

Congressional Oversight

Revolving Door Project Reacts to Richard Neal's Announcement: Late and Weak

Jeff Hauser
Don’t let the headline (“House Democrats prepare case to request Trump tax returns”) fool you: Richard Neal’s announcement of a plan to issue a request letter for Trump’s tax returns comes distressingly late — and projects to be vastly too modest in scope. Revolving Door Project, which has helped lead the way in spotlighting Neal’s shirking the need for serious Congressional oversight, notes the following problems with the request as reported by NBC News.

March 01, 2019

Eleanor Eagan Jeff Hauser

Blog Post

Congressional Oversight

NY State Lawmakers Show How We Can Advance Reform in Face of Federal Gridlock

As federal policymakers shrink away from their campaign promises to request President Trump’s tax returns, state lawmakers are stepping up to take their place. On January 24, the New Jersey Senate passed a bill that would bar presidential and vice-presidential candidates from appearing on the ballot unless they released five years of federal tax returns. Meanwhile, there is growing momentum in New York for the TRUTH ACT, a bill which would require state tax authorities to release tax returns for any officials elected statewide, from State Comptroller and Attorney General up the ranks through to the President of the United States. That bill now has 78 cosponsors in the NY State Assembly (a majority) and 28 in the State Senate (four shy of a majority). If passed, New York state tax authorities will be required to release Trump’s tax records within 30 days. Those records would not just include income earned in New York state but worldwide income as well.

February 24, 2019 | Al Jazeera

Jeff Hauser

Op-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionCongressional Oversight

Americans Should Fear Trump Apathy

Figuring out what is and is not an emergency in Donald Trump’s America is far from straightforward.

On February 15, in order to get funds to build a wall along the southern border of the United States, Trump declared a “national emergency”. And he did this even though the situation at the border is in no meaningful sense getting worse, let alone deteriorating rapidly enough to constitute an “emergency”. In fact, border crossings are actually declining, and as commentators across the ideological spectrum noted, Trump’s own words make clear that there is no “national emergency.”

January 29, 2019

Jeff Hauser Eleanor Eagan

Blog Post

Congressional OversightFinancial Regulation

How the Trump Team Might Make Some Hedge Funds Solvent Again

Eleanor Eagan and Jeff Hauser
Immediately following President Trump’s election, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s future generated renewed and robust interest. The Government Sponsored Entities’ (GSE) shares rallied on expectations that the Trump administration would take both entities out of conservatorship in a manner that rewarded all shareholders, including hedge-fund speculators. In the intervening two years, however, those expectations faded and shares in the GSEs underwent a slow decline.

January 28, 2019

Jeff Hauser Eleanor Eagan

Blog Post

Congressional Oversight

Richard Neal Doth Protest Too Much

Jeff Hauser and Eleanor Eagan
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) has been criticized by many, including us, for his failure to pursue Trump’s tax returns in a timely manner. In an article in the Berkshire Eagle with the friendly title, “Neal lays groundwork on push for Trump tax returns,” Neal gave his constituents his side of the story.

Below, we annotate Neal’s claims.

January 16, 2019

Eleanor Eagan Jeff Hauser

Blog Post

Congressional OversightEthics in GovernmentFinancial Regulation

One Trump Appointee, Two Jobs, Too Many Causes for Concern

Eleanor Eagan, Jeff Hauser, and Adewale Maye
You have likely not heard of Joseph Otting, as he has generated comparatively little attention amidst the circus that is President Trump’s executive branch. However, he is a deeply problematic official who has quietly amassed power in critical agencies that receive far too little attention given their impact on the economy and housing. Amazingly, Otting seems to be using these agencies to act upon resentments he developed as a “controversial,” at best, banking executive, making him a perfect representative of why we are concerned by the revolving door problem in our federal government.

January 15, 2019 | The American Prospect

Jeff Hauser Eleanor Eagan

Op-Ed

Congressional Oversight

The Democrats’ Richie Neal Problem

There was supposed to be one genuinely easy victory for the new Democratic majority in the House. Medicare for All? No. Green New Deal? No. Critical? Yes—but easy? No. But Trump’s tax returns? Yes, the new majority was supposed to be able to inspect that holy grail of opposition research.

That’s why one of the most discordant notes of the first week of the new Congress was a decision by Representative Richard Neal of Massachusetts, the newly elevated chair of the powerful House Committee on Ways and Means, to retreat on his promises to move quickly to obtain Trump’s tax returns. 

January 12, 2019 | The Huffington Post

Jeff Hauser

Op-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionCongressional Oversight

Prosecute Donald Trump To The Full Extent Of The Law

Want Americans to feel like the country is fair? Think the rule of law is important? Prosecute powerful people when they commit crimes. Even people who worked for a president. Even a former president.

The story of 21st-century America is complex, but the narrative of powerful people behaving terribly and getting away with it is arguably the common thread.

January 10, 2019 | Rewire

Jeff Hauser

Op-Ed

Congressional Oversight

It’s Time for Congress’ New Members to Use Their Long-Forgotten Oversight Powers

The dozens of newly elected Congressional Democrats sworn in last week are getting a lot of much-deserved attention. They are a diverse group who represent a wide variety of districts, but they are united by a common dilemma—how can junior members of a party that lacks control of the U.S. Senate or presidency make their mark with legislation?

Barring miracles, the sad fact is that over the next two years, they cannot.