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November 18, 2021 | The American Prospect

Hannah Story Brown

Op-Ed

Department of JusticeEthics in GovernmentExecutive BranchIndependent AgenciesRevolving Door

How Biden Can Protect Students From Predatory For-Profit Colleges

The Biden administration inherited a morass of understaffed and undermined federal agencies, weakened by the Trump administration. It makes sense that building back the government’s capacity would be an uphill battle for the Biden administration, with so many years of policymaking undermined by his predecessor. What doesn’t make sense is the jarring number of cases in which the administration is going out of its way, at considerable cost, to uphold Trump-era policies that go against Biden’s stated agenda and the public interest.

November 17, 2021

Eleanor Eagan

Newsletter

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.

October 29, 2021 | The American Prospect

Fatou Ndiaye Toni Aguilar Rosenthal

Op-Ed

Executive BranchPharmaRevolving Door

Will Biden’s FDA Be Led by a Pharma Guy?

Dr. Robert Califf appears to be the clearest front-runner for the (somehow) still open position of commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. After floating his name in the press a few weeks ago, President Biden recently met with Califf in private. Such meetings tend to be the final step before a nominee is announced.

There’s just one problem: Califf is a longtime political consultant to Big Pharma and, more recently, to Big Tech. In fact, he’s so tied to those industries that he once earned the ire of a certain crucial senator from West Virginia.

October 26, 2021

Dorothy Slater

Blog Post

ClimateExecutive BranchFederal ReserveFinancial RegulationTreasury Department

Yellen Is Empowering Powell and Selling Out the Climate

It is very possible that President Biden will show up empty-handed to COP26 in Glasgow next week. And that isn’t just because of the apocalyptic vanity of two Senators from Arizona and West Virginia. Many executive-led policies that are just a matter of political will have not been done, and some of those which have are pure paper tigers. Biden’s administration failed last week to take advantage of a lesser known, but extremely meaningful climate action opportunity. The Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) released its long-awaited report on climate-related financial risk, which the President personally ordered months ago. And it was a complete flop. 

October 18, 2021 | The Hill

Eleanor Eagan Jeff Hauser

FOIA Request

Executive BranchGovernment Capacity

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 08, 2021

Dorothy Slater Zena Wolf

Op-Ed

ClimateDepartment of JusticeExecutive Branch

How Biden Can Take On the Climate Crisis by Himself

President Biden has failed to live up to his promise to progressives to be a climate president. U.S. emissions continue to rise. Last week, 23 unique plant and animal species were declared extinct. A catastrophic pipeline oil spill in California is actively killing fish, birds, and wetland ecosystems. And in violation of treaty rights that are constitutionally the supreme law of the land, Biden allowed Enbridge’s Line 3 tar sands pipeline to become operational on October 1, which will add emissions equivalent to 50 new coal-fired power plants and will inevitably spill. Biden is standing in support while water protectors are violently arrested and the Anishinaabe peoples living in the path of the project are terrorized and abused.