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February 23, 2023
Bureau of PrisonsCivil Rights DivisionDepartment of JusticeGovernanceGovernment CapacitySpecial Litigation Section
DOJ IN THE NEWS: Mid-February Trends
This piece marks the start of a new biweekly blog series from RDP. Every two weeks, we’ll call out ongoing trends in media coverage of the Justice Department’s focus and priorities, giving context from our past DOJ oversight work as needed, with an eye to the impact of DOJ capacity and resources, as well as alignment with the Biden administration’s professed goals.
February 15, 2023 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
The Value of a Human Life, According to Economists
Last week a shocking story from NPR largely slipped under the radar. The headline: “Why the EPA puts a higher value on rich lives lost to climate change.” Climate Correspondent Rebecca Hersher shared the “twisted tale of math, ethics and climate change” that is the Environmental Protection Agency’s effort to decide what’s been called the most important number you’ve never heard of: the social cost of greenhouse gases.
February 03, 2023
2020 Election/TransitionAdministrative LawClimateDepartment of JusticeGovernance
Revolving Door Project Reading List: The Justice Department
The Justice Department was deliberately weaponized under Trump to advance and defend his corrupt agenda. How successfully has Biden’s Justice Department, led by Attorney General Merrick Garland, replaced Trump appointees and policies, and charted a new course towards a more just interpretation and application of the law? Below, we’ve compiled a non-comprehensive reading list of some of our work from the past year plus on the Justice Department, and its all-important, uneven progress out of Trump’s long shadow.
February 02, 2023
Biden Appears to Heed Advocates’ Demands, Seek New Nominee for US Attorney in Eastern District of Tennessee
In a Judiciary Committee hearing last Thursday, Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) seemed to assert that Casey T. Arrowood, President Biden’s initial pick for US Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, would not be renominated in the new session of Congress.
January 11, 2023 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
2022 ElectionClimateExecutive BranchGovernanceGovernment CapacityIndependent Agencies
Government Spending and its Discontents
We spent October highlighting the perpetual underfunding of most federal departments and agencies, and urging Congress and the Biden administration to use December’s omnibus bill to finally provide them with the money and resources they need. Sadly, while appropriations did increase for FY2023, budgets consistently fell short of what agencies requested. The most jarring example may be the Department of Housing and Development (HUD), whose budget is a whopping $16 billion shy of the requested $77.8 billion. Biden recently announced his goal to cut homelessness by 25 percent in the next two years, but it’s hard to see how even this meager goal will be achieved without a fully funded HUD.
December 18, 2022 | Politico Europe
What The European Union Has To Learn From Watergate
There should no longer be any doubt that the Parliament must reform its ethics practices if it wants to maintain any popular legitimacy in the eyes of European citizens.
November 03, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
DefenseExecutive BranchGovernanceGovernment CapacityLaborRevolving Door
Biden Can Make Change by Fixing Federal Contracting
If the Trumpiest predictions for the midterms come true next week, and Republicans sweep Congress, opportunities for implementing progressive policy priorities – and Biden’s campaign promises – will disproportionately fall to the strategic maneuvering of the executive branch. From climate action to stopping runaway corporate profiteering to defending the working class from exploitation, the executive branch holds immense power with which it can tangibly better the lives of everyday Americans even amidst a sure-to-be-hostile potential Republican-controlled Congress.
September 08, 2022 | The American Prospect
To Save The Climate, Hire More Civil Servants
The kind of civil service we build is indicative of what our climate strategy will be.
September 07, 2022
Confirmations CrisisCongressional OversightGovernanceGovernment CapacityIndependent Agencies
The Confirmations Crisis
As we at the Revolving Door Project have long argued, the crisis surrounding the confirmations (or rather, the lack thereof) of Biden’s highly qualified nominees remains an issue of critical importance.
August 31, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
Hannah Story Brown Toni Aguilar Rosenthal
2020 Election/TransitionConfirmations CrisisExecutive BranchGovernanceGovernment Capacity
The Confirmation Crisis Solidifies
The hyper-politicization of the Senate’s confirmation process, and the manipulation of the procedures by which it is governed, has led us to a dire moment in which Republican Senators have effectively given themselves the power to deny President Biden and the public a fully-staffed federal government. This iniquitous procedural politicking has stalled crucial agencies while denying Democrats rightful majorities at several independent agencies and the long-sought regulatory policies those majorities would bring.
August 19, 2022 | The American Prospect
Toni Aguilar Rosenthal Hannah Story Brown
Congressional OversightEthics in GovernmentExecutive BranchGovernanceRevolving Door
Where Has Congress Been on Trump Holdovers?
The public hearings conducted by the House Select Committee have exceeded many Democrats’ expectations, not only as conversation-changing political theater, but also as a venue to uncover vital information. For example, the country now knows that Secret Service text messages from January 6th were deleted from phones shortly thereafter in what the agency has called a “planned migration.” This is what congressional oversight activities should do: extract truths from the halls of power and pursue public accountability accordingly.
July 20, 2022 | The American Prospect
Democrats Need to Fight for a Government That Works
Despite months of increasingly desperate horse trading and frantic whittling, Joe Manchin has narrowed the reconciliation package formerly known as Build Back Better to just a health care bill. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, meanwhile, appears set to torpedo popular, bipartisan antitrust bills on Big Tech’s behalf simply by refusing to bring them for a vote. And a once-sprawling bill on competitiveness and advanced manufacturing is now mostly an economic development subsidy to semiconductor manufacturers.