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May 10, 2023 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
There are a lot of things you could say about the GOP’s proposed plan to reduce the deficit. But if we want to be more expansive than just calling it “batshit crazy” and washing our hands of the whole clown show, as we think Biden can and should, then we could point out that the GOP plan is an expression of profound hostility to the idea of a federal government that serves anyone besides war profiteers.
May 03, 2023 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
On the Debt, Biden Has No Choice But To Make One
On Monday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen shortened the estimate of when the U.S. could default on its debt to as soon as June 1. We’re less than a month out from the so-called X-date: the day that the federal government runs out of cash. President Biden has invited House and Senate leadership to the White House to talk debt this coming Tuesday, with highly uncertain results.
April 19, 2023
To Reverse Decades Of Neglect, Antitrust Agencies Need Robust Budgets
The FTC and the DOJ are still dealing with a deluge of corporate mergers, and still only have capabilities to challenge a handful of those actions each year. Restoring competition in the U.S. economy will require much more than slight increases in funding — these government agencies need monumental budgets to take on entrenched monopolies that have flourished with decades of lax enforcement.
March 01, 2023 | The American Prospect
A 38-car train wreck. Toxic chemicals seeping into water and soil, and a black plume rising in the sky. Sick people, sick pets. As the Prospect’s Jarod Facundo wrote last week, the national spotlight remains fixed on the ecological consequences of the February 3 derailment of a Norfolk Southern train carrying hazardous chemicals in East Palestine, Ohio.
In the context of this ecological disaster, arguing for a reduced budget for federal investigators, air and water quality testing, and programs that hold polluting corporations accountable for proper cleanup and restitution is sheer madness. But that’s exactly what the current right-wing push for massive government spending cuts in the name of deficit reduction would entail.
February 23, 2023
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.
January 20, 2023
More than two years into Joe Biden’s presidency, Biden has nominated 67 people to the 93 offices that compose the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO). After one post-confirmation withdrawal of Marisa Darden, 66 offices or 71 percent currently have nominees to the position; only 60 nominees or 64.5 percent have been fully confirmed to their office.
January 11, 2023 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
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.
November 03, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
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.
October 31, 2022 | The American Prospect
An alternate vision for how Democrats could bring the fight to the midterms by taking action in Congress and the White House
October 28, 2022
It seems pretty incontestable that a big part of the media’s job is “informing the public of things they need to know.” Accordingly, the media’s coverage of how the government spends money is a spectacular example of how it fails. Congress has enabled a vacuum of sensible, accessible information about the appropriations bills it’s supposed to pass each year to fund government activity, and the media has not stepped in to fill the void.
October 14, 2022
Omnibus Awareness Month in Review
If Congress regularly met its own deadlines, then October—the first month of the fiscal year—would also be the first month when federal agencies could implement their new and improved budgets. Unfortunately, the modern Congress regularly fails to pass an omnibus spending package for the next fiscal year, which bundles several appropriations bills for different parts of the federal government into one whole-of-government budget, by the end of the previous fiscal year. This autumn is no different.
October 05, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
Another Eleventh-Hour Stopgap Spending Bill
October means a lot of things in the political world: the end of a fiscal year and the beginning of a new one; SCOTUS returning from a long recess; and, every two years, the final stretch before a general election. If the congressional appropriations process worked as designed, October would also be the month when federal agencies began implementing their new budgets for the next fiscal year. If only things could work so smoothly.
September 07, 2022
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.