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Presidential Power Map
May 06, 2020
RDP Bemoans Big Pharma Merger Facilitated by Revolving Door BigLaw Lawyers
Revolving Door Project Executive Director Jeff Hauser said, “This anti-competitive merger further entrenches Big Pharma at the expense of all Americans. Big Pharma’s playbook here is no less dangerous for having become rote: They hire well-connected revolving door FTC alumni to secure approval for mergers that undermine the public interest. To restore the public interest at the FTC, we will need to end the FTC-to-BigLaw pipeline that has helped bring about an economy that works well for rich investors rather than American consumers or workers.”
May 05, 2020
April 2020 Update on the State of Independent Federal Agencies
The Agency Spotlight is a unique tool which tracks appointments to agency leadership positions through the confirmation process and beyond. In order to elevate this tool we release monthly summaries of topline statistics that capture the state of the independent federal agencies.
May 01, 2020
The SBA's Office of Advocacy: What is it and Why is it Relevant?
The Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy (“Advocacy”) is a little known corner of the executive branch that wields a surprising amount of power, particularly in the regulatory process. This research memo explores the powers Advocacy possesses, how the office gained this power, and the potential Advocacy may have in a progressive administration to be a strong anti-consolidation voice in the regulatory process.
April 29, 2020
Amazon Won’t Play Fair In Commerce Or Congress
Last week, the Wall Street Journal revealed that contrary to stated company policies, Amazon looks at proprietary information generated for third-party sellers on the platform when developing its house-brand offerings. Cases described to the Journal include Amazon engineers peeking at the total sales, profit margins, and shipping costs for a popular third-party car trunk organizer which sells on Amazon Marketplace. Amazon later used that data to help design its own, rival product. Third-party sellers have long believed that Amazon wasn’t looking at this information because…Amazon said it wasn’t looking at this information. Instead, the tech giant’s control of both the Marketplace and its own house brands grants it an anti-competitive advantage over smaller sellers who depend on Amazon’s marketplace to survive. They can’t check all of their competitors’ stats on a whim to figure out how to drive them out of business.
April 28, 2020
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
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 28, 2020
Ted Kaufman Hates The Revolving Door. Now He Must Do Something About It.
If he truly cannot stand the conflicts of interest, revolving doors, and regulatory capture of Washington, then he currently holds perhaps the single most powerful job to do something about it.
April 22, 2020
Watchdog Groups: Rep. Donna Shalala Must Step Down From Bailout Oversight Commission
The Revolving Door Project and Demand Progress Education Fund have sent a letter to House Democratic Leadership demanding that they seek the resignation of Representative Donna Shalala (D-FL) from the Congressional Oversight Commission that is charged with overseeing the recently-passed coronavirus bailout.
April 22, 2020
Letter: Watchdog Groups Call On Democratic Leadership To Encourage Shalala Resignation
Recent news reports concerning Rep. Shalala’s potential conflicts of interest and possibly illegal or unethical activities raise significant concerns about her ability to discharge her duties, her judgment, and her ability to be viewed as conducting her oversight duties impartially and without distraction.
Presidential Power Map Methodology
April 21, 2020
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 20, 2020
A Larry Summers Comeback Would Threaten Climate Justice
Summers’ influence has directly exacerbated our climate crisis by repeatedly halting any meaningful attempt at curbing the crisis.
April 15, 2020
Freshman Legislators Advance a Courageous Plan to Address Economic Fragility
This crisis has shattered any illusions that our post-financial crisis framework is resilient enough to withstand the challenges of the future. Coronavirus has, in particular, uncovered one of our most fundamental, persistent weaknesses: our continued inability to anticipate and prepare for new financial risks. For this ill-preparedness, we have powerful actors like BlackRock, the asset management giant and political titan, to thank. In an effort to avoid more stringent regulation, BlackRock and others not only evaded scrutiny for their own contributions to systemic risk, but virtually destroyed the mechanisms designed to examine such risk across the wider economy.