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April 16, 2021
The Brother Of A Pharma Lobbyist Advises Biden As He Weighs Vaccine IP Waiver
Despite pushback from progressives, Ricchetti has continued to hold a powerful advisory position in the Biden White House. His background in corporate lobbying and strong ties to the pharmaceutical industry are deeply troubling signs as the Biden Administration faces enormously consequential decisions about how to end the COVID-19 pandemic.
April 15, 2021
Why Is Politico's Ryan Heath Carrying Water For Big Pharma Monopolies?
The world is currently at an inflection point – Western leaders can choose to continue blocking the TRIPS waiver and lock in a cycle of dependence or empower poorer countries to develop generic vaccines and build infrastructure that will safely put the pandemic behind us. Critiques of the TRIPS waiver claim that most poor countries lack the infrastructure to carry out vaccine operations – a paternalistic view that suggests that manufacturing capacity, supply chain management, and logistics are static in nature. The sooner we act, the more time poorer countries have to begin mobilizing resources needed to make generic vaccine development possible.
April 14, 2021
Biden’s Build Back Better is Behind Schedule
On the campaign trail, Biden was reluctant to criticize any aspect of the “Obama-Biden” administration’s record. Since taking office, however, he has made perfectly clear that he is aware of, and has learned from, many of its mistakes. Having watched how an anemic stimulus package in 2009 delivered a slow, faltering recovery and political carnage, the Biden administration chose to go big with its economic response. This initial, consequential departure has earned Biden accolades and prompted a “growing narrative that he’s bolder and bigger-thinking than President Obama” (a narrative Biden reportedly loves). But while Biden may be surpassing Obama legislatively, he is lagging behind him when it comes to the pace of nominations, delaying policy implementation and preventing his administration from reaching its full potential.
April 14, 2021
Revolver Spotlight: Sarah Bianchi
With his nomination of Katherine Tai, who has advocated for a worker-centered trade policy, Biden demonstrated his commitment to transforming the trade agenda in the Democratic party. Unfortunately, his choice of Sarah Bianchi to serve as deputy USTR could undermine these efforts:
April 14, 2021
Bold Leadership Needed in Minnesota’s U.S. Attorney Office
As police terror continues to claim the lives of Black Minnesotans, Biden must use all the tools at his disposal to root out police misconduct and deliver on his campaign promises of racial justice. U.S. Attorneys, the local face of the Department of Justice, will be an important institution to leverage. But the remains of Trump’s influence on these offices through acting officials and assistants could thwart the administration’s goals.
April 13, 2021
Will Todd Kim Promise To Defend The Environment In The Face Of Industry Pressure?
President Biden announced last month that he would nominate Todd Kim to be the top environmental lawyer at the Department of Justice. It was a relatively quiet announcement, devoid of much fanfare, compared to the position’s enormous potential to shape environmental and climate policy for years to come.
April 10, 2021
Revolver Spotlight: Amos Hochstein
Hochstein previously served in the Obama State Department, where his job was essentially to secure access to global oil fields on behalf of putatively American multinational Big Oil firms.
April 09, 2021
Why You Should Care Who Leads the Patent and Trademark Office
As pressure mounts on the United States government to support waiving intellectual property (IP) protections on the COVID-19 vaccines at the World Trade Organization, progressives are closely monitoring the Biden administration’s appointments to agencies that impact intellectual property matters such as the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
April 08, 2021
CabinetDepartment of JusticeEthics in GovernmentExecutive BranchRevolving DoorRight-Wing MediaTreasury Department
Biden Cabinet Confirmations Show Continued Political Potency Of Revolving Door Critiques
The prolonged confirmation fights for top Biden nominees proved one thing: Republicans will gleefully and cynically exploit anti-corruption critiques of Biden’s Cabinet for their own political purposes. The President must deny them this potent political weapon by closing corporate America’s revolving door for good.
April 06, 2021
The State of Independent Agency Nominations - Update for April 2021
After over two months in office, President Joe Biden has a Cabinet. And his administration continues to announce names for the nearly 4000 other positions it will need to fill. With only a few exceptions, however, picks for one class of appointment — to independent agency boards — have been slow to emerge. The Biden administration undoubtedly faces many competing priorities, but these nominations must rise to the top.
April 05, 2021
Financial Disclosures Reveal Fossil Fuel Industry’s Pipeline To The White House
Financial disclosures reveal over a dozen senior White House officials’ financial and career ties to fossil fuel companies, pipelines, and natural gas industries.
April 02, 2021
Biden's Budget Must Strengthen OSHA
Faced with a monumental workplace safety crisis in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has largely failed to protect workers. Decades of declining staffing levels left this critical agency unable to adapt to extraordinary conditions and support workers across the country when they most needed it. During his campaign, Joe Biden vowed to be the “strongest labor president you’ve ever had.” As he prepares to release his budget proposal for his first full financial year in office, the opportunity is fast approaching for Biden to put federal money where his mouth is. Biden must follow through on his pro-worker promises by expanding funding and employment levels for OSHA and OSHA state affiliates (among a slate of other sorely needed pro-labor policies) so that they have the capacity to safeguard workplace safety in times of crisis and otherwise.
March 31, 2021
Facebook Strengthens Defenses Against Break Up By Hiring Another DOJ Antitrust Official
Another day, another former antitrust enforcer defecting for the corporate world. In the months since President Joe Biden promised to pursue more aggressive antitrust enforcement, former antitrust officials have become an even hotter commodity in the private sector. Douglas Rathbun is the latest official to jump ship from the increasingly central world of antitrust enforcement to the more lucrative world of defending the status quo. Rathbun is a former counsel for the Antitrust Division’s Office of Legal Policy and has advised the Division on administrative and regulatory matters as well as guided nominees to senior leadership positions. According to his LinkedIn, Rathbun elected to cut out the BigLaw middleman and join a corporation directly: this month he joined Facebook to work on public policy.
March 29, 2021
White House Personal Financial Disclosures
The Revolving Door Project has been requesting personal financial disclosures, or Form 278e’s, since the White House made them available. While we are still waiting to receive many requests back, we wanted to share the ones we have received with the public as quickly as possible by summarizing relevant findings for each White House appointee.
March 29, 2021
Pharma In The White House: Financial Disclosures Reveal Officials' Stake In Vaccine Manufacturers
Financial disclosures revealed that numerous high level Biden White House officials have financial holdings in vaccine manufacturers, while some of them are involved in vaccine distribution talks.