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October 29, 2020 | The American Prospect

Eleanor Eagan

Op-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionGovernment Capacity

Note to Biden: A President Can Do a Lot Even Without the Senate

For almost four years, the breathtaking cruelty, mismanagement, and corruption of the Trump administration have kept the pundits yapping, the printing presses running, angry congressional letters flying, and the Twittersphere ablaze. Depending on the results of next Tuesday’s election, however, Joe Biden may soon be in a position to actually do something about it all. As Biden and his advisers survey the rubble, it will be important that they not get distracted by the nonsense (“I will tweet less” is not a compelling administrative pillar), but rather home in on those features of the Trump administration that have made life worse for millions.

October 23, 2020 | Washington Monthly

Yevgeny Shrago

Op-Ed

Government Capacity

Uncle Sam’s HR Department Needs Help

Joe Biden promises a return to an honest, competent federal government. For that to happen, the government must be adequately staffed with experienced civil servants empowered to push forward his policy agenda, should he win. Without an experienced team, even the best appointees will struggle.

October 23, 2020 | Public Seminar

Mariama Eversley Yevgeny Shrago

Op-Ed

Congressional OversightGovernment Capacity

Donald Trump Politicized the Federal Bureaucracy: The Next President Needs to Reverse That

In an effort to mitigate the political damage from failing to contain the virus and manage its corollary crises, the White House recently mandated that the Department of Agriculture include a signed letter from Donald Trump inside food boxes, claiming credit for the federal program providing food to families in need. The move effectively politicized the taxpayer funded program as a tool of the president’s own self-promotion just a month before the election. Even worse, the department’s inclusion of the letter has jeopardized the program’s operation, as distribution sites fear they will be improperly engaging in political activity.

October 22, 2020 | Independent Media Institute

Op-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionFinancial Regulation

How BlackRock Is On Track To Infiltrate A Biden Administration

The Democratic base, still scarred from the 2016 election, is frantic not to count its chickens before they hatch. But Wall Street and corporate America have no such qualms. As Joe Biden leads in national polls and swing states, the most powerful firms in the country are seeking assurances that his administration won’t crack down on their crimes.

October 07, 2020 | The American Prospect

Eleanor Eagan Max Moran

Op-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionEthics in Government

The Biden Transition’s Ethics Pledge Is a Paper Tiger

For all of his failures—at business, governing, and even just sitting still and receiving proper medical care for a deadly virus—the American public can always count on Donald Trump to put on a show. For four years, he has gripped the country’s attention with an unending stream of scandals. If current polling trends are any guide, however, the curtain may soon be closing. Without all the distraction, we’ll be left squarely facing a key question: How do we fix what Trump revealed to be broken?

September 30, 2020 | American Prospect

Eleanor Eagan Jeff Hauser Max Moran

Op-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionExecutive Branch

The Debate We Had Vs. The Debate We Needed

Tuesday’s debate, sadly, was much more about Trump’s performative unruliness than any insight into either candidate’s plan (or lack thereof) for running the executive branch. While he had some decent moments amidst Trump’s freak show act, this was a particular disappointment for Joe Biden. The best, potentially landslide-generating argument against Trump is not that he is a horrible person. Swing voters were reminded of that by Trump’s performance all evening, but few needed the reminder.

September 24, 2020 | The American Prospect

Yevgeny Shrago

Op-Ed

ClimateGovernment Capacity

Re-Fund the EPA

The wildfires and hurricanes plaguing the United States in the last month reflect the massive societal implications of climate change. Understanding the importance of this moment, Vice President Joe Biden has proposed a $2 trillion climate plan designed to transition the economy away from greenhouse gas emissions. The plan calls for an emission-free power sector by 2030, as well as an environmental justice component to address how climate policies have failed communities of color. Parts of Biden’s plan will require new legislation and others will deputize numerous federal agencies. But a major share of responsibility for success will fall on the Environmental Protection Agency.

September 22, 2020 | The New Republic

Eleanor Eagan Jeff Hauser

Op-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionCongressional Oversight

What a Defiant Democratic Party Looks Like

On Friday night, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death shocked an already reeling country. What came next, however, was sadly unsurprising. Mere hours after Ginsburg’s passing, McConnell had already affirmed that he would hold a vote for Trump’s nominee to fill the vacancy, contravening the ersatz standard he set out in 2016. Or, as Senator Chris Murphy put it, “Nobody’s word means anything in this place anymore. All that matters is raw power.” It’s a bit of a belated realization: Republicans are unafraid to use their power to achieve their desired ends. Will Democrats respond in kind?

September 18, 2020 | Salon

Eleanor Eagan

Op-Ed

Congressional Oversight

Democrats Are Overlooking a Big Opportunity to Increase Voter Turnout and Take on the Trump Machine

The anxiety over changes and irregularities with the United States Postal Service (USPS) in August finally spilled over. A functioning postal service undergirds many of our society’s most basic functions, so there was no shortage of reasons to be alarmed. However, one concern—the threat to November’s election—overwhelmingly rose to the top. And the public outcry over that threat pushed a normally lethargic House majority into action, winning some mild but incomplete reversals from USPS.

August 20, 2020 | The Daily Beast

Eleanor Eagan Jeff Hauser

Op-Ed

Congressional Oversight

Nancy Pelosi Needs to Do More to Save the Postal Service—and the Election

The crisis at the Postal Service has been building and accelerating for months with virtually no official response. Over the past two weeks, however, it reached a crescendo that even the country’s remarkably confrontation-averse opposition party could not ignore. In a matter of days, overwhelming grassroots pressure pushed House Democrats from seemingly having no plan to executing a rapid return to Washington, D.C., getting a hearing with the postmaster general on the calendar for next week and winning a promise from Louis DeJoy to cease operational changes until after the election.