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June 07, 2021 | The American Prospect
Michael Connor of WilmerHale has been appointed to run a surprisingly important agency in efforts to mitigate the climate crisis.
May 27, 2021 | The American Prospect
The U.S. government is involved in hundreds of court cases each year, most of which are not followed closely. But the baseline assumption is that the government is defending the public interest and holding criminals accountable, even when most aren’t watching. Unfortunately, in Merrick Garland’s Justice Department, that is not uniformly the case. Key acting officials, drawn from the halls of corporate power, are riddled with conflicts of interest that are already affecting their ability to protect the public. If the Justice Department is to serve all Americans rather than bolster individual fortunes and entrench corporate power, Merrick Garland must stop elevating corporate attorneys who have gotten rich fighting on corporate America’s behalf.
May 13, 2021 | The American Prospect
Progressives have generally seen Gary Gensler, the newly confirmed chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as a loyal advocate for the public interest. His tenure at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) was one of the few bright spots in Barack Obama’s financial regulatory regime. But in April, Gensler named Alex Oh to be his director of enforcement, before she resigned a week later amid negative media attention. Before joining the SEC, Oh had directly facilitated an ExxonMobil executive’s obstinate deposition testimony (reportedly read off an attorney-drafted script) in the face of plaintiff objections—and the case itself centered on accusations of torture, rape, and murder by ExxonMobil-hired guards in an Indonesian village.
May 10, 2021 | Independent Media Institute
According to the Washington Post, Biden is finally getting around to scratching the backs of his friends and allies. This carries weight in D.C. gossip circles, given how well-connected Biden is there. So who made the cut?
May 07, 2021 | The American Prospect
President Biden has signed an executive order guaranteeing a minimum wage of $15/hr for federal contractors, but there’s a lot more that he can do to immediately improve their lives.
May 05, 2021 | MarketWatch
The Fed is more than monetary policy, and we need to think of the Fed chair’s whole role. Since democratic control of the Fed is exercised primarily through presidential appointments, we must consider Powell’s record holistically. It’s not a good one.
April 29, 2021 | The New Republic
During his campaign, Joe Biden repeatedly held out the promise of an FDR-size presidency—the better to counter the misrule of the Trump administration. It can be said that he has already made some admirable strides in that direction with the passage of the American Rescue Plan. As Biden reaches his 100th day in office, however, he may soon find that comparisons to his self-identified North Star don’t quite measure up. Roosevelt, after all, famously signed 15 major bills into law during his first 100 days, compared to Biden’s one (which isn’t to diminish the size or importance of that single accomplishment). Biden and his allies can, of course, point to considerable obstacles that Roosevelt didn’t need to surmount, such as the Democratic Party’s slimmer margins and the fact that the president does not literally control Congress.
April 29, 2021 | Talking Points Memo
The Rules Dems Could Change To Keep The Tom Cottons Of The Senate From Delaying Biden Noms’ Confirmations
Forty. That’s how many of Joe Biden’s nominees the Senate will have likely confirmed when his presidency crosses the 100-day mark this Friday. On average, it took these nominees 49 days to move from nomination to confirmation. With over 1,100 seats throughout the executive branch left to fill (not to mention hundreds more in the Judiciary), that glacial pace should worry you. Unfortunately, it can get even slower. And thanks to Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), it looks like it’s about to.
April 23, 2021 | The American Prospect
The Biden administration is divided over whether to waive trade protections for Big Pharma—with Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo as a key industry ally.
April 19, 2021 | The Daily Beast
But the old guard continues to wield significant power and will be hard pressed to admit defeat, as exemplified by political strategist Bradley Tusk’s continued success. Some might recall Tusk as New York Mayor Bill De Blasio’s biggest critic. Others know him best as Silicon Valley’s favorite political fixer. Teachers’ unions probably remember him comparing them to the NRA. Tusk’s particular brand of politics—lobbying against regulation on behalf of companies he then invests in—in some ways represents the last gasp of corporate control over government that has run rampant since the Reagan era.
April 14, 2021 | The American Prospect
President Biden’s inaugural annual budget request, which encompasses only discretionary spending (about a third of the federal budget), is a $1.52 trillion proposed investment in the federal government. The rest of the request, to be released later this spring, will include tax reforms and mandatory spending (which includes programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid) and provide a fuller picture of the administration’s priorities.
April 08, 2021 | Public Seminar
IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig has spent his time at the agency favoring the ultra-wealthy, penalizing the poor, and blocking the release of Trump’s tax returns. President Biden should make clear that Trump cronies have no place in his administration and fire Rettig immediately.
April 02, 2021 | The American Prospect
With so many competing priorities, it’s justifiable that Yellen has not given her full attention to every single crisis under her purview. But she can no longer dodge her other big duty: financial policy and Wall Street regulation.
March 30, 2021 | Talking Points Memo
Lawmakers who wish to make use of the CRA to strike Trump’s rules have until April 4 to introduce their resolutions of disapproval, after which point they’ll have five to seven weeks more in which to consider and vote on them. Eleanor Eagan explains why Congress must invoke the CRA now before it’s too late.