Confirmation Crisis

July 13, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter

Hannah Story Brown

Newsletter

Confirmation CrisisCorporate CrackdownDepartment of JusticeEthics in Government

Only Through Change Can We Save Our Institutions Now

So the rollercoaster ride continues, deep into the summer. Thankfully, while Congress is in session—and these next three weeks of negotiation are expected to be deeply consequential for the future of the clean energy transition—the Supreme Court is not. (Well, let’s hope they don’t abuse the “Shadow Docket” [pdf]). We shouldn’t have to hear from them again until the first Monday of October. But of course, after months of waiting with heightened anxiety for Dobbs v. Jackson, West Virginia v. EPA, and many other rulings to drop, the Supreme Court had to leave us with something new to worry over as they headed out the door for summer vacation: Moore v. Harper.

June 08, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter

Hannah Story Brown

Newsletter

Confirmation CrisisExecutive BranchIndependent Agencies

June Gloom for Student Debtors, Plus Biden’s Solar Breakthrough

The tortuous game of will-they-won’t-they cancel student debt continues. Biden’s decision this week to cancel $5.8 billion in debt held by 560,000 former students of the systematically fraudulent, now-defunct Corinthian Colleges seems to signal a willingness (finally!) to wield executive authority on higher ed issues. Meanwhile, a historic coalition of over 500 labor, civil rights and advocacy groups continues to press Biden for sweeping cancellation. The labor movement has been ramping up its calls for student debt cancellation, and more unions, including the Amazon and Starbucks unions and several traditionally blue-collar unions, are joining the fight. This show of force from a broad labor base could help Biden overcome his political reservations, with organized labor actively refuting the Republican talking point that student debt relief is a handout to elite university graduates.

May 25, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter

Hannah Story Brown

Newsletter

ClimateConfirmation CrisisExecutive BranchFDA

The Filth Circuit Takes a Wrecking Ball to Precedent

Over the past week Biden invoked the Defense Production Act to require that the ingredients necessary for baby formula go to formula manufacturers first, and initiated Operation Fly Formula, using military planes to fly the equivalent of 1.5 million bottles of hypoallergenic formula across the Atlantic. It’s good to see the White House roused to take action, and to use emergency presidential powers to protect people in need. That’s what emergency powers are for.

April 06, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter

Eleanor Eagan

Newsletter

2020 Election/TransitionAnti-MonopolyConfirmation CrisisDe-Trumpification

Separating Biden World Wheat from Chaff

Measured in positions still awaiting permanent appointments, the first presidential transition is still far from over. Of the 799 positions that the Partnership for Public Service included in its political appointee tracker, 117 still lack a nominee. An additional 161 are empty or being filled in an acting capacity as the nominees for them work their way through an ever more dysfunctional Senate confirmation process. 

February 23, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter

Eleanor Eagan

Newsletter

AntitrustConfirmation CrisisIndependent Agencies

To Scare Monopolies, DOJ Antitrust Division Needs Reinforcements

The Department of Justice Antitrust Division is once again stepping up its efforts to tackle the corporate greed that is helping to drive the recent spike in inflation. On Thursday, the Department announced that it would be bringing new scrutiny to supply chain profiteers. This is the latest indication that Jonathan Kanter’s Antitrust division is serious about tackling corporate consolidation and its ill-effects across the breadth of the economy. In recent months, the division has also set its sights on BigTech, shipping and rail, and meat, among other industries. It has simultaneously promised to change its approach to enforcement by bringing lawsuits instead of seeking settlements and begun the process of updating the guidelines it uses to review mergers. Altogether, that’s a big agenda.

December 22, 2021 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter

Eleanor Eagan

Newsletter

Confirmation CrisisCongressional OversightDe-TrumpificationGovernment Capacity

New Year’s Resolutions for Official Washington

The jury’s still out on whether Build Back Better is really, truly dead. Some think that there’s still a deal to be made after Senator Joe Manchin unceremoniously blew up negotiations over the weekend. Others argue that, if Manchin isn’t satisfied with a bill that has already been thoroughly hacked and chiseled to conform to his demands, he won’t accept anything. But whichever camp you fall in, it’s clear that the landmark legislation is unlikely to remain the only topic in town next year. (Indeed, as important as the needs requiring BBB are, the executive branch is always also critical). As our political leaders prepare for the post-Build Back Better world, we ask that they consider making the following resolutions for the New Year.

December 15, 2021 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter

Eleanor Eagan

Newsletter

Confirmation CrisisDepartment of JusticeFinancial RegulationIndependent AgenciesSEC

Biden’s Bank Regulators Play Hardball

Late last Thursday, a Democratic majority on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) board announced that it had voted to take comment on the agency’s process for reviewing bank mergers, a policy that fits neatly within the Biden administration’s whole-of-government approach to competition. On its face, this is wholly unremarkable. But what should have been just another early step towards meeting this administration’s goals quickly turned into an all out war thanks to the FDIC’s Trump holdover chair Jelena McWilliams.