Congressional Oversight

August 29, 2023

Chris Lewis

Blog Post Congressional OversightDepartment of Homeland SecurityEthics in Government

The Inaction Of The Obama Administration Got Us Here In Florida

A few days ago, a white supremacist murdered three innocent Black people at a Dollar General store in Jacksonville. Like the shooter in Buffalo and Dylann Roof in Charleston, he had a manifesto that espoused white nationalist talking points and conspiracy theories. The prevalence of racist attacks in recent years underscores the alarming rise of right-wing domestic terrorism in the United States. The problem I want to address is: Who at the highest levels of government is to blame for this?

August 02, 2023 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter

Andrea Beaty

Newsletter Anti-MonopolyCongressional OversightDepartment of JusticeFTCGovernment Capacity

Following Failed Hearing, Jim Jordan And Republicans Try New Tacks To Take Down Khan and Kanter

Two weeks ago, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan entered a House Judiciary  Committee hearing with a target on her back. In the leadup to the hearing, Republicans readied their trumped-up attacks against Khan and the agency she leads: a barely relevant memo from a conflicted ethics officer, a list of unfounded grievances from bitter former Commissioner Christine Wilson, and absurd defenses of Elon Musk’s lazy privacy practices at Twitter. But Khan emerged unscathed, and by the end, the Republicans had lost all their fire.

July 17, 2023

KJ Boyle

Blog Post Anti-MonopolyCongressional OversightEthics in GovernmentFTCTech

Lina Khan Unscathed By Conflicted Ethics Officer and Pro-Monopoly Republicans

Rep Jim Jordan and company had already been eyeing Khan for an investigation because she had the audacity to enforce a consent decree that Twitter violated under Elon Musk’s leadership. Then, they eagerly seized on last month’s (conveniently timed) reporting from Bloomberg which published a previously unseen memo from an FTC ethics official and accused Chair Khan of ignoring the official’s recommendation. With that backdrop, the Republicans seemed poised to strike while the iron was hot, a culmination of their years-long project to undermine Khan’s leadership and reputation. The result was … much different. Thanks to some sleuthing on our part and the bipartisan support for taking on tech monopolies, yesterday’s hearing was less a damning inquisition and more a victory lap for Khan’s rejuvenation of the FTC.

July 13, 2023

Andrea Beaty

Press Release

Anti-MonopolyCongressional OversightFTC

RELEASE: Via Baseless Attacks On Khan, House Republicans Continue to Serve their Monopolist Funders

“Today’s hearing further proved that Republican’s attacks on Lina Khan and her leadership are blatant attempts to weaken antitrust enforcement to the benefit of the corporations that fund the Republican Party. Members, including Jim Jordan, focused on baseless allegations in an attempt to delegitimize the work the FTC is doing to crack down on anti-competitive and harmful practices that monopolistic companies use to amass economic power and squeeze profits out of consumers and workers.” 

July 07, 2023 | Democracy Journal

Fatou Ndiaye

Press Release Congressional OversightGovernment Capacity

RELEASE: Understanding How Budget Reforms Were Exploited To Drain Federal Agencies Can Help Americans Develop a Strategy to Fight Back.

Revolving Door Project’s Fatou Ndiaye published a piece in Democracy Journal outlining the staggering gap between how the appropriations process for federal agencies is supposed to work versus how it currently works. Understanding the difference can help Americans refine strategies to get our voices heard in Congress and shine light on overlooked contributors to chronic underfunding across the federal government. Such an examination is especially relevant as Congress appears poised for a series of fiscal nightmares this fall.

May 24, 2023 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter

Toni Aguilar Rosenthal

Newsletter

Congressional OversightEthics in GovernmentGovernance

Who’s Going To Keep Corporations Honest?

The Washington Post last week ran a delightful little synopsis of Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) true passion: congressional oversight. Bernie is revered for his willingness to hold corporations and their CEOs accountable for their villainy, and how he does so with extraordinary dexterity. Be it by ruthlessly interrogating Big Pharma executives for their murderous price gouging of lifesaving treatments or humiliating Howard Schultz for being a whiny billionaire union-buster, Bernie Sanders makes congressional oversight hearings fun. The fun he makes for himself and for the public he strives to give real voice to through speaking truth to power is not just gratifying; it also helps sharpen congressional oversight into a tool to actually achieve something.

May 17, 2023 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter

Hannah Story Brown

Newsletter ClimateCongressional OversightEthics in GovernmentExecutive Branch

Progressive Counteroffers to Manchin’s Dirty Deal, Debt Ceiling Edition

Manchin’s dirty deal is back on the table, again, according to coverage of the play-by-play of Biden and congressional leaders’ not-not-negotiations over raising the debt ceiling. Whether or not Manchin’s proposal gets packaged with a debt ceiling deal, it seems the question is when, not if, it gets taken up. That’s due in large part to Biden and Schumer’s unjustifiable fealty to Manchin, the administration’s chief saboteur, whose latest pledge is to block all of Biden’s EPA nominees.

April 26, 2023 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter

Hannah Story Brown

Newsletter

Congressional OversightEthics in Government

Tyranny, Thy Name is SCOTUS

We can be forgiven for thinking that Clarence Thomas set a high-water mark for judicial corruption that would be hard for his colleagues to surpass. Just yesterday, a new investigation from The Intercept and the Project on Government Oversight deepened what we know of Thomas and billionaire donor Harlan Crow’s financial ties, highlighting how Crow purchased a second citizenship in the tax haven island nation of St. Kitts and Nevis, which makes tracking Crow’s financial transactions—including his gifts to Thomas—extremely difficult. The investigators point out that this will complicate Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden’s request that Crow provide evidence that he “complied with all relevant federal tax and ethics laws.” Nothing worrisome about a top U.S. justice being financially entangled with a billionaire who changed his citizenship to evade U.S. law!

April 25, 2023 | Common Dreams

Dylan Gyauch-Lewis Toni Aguilar Rosenthal

Op-Ed Congressional OversightEthics in GovernmentSupreme Court

Clarence Thomas and Democratic Fecklessness

Earlier this month, ProPublica released a report documenting decades of undisclosed lavish gifts Justice Clarence Thomas and his family received from Republican mega-donor Harlan Crow. These gifts included a yacht trip around Indonesia, flights on Crow’s private jet, free stays at Crow’s private country club, and more. One week later, the news outlet published a follow-up report detailing how Thomas also sold property to Crow without disclosing it. Thomas’s mother has continued to reside at that property rent-free while Crow funds significant renovations.

April 20, 2023 | The American Prospect

Hannah Story Brown

Op-Ed ClimateCongressional OversightCorporate CrackdownEthics in Government

Exxon’s Unethical Supreme Court Play

As the revelations of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s flagrant corruption continue to unspool, scrutiny of the weak ethics rules binding the Court has intensified. The Senate Judiciary Committee is supposed to oversee the Court, but it has proven itself not remotely up to the task of rooting out judicial corruption. And amid this disturbing situation, a Supreme Court conference this Friday provides an opening for Court conservatives to try to game their few ethical limits in plain sight.