Independent Agencies

February 09, 2023 | The Sling

Andrea Beaty KJ Boyle

Op-Ed Anti-MonopolyConsumer ProtectionDepartment of JusticeFTCIndependent Agencies

In Competition and Consumer Protection, The FTC Needs More Funding To Give Economic Power Back To Americans

Congressional Democrats managed to pass a few crucial measures during December’s lame duck session. One tiny fraction of the omnibus bill to fund the government was the Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act, a measure for which anti-monopoly advocates have long been pushing. And beyond the DOJ Antitrust and FTC’s edict to enforce competition, the FTC has another underfunded but crucial mission: consumer protection. 

January 18, 2023

KJ Boyle

Blog Post ClimateDefenseIndependent Agencies

Good News, Everyone! Space Force Has An Astronomical Budget

Congress passed a $1.7 trillion omnibus bill, ensuring that our government is funded for Fiscal Year 2023. You probably haven’t seen the amount given to the most stellar agency: Space Force. Thankfully, Congress listened to the space advocates and appropriated the Space Force the money we’ve all been begging for – $26.29 billion. Americans can now sleep soundly knowing the Space Force has an overflowing pocketbook to protect us from aliens and whatnot.

January 11, 2023 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter

Hannah Story Brown KJ Boyle

Newsletter 2022 ElectionClimateExecutive BranchGovernanceGovernment CapacityIndependent Agencies

Government Spending and its Discontents

We spent October highlighting the perpetual underfunding of most federal departments and agencies, and urging Congress and the Biden administration to use December’s omnibus bill to finally provide them with the money and resources they need. Sadly, while appropriations did increase for FY2023, budgets consistently fell short of what agencies requested. The most jarring example may be the Department of Housing and Development (HUD), whose budget is a whopping $16 billion shy of the requested $77.8 billion. Biden recently announced his goal to cut homelessness by 25 percent in the next two years, but it’s hard to see how even this meager goal will be achieved without a fully funded HUD.

November 23, 2022 | The New Republic

Timi Iwayemi Dylan Gyauch-Lewis

Op-Ed Congressional OversightCryptocurrencyFinancial RegulationIndependent Agencies

Don’t Fall for FTX’s Final Con

The FTX disaster should be all the impetus needed to kill off any new crypto industry–approved legislation. Instead, we need Congress to provide material support for financial regulators in the form of increased appropriations to guard against the next collapse. Much of the crypto industry is already subject to laws—the very ones that the SEC seeks to enforce and that the crypto industry broadly (not just Sam Bankman-Fried) seeks to evade by reducing the SEC’s jurisdiction ex post facto. Both the CFTC and SEC urgently need funds to fulfill their mandates. Crypto stretches these needs even further, but the need has existed for years. For decades, financial crimes have too often gone unpunished. This wasn’t for a lack of rules, but a lack of will, funds, and people willing to enforce them. Crypto doesn’t need special treatment, it needs to face the music.

October 28, 2022

Hannah Story Brown

Hack WatchNewsletter Ethics in GovernmentGovernment CapacityIndependent AgenciesRight-Wing Media

Hack Watch: Debunking the Big Budget Bogeyman

It seems pretty incontestable that a big part of the media’s job is “informing the public of things they need to know.” Accordingly, the media’s coverage of how the government spends money is a spectacular example of how it fails. Congress has enabled a vacuum of sensible, accessible information about the appropriations bills it’s supposed to pass each year to fund government activity, and the media has not stepped in to fill the void.

October 17, 2022

Toni Aguilar Rosenthal

Blog Post Executive BranchIndependent Agencies

Independent Agency Update Summer 2022

Personnel is policy, which means that the people who make up our federal institutions matter. Which means that the partisan Republican assault on the staffing up of the federal agencies that regulate so much of the public’s everyday life also matters greatly. Unfortunately, as we have highlighted for months and will continue to highlight for as long as it persists, the federal government is being gutted from the inside out by a blockade of overdue qualified leadership.