January 25, 2022 | Talking Points Memo
If you search for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Google, you’ll find an overwhelming majority of search results are for the Civil Rights Division. That’s unsurprising — the average person is typically more aware of the Civil Rights Division’s work. And it makes sense: As the “crown jewel” of the DOJ, the division performs the crucial work of enforcing the laws that prohibit discrimination.
January 24, 2022
Since the Copyright Office provides expert recommendations and advice to Congress, the executive branch, and the courts, Disney’s recent employees may soon be advising government officials about copyright policy.
January 19, 2022
Since the start of the year, we have warned that failure to promptly fill vacant and expired seats on independent agency boards would undermine the Biden administration’s agenda across many issue areas. Now, as executive branch policymaking kicks into high gear across this administration, we are seeing examples of this warning becoming a reality.
January 11, 2022
Climate change poses a serious threat to everything the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is meant to protect and oversee. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CTFC)’s “Managing Climate Risk in the U.S. The Financial System ”report makes this abundantly clear. The report concludes that climate change may “exacerbate existing, non-climate related vulnerabilities in the financial system, with potentially serious consequences for market stability”. Furthermore, the physical and transitional risks of climate change will likely lead to systemic and sub-systemic financial shocks. These shocks would cause “unprecedented disruption in the proper functioning of financial markets and institutions” and further marginalize communities underserved by the financial system. To fulfill its mandate, of maintaining fair, orderly, and efficient markets, protecting investors, and facilitating capital formation, the SEC must proactively ensure there is enough personnel to monitor and enforce regulations that will keep markets stable and adaptable.
January 11, 2022
New Report Warns That Insufficient Capacity at The SEC Might Limit its Role In the Fight Against Climate Change
Today, the Revolving Door Project released its SEC Climate Capacity Report examining the detrimental impact of capacity shortfalls on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s climate work. This report is the second installment of its Climate Finance Capacity Project. The Climate Finance Capacity Project explores the power and responsibility that each of the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s member agencies has to address the climate crisis and consider how resource limitations threaten to limit their impact.
January 04, 2022
One tiny federal agency with 116 full-time employees and a $28.9 million dollar budget is in charge of regulating the global marine economy, which contributes $397 billion to the US GDP annually and accounts for 80 percent of goods shipped worldwide. That’s not just an apples and oranges discrepancy—that’s like an apple versus Apple. The budget for the military’s marching bands is fifteen times greater than the Federal Maritime Commission’s budget; the Marines alone have five times more musicians than the Commission has staff.
December 22, 2021
Biden made big promises to American college students and graduates in his presidential campaign, just to walk them back when he became president.
December 21, 2021 | The Hill
McWilliams and Chopra both make compelling characters, but only one is quite clearly violating the law, and attempting to seize absolute power over a crucial agency with no repercussions.
December 14, 2021
If the FDIC general counsel is loyal primarily to McWilliams, then his opinion can’t be taken as independent in this matter.
December 10, 2021
Many executive branch departments and agencies — including FEMA, USDA, and the VA — administer lesser-known federal housing programs.
December 10, 2021
McWilliams is effectively saying that any outcome which she doesn’t like must be illegitimate, because she’s the Chair.
December 02, 2021
The Biden Administration was elected to office with an urgent mandate to change our current trajectory towards catastrophic climate change. Climate-focused financial regulation, or the regulation of markets to accurately account for climate risk and the social and material costs of climate-damaging activities, must be a part of this coordinated federal response in order to meaningfully address climate concerns at the governmental level. An agency that is particularly key to this goal is the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The CFTC is one of the smallest federal financial regulatory bodies and yet it is responsible for regulating one of the country’s largest markets, derivatives. While it was originally founded to regulate futures trading in commodities, the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010 expanded the CFTC’s mandate to include swaps markets and broadened the agency’s role in regulating other derivatives, in part due to their extreme volatility and outsized role in the 2008 financial crisis.
November 23, 2021
70 percent of Republicans, 70 percent of Independents, and 70 percent of Democrats surveyed believe the Biden administration should do more to hold lawbreaking corporations accountable.
November 18, 2021 | The American Prospect
The Biden administration inherited a morass of understaffed and undermined federal agencies, weakened by the Trump administration. It makes sense that building back the government’s capacity would be an uphill battle for the Biden administration, with so many years of policymaking undermined by his predecessor. What doesn’t make sense is the jarring number of cases in which the administration is going out of its way, at considerable cost, to uphold Trump-era policies that go against Biden’s stated agenda and the public interest.
November 17, 2021
Congressional selfies and self-congratulations inaugurated the week, but a lot of hard work remains to translate the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s (IIJA) policies into real-life results. Given that those policies are (generously) middling and that the most promising ones are underfunded, turning these into winning programs will demand energy, creativity, competence, and a strong commitment to the public interest.