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August 16, 2023 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
On July 25, 2023, military leaders in Niger, along with members of the Presidential Guard, enacted a coup against President Mohamed Bazoum. Led by General Abdourahamane Tchiani, a Nigerien military officer and self-appointed President of Niger’s military junta, coup plotters detained the democratically-elected President Bazoum, as well as members of his family, threatened to kill him in the event of any military intervention in the coup, and most recently put him on trial for treason.
Despite widespread rumors of an emergent coup in the country, the United States was reportedly “blindsided” by it, and scrambled to respond. Of course, American intel regarding the actual political atmosphere of the country was hindered in no small way by the lack of State Department personnel staffing embassies in the region.
July 18, 2023
This past spring gave us a slow rate of nominations from the White House and a similarly glacial pace of confirmations from a Senate that has been plagued with an utterly dysfunctional confirmations system.
April 11, 2023
Demand Progress and the Revolving Door Project sent a letter to President Biden reminding him that neither the White House nor Senate Democrats “should feel compelled to expedite the nomination and/or confirmation of Republicans to independent agencies” particularly while Democratic nominees remain languishing in the Senate due to years of Senate Republicans’ malfeasance.
January 23, 2023
It was a slow fall for independent agency nominations as Senators left chambers for their campaigns and the Biden administration stood paralyzed in anticipation of the midterm Red Wave That Wasn’t.
September 07, 2022
As we at the Revolving Door Project have long argued, the crisis surrounding the confirmations (or rather, the lack thereof) of Biden’s highly qualified nominees remains an issue of critical importance.
August 31, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
The Confirmation Crisis Solidifies
The hyper-politicization of the Senate’s confirmation process, and the manipulation of the procedures by which it is governed, has led us to a dire moment in which Republican Senators have effectively given themselves the power to deny President Biden and the public a fully-staffed federal government. This iniquitous procedural politicking has stalled crucial agencies while denying Democrats rightful majorities at several independent agencies and the long-sought regulatory policies those majorities would bring.
July 13, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.