Washington Insider

All Column Articles

  • The new Biden administration is arguing that even without a “home run antiviral” for COVID-19, Dr. Francis Collins is proposing a big push to develop a treatment from scratch to prepare for future coronavirus outbreaks.

  • The U.S. has considerable work to do before it rolls out its trade policy modifications. For example, the U.S. delegation to the WTO, in a statement Monday, said it's “not in a position” to back a proposal on appellate panel members, citing Biden's inauguration five days ago and...

  • President Joe Biden has teed up a “slew” of clean air and carbon issues and made them “top environmental priorities” for his administration in a new executive order signed this week. The directive affected dozens of Trump-era rules, including carbon emissions, clean air...

  • Among President Joe Biden's first acts in office was the reassembly of a cross-government team to figure out this cost that Bloomberg calls a “wonky number with broad impacts on federal agency rules" by determining the social cost of carbon.

  • Bloomberg, and others, are reporting this week that Janet Yellen could be in place as Treasury Secretary as soon as Thursday, even after her attempts to sell President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus plan faced early Republican opposition during her confirmation hearing.

  • When leading geneticist and Broad Institute founder Eric Lander becomes Biden's science adviser and head of the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), it will mark the first time a president has elevated the position to the cabinet. The Biden team also announced a slate...

  • As Biden takes office tomorrow, the U.S. and China have tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of each other's goods. A long-running dispute with the European Union over illegal subsidies to Airbus and Boeing persists, the U.S. and UK have yet to reach a free-trade agreement, and the World...

  • Big business “is in a tight spot” just now. It thinks that rebellious Trump loyalists have amped up their influence over the Republican Party, which business traditionally leaned on for support, and that may not serve them well in the future.

  • The U.S. economy can surpass what technocrats once thought were its limits: specifically, the jobless rate can fall lower and government budget deficits can run higher than was once widely believed, without setting off an inflationary spiral.

  • After a week of widespread confusion over the scope of a U.S. ban on investments in businesses linked to China's military, both Washington and Beijing took steps over the last weekend that threaten to further ratchet up tensions and cloud the outlook for cross-border commerce.

  • The New York Times highlighted a strange aspect of the Paycheck Protection Program this week. Many of the loans provided were really tiny because of the way rules were written. Still, the program was called a lifeline for many small businesses as it distributed $523 billion in forgivable loans...

  • Data due on Wednesday are expected to show that consumer prices increased 1.3% in 2020, and that in spite of rising costs for many producers the Fed's preferred measure won't exceed its 2% target even by the end of 2022. And Fed officials say they want to see inflation stay above that...

  • The news was dominated this week by three events; the debate and tumult at the Capitol on Wednesday; the formal recognition of Joe Biden by Congress as the next U.S. president early Thursday and the Georgia wins of two Democrats on Wednesday to shift control of the Senate.

  • The news was dominated this week by three events; the debate and tumult at the Capitol on Wednesday; the formal recognition of Joe Biden by Congress as the next U.S. president early Thursday and the Georgia wins of two Democrats on Wednesday to shift control of the Senate.

  • Last week, USDA and Health and Human Services, which every five years updates the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, released new recommendations that stuck with existing standards for sugar and alcohol, the Washington Post reported this week. Not everyone was pleased.

  • A new generation of wind turbines are about a third more powerful than the largest already in commercial service. They will have a generating capacity that would have been almost unimaginable a decade ago. The race for larger scale turbines has moved faster than many industry figures foresaw.

  • The president has long complained about U.S. taxpayer money going to other countries, but Congress has repeatedly blocked him from doing anything about it. Still, he's trying to slow down foreign aid while agencies such as EPA also finalize other complicated rules.

  • The New York Times says this week that the central, befuddling economic reality of the United States at the close of 2020 is that everything is terrible in the world, while everything is wonderful in the financial markets. It thinks this reveals the sharp disparity between the pandemic year's...

  • New Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025, was released by USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Tuesday. The recommendations "look similar" to prior guidelines, the agencies noted, and despite a general recommendation that adults limit added sugar and alcoholic...

  • Labor and farmworker groups won an injunction blocking the Department of Labor from freezing H-2A guestworkers' adverse effect wage rates (AEWRs) for 2021 and 2022.