David Williams

Opinion: Agency Watchdogs Can Do Much More Than Bark and Bite
For inspectors general, collaborative approach would lead to better oversight

Americans’ trust in our government institutions is near all-time lows.

Some of the cynicism — and criticism — stems from more than a decade of hyperpolarization. But much of the distrust is due to high-profile government scandals, such as the initial failure of the Healthcare.gov website, insufficient care at Veterans Affairs hospitals, and the General Services Administration’s over-the-top Las Vegas conference.

Telecom & Technology Offer Hopes for Positive Congressional Reform in 2015 | Commentary

On Tuesday night, President Barack Obama will give his sixth State of the Union Address and there is no doubt that the speech will contain familiar themes on policy initiatives his administration has long championed. Perhaps chief among them though is telecommunications policy, an area that Congress and the president must address if the country is to remain competitive around the world.

A To-Do List for the Next Sandy | Commentary

Two years ago, Superstorm Sandy exposed long-standing holes in our preparedness for natural disasters, sounding a massive alarm that more acute climate catastrophes were already at our doorstep.

Reform National Disaster Policy Before the Next Sandy Strikes | Commentary

As we mark the start of Atlantic hurricane season, it is more critical than ever that Congress start developing a national strategy to mitigate the impact of storms.

The Time Is Now for Free-Trade Agreements | Commentary

Acrimony has become one of Washington’s defining characteristics. For almost the entirety of President Obama’s tenure, the legislative and executive branches have been at bitter odds, failing to seize big moments and enact legislation of great substance. Unfortunately, unless someone steps forward, another opportunity could soon be lost, this time, to pass free trade agreements with allies in Europe and Asia that will open markets with nearly one billion customers to American employees and employers.

The Pillars of Smart Bipartisan Corporate Tax Reform | Commentary

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., just announced plans to retire next year. The 71-year-old Montana Democrat has spent the twilight of his career working to fix America’s broken tax code, and all signs indicate that he wants to make tax reform his legacy.

In terms of both politics and policy, he’d do well to focus on America’s corporate tax system. Its flaws are seriously impeding business growth and choking off job creation.

Congress Must Rein In Expensive 'Sue and Settle' Tactics by EPA | Commentary

The Environmental Protection Agency is always looking for ways to expand its power and scope. That’s not exactly news in Washington and not dissimilar to most federal bureaucracies. But unlike many other agencies, the EPA has figured out a way to completely eschew government transparency and circumvent the traditional regulatory process in a way that needlessly spends more taxpayer dollars.

This unconventional tactic, known as “sue and settle,” works when the EPA and a like-minded group, such as the Environmental Working Group, coordinate a lawsuit between each other where there is no aggrieved party. The court then quickly adopts a pre-arranged settlement. In addition to undermining the adversarial litigation process, that settlement paves the way for new regulations that are favored by the environmental groups and the EPA — such as tougher emission standards for fossil fuels.