On Friday morning, President Trump declared a national emergency to confront the humanitarian and security crisis on the southern border. He will direct up to $8 billion for border-wall funding in order to stop an inflow of drugs, human trafficking, and illegal immigration into the United States.

Heritage Foundation President Kay Coles James released a statement on the decision.

“Conservatives are disappointed in Congress and frustrated that its failure has led to today’s action by the president,” she said. “The omnibus legislation coupled with today’s announcement is an unacceptable resolution to a genuine national crisis.”

Trump declared the national emergency after Congress passed a spending deal that included $1.375 billion for new border wall funding—far less than the $5.7 billion that the president requested.

Read Heritage President Kay Coles James’ full statement here.

Now that Heritage has reacted, what’s your take on President Trump’s National Emergency Declaration?

Under the devastating socialist dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro, Venezuelans have no food, medicine, or opportunity. But recently, hope has sprung, and Venezuela’s people have a chance to oust Maduro and his regime for good. On Monday, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla, spoke at an event hosted by The Heritage Foundation and the International Republican Institute to discuss the latest political developments in Venezuela, Interim President Juan Guaidó, and next steps for U.S. policy.

Read more about the event highlights on The Daily Signal

Watch the event at Heritage.org

Listen to the “Heritage Explains” podcast to get up to speed on the evolving crisis

Heritage’s Ana Quintana has been following the situation in Venezuela for a long time. Read her recent article: Maduro Must Go: Venezuelans Deserve a Functioning Democracy

After the event, Rubio spoke with Heritage Action’s Executive Director Tim Chapman to discuss the future of the conservative movement.

Watch Rubio’s interview with Tim Chapman

Given that Venezuela’s collapse is destabilizing the region, what should the United States do to prevent the crisis from spreading?

Thursday marked the one-year anniversary of the horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that resulted in the deaths of 17 students and staff members. Since the shooting, lawmakers across the country have been working to find a solution to make our schools safer. Heritage recently released new research that examines the intersection of mental illness, violence, and firearms.

“We must ensure that policy decisions regarding Second Amendment rights reflect an accurate understanding of the role mental illness does and does not play in gun violence, as well as an accurate understanding of why the United States is suffering from a crisis of untreated serious mental illness,” write Heritage experts John Malcolm and Amy Swearer.

Read the new report on mental illness, violence, and firearms

Learn about Heritage’s School Safety Initiative

Now that you’ve heard from our experts, what else can we do to make our schools safe?

Hawk Newsome, right, founder of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, speaks at South Bronx Community High School with Nick Cannon, a rapper, actor, and comedian. (Photo: Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

In 2017, Black Lives Matter of Greater New York founder Hawk Newsome went to protest at a pro-Trump rally in Washington, D.C. Then the unexpected happened: he took the stage—and won over the crowd. “They went from booing to cheering us on, in a matter of three minutes,” said Newsome.

Heritage’s Rob Bluey interviewed Newsome in the South Bronx to learn more about the man who is working to find common ground among Americans of all stripes. “If we really want to make America great, we do it together,” said Newsome.

Read more about Rob’s interview with Black Lives Matter leader Hawk Newsome

Listen to the full interview on The Daily Signal podcast

A large number of Heritage readers reacted to this story:

“Dear Daily Signal: Thanks for your interview with Black Lives Matter activist Hawk Newsome. It’s about time someone reached out and focused on what unites us. Reaching out creates bonds and decreases hate, and most importantly, helps all of us focus on politicians and hold them to account. We should be initiating these opportunities.I spent many years leading a nonprofit, The Food Project, which trains and places teens and young adults at the center of creating sustainable, local food systems. At its heart is bringing teens and young adults together from low income, mostly minority urban communities, with suburban, mostly white, middle class and wealthy communities. The teens and young adults learn how to work across race and class and also navigate the urban and suburban cultural divide. Powerful relationships across differences blossom because we provide structured opportunities in safe spaces for individuals to share and listen to each other’s personal stories. It’s on that level of sharing deeply personal experiences and seeing that in spite of vast differences, basic values are held on common. That’s when minds and hearts are changed. “
Pat Gray, Lincoln, Mass.

“Thank you so much for the interview with Hawk Newsome. We can’t be afraid to listen and talk. Regular media won’t do it; they need to have the deck “stacked.”I appreciate hearing this young man. He needs to be heard. Please do follow ups.”
Catherine Anderson, Walla Walla, Wash.

“This is a wonderful interview with Hawk Newsome. It’s helpful to see how this man thinks instead of all of the stereotypes we see in mainstream news and blogs—on both sides. We need more understanding of our common humanity. Please do more of these interviews—they will help heal the division and save our beloved nation.”
Mary-Jo Schumburg

Our goal for 2019 is to speak to more Americans outside of the “conservative bubble” and build bridges to different communities. Who do you think Heritage should speak with?

President Donald Trump, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence looking on, delivers the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol Building on Feb. 5 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Trump called for Congress to “choose greatness” for the country in Tuesday’s State of the Union address. He highlighted the many victories achieved by his administration in the past two years and laid out a vision for the future. Heritage has long supported many of these proposals: a national ban on late-term abortion, continuing to rebuild the military, and robust border security. One issue the president failed to address is the nation’s ballooning debt, which stands at $22 trillion amounting to $68,000 for every man, woman, and child in America.  Spending is a bipartisan problem.

Read the full Heritage analysis of Trump’s policy proposals in the State of the Union

What is your take on the State of the Union?

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