Directors of DNI, NSA, and FBI come to Heritage

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Earlier today, Heritage hosted the Directors of the DNI, NSA, and FBI to discuss America’s security.

Specifically, they discussed the reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) which provides invaluable information on non-U.S. people oversees. Some estimates say that Section 702 is responsible for more than 25 percent of all current intelligence collected.

The program is so crucial to America’s security that Congress should reauthorize Section 702 in its current form before the deadline at the end of this year.

Learn more about what FISA enables and watch the remarks below:

Your continued support allows Heritage to bring together the decision makers and the best and brightest minds to solve these critical issues our nation faces.

What are the top three security threats facing our nation today and what do you think should be done to solve them?

Influencing tax reform

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Fair, functional tax reform could forever change the direction of this country.

At this historic moment, your support has enabled Heritage to play a major role in this opportunity to reform the tax code for the first time since 1986.

We’ve been working to lead all lawmakers in our direction to bring about conservative tax reform.

As an example of that influence, Thursday, the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, came to Heritage to speak on tax reform.

Watch his remarks below:

Tax reform is a critical issue that is needed to give new life to our economy and put more money back in the pockets of the taxpayer.

Heritage has long advocated for a robust tax reform overhaul and will continue to show the need for major change on this issue.

Sound tax reform should achieve:

  • Lower individual and business tax rates
  • Establish the right tax base
  • Eliminate the bias against savings and investment
  • Eliminate tax preferences
  • Simplify the tax system and make it more transparent so taxpayers fully understand how much they pay to fund the federal government

If a fair and functional tax reform is decided on, America could shed its current system, which leaves families struggling to get ahead.

Do you believe Congress will pass a conservative tax reform plan?

What’s next for Iran’s foreign policy?

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The Obama administration created a nuclear deal that failed to moderate Iran’s aggressive foreign policy.

Now, the Trump Administration must decide whether to certify Iran’s compliance with that deal. They have until October 15 to make a decision.

Heritage has been pushing to decertify the Iran deal for years and has provided the research needed to prove this is the right decision.

On Thursday, Heritage’s Senior Research Fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs James Phillips hosted an event titled “U.S. Iran Policy: What Next?” to examine what needs to happen to the Iran deal.

The event consisted of a panel discussion where Heritage and national security experts agreed that in order to hold Iran accountable for its aggression and hostility and block its path to a nuclear weapon, the Iran nuclear deal must be de-certified.

Watch the full event below:

Phillips has been providing the key research and arguments for why the Iran Deal needs to be de-certified for years. He recently wrote a report titled “Time to Decertify the Iran Nuclear Agreement”, where he further defined why we need to end the Iran Deal. He wrote:

“It is increasingly difficult to argue that it is vital to the national security interest of the United States to continue granting billions of dollars of sanctions relief that will strengthen a rogue regime that leads chants of “Death to America”; exports terrorism; threatens U.S. allies; harasses U.S. Navy warships in the Persian Gulf; defies U.N. Security Council Resolutions on ballistic missile tests, arms imports, and arms exports; and arrests innocent American citizens to hold as hostages.”

Soon, the Trump Administration will reveal the conclusions reached in its Iran policy review. Those conclusions will determine the decision made on October 15.

How do you think the Administration should deal with the flawed nuclear agreement?

Heritage releases 2018 Index of U.S. Military Strength

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Assessing U.S. national interests and America’s ability to defend those interests is one of the foremost responsibilities of the federal government.

The Heritage Foundation’s annual Index of U.S. Military Strength has become a key resource for policymakers. It contains the latest assessments of global threats, operating environments, and the status of the U.S. military.

This Thursday, Heritage released the 2018 Index of U.S. Military Strength. We hosted a special discussion from notable national security experts on the components critical to the defense of our nation.

Watch a video recording of the event here >>

James Jay Carafano, leading expert in national security and foreign policy challenges and Vice President of Heritage’s Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, worked closely in the compilation and completion of this year’s Index. He says:

“The publication of the 2018 index could not be more important or timely. President Trump is committed to a peace through strength strategy but Congress has yet to act to provide the resources needed. The index will be a wake-up call on how vital it is to get started with efficiently and smartly rebuilding American military prowess.”

The keynote address was given by The Honorable Mac Thornberry (R-TX), the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

The Index and discussion explore a comprehensive list of topics- including the characteristics and nature of major war-fighting domains: land, sea, air, space, cyber and joint, providing insights of value to professionals and amateurs alike in understanding the modern nature of conflict in these domains.

What do you think is the biggest challenge our military strength faces today?

Pain Capable Act passes House

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To secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity, our country needs a culture of life.

On Tuesday evening, Congress passed H.R. 36, a bill that would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. It includes exceptions for incest, rape, and life of the mother.

It passed by a vote of 237-189, mostly along party lines.

The White House released a statement saying:

“H.R. 36 would generally make it unlawful for any person to perform, or attempt to perform, an abortion of an unborn child after 20 weeks post-fertilization, with limited exceptions. The bill, if enacted into law, would help to facilitate the culture of life to which our nation aspires.”

Currently, The United States is one of only seven nations in the world to allow elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The President’s advisors have stated that if H.R. 36 were presented to him in its current form, they would recommend he sign it into law.

This past September, five-year-old Micah Pickering came to Capitol Hill to put a face to the proposed act. Micah was born prematurely at 20 weeks, and received intensive care. He is now happy and healthy, proving children as young as 20 weeks can live and thrive despite their early birth. Watch the Daily Signal video with Micah’s parents here >>

Monica Burke, a Research Assistant at the Center for Religion and Civil Society, said of the bill:

“Anyone who claims to be pro-science ought to pay heed to the Pain Capable Act. The bill highlights what science tells us about life in utero and affirms the unborn as unique and distinct human beings, capable of suffering.”

The next step is for the bill to pass in the Senate. This may be challenging, since the Republican margin as the majority is only 52-48 and the bill will need 60 votes to pass..

How would you like to see a culture of life promoted in today’s society?

Tax reform that is set to grow the economy, create jobs, and increase wages for American workers

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At Heritage, we believe fundamental tax reform is necessary to strengthen the economy.

Last week, the Senate Budget Committee released its long-awaited fiscal year 2018 budget resolution, which paved the way for comprehensive tax reform. Read through six takeaways on the budget resolution on The Daily Signal here >>

Republican Study Committee (RSC) members believe Congress must deliver on tax reform by eliminating distortions and creating fairness in the tax code. The budget resolution paves the way for tax reform. Now the question is, how will that tax reform be done?

On Tuesday, RSC members tackled this question here at Heritage. Heritage experts facilitated the conversation as the RSC members discussed a path to comprehensive, pro-growth tax reform. Hosting the discussion was President Edwin J. Feulner, and moderating was tax expert Adam Michel.

Watch a video recording of the event here >>

Rep. Mark Walker, Chairman of the RSC, began the discussion with a strong statement on tax reform:

“The concept of hard-working Americans keeping more of not government money, but their own money, should not be a position that is foreign or offensive.”

The long awaited tax reform outline released by the Trump administration and Republican congressional leaders aims to fix our broken tax code.

If passed, the proposal would grow the economy, create jobs, and increase wages for American workers.

Wesley Coopersmith, Policy Manager at Heritage Action for America, detailed the myths and facts of this pro-growth tax reform.

Here are the ways he believes this reform would benefit American taxpayers:

1) Lowering and simplifying individual tax rates for all Americans,

2) Cutting taxes for large and small businesses alike,

3) Permitting tax-free entrepreneurship,

4) Ridding the tax code of special interest hangouts, and

5) Ending the practice of double-taxing overseas profits made by U.S.-based companies who want to invest in America.

Read through the misconceptions and realities of tax reform here >>

The last time tax reform happened was during the Reagan administration. We should not let this once-in-a-generation opportunity be missed.

What would you most like to see reformed in our tax system?

Heritage experts nominated to top level positions in national security

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This Tuesday, Heritage’s Chief Legal Officer John Mitnick was nominated to be General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The Senate Homeland Security Committee approved his nomination on Wednesday.

The General Counsel acts as chief legal officer of the Department, responsible for all legal determinations and overseeing all the department’s attorneys. He also acts as the Department’s regulatory policy officer, managing the rule-making program and ensuring that all Department of Homeland Security regulatory actions comply with relevant statutes and executive orders.

Mitnick served as Heritage’s Chief Legal Officer on the senior management team. He advised and oversaw all legal, regulatory, and compliance matters for Heritage and it’s related organizations, and acted as legal advisor and primary staff liaison to Heritage’s Board of Trustees.

Before coming to Heritage, Mitnick was an Associate Counsel to President George W. Bush in the White House, as well as Deputy Counsel for the Homeland Security Council. He also served as the Associate General Counsel for Science and Technology at the Department of Homeland Security.

The wealth of experience and expertise he brings to this position will be of inestimable value to both the administration and the country.

The administration’s preference for Heritage experts is not unprecedented. Former Heritage Chief of Staff and retired Army lieutenant colonel Mark Esper was nominated to Army Secretary by President Trump two months ago. Esper is currently the Vice President of government relations at Raytheon.

Esper’s knowledge of government and defense is both broad and deep. He was a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense during the George W. Bush administration and the policy director for the House Armed Services Committee. He also served as the Director of national security affairs and is a veteran of the Gulf War.

“This nominee for Army secretary is the real deal — he’s got Army experience, he’s got business experience, he’s got a Ph.D.,” said Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., a top Trump ally on the Armed Services Committee in The Washington Examiner. “But I just found him to be very engaged, very knowledgeable and he’s got the real passion that we need in that job.”

Although Esper’s confirmation hearing has yet to be scheduled, he has met with several Armed Services members, indicating that a hearing date is coming soon.

Please join me in congratulating John Mitnick and Mark Esper on their nominations.

Tax reform just took a huge step forward

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It’s been an eventful week for tax reform.

Monday night, Heritage President Edwin J. Feulner attended a White House dinner with President Trump to discuss tax reform policy.

Below you will see President Feulner sitting directly to the left of President Trump.

On Wednesday the Trump Administration and the leadership in the House and Senate released a tax reform plan that is a clear and positive path forward for Americans.

Heritage tax expert Adam Michel explained the latest on this development:

Leaders in the House, the Senate, and the White House have all agreed on a tax outline, meaning a true update to our broken tax system could be imminent.

First, the GOP tax plan framework would lower taxes for individual Americans. It would double the standard deduction for individuals and thereby expand the zero-percent bracket, and it would create three income tax brackets (down from seven): 12, 25, and 35 percent, respectively.

Most simply, this will allow all Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money in their pockets.

This plan aligns with many of Heritage’s own recommendations.

On Thursday, Chairman Kevin Brady of the House Ways and Means Committee came to Heritage and detailed how he and the committee are working with President Trump and the House and Senate to move forward on transformational tax reform that will help middle-class Americans.

His remarks focused on creating Main Street jobs, growing middle-class paychecks, making taxes fairer, and helping hardworking Americans – not Washington special interests.

Watch his remarks below:

Thanks for all you do to help make impact in tax reform possible. Your support allows us to be your voice in the places that matter most.

What are your thoughts on this step forward in tax reform?

Heritage’s research directly impacts Pentagon’s strategy

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Heritage’s latest research on military strategies has directly impacted the Pentagon’s decision to form a team to determine how the United States can return to a “two-war” posture.

A “two-war” posture is a military force rational that requires an ability to handle two major wars simultaneously or in closely overlapping time frames.

This is an idea Heritage has been advocating for since the introduction of our Index of U.S. Military Strength in 2015.

It is in keeping with the ancient idea of ‘peace through strength’ that was coined by the Roman Emperor Hadrian and later used by President Ronald Reagan when he observed that “peace does not exist of its own will; it depends on us, on our courage to build and guard it”.

General Tom Spoehr, the director of Heritage’s Center for National Defense, explains how the Pentagon’s decision makes America stronger:

This provides America with the ability to engage in a major fight with the confidence that we have the wherewithal to deter and fight an opportunistic enemy who might take advantage of our commitment elsewhere.

By supporting our research, you are making America a stronger, safer, better place for yourself and for future generations.

What other decisions should the Pentagon make to keep America strong?

Law enforcement in America

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At Heritage we actively seek to bring people together to find solutions to the most pressing issues of the day. One of those pressing issues is law enforcement.

Yesterday, Heritage hosted an event titled Policing in America: Lessons from the Past, Opportunities for the Future.

The former Police Commissioner of New York City, William Bratton, gave the keynote address while the police chiefs of both Baltimore and Washington, DC were in attendance.

You can watch the event below:

The creation of law is only half the battle; enforcement of law ensures success, and it’s no easy task.

What about law enforcement in America do you think needs to change? How do we make that change possible?

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