Carafano: five foreign policy stories to watch

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As 2018 came to a close, Heritage expert James Jay Carafano scanned the horizon to see what 2019 will bring to the world stage. In a Fox News column, the vice president of the Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy predicted the five major national security headlines you will see this year.

Carafano started with Israel, pointing out how their elections may lead to a day of reckoning for Hezbollah. He said that China would pull back its horns as it deals with a stumbling economy and seeks to ease trade tensions with the United States. He also predicts that, notwithstanding the president’s recent policy change regarding troops in Syria, the U.S. would stay in Afghanistan to address the Taliban.

He further forecasts that the administration will keep working with Mexico and Brazil to meet the humanitarian challenges wrought by a collapsing Venezuela. Finally, he foresees continuing disputes with Russia over nuclear weapons, specifically in regards to the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

The bottom line: foreign powers are holding their breath to see how the 2020 presidential election will shape American foreign policy. With experienced observers like James Jay Carafano, we can continue to inform policymakers in the conservative movement and beyond to create the best policy outcomes for the United States.

Read Carafano’s Fox News column here.

What do you think will be the biggest foreign policy challenge of 2019?

President Trump Cites Heritage Expert on Fox News

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In a recent interview with Fox’s Harris Faulkner, President Trump cited Heritage Senior Legal Fellow Hans von Spakovsky’s work in The Daily Signal. The piece addressed the popular liberal argument that claims President Trump conspired to violate campaign finance laws by giving money to Karen McDougal and Stephanie Clifford.

The President’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, pled guilty to tax evasion and financial fraud charges, but von Spakovsky takes issue with the notion that there were violations to campaign finance law, which were part of Cohen’s plea agreement.

As a former member of the Federal Election Commission, von Spakovsky notes that spending restrictions established by the Federal Election Campaign Act specifically do not apply to expenditures that would “exist irrespective of the candidate’s election campaign.”

Von Spakovsky also recalled that the Justice Department’s prosecution of similar charges against former Senator John Edwards resulted in acquittal. The claim that the President violated campaign laws doesn’t withstand scrutiny.

When you have the best legal minds analyzing the issues of our day, it’s possible to dismantle an attempt to use election laws as a weapon against the president. Thank you for giving us the resources to defend the truth and lay out the facts for all—even the President of the United States.

Read Hans von Spakovsky’s Daily Signal commentary here.

What should be done about the criminalization of politics, and the endless investigations against public officials?

Keeping the United Nations Out of America’s Border Security Debate

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The United States could have ceded its immigration lawmaking power to the United Nations. But it didn’t, because as Ambassador Nikki Haley said last year, “immigration policies must always be made by Americans and Americans alone.” Under the Obama administration, the United States supported the United Nations’ Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, and the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants.

The U.S. will not sign the migration compact, and that’s a good thing, according to Senior Legal Fellow Hans von Spakovsky and Senior Research Fellow Brett Schaefer. The pact was deeply flawed, blurring the line between legal and illegal immigration and making detention of illegal immigrants “a measure of last resort.” Had the U.S. signed onto those agreements, U.S. immigration laws would have been overruled by international laws.

Von Spakovsky and Schaefer originally released their analysis in The Daily Signal, telling the backstory of how the U.S. narrowly escaped from entering a binding arrangement that would have greatly increased our national security risks, even as it undercut our national sovereignty. Thank you for supporting The Daily Signal and helping us share stories the progressive media would rather suppress.

Click to read von Spakovsky and Schaefer’s analysis here.

Given that we didn’t sign on to the compact, how should the United States help refugees while maintaining border security?

How Heritage is preparing conservative leaders to win

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Heritage believes that our nation’s current and future political leaders should us the guiding the principles that animated the Founders. Furthermore, they must be equipped with policy recommendations that apply those principles to today’s problems. That’s why we started the Candidate Briefing Program, which helps state, congressional, and presidential candidates understand, articulate, and apply conservative principles and policy solutions.

This year, Heritage experts briefed 84 candidates in need of conservative answers. Heritage was able to provide each candidate with a briefing and impactful parting gift: Solutions 2018, a compendium of our latest policy recommendations.

Fourteen of the candidates, briefed by Heritage, won their races. Soon, they will be putting what they’ve learned to use. But Heritage doesn’t wait until they’re sworn in to help them be effective advocates of conservative policy.

On Nov. 20, Heritage welcomed almost two-thirds of the incoming House Republican class to our 2018 New Members Orientation. In addition to reminding them of the conservative values they promised to uphold, the two-day program provided practical information on organizing and staffing a congressional office. And each new Member left with a binder containing resumes of over 300 qualified, conservative job-seekers compiled by our Truluck Center for Leadership Development.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to inculcate conservative ideas in aspiring national leaders, to inoculate candidates against progressivism, and to build relationships that helps produce better policy.

If you had one thing to tell candidates before they became elected officials, what would it be?

 

Obamacare is dying, and Heritage is ready

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The so-called Affordable Care Act may die on the steps of the Supreme Court. That will depend on the Fifth Circuit, and the Supreme Court Justices later on. Last week, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor, a George W. Bush appointee, granted a motion to strike down the Affordable Care Act.

Marie Fishpaw, Heritage’s Director of Domestic Policy Studies, and John Malcolm, Vice President of the Institute for Constitutional Government, wrote a joint commentary discussing what happened and where to go from here. They also highlighted the Health Care Choice Proposal, the next logical step for Congress to consider if the Court voids Obamacare.

States that received waivers under Obamacare were able to innovate around the burdensome regulations and reduce premiums for their residents. The Health Care Choice Proposal would build upon that experience. In the end, Fishpaw and Malcolm write, “[it] would lower premiums up to an estimated 32 percent and ensure that everyone can access a quality private coverage arrangement of their choice.”

Because of your support, Heritage stands ready to help you regain the healthcare freedom and choice lost under Obamacare. We are ready to replace that failed program with something that costs less, and returns the power of choice to Americans everywhere. Thank you for standing with us on this issue.

Read John Malcolm and Marie Fishpaw’s commentary here.

Read the Health care Choice Proposal here.

Should the states make healthcare policy, or should the federal government make a new policy to replace Obamacare?

Ambassador Bolton reveals new strategy at Heritage

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Im delighted again to be here at Heritage, an institution that really has contributed so much to the public policy debate for many decades now in the United States.” –Ambassador John Bolton

Ambassador John Bolton chose to unveil the Trump Administration’s new Africa policy this week in a packed Allison Auditorium at The Heritage Foundation. President Trump approved the strategy just a day before the Ambassador was slated to speak.  Once again, Heritage’s main stage was used to make a major announcement by the Trump Administration.

The strategy prioritizes securing commercial ties, mutually beneficial trade, and security agreements to protect against Radical Islamic Terrorism. Ambassador Bolton also announced that taxpayers would aid nations according to American priorities, and that nations who voted against our interests at the United Nations risked losing American financial support.

The ambassador also pledged that the United States would seek to counter Chinese and Russian attempts to gain competitive advantages in Africa through “corrupt economic dealings.”He reminded the Heritage audience that in Fiscal Year 2017, the United States Government devoted $8.7 billion to African aid. He pledged that future dollars would be spent to “efficiently and effectively advance peace, stability, independence, and prosperity in the region.”

Ambassador Bolton thanked Heritage for the honor of showcasing America’s new Africa policy at our headquarters. No doubt, thanks belongs to you, because without you, Heritage would not be the influential, effective policy platform that it is today. Thank you.

What sort of policy changes would you recommend for America to have a healthy relationship with African nations?

Reagan’s OPM Director: what’s wrong with the federal bureaucracy

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Whether it’s liberal holdovers who disrupt conservative reforms from the inside or disqualified employees, the federal workforce is plagued with bad bureaucracy. Dr. Donald Devine, who headed the Office of Personnel Management for President Ronald Reagan, wrote a comprehensive report this week that lays out the problems with our current administrative state.

These are serious problems. Partisan appointees have “burrowed” into civil service positions, which are meant to be nonpartisan. Moreover, the workforce is unionized, and their leaders are determined to block serious reform efforts.

After all, there’s a lot of money at stake. Overall, federal employees enjoy compensation significantly higher than that of their private sector counterparts. Federal compensation totals $276 billion per year, much more than the same number of private employees would cost.

Your support allows our experts to develop conservative solutions that promise to correct federal bureaucracy. Thank you for standing with us.

Read Dr. Devine’s Report here >>

What should be done to clean up the federal bureaucracy?

Heritage supports conservative reforms in the FIRST STEP Act

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Conservatives believe in justice. That’s what the FIRST Step Act is about: making punishments fit crimes, rather than filling prisons with otherwise salvageable people. The bill, passed by the House and now moving through the Senate, was inspired by successful reforms in conservative states like Georgia and Texas. If passed, it would revise sentencing requirements for non-violent offenders and offer rehabilitation programs proven to work. President Trump supports the legislation and will sign the bill if the Senate sends it to his desk.

As President Kay Coles James wrote in a recent column, “If we keep warehousing offenders without addressing any of the underlying issues that paved their path to prison in the first place, we’ll keep getting more of the same: people leaving prison even more hardened than when they went in, people who quickly fall back into their old lives and criminal activities, only to land back in jail.”

Because of your support, Heritage has the means to research policies that reduce crime and change lives for the better. Thank you for standing with us as we stand for conservative changes to the justice system.

Read President James’ Editorial on FoxNews.com here.

Read Heritage Action’s Frequently Asked Questions about prison reform here.

What changes should be made to the justice system to reduce crime rates?

 

How Heritage builds conservatism on Capitol Hill and beyond

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Heritage held its New Member’s Orientation for new members of Congress. Nearly two-thirds of all newly-elected conservative Members of Congress attended the two-day orientation. Those attending received Heritage Job Bank-prepared binders and flash drives filled with hundreds of resumes representing experienced conservative staffers. For 35 years, Heritage has provided The Heritage Job Bank, a free resource for job seekers who would like to work in organizations across the conservative movement, in the Administration, on Capitol Hill, and state governments.

Prior to the midterms, the Job Bank hosted a career event for the staff of retiring Members of Congress representing both the House and Senate. This event provided one-on-one resume and career consultations with staff from these offices. After last month’s disappointing election results, many conservatives working in congressional offices knew they would need to start job-hunting. Luckily for them, the Heritage Job Bank was there to help. Following the midterms, Heritage Job Bank Manager, Kyle Bonnell hosted a career fair to connect staffers and recruiters from 15 allied conservative organizations.

Heritage can invest in the development and advancement of conservative professionals because you first invested in us. Thank you for supporting us as we build the professional experience needed to drain the swamp and preserve our nation’s future.

In addition to the Young Leaders Program and the Job Bank, what else can Heritage do to prepare young conservatives to change Washington? 

Honoring President Bush and his years of service

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In recognition of the late President George H.W. Bush’s years of public service, Heritage observed the National Day of Mourning declared by President Trump. On this day, we sought to remember President Bush.

As The Daily Signal’s Fred Lucas reported, President Bush was the last World War II veteran to serve as president. And no president since has served in combat. The youngest naval aviator in World War II, George H.W. Bush was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and a Presidential Unit Citation for his service in the Pacific.

President Bush served America long after the war, as Congressman, Ambassador to the United Nations, Head of U.S. Liaison Office in China, and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Prior to his election as president in 1992, he served as Vice President to President Ronald Reagan.

As president, he will be remembered for presiding over the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, as well as the liberation of Kuwait in the First Gulf War.

 

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Heritage President Kay Coles James stated upon his passing, “President Bush was ever willing to disregard personal gain to pursue a public calling—and few did so with his grace and dignity.” President James concluded by saying, “George H.W. Bush’s character and commitment to our nation were reflections of his faith. They were also attributes he passed on through his children and grandchildren. May God comfort them and the rest of the Bush family in their grief.”

Read Heritage President Kay Coles James’ official statement here.

What is your favorite memory of President George H.W. Bush, and his public service?

 

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