Heritage influences White House to waive the Jones Act

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Faced with providing hurricane battered Florida and Puerto Rico with extra fuel, the Trump Administration made a move that Heritage has advocated by temporarily suspending the Jones Act.

The Jones Act, passed in the 1920’s, is a regulation which prevented vessels from shipping between American ports unless they were using American made ships crewed by Americans.

Prior to the suspension, Salim Furth, a research fellow in Heritage’s Center for Data Analysis, wrote in The Daily Signal that “Acting immediately to waive the Jones Act will allow fuel, food, water, medicine, and rebuilding supplies to reach Puerto Rico with maximum speed and at the lowest cost.” Furth noted that not only did the Jones Act impede normal business dealings, but that it was detrimental during national disasters.

At a White House press briefing, homeland security advisor Tom Bossart admitted the concern for extra fuel was the motivation behind suspending the Jones Act saying.

“We are worried about the fuel shortages,” said Bossart. “We are bringing in as much supply of refined fuel as possible, and we’ve waived a particular statute that allows for foreign-flagged vessels to help in that effort.”

“It is encouraging to see Heritage research implemented by the Trump Administration, that will have a positive impact for those struggling in Florida and Puerto Rico,” said Jack Spencer, Vice President for Heritage’s Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity.

At the end of the Trump administrations one-week waiver Furth wrote again in The Daily Signal that Puerto Rico needs a much more extensive waiver to rebuild from Hurricane Maria’s direct hit.

“Given the scale of the damage to Puerto Rico and the multiyear rebuilding effort to come, Trump should issue a blanket waiver from the Jones Act for Puerto Rico for as long as the territory continues to use federal aid dollars in its rebuilding,” said Furth.

On September 28 the Department of Homeland Security issued another temporary waiver.

“This waiver will ensure that over the next ten days, all options are available to move and distribute goods to the people of Puerto Rico. It is intended to ensure we have enough fuel and commodities to support lifesaving efforts, respond to the storm, and restore critical services and critical infrastructure operations in the wake of these devastating storms,” said Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Elaine Duke.

Furth says this is great news but that Puerto Rico isn’t going to get back to normal in 10 days.

“President Trump should instruct the Department of Homeland Security to waive the Jones Act for as long as Puerto Rico is spending federal emergency funds. It does not make sense to give Puerto Rico aid money and then prevent them from effectively spending that money buying materials from mainland American businesses.”

Read more about why in natural disasters, the Jones Act is especially onerous and why Congress should grant a permanent exemption from the Jones Act for all fuel tankers.

This post originally appeared on www.heritage.org.

How should natural disaster relief be handled in the United States? 

Heritage Experts Advocated for Brexit From the Very Beginning

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Since 2005, when Margaret Thatcher picked The Heritage Foundation to establish the Thatcher Center for Freedom, Heritage experts have advocated for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. This week, the people of the U.K. voted to do just that.

“This is a victory for sovereignty, economic freedom, and self-determination,” says Nile Gardiner, director of the Thatcher Center for Freedom. “A sovereign Britain will be a stronger partner for the United States and a more powerful force on the world stage. Brexit is good for Britain, Europe, and America. It is a cause for great celebration.”

Gardiner leads a team of experts who identify ways to strengthen the Anglo-American Special Relationship as well as promote leadership by the United States and Great Britain. Committed to advancing the vision of Lady Thatcher, the Thatcher Center for Freedom has published several reports on the dangers of the European Union.

In a 2009 Telegraph column, Gardiner wrote that “The single greatest threat to the Special Relationship today is posed by the loss of British independence within the European Union.”

When David Cameron became prime minister, Gardiner published “Four Key Principles for a Conservative British Foreign Policy.” One of these principles was standing up to the rise of a European superstate.

And in 2011, Heritage outlined a conservative agenda for preserving the Special Relationship ahead of President Barack Obama’s trip to the U.K. Ted R. Bromund, senior research fellow in Anglo-American relations, wrote that “The EU’s goal is not simply to erode the sovereignty of its member states, but to deprive them of the ability and desire to play an independent and assertive role in the world.”

“I am proud that The Heritage Foundation has worked to convince Americans and the British people about the necessity and mutual benefits of Brexit,” says Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint. “The Thatcher Center, led by Nile Gardiner, has been the tip of the spear in our efforts, and his team deserves our congratulations.”

Coverage by The Daily Signal, Heritage’s multimedia news organization, helped Heritage experts spread their message on Brexit. Heritage experts were featured on television news networks across the world, including appearances live from London, where Gardiner and Bromund have been for the past week. Gardiner joined Fox Business to make the case why the results of Brexit are good not only for the U.K. but also the U.S. and the world.

With separation from the European Union expected to take two years, Heritage experts have already shifted gears to promote greater cooperation between the two countries. One such proposal, written by Gardiner and Bromund in 2014, is a U.S.-U.K. free trade area.

“The Heritage Foundation has published dozens of policy papers and opinion pieces on why the U.K. should leave the EU and we have worked with the leaders of the Brexit campaign from the very beginning,” says Luke Coffey, director of Heritage’s Allison Center for Foreign Policy. “The Heritage Foundation can be very proud of the role it has played in helping achieve this outcome.”

How do you think the U.K. will benefit from leaving the European Union?

Heritage Members James and Melisha McAlister Want ‘to Turn This Country Around—and to Have Fun Doing It’

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Jim and Melisha McAlister, right, accept the John Von Kannon Award at the Annual Leadership Conference. John Von Kannon's two children and wife are at left.

Jim and Melisha McAlister, right, accept the John Von Kannon Award at the Annual Leadership Conference. John Von Kannon’s two children and wife are at left.

The Heritage Foundation has honored James and Melisha McAlister of Hartville, Ohio, with its “John Von Kannon Patriot Award.”

A long-time executive at the Washington, D.C., based think tank, Von Kannon was a legendary figure in the conservative movement, equally renowned for his irrepressible sense of humor as for his fundraising prowess. He passed away last year.

The McAlisters have been Heritage members for 22 years, supporting the think tank’s work both with their donations and their participation in Heritage conferences and other events. “They are determined to turn this country around—and to have fun doing it,” noted Heritage Group Vice President of Development John Fogarty in presenting the award to the couple.

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Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation Honored As ‘a Force for What Makes America So Good’

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Michael Grebe, left, accepts Heritage's Founders Award on behalf of the Bradley Foundation.

Michael Grebe, left, accepts Heritage’s Founders Award on behalf of the Bradley Foundation.

The Heritage Foundation has honored the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation with its Founders Award. The think tank presents the award annually to recognize “outstanding and continuing support” by a foundation or individual.

Bradley Foundation President and CEO Michael W. Grebe accepted the award on behalf of the Milwaukee-based philanthropic organization.

A grant-making organization, the Bradley Foundation supports programs that promote: limited, competent government; a dynamic marketplace for economic, intellectual, and cultural activity; and a vigorous defense, at home and abroad, of American ideas and institutions.

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Terry and Billi Jean Murphree Honored with ‘Generations Yet Unborn’ Award

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Billi Jean Murphree accepts The George Washington Generations Yet Unborn award on behalf of her husband, Terry Murphree

Billi Jean Murphree accepts The George Washington Generations Yet Unborn award on behalf of her husband, Terry Murphree

The Heritage Foundation has honored the late Terence Hamm Murphree [Auburn ‘60] of Bellville, Texas, with its George Washington “Generations Yet Unborn” Award.

Heritage, the nation’s most broadly supported think tank with more than a half-million members, presents the award annually to a member who, like America’s first president, “makes it his highest ambition to secure the blessings of liberty for generations yet unborn.”

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Promoting America’s Interests in the Arctic

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Several countries, including Russia, are working to stake claims on the resources and potential shipping lanes in the Arctic. A new Heritage report explores how policymakers can promote American interests in the region: by developing a comprehensive policy for addressing Arctic issues; by strengthening economic freedom there; and by deploying proper military capabilities.

Do you believe the Arctic is an important region for the U.S.?

How to Defund Planned Parenthood

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In an op-ed for the the Wall Street Journal this week, Karl Rove wrote “Republicans in Congress who want to risk a shutdown over Planned Parenthood have an obligation to spell out how they would get it done. They can’t.”

In response, Heritage Action for America CEO Mike Needham categorically dismantled Rove’s argument by presenting Heritage Action’s plan:

Here’s the strategy: Win the argument. Don’t try to win the argument with your own voters about why you can’t follow through on what you claim to stand for. Win the argument with the left. Explain to the American people why their tax dollars should not go to an organization with unspeakable cultural rot in its DNA.

In a policy report this week, The Heritage Foundation’s Sarah Torre laid out the case for redirecting Planned Parenthood funds to other health care options.

(Heritage Action for America is a sister organization of The Heritage Foundation.)

Needham closes his argument by calling out the Washington Establishment, who won’t do anything to defund Planned Parenthood:

Rove and his allies have challenged pro-life Congressmen to explain their tactics. Well, the members of the GOP establishment should be challenged on their goals. The Republican Party claims to believe we have a moral obligation to stop sending taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood. Leadership committed to that goal would tell us how they are going to get it done.

They won’t. They have no intention of ever doing so.

What do you think? With new leadership, do you think Congress will act to defund Planned Parenthood?

In Memoriam John Von Kannon, 1949-2015

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John Von Kannon, a leading figure in the conservative movement, died at his home in Washington on Saturday following a year-long battle with cancer. He was 66. At the time of his death, he was serving as vice president and senior counselor of The Heritage Foundation, the nation’s leading conservative think tank.

A fundraiser par excellence, Von Kannon’s career spanned four decades.  During that time, he raised more than a billion dollars. His prowess helped transform a fledgling intellectual effort to reconnect America to the principles of its Founding Fathers into an extensive network of non-profit organizations—state and national think tanks, public interest legal groups, education centers and publications—working to expand freedom in the U.S. and around the world.

Von Kannon got his start in the late 1960s while attending Indiana University, where he became an active member of Young Americans for Freedom. (He would later serve on the organization’s national Board of Directors.) Von Kannon and a handful of undergraduates joined R. Emmett (Bob) Tyrrell, Jr., who founded a campus magazine to challenge and satirize the radically progressive views then dominating the university. In 1972, they decided to turn the magazine, now incorporated as a 501 (c)(3) organization, into a national publication—The American Spectator.

Tyrrell informed Von Kannon that he was no longer a managing editor. Rather, he was now the publisher—and responsible for raising money. And so a fund-raiser was reluctantly born.

“Though he had no formal training, John was a natural fundraiser,” said Ed Feulner, a founder of the Heritage Foundation who hired Von Kannon in 1980 to assist with the think tank’s development operations. Von Kannon was named treasurer a year later, then promoted to vice president for development and treasurer several years after that.

“John never viewed himself as a ‘rainmaker,’ but always as a ‘matchmaker,’” Feulner recalled. “When John met potential donors, he’d spend most of his time listening. He wanted to learn their core values, what they cared about most and what their goals were—and then he’d introduce them to the people and organizations that held similar values and could advance those goals for them.”

“John Von Kannon had ‘personality to burn,’” said Heritage President Jim DeMint, “a keen intellect and an absolutely outrageous sense of humor.” But, DeMint added, “most important of all, he had tremendous empathy and a passion for making America a nation that truly offers freedom and opportunity for all. His sense of mission led him to understand that fundraising is not about extracting money from someone, but about marshalling resources to advance a shared goal.”

Von Kannon’s approach has worked well for Heritage. When he joined to the think tank in 1980, it had a budget of $3.7 million budget, fueled primarily by a few major donors and 120,000 “small-dollar” direct mail donors. Under his leadership, the donor base grew to more than a half-million, making Heritage the most broadly supported think tank in the world. Their contributions totaled more than $91 million last year.

Von Kannon spent all but three of the last 35 years at Heritage. In 1988, he left to become vice president of Pacific Legal Foundation, a public interest law foundation in Sacramento, Calif. The following year he led Russell & Von Kannon as president of that marketing and consulting firm in suburban Chicago. He rejoined Heritage in 1991.

Earlier this year, Heritage presented Von Kannon with its highest honor: the Clare Boothe Luce Award. This award recognizes outstanding leadership and dedication to the conservative cause. Past recipients of the award include conservative icons Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and William F. Buckley Jr.

In announcing the award, Heritage Chairman Thomas Saunders III noted that, while Von Kannon had been “instrumental in building Heritage into America’s leading conservative institution,” he had also “helped grow countless other organizations dedicated to preserving and advancing the ideals and principles of the Founding Fathers.”

In 2012, Ashland University’s Ashbrook Center presented Von Kannon with its John Ashbrook Award in recognition of his 40-year commitment to upholding the ideals of limited constitutional government and advancing the conservative movement. He was also an elected “distinguished member” of The Philadelphia Society, America’s leading organization of conservative thinkers.

In addition to his duties at Heritage, Von Kannon served as a trustee of FREE, the Foundation for Research on the Economics of the Environment in Bozeman, Mont. He was also a trustee of four grant-making institutions and worked regularly with a wide range of state and national conservative organizations.

Von Kannon is survived by his wife, Cindy, and their two teenage children, Rachel and Jack.

Sorry About That!

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myHeritage.org experienced some technical trouble earlier this week. We haven’t been able to post new content and you may have had difficulty sending us your comments.

Everything should be back to normal this morning. We apologize for any difficulty this may have caused. It’s always great to hear from you!

The Washington Post Profiles Heritage’s Ryan Anderson, a ‘Prominent Face’ in the Fight for Traditional Marriage

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Heritage's Ryan Anderson is profiled on the front page of Thursday's Washington Post.

Heritage’s Ryan Anderson is profiled on the front page of Thursday’s Washington Post.

Today’s Washington Post includes an in-depth front-page profile of Heritage’s Ryan Anderson, one of the nation’s leading proponents of traditional marriage:

Another day, another town. Ryan T. Anderson, the conservative movement’s fresh-faced, millennial, Ivy League-educated spokesman against same-sex marriage, has another busy schedule.

There is an interview with conservative talk radio, a debate with a liberal professor at the University of Colorado’s law school and, after that, a lecture to Catholic students eager to hear Anderson’s view that the Constitution does not require that marriage be “redefined” to include same-sex couples.

The Supreme Court will soon be deciding just that question. And Anderson, a 33-year-old scholar at the Heritage Foundation, has emerged as a leading voice for those who resent being labeled hopelessly old-fashioned — or, worse, bigoted — for believing that marriage should be only between a man and a woman.

“Gays and lesbians undoubtedly have been discriminated against,” Anderson says. “But marriage is not part of that discrimination.”

Be sure to read the whole article, which includes praise from the likes of Princeton’s Robert George and even his liberal sparring partners.

So why did the Post profile Anderson? Because his arguments are driving the debate:

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. cited his work twice in his dissent from the court’s opinion in United States v. Windsor, which struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Anderson is becoming a prominent face of the opposition in news media appearances.

Do you think conservatives need more young advocates like Anderson to sway more people to the conservative cause?

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