What Everyone Should Know about Impeachment


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Photo by Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Hans von Spakovsky, Senior Legal Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, goes into detail with what we should expect, according to the Constitution:

“The Constitution gives the “sole Power of Impeachment” to the House, which can approve articles of impeachment by a simple majority. As a practical matter, therefore, it might be said that the category of “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” includes whatever the House says it does. But America’s founders took this phrase from English common law, where it had developed a definition. It is a narrow category of serious misconduct that requires removing the president now, rather than waiting for the next election.

Articles of impeachment approved by the House are similar to a criminal indictment by a grand jury: they are a list of unproven accusations. The House has adopted 19 of the more than 60 resolutions of impeachment introduced since our Founding. Fifteen of those have been for federal judges, including Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Chase in 1804. The last resolution of impeachment approved by the House concerned former U.S. District Judge G. Thomas Porteous, Jr. in 2009. He was accused of receiving gifts, cash payments and other valuable items from lawyers practicing before him.

The Senate has the “Sole Power to try all Impeachments,” although the Constitution does not explicitly require the Senate to act on the articles of impeachment or to hold a trial. Under congressional rules, members of the House who are designated as impeachment “managers” have the role of prosecutors. The impeachment trial of a president is presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and held before the entire Senate. Impeachment trials of other officials (under rules established by the Senate) take place before an impeachment trial committee of senators. In these trials, Senators have a role that combines features of both judge and jury, with the authority to govern the conduct of the trial and decide any evidentiary issues that may arise.”

If the House votes to impeach, then the Senate will ultimately try the case against President Trump, and determine if he should be removed from office.

Read the full article at the National Interest here.

What do you think about Speaker Pelosi’s inquiry into the impeachment of President Trump?

Conservatives React to Trump-Pelosi Budget Deal


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On Monday, the Trump administration and congressional leaders agreed to a budget deal, which the House approved on Thursday. (Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted on the 2020 and 2021 budgets, which will raise base discretionary spending by $322 billion over the next two years. The budget is the result of a deal made by President Trump and congressional leaders on Monday.

Justin Bogie, a senior policy analyst focusing on fiscal affairs at Heritage, said the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019 “contains almost no victories for conservatives.”

“Agreeing to this budget deal would flatly contradict the policies this administration has put forward,” said Bogie. “The president has lamented how much the debt grew under President Barack Obama, but if this latest budget deal becomes law, his record will be no better.”

In order to increase spending, the proposed deal raises the discretionary spending caps, which were first set in 2011 as part of the Budget Control Act. These spending caps have been raised for all three previous biannual budgets as well.

Of the new $322 billion in spending, $150 billion would be spent on domestic programs, many of which fall outside the proper role of the federal government and should be cut or eliminated instead of receiving additional funding. Just over $170 billion would go toward national defense.

Another point of contention for conservatives is the $738 billion allocated for total military spending, which falls short of the $750 billion requested by Trump.

Rep. Mike Johnson, La., chairman of the Republican Study Committee, voiced his displeasure with the budget. “[The budget] increases spending by about $2 trillion over the next 10 years, but provides only $77 billion in offsets.  With more than $22 trillion in debt, we simply cannot afford deals like this one.”

Read more about this budget deal on The Daily Signal:

Watch: The Worst Spending Deal in a Decade

With U.S. debt already reaching crisis levels, this budget represents a turn for the worst. Watch Romina Boccia, director of Heritage’s Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget, explain why – and how ­– we can address the debt crisis. America’s Biggest Issues: The Debt Is Mounting. Here’s How to Rescue Our Children’s Future.

How should Congress have set the budget? Read Heritage’s Blueprint for Balance to find out.

What are your thoughts on the 2020-2021 budget?

Should Millionaires Be Able to Receive Food Stamps?


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Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue is seeking to eliminate the “broad-based categorical eligibility” loophole, which allows people in certain states to qualify for the food stamp program without an asset test. (Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Rob Undersander, a retired engineer in Waite Park, Minnesota, wasn’t eager to go public about being a millionaire, but he wanted to expose a loophole that would allow wealthy – or at least those not needy – to qualify for food stamps.

So, in June 2016, he filled out an application form at the Stearns County social services office, and despite being very upfront about his wealth, was able to qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, more commonly referred to as the food stamp program.

Read the full story on The Daily Signal: After Legally Receiving Food Stamps, This Millionaire Is Trying to Change the System

Undersander intentionally set out to expose the systemic flaw in the “broad-based categorical eligibility” policy of SNAP.

The policy allows applicants to bypass an assets test, so someone could qualify for food stamps even if he has property and bank accounts, as long as his income is low enough.

Minnesota is among 34 states which, along with Washington, D.C., use the “broad-based categorical eligibility” loophole that doesn’t check assets

On Tuesday, the Trump administration’s U.S. Department of Agriculture took a step to close this loophole by proposing a new rule that narrows eligibility.

“For too long, this loophole has been used to effectively bypass important eligibility guidelines. Too often, states have misused this flexibility without restraint,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

“The guilty party in this fraud has not been the welfare recipient, but the states,” said Robert Rector, senior research fellow for domestic policy studies at Heritage. “Red and blue state governors love to waste federal money. Even the deepest-blue states would never do this with their own money.”

If implemented, the reform could remove as many as 3.1 million recipients from the food stamp program’s rolls and could save roughly $12 billion over the next decade.

From The Daily Signal: Proposed Trump Administration Rule Would Close Eligibility Loophole, Reducing Food Stamp Rolls

What are some other obvious examples of government waste?

Heritage Launches New Podcast Series for Millennials and Gen Z


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Samantha Renck (left), a member of the Summer 2019 Young Leaders Program, is the host of “Millennial Myths.” For her first episode, she interviewed Daniel DiMartino (right), who told his story of fleeing the corrupt socialist government of his home country, Venezuela.

Heritage has a brand new podcast series called Millennial Myths. It combines “on the street” interviews from around Washington, D.C., with personal stories and expert analysis on every episode. “Millennial Myths” is created by millennials for millennials (and members of Gen Z, who were born between 1997 and 2015).

This podcast was developed by Samantha Renck, a member of the Summer 2019 Young Leaders Program. After making the pitch to the Heritage Communication’s team, she took the reins to make her idea a reality. Communications has put together a strong marketing plan to ensure it reaches young people.

The first season will feature six episodes that will discuss socialism, the Electoral College, identity politics, the gender wage gap, Medicare for All, and the $15 minimum wage.

In the first episode of “Millennial Myths,” Renck asks young Americans what they think about socialism, then debunks the myths with Daniel DiMartino, a college student who was born and raised in Venezuela. Three years ago, Daniel fled his homeland and its corrupt, socialist government.

You can listen to the first two episodes on SoundCloud and also find it on Heritage’s social media platforms, including Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Listen to Millennial Myths here

Heritage produces a growing number of podcasts, including Heritage Explains, The Daily Signal Podcast, SCOTUS 101, The Right Side of History, Heritage Events, Problematic Women, and Justice & Liberty For All. Listen to them all here!

What topics should Millennials and Gen Z be aware of?

Heritage Expert Weighs in on $15 Federal Minimum Wage


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The House of Representatives voted to raise the federal minimum wage on Thursday. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 – more than doubling the current rate of $7.25. According to the Congressional Budget Office, increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 has the potential to boost the wages for millions of workers by 2025 – but could also eliminate up to 3.7 million jobs.
Requiring businesses to pay more for the same quality and amount of labor always forces them to cut back somewhere else. Most often, they cut their number of workers.
Heritage labor expert Rachel Greszler sat down with The Daily Signal to discuss the effects of doubling the federal minimum wage. “To boil it down, you could say, what would happen if your mortgage more than doubled, or your rent?” Greszler said. “There would be serious consequences. You would have to cut down on other expenses, you may have to find a new home, some people would be left homeless – and it’s the same scenario with more than doubling the federal minimum wage.”
Listen to the full discussion here.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stated that he would not take the bill up in the Senate.
Star Parker, president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education and contributor to The Daily Signal, takes a look at how the minimum wage debate is used by politicians, and how lawmakers can
truly help the lowest income earners. Read her article here.
How can conservatives better communicate the danger of raising the federal minimum wage?

Restoring Federalism: Giving Power Back to the States


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Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney speaks at a “Restoring Federalism” event Wednesday at The Heritage Foundation. (Photo: Willis Bretz for The Heritage Foundation)

On Wednesday, Heritage hosted a half-day symposium, entitled “Restoring Federalism: Giving Power Back to the States.” In a truly federalist system, states would be far freer than today to manage their own affairs. But decades of Big Government overreach has shifted power away from states to Washington.

Leaders speaking at the symposium included acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who noted that there is growing suspicion of Big Government among young people. “If you ask young people, ‘Give me a list of things that government, writ large, does extraordinarily well,’ it’s a fairly short list,” he said. Mulvaney added that we should take advantage of the opportunity to build support for federalism among the next generation.

Other speakers included Russ Vought, former Heritage Action for America vice president – now acting director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. Also speaking were Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt; Andrew Wheeler, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Deputy Assistant to the President Doug Hoelscher; Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah; Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodger, R-Wash.; and state and local officials.

Watch the full event here.

Listen on the Heritage Events podcast.

From The Daily Signal: Broad Skepticism of Big Government Is Good for Federalism, Mulvaney Says

How can conservatives better promote federalism in America?

Celebrating the 50-Year Anniversary of the Moon Landing


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The Saturn V rocket image is projected on the east side of the Washington Monument to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing. (Photo: by Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Tomorrow, on Saturday, July 20, America will celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the United States becoming the first nation to land a man on the moon.

Lee Edwards, Ph.D., distinguished fellow in conservative thought at Heritage’s B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics and a leading historian, reflects on what the moon landing meant for America – then and now.

“Let us proclaim, without embarrassment, that America, and only America, had the requisite leadership, scientific community, and resources to make it possible for Apollo astronaut Neil Armstrong to take that giant leap for mankind,” says Edwards. You can read his full article here.

From Heritage President Kay Coles James: 50 Years After Apollo 11 Moon Landing, America Is Once Again Asserting Leadership in Space

From The Daily Signal: The Legacy of the Moon Landing

Check out Heritage’s Space Policy Issue Page

What is the “next frontier” for America?

Best in the Press, July 12-19

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This week, Heritage had 79 total print mentions and op-eds. Make sure you check out some of the best press clips of the week:

Mike Gonzalez: “Unfortunate Retreat” By Pres. Trump on Census Citizenship Question

Nile Gardiner: Europe Needs “To Wake Up to the Reality” of the Iranian Threat

Dean Cheng: North Korea Spinning Threats Against U.S. As Successful

Check out the full list of media hits here.

What kind of stories do you want to see more of in our Best in the Press section?


Heritage Experts in Attendance at Trump’s Environmental Speech


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President Donald Trump spoke about America’s environmental leadership in the East Room of the White House. (Photo: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty)

President Donald Trump invited several Heritage Foundation leaders to the White House this week for a major policy address on America’s environmental leadership. Trump spoke about his administration’s accomplishments and the environmental concerns facing the United States.

Trump cast aside the idea that government “fix-all” solutions proposed by the Left, such as the Green New Deal, would help the environment. Those proposals would massively expand Washington’s control over Americans’ lives. Trump stated that big government policies and heavy-handed regulation from the federal government would kill the economy without making a dent in global temperatures.

These are positions that have long been promoted by Heritage Foundation policy experts, including Nick Loris, deputy director of Heritage’s Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies and the Herbert and Joyce Morgan fellow in environmental policy, who attended the event.

“Economic freedom and higher levels of prosperity equips people with the necessary resources to protect the environment,” said Loris. “Countries with greater economic freedoms have cleaner environments and greater environmental sustainability.”

Also invited to Trump’s speech were Heritage’s Tommy Binion, vice president of government relations; Mike Howell, senior advisor to executive branch relations; and Bridgett Wagner, vice president of policy promotion.

Read more about Heritage’s presence at the president’s environmental speech here

In your opinion, what is the state of environmental issues, and where should conservatives focus beyond stopping big government intervention?

Heritage Leaders Attend White House Social Media Summit


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Rob Bluey, vice president of communications and executive editor of The Daily Signal, spoke with Shannon Bream on “Fox News at Night” about the White House Social Media Summit he attended on Thursday

“Altogether, attendees at the summit have half a billion social media followers and are reaching people directly without a media filter. That’s why their concerns about the implications of bias and censorship are so important,” said Bluey. “Heavy-handed government regulation is not the answer. Everyone who cares about free speech, regardless of their political beliefs, should want social media companies to be responsive to their users, not government. There’s evidence the market is working and social media companies are responding.”

The Heritage Foundation, along with its multimedia news outlet The Daily Signal, has a significant presence on all of the major social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. These platforms have helped Heritage reach millions of people across the globe with its timely policy research and analysis on public policy issues.

Listen: Rob Bluey on Social Media Bias: Government Can’t Solve This Problem

If you had been present at the summit, what issue would you have brought up regarding the current social media climate?

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