Heritage Kicks Off Summer Conservative Hill Intern Program


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The Summer Conservative Hill Intern Program participants gathered for the first session of the series this morning.

This morning, The Heritage Foundation kicked off its Summer Conservative Hill Intern Program (CHIP).

CHIP was launched last year by Heritage’s Truluck Center for Leadership Development as a training initiative for Millennials and Generation Z interns on Capitol Hill. This multi-session series includes job skills workshops and briefings on First Principles. Topics covered include The Conservative Worldview, Job Search Fundamentals, and The Legislative Process.

Since last fall, we’ve introduced First Principles and Heritage’s ideas to more than 50 young people. That number is growing: today, we launched our summer session with 59 applicants.

Eight of those participants are from the office of a famous former Heritage intern, Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas. Overall, we’ve had participants from more than 70 different Hill offices take part in CHIP.

Programs like CHIP help Heritage’s Truluck Center identify up-and-coming talent and build ongoing relationships with people who have become part of our talent pipeline for placement in internships and jobs on Capitol Hill, in the Executive Branch, and with coalition partners.

How can we better create a culture of conservatism among future Capitol Hill staff?

Best in the Press


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This week, Heritage had 91 total print mentions and op-eds. Make sure you check out some of the best press clips of the week:

Kelsey Bolar on Mueller Hearing: Democrats Want to Avoid Talking about Good Economy

James Carafano: Iran’s Threats Show the Iran Nuclear Deal “Wasn’t Really A Restraint”

Joel Griffith: Middle Class Americans Are Better Off Than in Other Countries Worldwide

Check out the full list of media hits here.

As you look at our media hits this week, what outlets should we target to expand our reach and audience?

A Nation Worth Lauding


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Fireworks explode over the National Mall as seen on July 4, 2017, in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)

By Kay Coles James

This week, as Americans commemorate Independence Day and the creation of the most free, most prosperous nation on earth, we will inevitably hear from those who say there’s no reason to celebrate a country where not everyone gained their freedom or their equality in 1776. They will say that a nation stained with the evil of slavery, a nation that once refused women and blacks the right to vote or hold property, isn’t a nation worth lauding.

As a woman and as a black person who lived through segregation, I have experienced both the inequality and the opportunity of this nation. As a student of history and as someone who works with governments around the world, I know how women and minorities are treated in other societies compared to the United States. Because of these experiences, I want to tell you exactly why America is worth celebrating.

Despite their flawed nature as human beings, our Founders laid out principles for forming a nation based on humanity’s highest ideals. Nowhere else on earth had that ever been done before. Those founding principles have guided this nation and created a framework that allows society to recognize the error of its ways.

The fact is, we abolished slavery. We even fought a war over it. We ultimately recognized women’s and minorities’ right to vote, to own property, and to have the full and equal rights of any other citizen. We have endeavored through our laws and our actions to eradicate the unequal treatment and marginalization of fellow Americans because of their ethnicity, religion, politics, or other characteristics.

July 4, 1776 — and the principles that day epitomized — began the foundation for a nation that would right its own wrongs.

The unfortunate reality is that we had to grow into our principles. The Founders knew what we aspired to be, but the country wasn’t there yet and even today, we still have a ways to go. In fact, every Founder admitted in his writings that slavery contradicted the equality principle of the Declaration of Independence. They knew that it would be a journey for us to fully realize our ideals, but they set a course for achieving them, and every generation since has been working to advance them. That’s what has made America the unique and wonderful nation that it is.

I love America not only because we’ve grown to rectify many of our wrongs, but also because we’ve been an incredibly positive force for good. We’ve built a free and prosperous nation where anyone has the opportunity to thrive and live out their dreams. We’ve also shared that gift with the world, helping others to achieve the same.

Despite that success, we continue to hear from the “America is irreparably flawed” crowd that our freedom and free market system only bring opportunity to the wealthy and well connected. They claim that the system just makes the rich richer and the poor poorer.

The reality is exactly the opposite: Capitalism has done more to lift people out of poverty than any other economic system in history. Plain and simple, over the last 25 years, it has been free markets that have cut the global poverty rate by two thirds. In the United States, every segment of the population — including women, minorities, and even the lowest income earners — have seen their incomes rise and their opportunities grow.

Realizing that people around the world deserve the same blessings of freedom and prosperity that we have, Americans work through our government, non-profits, and private charities to spread these blessings to other countries. We’ve even helped others fight for their very freedom — from both world wars to peacekeeping missions around the world. Despite the leftists who call our nation imperialist, when we help other countries defeat tyrants or repel invaders, we don’t use the opportunity to conquer them and build an empire. Rather, we help them to rebuild and become self-sufficient.

These are all proofs of a nation reaching for its highest ideals.

While it took too long to correct many of America’s early injustices, and while we will always be a work in progress, our founding principles themselves created the framework that has allowed us to solve some of our biggest issues. While not perfect, we are a great force for good that works to bring freedom, prosperity, and that problem-solving ability to our own land and to others that want to replicate them. This is all part of what we are celebrating on Independence Day.

Alexis de Tocqueville said admiringly of America, “The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.” His words still ring true almost 200 years later.

So, on this Independence Day, I encourage you to join me in watching fireworks, eating hot dogs and apple pie, proudly celebrating America, and continuing to work toward the vision of the nation our Founders thought we could be.

Happy Independence Day!

This op-ed first appeared in The Washington Times on Monday, July 1, 2019.

What do you appreciate most about America?

Examining the Issues Discussed in the Democratic Debates


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A field of 20 Democratic presidential candidates was split into two groups of 10 for the first debate of the 2020 election, taking place over two nights at Knight Concert Hall in Miami, Fla., hosted by NBC News, MSNBC, and Telemundo. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

On Wednesday and Thursday, 20 Democratic candidates hoping to unseat President Trump in 2020 debated in two 10-person groups. They covered a range of topics, including immigration, health care, the economy, and education/student debt.

At The Heritage Foundation we have solutions, we know our proposals will work, and we are confident that they will expand liberty in this country. Outlined below are our solutions to each of the important topics mentioned.

  • Immigration – Immigration is one of the fundamental building blocks that help make America the unique nation that it is. But the debate over border security and immigration has become toxic. Learn about the principles that should guide thoughtful immigration reform here: America’s Biggest Issues: Immigration
  • Health care – Most Americans agree that the health care system in the United States is in need of an overhaul. But the solution is not to emulate the models found in Europe and Canada. Instead, health care should put patients and doctors in the driver’s seat: America’s Biggest Issues: Health Care
  • The economy – Despite what naysayers might tell you, the U.S. economy is booming. The way to expand wealth and prosperity to more Americans is not through more government programs, but by expanding the one thing that can achieve this: economic freedom.
  • Education/student debt – As stated by Heritage President Kay Coles James, “Colleges and universities are failing us. Students are often subject to socialist ideology, they’re not set up for career success, and they can’t pay off the debt they’ve accumulated.” Here is the solution to fix this broken system: America’s Biggest Issues: Education

What did you think about the policy proposals discussed during the debates?

How Congress Should Address the Border Crisis


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(L-r) Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., and Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, discuss their thoughts on immigration and border security with The Daily Signal’s Rachel del Guidice. (Photo: The Daily Signal)

The illegal immigration crisis at America’s southern border is unprecedented. A surge of migrants is entering the United States seeking asylum, encouraged by America’s “catch-and-release” policies. Border apprehension rates are 330 percent higher than in 2018, and a staggering 915 percent higher than in 2017.

Despite this crisis, Congress has delayed taking action. On Thursday, a $4.6 billion package was signed that will finally provide much needed resources to those who are responding to this emergency.

In an op-ed published in The Daily Signal, Jessica Anderson, vice president of the independent advocacy organization Heritage Action for America, said Congress needs to take three steps to address this situation:

  1. Give our law enforcement and judicial systems the funding and tools they need to do their job, process asylum-seekers and migrants, and secure the border.
  2. Reform our “catch-and-release” asylum process, which is the root cause of this wave of mass migration.
  3. Fund border security.

“Those on the left may not like it, but we have to control our border and enforce our laws,” said Anderson. “Our current crisis has made that abundantly clear.”

Read Anderson’s full op-ed in The Daily Signal.

Interview: A Border Patrol Agent Shares What It’s Really Like at the Border

Listen to a conversation with Republican Study Committee Chairman Mike Johnson, R-La., and Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, on how they want to tackle the border crisis.

Is the $4.6 billion border package sufficient to address the border emergency for the time being?

Supreme Court Wraps Up 2019 Term


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The Supreme Court concluded its 2019 term on Thursday. (Photo: Phillip Nelson / Getty Images)

On Thursday, June 27, the Supreme Court of the United States concluded its 2019 term. Heritage experts, including the legal team at Heritage’s Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, weighed in on some of the top cases:

  • In American Legion v. American Humanist Association, the Supreme Court decided 7-2 that a 40-foot cross erected on government land in Bladensburg, Maryland, is not unconstitutional. Thomas Jipping, deputy director, assesses the justices’ reasoning here.
  • In Knick v. Township of Scott, the Court reversed a bad decision it made 30 years ago in Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City, which essentially limited the ability of a person to receive justice if the state takes their private property. Paul J. Larkin Jr., Heritage’s Rumpel Senior Legal Research Fellow, explains why this reversal is significant here.
  • In Department of Commerce v. New York, the Court determined that the Trump administration was within its constitutional rights to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census – but that its justification for doing so – to enforce the Voting Rights Act – may have been “contrived.” The Court sent the case back to the lower court for further findings. According to Mike Gonzalez, senior fellow at Heritage’s Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy, the ruling gives the Department of Commerce the opportunity to try again and provide a new justification for including the question. Read why it should do so here.
  • In Rucho v. Common Cause, the Court ruled 5-4 that partisan gerrymandering is a political question beyond the reach of the federal courts. Hans A. von Spakovsky, manager of the Election Law Reform Initiative and senior legal fellow, explains why the Court got this ruling right here.
  • In Gundy v. United States, the Court missed an opportunity to prevent Congress from delegating its legislative authority to the executive branch (in this instance, the attorney general). John Malcolm, vice president of the Institute for Constitutional Government, and GianCarlo Canaparo, legal fellow, explain why this was the wrong decision here.

Heritage’s Influence on SCOTUS: Last week, Justice Neil Gorsuch cited a law review article by Paul Larkin in his dissent in Gamble v. United States, a case involving the Double Jeopardy Clause. Larkin’s article discussed the myriad of problems created by overcriminalization, which the Meese Center has long advocated against.

This week, Gorsuch cited a law review article by Paul Larkin and Elizabeth Slattery, legal fellow and appellate advocacy program manager, in his concurring opinion in Kisor v. Wilkie, a case involving how much deference courts must give to executive branch agencies interpreting their own regulations. Both articles were published by the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy.  Larkin and Slattery criticized the Court’s current deference doctrine in this article.

Listen: Get the latest scoop on Heritage’s SCOTUS 101 podcast, hosted by Elizabeth Slattery.

Don’t Miss These Upcoming Events: On Thursday, July 11, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Heritage will host a Supreme Court Review of the 2018-2019 Term event. Click here to RSVP to the live stream.

On Tuesday, July 16, from 12 – 1 p.m., Heritage will host authors Carrie Severino and Mollie Hemingway, who will discuss their new book, “Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court.” Click here to RSVP to the live stream.

What would you say are the biggest wins and losses for conservatives at the Supreme Court this year?

How the United States Should Respond to Iran’s Provocations


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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani mocked the White House after President Trump placed sanctions on Iran. (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)

U.S.-Iran tensions remain high after Iran shot down an American drone operating in international airspace last week, and allegedly attacked two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on June 13.

In response, President Trump placed sanctions on Iranian leadership, denying them access to key financial resources – a move that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani described as “outrageous and idiotic.”

The Daily Signal: Iran Says White House Is ‘Mentally Retarded’ After Learning of New Sanctions

Interview: Tom Spoehr, director of The Heritage Foundation’s Center for National Defense and a former Army general, discusses the implications of Iran’s provocations in recent weeks with The Daily Signal. Read or listen here.

Here in the United States, both war hawks and peace doves are criticizing President Trump for his handling of the situation.

“Frankly, it all sounded like a bunch of Monday morning quarterbacks who hadn’t bothered to watch the game on Sunday,” said James Jay Carafano, vice president of Heritage’s Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy. Read Carafano’s full assessment of Trump’s response here.

According to Heritage senior research fellow for Middle Eastern affairs James Phillips, the confrontation is “forcing Tehran to pay an increasingly painful price for its hostile foreign policy and refusal to return to nuclear negotiations.” If the regime continues to reject diplomacy in favor of violence, then a military clash or even war is likely to ensue. Read Phillips’ full assessment here.

Listen: As Tensions Between Iran and US Rise, What You Need to Know

If the Iranians continue to escalate in their attacks against American interests, what do you think President Trump’s next move should be?

Former Heritage Chief of Staff to Serve as Acting Secretary of Defense


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Acting Secretary Mark Esper, right, with Thomas Spoehr, director of Heritage’s Center for National Defense. (Photo: Willis Bretz)

Mark Esper, a former chief of staff at The Heritage Foundation, is taking on a new and much bigger role at the Department of Defense. President Donald Trump named Esper the acting secretary of defense on Tuesday, June 18.

“The nation would be lucky to have Mark serve in any capacity, but he is particularly well-suited to step into one of the most important jobs in the world – leading the men and women of the armed forces in defense of America’s interests,” says James Jay Carafano, vice president for Heritage’s Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy and E.W. Richardson fellow.

“The qualities that made Mark Esper a great secretary of the Army will make him a great acting secretary of Defense, and ultimately secretary of defense, if nominated,” says Thomas Spoehr, director of Heritage’s Center for National Defense.

Learn more about Mark Esper.

Please join us in congratulating Mark Esper!

The Federal Budget in Pictures


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Heritage’s newest “Federal Budget in Pictures” provides charts that illustrate current levels of government spending, taxes, budgets, debt, and entitlements.

This week, the House passed a $1 trillion spending bill; one that would not only prevent the shifting of Department of Defense funding to construct a border wall – it would also block President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The spending bill will likely not pass in the Senate.

“Year after year, the federal government passes spending bills so riddled with wasteful spending, crony handouts, and thoughtless debt accumulation that it’s pretty much like a massive car crash,” says Romina Boccia, director of our Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget, and her co-author Benjamin Paris, a member of Heritage’s Young Leaders Program. In an article in The Daily Signal, Boccia and Paris say the budget process is “… so awful to watch that you can’t even look away.”

Read this article by Boccia and Paris: Averting the Next Fiscal Train Wreck

With national debt already in excess of $22 trillion, it is dangerously negligent for Congress to blithely dismiss, year after year, the issues of spending, taxes, and debt. To help citizens understand this issue, Heritage’s Hermann Center released the 2019 edition of www.federalbudgetinpictures.com, which features a series of charts that illustrate in easy-to-understand ways how vital it is that lawmakers take responsibility and fix America’s spending problem.

How can conservatives better communicate the fiscal challenges we now face?

Will Big Tech Outlaw “Hate Speech” in the United States?


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(L-r) Event host John York, Ph.D., a policy analyst at Heritage’s Simon Center; Paul Coleman, executive director of the Alliance Defending Freedom; Klon Kitchen, Heritage senior research fellow focusing on technology; and Arthur Milikh, associate director of Heritage’s Simon Center, gather for a panel discussion entitled “Will We Ban ‘Hate Speech’? Lessons from Europe and the Threat of Big Tech.”

The demand to outlaw so-called “hate speech” continues to grow in America. Too few citizens, however, understand the radical theory behind “hate speech” criminalization, how our nation will change should it be banned, and the tech world’s involvement in ushering in a future where speech is policed.

On Friday, June 21, Heritage hosted a panel discussion featuring Klon Kitchen, our senior research fellow  focusing on technology; Arthur Milikh, associate director of Heritage’s Simon Center; and Paul Coleman, executive director of the Alliance Defending Freedom. Coleman is the author of “Censored: Why European Laws are a Threat to Free Speech.”

In Europe, where “hate speech” is actively criminalized, we see that governments persecute politicians, priests, political commentators, and private citizens – whose speech they can characterize with ever-widening definitions of “hate” – with censorship, fines, arrests, investigations, and prosecutions. These actions are having their desired effect: People who disagree with government positions are becoming rightfully fearful of expressing those views freely. In America, the tech world is working hard to ensure that our nation looks more like Europe. Should “hate speech” be banned in America, it is the tech world that will help bring forth this revolution.

Watch the full event here.

What should Heritage do to stand against corporate censorship as companies define the limits of free speech?

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