Your impact on foreign policy

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In order to strengthen international relations and spread conservative principles globally, Heritage experts continue to build strong relationships with foreign leaders.

Wednesday, President Peter Poroshenko of Ukraine visited Heritage for a private breakfast and briefing with Heritage leadership and top policy experts. Heritage was the only think tank that President Poroshenko visited during his trip to Washington DC.  His visit comes after a successful trip by a delegation of Heritage experts to Ukraine last week. 

During his visit President Poroshenko praised the work of Heritage in these four main areas:

  • Heritage’s advocacy for providing Ukraine with defensive weapons.
  • Heritage’s advocacy for continuing and expanding economic sanctions against Russia over its illegal occupation of Crimea.
  • Heritage’s advocacy for a creation of a NATO Center of Excellence for Hybrid Warfare in Ukraine.
  • And the important role Heritage’s news organization, the Daily Signal, is playing to get the real story out about what is happening in Ukraine, what Russia’s aggression is really like, and what young Ukrainians are fighting and dying for.

Heritage has been very vocal in calling for a meeting between President Trump and President Poroshenko. According to a Heritage report released last Friday, such a meeting would be crucial to demonstrate the U.S.’s support of Ukraine.

Russia and many of America’s European allies will be watching President Poroshenko’s visit very closely. A meeting between President Trump and President Poroshenko would send a clear message of strength and U.S. commitment to Ukraine. While Ukraine’s future rests primarily on the shoulders of the Ukrainians themselves, U.S. leadership is vital to counteracting Russian aggression and supporting reform in the country.

At the last minute, President Poroshenko was able to attend a meeting with President Trump in the Oval Office during his visit to the United States.

Why is it important to build strong relationships with foreign leaders?

Heritage experts expose abuse of financial privacy

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Heritage experts Norbert Michel and David Burton have been busy working to ensure your financial privacy is secured from foreign countries through their work exposing the current abuse of financial privacy in the United States.

Their work was recently highlighted in a piece by the Washington Times which stated:

In an excellent report, “Financial Privacy in a Free Society,” Heritage Foundation scholars Norbert Michel and David Burton detail the ongoing abuses of the basic right of financial privacy in the United States and elsewhere.

Mr. Michel and Mr. Burton provide extensive data demonstrating that the attack on financial privacy by governments is largely a waste of money — many billions spent to obtain few and very costly convictions.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has been pushing for an information exchange agreement, whereby the U.S. would, as Mr. Michel and Mr. Burton note: “automatically, and in bulk, ship private financial and tax information — including Social Security and tax identification numbers — to nearly 70 countries,” many of which are hostile to the U.S.

According to their report Financial Privacy in a Free Society, Michel and Burton explain that private citizens are at risk of harm due to the collection and dissemination of their private financial information by the U.S. government–including seizure of personal assets without conviction.

This systematized trespassing upon basic privacy rights is largely due to stringent money laundering laws that are meant to stop criminals. These laws are largely ineffective and exorbitantly expensive. Enacting these laws cost around $7 million per conviction for a total of $4.8 – $8 billion annually, according to Michel and Burton’s work. More often than not these laws harm innocent citizens rather than hurt the criminals at whom they are directed.

Michel and Burton’s report details not only the importance of financial privacy rights and the magnitude of threats to these rights, but also suggested policy reform to deal with the identified issues.

Read their full report>>

Do you believe the United States should be sharing the private financial information of their citizens with foreign countries? Why or why not?

You are leading the conversation on tax reform

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Implementing conservative solutions on tax reform is key to creating a stronger economy in America.

Last Friday, at Heritage’s Washington DC headquarters, four members of the House Freedom Caucus participated in a panel discussion to work towards tax reform.

The panel highlighted the conservative perspective on the border adjustment tax, welfare reform, and other tax policies. Conversations like this serve to spark ideas and spread the discussion of sound, conservative policies while also serving as a catalyst to unify the conservative movement.

Watch the full discussion below:

We were honored to host our conservative allies from the House and are thankful for their work on tax reform.

What do you think about the conservative solution to tax reform?

Former Heritage employee’s faith attacked in confirmation hearing

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We live in a time where our basic constitutional rights are being redefined. This is a time where free speech can be seen as a crime and where sincerely held religious conviction could be enough of a reason to disqualify an individual from public office. A perfect example of this happened just last week during a Senate confirmation hearing.

Last week, former Heritage Action Vice President of Grassroots and Policy, Russ Vought, had his Senate confirmation hearing for the position of Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget in President Trump’s administration. 

In his hearing, Russ – who has a reputation as a principled conservative, well-equipped and favored for the position for which he was nominated – came under fire from Senator Bernie Sanders–not for his qualifications, but for his Christian convictions.

According to Article VI of the Constitution, “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

As this report by the Daily Signal points out:

Religious tests for holding public office are banned in the Constitution and go against the very core of the American tradition.

But you wouldn’t have learned that on Wednesday listening to Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., as he questioned Russ Vought, the nominee for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget.

His questioning of Vought was nothing less than theological interrogation, and in the end, excoriation.

Watch the exchange between Sanders and Vought below:

Russ has been with our sister organization, Heritage Action, since it’s inception in 2010. Russ’ wife, Mary, currently works for The Heritage Foundation and his family has been a significant part of the Heritage family for years. 

In his role at Heritage Action, he oversaw the building and management of America’s leading conservative grassroots activist army that keeps Congress accountable to the American people. We are extremely thankful for Russ’ leadership at Heritage Action and for his courageous conservative stance.

Why do you think Article VI’s requirement that no religious test be required as a qualification for public office is important? Did Senator Sanders violate Article VI in his questioning?

Heritage releases plan to “drain the swamp”

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In response to President Trump’s executive order calling for each agency to put together a plan to increase efficiency within the federal government, Heritage experts just released the Blueprint for Reorganization. This comprehensive analysis of the federal agencies lays out a plan to reorganize their structure, eliminate wasteful spending, and increase efficiency.

In order to seize this opportunity, Heritage experts from all different disciplines came together and worked tirelessly to create a comprehensive reorganization plan based on fundamental conservative positions.

This plan provides a detailed analysis of just how to “drain the swamp.” It outlines what departments ought to be cut back, when they should be cut back, and how. In fact, the plan recommends the elimination of 53 programs within the different agencies.

Thanks to you, Heritage was able to seize this opportunity. Thanks to you, Heritage is equipped with the resources and dedicated staff able to turn out a comprehensive plan on short notice. And thanks to you, Heritage was able to maximize a truly unique opportunity to apply our core principles to make real impact on the federal government.

Read the full Blueprint for Reorganization plan >>

Do you believe the federal government needs to be reorganized? What federal agencies would you like to see cut?

Another victory for conservatives in foreign policy

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Today, President Trump announced he is reversing many of Obama’s executive policies towards Cuba.

For years Heritage has constantly fought for a U.S.-Cuba policy that would end the Castro regime–recognizing that the Castro dictatorship will never be friendly to the United States. The United States’ relationship to Cuba must be transactional and must require the Cuban government to meet high standards.

We saw this same attitude reflected in the President’s announcement today, as many of the key points in his policy closely reflect Heritage’s own position.

Writing for the National Interest, Heritage expert Mike Gonzalez had this to say on the U.S.-Cuba policy:

If “America First” means anything, it must mean preventing a virulently anti-American criminal enterprise from perpetuating its existence next door and reproducing itself throughout the hemisphere. And since this is precisely what President Obama’s opening to the Castros accomplished, President Trump is duty-bound to reverse this mistake.

Read Mike’s full analysis>>

Do you agree with the Trump administration’s new policy position on US-Cuba relations? Why or why not?

Your impact on protecting America from nuclear attack

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Last week the U.S. had a successful launch of the missile defense system. The missile defense system is key to the U.S. national defense strategy because it  intercepts incoming ballistic missiles and destroys them before they reach their target.

For over 30 years Heritage has been instrumental in pushing the need for a stronger, more comprehensive missile defense strategy. Beginning in 1982, Heritage published its first missile defense study that promoted the idea of destroying missiles before they reached America — an idea that wasn’t commonly thought possible at the time. One year later, President Reagan made his historic announcement of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) that would put these ideas into practice.

Prior to Reagan’s announcement, the policymakers at the time believed that the Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) missile strategy was sufficient. Simply put, the underlying idea behind MAD was to stockpile enough nuclear weapons that even after an enemy attacked you would still have enough left to inflict damage on them.

In the years since Reagan’s announcement of SDI, Heritage has spent a great amount of time educating members of Congress about the importance of a comprehensive missile defense system and promoting research on the subject.

Last week’s successful, timely test marks a significant national defense accomplishment that would not have been possible without your support of Heritage’s work on advancing missile defense.

Read more about the recent missile defense test and why the U.S. needs to keep improving its missile defenses strategy >>

Do you agree with the need for a strong, comprehensive missile defense system? Why or why not?

Highlighting our heroes: border patrol agents

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The Daily Signal’s recent video report sheds light on the little-known “Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue Unit” (BORSTAR). BORSTAR agents not only rescue border patrol agents but increasingly rescue illegal immigrants in perilous situations.

According to John Welter, a BORSTAR agent in San Diego:

Most people don’t realize that the Border Patrol has paramedics, search and rescue capability…But a lot of times our guys put themselves in a lot of danger, and you end up almost in as bad a shape as the person you’re trying to rescue.

“Surprisingly, I think the population on the South side of the border is more aware of what the border Patrol does in terms of rescue capability than the north side of the population.

Thanks to the Daily Signal’s investigative reporting, the stories of real American heroes like John are being told.

Watch the Daily Signal’s video below to find out more about BORSTAR.

What do you think of traditional mainstream media’s portrayal of border agents compared to The Daily Signal’s as highlighted in this video?

Heritage hosts important ally: the President of Romania

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Wednesday, the President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, spoke at Heritage to celebrate and reflect on the 20 years of strategic partnership between the U.S. and Romania. President Iohannis discussed the advancement of U.S.- Romania national security cooperation as well as the future of the transatlantic relationship.

Romania has, for years, been the most stalwart U.S. ally in Southeast Europe. The desire of foreign dignitaries like President Iohannis to speak at Heritage illustrates the global impact and meaningful relationships Heritage actively cultivates with some of the U.S.’s most crucial allies.

Foreign leaders have respected and sought out Heritage’s resources, expertise, and platform for decades and Heritage will continue to work with foreign leaders to strengthen conservatism across the world.

You can watch President Klaus Iohannis’s speech below:

Do you believe it’s important for the U.S. to develop partnerships with strategically located countries like Romania?

Education expert highlights school choice benefits for military families

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Last week, Heritage education expert Lindsey Burke published a piece promoting school choice options for military families that was featured in the Washington Post.

As part of her work furthering school choice for Americans, Burke emphasizes the important benefit to military families of allowing students’ education money to follow them regardless of the institution in which they are enrolled in.

The Washington Post stated:

The conservative Heritage Foundation is pushing to allow 800,000 military children to use federal tax dollars for private education, a proposal that comes as President Trump seeks to make good on his promise to dramatically expand school choice nationwide…

…Lindsey Burke, an education policy analyst at Heritage, argues that it is a way to support military families – a matter of national defense, she said – and would dramatically expand the universe of private-school choice.

Read the full article>>

Thanks to your support, experts like Burke continue to research and promote school choice options designed to help all families make the best educational choices and receive the best education for their children.

What do you think about increasing school choice options for military families?

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