‘Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination’

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Heritage expert Ryan T. Anderson is releasing a new book called Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination that answers the hard questions on religious liberty and discrimination that we face today.

This book is set up in a point-counterpoint style that brings together leading voices in the culture wars to debate the top questions on these issues: John Corvino, a longtime LGBT-rights advocate, opposite Ryan T. Anderson and Sherif Girgis, prominent young defenders of the traditional view of marriage.

Many such questions have arisen in response to same-sex marriage: How should we treat county clerks who do not wish to authorize such marriages, for example; or bakers, florists, and photographers who do not wish to provide services for same-sex weddings? But the conflicts are not limited to the LGBT-rights arena. And they implicate age-old questions about the role of government, the value of religion, and the challenges of living in a diverse and free society.

If you want to know how to answer these tough questions this book is a must-read.

The book is available for pre-order and you can order your own copy today.

Check out more about Ryan Anderson and explore his latest research.

What’s your biggest question about the religious liberty debate in our country today?

 

 

 

How effective were President Trump’s first 100 days?

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Heritage will host an event next Wednesday called 100 Down, 265 To Go: First Milestone on President Trump’s First Year in which experts will analyze the first 100 days of President Trump’s administration and look forward to what the rest of the first year may look like.

The first 100 days of a President’s term – the time at which his power and influence are historically deemed to be their greatest – are often looked to as a measure of a President’s ultimate success and future effectiveness while in office.

As President Trump approaches this milestone on April 29, The Miller Center and The Heritage Foundation will hold a half-day conference examining two key aspects of his first 100 days – President Trump’s role as chief executive and the relationship between the president and congress.

The event is on Wednesday, April 26 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

If you cannot attend in person you can watch the live stream of the event by following the link below.

Click here to watch the event live>>

What do you believe were the biggest takeaways from the first 100 days of President Trump’s administration?

Former Heritage staffer making waves

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The Hill just can’t get enough of former Heritage staffer, Paul Winfree.

This week, Roll Call released a piece titled Rising Stars 2017: Administration Staffers which highlighted Winfree’s impact in the Trump administration.

A decade ago, Paul Winfree took his first post-college job as a policy analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation. Today, he serves as deputy director of the White House Domestic Policy Council and director of budget policy for President Donald Trump.

…After a stint at the Senate Budget Committee, he returned to Heritage, where he took the lead in writing a 165-page “Blueprint for Balance” proposal to wipe out the deficit. The plan served as a resource for the Trump transition team, of which Winfree was a member.

Winfree says he leapt at the chance to join the administration, seeing an “incredible opportunity” to develop policy.

But he notes: “I work in policy because I want to have an impact. I want public policy to be based around a trust in adults to act responsibly, while being respectful of individual freedoms through choice.”

We are thankful for Winfree’s service at Heritage and excited about his opportunity to work in the Trump Administration.

What do you think the budget priorities of the Trump Administration should be?

Heritage impacts State Department restructure

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A Politico piece this week described the influence a Heritage report is having in Donald Trump’s plans to restructure the state department.

Conversations with more than a dozen people in and outside of State who are involved in or monitoring the administration’s plans suggest some broad outlines are emerging about State’s future, including from proposed budget cuts accepted by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and from a 2016 Heritage Foundation report that laid out some dramatic ways to reshape the department.

Various stakeholders nearly all mentioned the 2016 report by the Heritage Foundation’s Brett Schaefer. A former senior State Department official said Trump transition aides were “enamored” of the report and took it into meetings.

You are making this impact possible.

Thank you.

You can read the full Heritage report to see what changes should be made in the State Department.

Do you believe President Trump is doing a good job restructuring federal agencies to make them more streamlined and cost-effective? Why or why not?

 

Former Heritage Action employee to join Administration

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Russ Vought, former Heritage Action Vice President, was officially nominated by President Trump to be Deputy Director of the Office of the Management and Budget.

In a press release last Friday, Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham said:

President Trump made an excellent decision in nominating Russ Vought, one of the most talented conservatives in Washington, D.C. to be Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Budgets are expressions of priorities, and the American people should know that a principled, courageous leader will be heavily involved in translating the administration’s priorities into conservative budgets. We are grateful for Russ’s willingness to return to public service and are confident America will be a better nation as a result.

The Office of the Management and Budget is responsible for administering the federal budget and ensuring federal agencies are running effectively.

Do you believe federal agencies need to be downsized?

Fixing big government ineffectiveness

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Government intervention to help the poor often has the opposite effect.

In a recent report by Heritage titled, Big Government Policies that Hurt the Poor and How to Address Them, experts Daren Bakst and Patrick Tyrrell clearly explain changes that need to be made in order to boost the American economy and help those in need.

The key takeaways are:

  • Concern for the poor is often equated with expanding government. In reality, government policies often makes it harder for those striving to make ends meet.
  • Many of the policies drive up consumer prices, for items such as food and energy, which disproportionately hurt the poor.
  • All levels of government—local, state, and federal—need to look honestly at how they contribute to the poverty problem.

You can read the full report now or download it for future reference.

What do you believe is the best approach to addressing poverty in America?

The New York Times states Heritage policy influencing U.S. Ambassador

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The New York Times ran a piece last week titled U.N. Envoy Draws From Playbook of an Aide Steeped in Conservative Ideology. The article states:

The American ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki R. Haley, has candidly described herself as a newcomer to the world of international diplomacy.

For guidance, she has relied, in part, on an important adviser plucked from the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank: Steven Groves.

Mr. Groves, who is Ms. Haley’s chief of staff, has described himself as a champion of American sovereignty and has written forcefully against international agreements.

One of the main issues that Ms. Haley has promised to tackle at the United Nations comes from the Heritage Foundation’s playbook: How to fix peacekeeping operations, the organization’s biggest, most costliest element.

Other Heritage Foundation priorities have already found their way into the ambassador’s own. She dismissed the Human Rights Council as “so corrupt,” echoing criticism from Heritage. And she invited the think tank to join her delegation to the annual Commission on the Status of Women. Whether she will withdraw American funding for the United Nations’ population agency, which Heritage has pressed for, remains to be seen.

You can read the full article to find out more about Mr. Groves’ work.

What do you believe Nikki Haley’s number one priority as U.S. Ambassador to the UN should be?

The Syrian gas attacks and what Trump’s administration can do

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In the wake of the recent chemical weapons attacks in Syria by President Assad’s regime there is an increased need to counter this barbaric aggression.

Heritage expert James Phillips in a piece this week has more below:

…but the United States must do more than just condemn the attacks. It must drive up the diplomatic, political, economic, and potential military costs to the Assad regime of using illegal chemical weapons.

This means conducting a thorough investigation of the matter and holding regime officials accountable for any confirmed war crimes. Sanctions should be ratcheted up on the regime to penalize its unacceptable behavior.

Washington should balk at any further diplomatic understandings with Putin on Syria, until he has taken effective action to address the violations of the 2013 agreement. The Trump administration should not repeat its predecessor’s mistake of trusting Russia to enforce agreements.

In a more detailed report last month, Phillips explains how President Trump can improve U.S. Syrian policy.

His key takeaways are that:

  1. We must keep the Syrian conflict contained within Syrian borders to protect our allies in the region
  2. Neither Russia nor Iran are useful allies
  3. We should ask our allies to provide more military support in Syria

Update: Since this article was posted President Donald Trump has ordered air strikes against Syria that fired dozens of missiles at Syrian military bases.

The Daily Signal’s White House correspondent Fred Lucas has more on these attacks.

What actions do you believe the Trump administration should take to address the Syrian conflict?

 

Protestors block Heritage trustee’s business

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The Left is attacking Heritage for the impact we’re having on Donald Trump’s budget.

Recently, Anthony J. Saliba, a Heritage trustee and successful entrepreneur, experienced protests outside of his chicago office for standing with Heritage.

chicago-protestors

The Daily Signal reports:

The demonstrators marched and chanted, blocked the street and main entrance, and carried signs with messages directed at President Donald Trump, Saliba himself, and The Heritage Foundation, the Washington-based think tank where the entrepreneur has served on the Board of Trustees since 2012.

“They filled the revolving doors so nobody could come or go,” Saliba says, who learned about the protest afterward.

The reason for the self-described resistance March 21: Trump’s proposed budget cuts across most of the government, many of them recommended by Heritage policy experts as part of the think tank’s “Blueprint for Balance.”

“They’re really proud of themselves, you know,” Saliba says of the protesters, citing their Facebook page with its photos and videos of this and past demonstrations.

One blurb on the Facebook page reads: “Heritage is a right-wing think tank … and their members profit from the slashing of federal programs that serve the most vulnerable in our communities. They are behind Trump’s budget cuts and we will continue blocking their agenda until HUD and other essential government agencies are fully funded.”

We are proud to come under fire for conservative principles and will always stand beside Tony Saliba whenever he, or any member of the Heritage family, faces backlash for his conservative principles.

Why do you think the Left has been so involved in constant protests since the presidential election?

 

It’s not too late to repeal Obamacare

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Last week the GOP attempted to pass a flawed health care bill.  Thankfully, through the work of conservative lawmakers, that attempt was stopped.

This week, the Washington “blame game” was in full swing with conservatives bearing the brunt of the onslaught.

Heritage President Jim DeMint along with Heritage Founder Ed Feulner wrote this piece in the Wall Street Journal as a rebuttal to these accusations.

Your editorial “The ObamaCare Republicans” (March 25) does its best to blame conservatives—and absolve GOP leaders—for the defeat of their health care bill. We believe that a sober policy analysis of the bill reveals this was not an incremental improvement, but rather a step in the wrong direction.

Its biggest misstep was its failure to deal with ObamaCare’s tangled web of regulations that is responsible for 68% of the health-care premium increases for many Americans.

You can read the rest of the article by clicking here.

The basic problem with the AHCA was that it essentially reversed the necessary sequence by focusing primarily on the “replace” elements and secondarily on the “repeal” elements.

Thus, the AHCA ended up including some good, conservative “replace” policies, such as the reform of federal Medicaid funding, but did not succeed in dismantling Obamacare’s regulatory architecture and bringing down premiums.

In particular, the AHCA did not repeal Obamacare’s federal benefit mandates on private insurance. Leaving Obamacare’s federal benefit mandates on the books not only makes current premiums more expensive, but also keeps in place the infrastructure for a future Administration to expand the scope and detail of those mandates through new regulatory interpretations and for special interest lobbying of Congress to add more benefit mandates.

Another major cause of increased premiums is that Obamacare effectively allows people to wait until they need medical care before buying health insurance. This is because Obamacare lacks sensible rules on pre-existing condition exclusions and instead relies on an ineffective mandate penalty to get healthy people to buy overpriced coverage.

In order to bring down premiums and stabilize the individual insurance market, Congress needs to make the ban on pre-existing condition exclusions contingent upon individuals maintaining continuous coverage–the same rules that Congress established for employer-group coverage fifteen years before Obamacare.

You can watch this short video below highlighting the failed vote attempt last week and why conservatives would not support it.

Why do you think House leadership is proposing a health care plan that doesn’t truly repeal Obamacare?

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