Meet the man who can take down Obamacare

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Tom Price was confirmed to lead the Department of Health and Human Services last week. The Daily Signal’s Melissa Quinn reports why this is significant.

Now, as the health and human services chief, Price can begin fulfilling a years long goal of unwinding Obamacare. But instead of dismantling the health care law from the halls of Congress, he’ll be acting from inside the agency that oversaw its implementation.

An orthopedic surgeon who served more than a decade in the House, Price has spent the last seven years in Congress opposing the Affordable Care Act. The new HHS secretary introduced his own health care plan in 2009—he’s reintroduced that same proposal, the Empowering Patients First Act, in every Congress since then.

…even as congressional Republicans finalize their course for unwinding the law, Price can now use his executive power to begin chipping away at Obamacare’s framework.

With Congress continuing to drag their feet on Obamacare repeal, Price has a tremendous opportunity to move forward the dismantling of this law.

What do you think Tom Price’s priorities should be for the Department of Health and Human Services?

How Congress can rein in federal agencies

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Heritage is pushing for Congress to use the Congressional Review Act to crack down on federal agencies’ power and undo Obama administration excesses.

Too often, government agencies in the executive branch bypass the legislative process and issue rules with the force of law–and then enforce them on the American people. This administrative state is far from the government the Founders imagined.

The CRA is one of Congress’s best options to reduce the excesses of the administrative state. It allows lawmakers to invalidate agency rulings with a simple majority vote.

“The CRA provides Congress with an opportunity to invalidate an agency rule while satisfying the Article I Bicameralism and Presentment requirements,” Heritage scholar Paul Larkin explains in a detailed report on the CRA’s inner workings.

At an informal working group at Heritage earlier this month, experts from Heritage and other conservative groups helped Capitol Hill staff understand the scope of the law and how it can advance conservative reforms, the Wall Street Journal explained.

To further advance this idea, Heritage is hosting an event next week on “Reawakening the Congressional Review Act.”

Do you believe federal agencies have too much power?

You now have direct impact on the Executive branch

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With the launch of Heritage’s new Executive Branch Relations team, you will now have a direct impact on the Trump administration.

Focused on educating, informing, and supporting conservatives in the executive branch, this new team will pave the way in building strong relationships with key agencies in order to push conservative policy priorities.

They will provide Heritage research, host events, and work to ensure that reforms actually get done–not simply discussed.

Here are their top five targeted departments to start:

  • The Department of Health and Human Services, headed by Secretary Tom Price: We’ll show policymakers in HHS how to administer health care entitlement programs in a patient-centered, market-based way after Obamacare is gone; and how to reverse administrative actions that undermine life and religious liberty.
  • The Department of Justice, headed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions: We’ll help focus the DOJ on restoring justice and the rule of law. This will mean reviewing and rescinding the transgender bathroom “guidance,” stopping the overuse of federal criminal statutes, and ending the use of “disparate impact” analyses to label free-market policies as racist.
  • The State Department, headed by Secretary Rex Tillerson: We’ll encourage the State Department to rebuild America’s strained alliances, free America from the Iran deal, and make clear which international agreements constitute treaties requiring Senate advice and consent.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency, headed by Secretary Scott Pruitt: We’ll be a source of guidance for the new EPA on getting rid of Renewable Fuel Standards and greenhouse gas regulations (and other obsolete or unwarranted programs) and encouraging effective, state-based environmental stewardship.
  • The Department of Homeland Security, headed by Secretary John F. Kelly. We’ll share our plans for restoring a secure America after years of ignored and unenforced U.S. immigration law. We’ll provide guidance on securing the border and creating more cooperation between the federal government and the states.

What are your priorities for the executive branch?

Numerous Heritage staff headed to work in the Trump administration

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Numerous Heritage staff have gone to work in the new administration. We are thankful for their service at Heritage and know they will make a great impact in their respective roles.

You can read the updated list below broken into categories by agency. We will update this list as needed.

The Domestic Policy Council

Paul Winfree, former director of Heritage’s Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies. Winfree, well known in Washington for his tough stance on fiscal responsibility and transparent budgeting was one of the first Heritage appointments to be publicly announced as a member of the new administration. He is now serving as deputy assistant to the president, deputy director of the Domestic Policy Council, and director of budget policy.

Ann Conant, former executive assistant to the vice president of the Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity. Conant is serving as assistant to Paul Winfree on President Trump’s Domestic Policy Council.

The Environmental Protection Agency

David Kreutzer, former Heritage senior research fellow, energy economics and climate change. While at Heritage, Kreutzer worked to bring President Obama’s radical EPA back into line with its purpose of protecting land, air, and water – not seizing control of the economy. Kreutzer is now working on a “beachhead team” within the EPA.

Department of Commerce

Michael Costigan, former Heritage senior advisor for strategic outreach. Costigan is currently a member of a beachhead team within the Department of Commerce and will soon be serving as assistant to the Secretary of Commerce.

Department of the Interior

Ryan Nichols, former associate director of coalition relations. Over the past five years, Nichols has helped unite and strengthen the conservative movement. He is working on a beachhead team within the Department of Interior.

Office of Management and Budget

Russ Vought, former Heritage Action vice president of grassroots outreach. At Heritage Action, Vought helped rally conservatives around a vision of a dramatically downsized federal government. He will now take on a high-level position within the Office of Management and Budget.

Department of Labor

James Sherk, former Heritage research fellow, labor economics. Sherk’s research has helped right-to-work states resist union coercion and bad labor policy. Sherk will now take on a role at the Department of Labor.

The Pentagon

Justin Johnson, former Heritage senior policy analyst for defense budgeting policy. While at Heritage, Johnson conducted important research on how to achieve a fully-equipped, combat-ready military, as outlined in his recent Heritage report “Congress Should Enact a Strong Defense Budget in FY 2017.” Johnson will now be working on related matters at the Pentagon.

Department of Transportation

Nick Yonkovich, former Heritage staff accountant. Yonkovich is serving on a beachhead team at the Department of Transportation.

 

How do you feel about former Heritage staff serving in the administration?

Congress lets Obamacare repeal stall. Bad idea.

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Congressional leaders do not seem concerned with moving Obamacare repeal forward with any sense of urgency.  They’ve had ample time to make good on their campaign promises to repeal Obamacare, but following through on that promise doesn’t seem to be high on their priority list.

The longer they wait to repeal Obamacare the harder it will be and the less they will be able to accomplish.

From the beginning, Heritage has pushed for immediate, full repeal of Obamacare. I know you have too and we’re not about to give up the fight.

Read our plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Heritage expert Ed Haislmaier testified before Congress last month about Obamacare’s flaws.

Read all Heritage research on Obamacare repeal.

Do you think Congress will act to repeal Obamacare?

 

Ted Cruz uses Heritage chart in debate against Bernie Sanders

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In his debate Tuesday night against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) used a Heritage chart about the flaws with Obamacare.

According to Politico

…he [Cruz] came armed with reams of damaging data, and at one point held up a Heritage Foundation chart on the lack of competition in many Affordable Care Act exchange markets.

You can watch the clip below:

Do you believe Cruz won the debate?  Would you like to see more Heritage research used by lawmakers like this?

James Carafano explains Trump’s immigration executive order on CNN

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President Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugee policy is a good step in keeping America safe, Heritage national security expert James Carafano says.

Citing his work on the administration’s transition team, Carafano explains in The Daily Signal that this order’s purpose is to protect America against an influx of terrorism.

He also defended the order several times on CNN. Watch the videos below:

Do you agree with President Trump’s executive order on immigration?

Neil Gorsuch’s nomination is a win for conservatives

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On Tuesday night, President Trump kept his promise to nominate a conservative jurist, Neil Gorsuch, as the next Supreme Court Justice.

“Neil Gorsuch will make an outstanding Supreme Court justice,” Heritage President Jim DeMint said, “because he has a clear record that shows he will follow the Constitution and uphold the rule of law.”

Politico credits Heritage’s John Malcolm with “put[ting] together an influential early list of potential replacements for Justice Antonin Scalia, which Trump credited for helping guide his thinking.”

Neil Gorsuch will need to be confirmed by the Senate to become the next Supreme Court Justice. Even though he was unanimously confirmed to the federal bench in 2006, liberals today are threatening to block him.

Jim DeMint explains:

Senate Democrats have already signaled they will mount a partisan filibuster against anyone nominated, but this issue was front and center in last year’s election, and the American people gave Donald Trump and a new Senate majority a mandate to choose Justice Scalia’s replacement.

Heritage experts have laid out a plan lawmakers can use to overcome the filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee — without having to resort to the “nuclear option” that eliminates the filibuster entirely. By enforcing the “two-speech rule,” Heritage’s James Wallner and Ed Corrigan explain, “the support of a simple majority of the members present and voting is sufficient for confirmation.”

Curious to know more about Neil Gorsuch and his judicial philosophy? Heritage expert John Malcolm takes a closer look at who Neil Gorsuch is and why his nomination is good for conservatives.

What do you think about Donald Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to Supreme Court? 

Look at the difference you made in 2016

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Heritage members made quite an impact in 2016.  Scroll down to see the key milestones you achieved each month .

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January-

  • Your support launches a major effort to set the agenda in a critical, high-stakes election year. Heritage briefs presidential candidates and publishes written guidance—in the form of a new Mandate for Leadership—to will prepare the next administration to govern according to constitutional principles.
  • Heritage continues to brief presidential candidates at their request, steering them toward a major policy guidebook for Congress, Solutions 2016, and toward Heritage’s economic, cultural, and military indexes. These publications eventually wind up in the hands of the Trump transition team.
  • For the first time, a bill to repeal Obamacare (and defund Planned Parenthood for a year) reaches President Obama’s desk—a move you’ve hoped for since the law was passed in 2010. The bill, which was vetoed by the president as expected, sets the stage for our next move: filibuster proof repeal bill in early 2017.

February

  • As the nation absorbs the shock of Justice Antonin Scalia’s sudden passing, Heritage Action launches its “No Hearings. No Votes.” Campaign. In this way, you keep Congress from considering Judge Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court, makes the Court a defining issue in the elections, and saves Scalia’s seat for an appointment by President-elect Trump.
  • Forbes magazine ranks your Heritage Foundation as the No. 1 most “social media savvy” free-market group in America—
    with 1.9 million Facebook fans, 544,000 Twitter followers, 22,333 YouTube subscribers, and a popular multimedia news website, The Daily Signal.
  • To prepare for the tough legislative battles ahead, Heritage launches its Weyrich and Feulner Fellows programs in which Heritage experts train House and Senate staff to be as adept at congressional rules and procedures as politicians on the left.

March

  • The House introduces a Heritage-inspired bill, the Separation of Powers Act, which would force federal courts to exercise their own judgment in construing ambiguous statutes and regulations, rather than deferring to the federal agencies. The bill goes on to pass the House three months later and, though it stalled in the Senate, it will likely be reintroduced in 2017.
  • After Heritage Action for America (and its elite activists, called “Sentinels”) present to conservative lawmakers The Heritage Foundation’s Blueprint for Balance: A Federal Budget for 2017, the bloated Boehner-Obama budget arrives dead on the House floor.

April

  • Heritage publishes Blueprint for Transition, a detailed guide and timeline for transferring executive branch power between Election Day and Inauguration Day, and makes it available to the presidential candidates. The blueprint winds up in the hands of Trump’s transition team.
  • Heritage publishes a list of potential Supreme Court nominees from which Donald Trump eventually borrows six names.
  • North Carolina and Mississippi pass religious freedom legislation based on Heritage Foundation templates, while Heritage Action drums up support in Congress for similar legislation at the federal level to protect those who refuse to go along with the political left’s “redefinition” of marriage and gender. 

May

  • After a well-timed op-ed from The Heritage Foundation and pressure from Heritage Action, the House strips an amendment in the National Defense Authorization Act that would have included young women in future military drafts. This gives Americans an extreme view of, and hope of stopping, the political left’s radical remaking of gender roles.
  • In a rebuke of the Obama administration’s overreach, the Supreme Court bars the IRS from imposing millions of dollars in fines on the Catholic charity Little Sisters of the Poor, and orders the government to leave religious organizations alone. All the while, Americans hear sound arguments from Heritage in favor of religious liberty.

June

  • Deciding they’ve had enough bureaucratic mismanagement from the European Union, the British people vote to leave, or “Brexit” the EU; a move Heritage has been urging for years. In America, a similar anti-Big Government sentiment is stirring, though neither the media nor the liberal elite class recognize it …
  • Sens. Mike Lee, R-UT, and Tom Cotton, R-AR, draw on Heritage research and analysis to introduce the United Kingdom Trade Continuity Act, which would maintain all current U.S. trade agreements with Britain.
  • After the ISIS-inspired massacre at Orlando’s Pulse night club, your support helps Heritage and Heritage Action stop Democrats in Congress and President Obama from passing legislation—meant to distract from their unwillingness to stop Islamist terrorism—that would infringe on Americans’ 2nd Amendment rights and right to due process.

July

  • The 2016 GOP Platform is released containing numerous policy positions consistent with Heritage recommendations, including the repeal and replacement of Obamacare, America’s withdrawal from specious climate treaties, and the affirmation of U.S. defense treaty assurances to Taiwan.
  • Heritage publishes Blueprint for Reform: A Comprehensive Policy Agenda for a New Administration in 2017. The publication provides a detailed plan—the plan which President Trump will likely draw from—for streamlining federal departments and agency operations, fixing the entitlement crisis, and balancing the budget. Upon its release, the nonpartisan “ThinkTankWatch.com” publishes an article asking, “Has Heritage Just Released Donald Trump’s Bible?”

August

  • News hits that former Heritage President Ed Feulner has been chosen for a major role on Trump’s transition team—along with eight other current and former Heritage staff members, including former Attorney General Ed Meese, Heritage Board Member Kay Coles James; and Vice President of Heritage’s Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy Dr. Jim Carafano.
  • In a speech in Detroit, Trump cites Heritage research on the impact of major government regulations imposed by the Obama administration on U.S. citizens: By 2030, Obama-Clinton energy restrictions will eliminate half a million manufacturing jobs and reduce economic output by $2.5 trillion.

September

  • While much of Heritage focuses on preparing for a potential Trump transition, Heritage’s Asia policy experts keep their eye on the safety of America and our Asian allies by toughening up a sanctions bill—signed into law by Obama—that will actually put pressure on North Korea to stop its nuclear provocations and human rights abuses.
  • In a press release on Sept. 9, then-candidate Donald Trump cites two key proposals from Heritage’s 2016 Index of U.S. Military Strength as part of his formal policy platform: building a Marine Corps with 36 battalions and an Air Force with 1,200 fighter aircraft.

October

  • Heritage Action crosses the 16,000 Sentinel-recruitment mark—creating a larger-than-ever network of elite conservative activists that is now poised and ready to hold a new Congress accountable in either presidential election outcome.

November

  • Donald Trump and running mate Gov. Mike Pence win the presidential election of 2016.
    The Federalist’s Ben Domenich remarks
    “The big winners from last night, beyond Donald Trump [include] The Heritage Foundation …”
  • Just a week after Trump’s victory, stragglers in Congress—still not grasping the anti-cronyism mandate just laid down by the American people—try to pass a proposal to bring back earmarks for pet projects, and are promptly defeated by Heritage Action thanks to you.
  • With pressure from Heritage Action and research from The Heritage Foundation, conservatives in Congress unite around a filibuster-proof proposal for repealing Obamacare that will hit President Donald Trump’s desk right after inauguration.

December

  • In his keynote speech at Heritage’s annual President’s Club Meeting on Dec. 6, Vice President-elect Mike Pence tells the crowd that the Trump administration “ … will continue to draw from the deep intellectual resources of The Heritage Foundation,” and vows to repeal Obamacare, pull back regulations, rebuild the military, and seal the U.S. border with Mexico.
  • Heritage’s Preston A. Wells Fellow in Health Policy, Nina Owcharenko, becomes the latest of numerous Heritage staff to be picked by the Trump transition team to serve on “landing teams.” These teams help execute the policy and staff changes needed in specific departments during the transition. Other landing team members from Heritage include: economist and regulatory expert David Burton, national security expert James Carafano, tax and economic policy expert Curtis Dubay, foreign policy expert Steven Groves, national defense analyst Justin Johnson, Heritage Trustee William Walton, and defense policy expert Dakota Wood.
  • You enable The Heritage Foundation to release a plan to lead America’s resurgence in 2017—capitalizing on this historic moment in order to heal our culture and our economy, restore the rule of law, and restore America’s standing in the world. Heritage’s plan is tough and focused: unbending in its efforts to change Washington, guide the new administration, and achieve conservative policy victories.

 

This work would not be possible without the support of our members. Thank you.

Heritage’s Daily Signal news site is gaining traction

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The Daily Signal, Heritage’s news outlet, had two big wins on Tuesday.

First, Daily Signal White House correspondent Fred Lucas asked Press Secretary Sean Spicer a tough question about the administration’s commitment to Obamacare repeal. This was the first time a Daily Signal reporter has asked a question at a White House press conference.

Later that evening, in an appearance on Fox News, Sean Spicer called out The Daily Signal as an alternative to the mainstream media. “The mainstream media is not the only team in town anymore,” he told Sean Hannity.

With over 96% of journalists’ campaign donations going to liberal candidates, it’s time to balance out the mainstream media with alternative sources.

Do you think The Daily Signal is providing a good alternative to the mainstream media?

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