Tax reform passes

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Conservatives have reason to celebrate as the largest tax cut in over three decades passed Congress this week.

Next stop, the President’s desk.

Heritage has long pushed for full-spectrum tax reform and this is a great step in the right direction.

According to Heritage tax expert Adam Michel:

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is the most sweeping update to the U.S. tax code in more than 30 years. The recently released conference report would lower taxes on business and individuals, and unleash higher wages, more jobs, and untold opportunity through a larger and more dynamic economy.

The conference report is a serious effort to reform a complex and badly broken system that provides significant tax relief to the vast majority of taxpaying Americans.

For a quick look at what is in the final bill, view this chart created by  Michel.

Also, to hear a more detailed analysis of how this bill will impact the middle-class listen to this podcast from The Daily Signal.

What are your thoughts on the final tax reform bill?

Kay Coles James becomes Heritage’s next president

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On Tuesday, Kay Coles James was announced as the next president of Heritage.

We are thrilled to have president-elect Kay Coles James to lead Heritage into 2018.

Watch Kay James first message to Heritage members below:

You can also listen to her first address to Heritage staff after the announcement was made.

The media quickly picked up on this announcement and here’s what they had to say:

James takes the helm at Heritage as the bastion of conservative thought reaches new heights in influence in Washington, DC. Many of Heritage’s best and brightest have gone on to key positions in the Trump administration, covering the gamut from diplomacy and the military, to health care and taxes, to homeland security. The rare combination of unified Republican government creates an opening for pursuing conservative solutions to problems that have lingered for decades. –Breitbart 

We spoke this week with Ms. James about her plans, and asked how Heritage would fit into a volatile conservative political environment defined today by keywords as broad as Trump, the Establishment, Bannonites, the Freedom Caucus, and, yes, The Wall Street Journal Editorial Page. That volatility includes some run-ins between these pages and the foundation’s political arm, Heritage Action.

“Heritage will always be true north.” Ms. James told us. “Some individuals may be political, but the good news is what we do is research issues with scholars. We provide the data. We will be the intellectual grist for the entire conservative community, no matter where they are in the conservative spectrum.” –Wall Street Journal

The conservative Heritage Foundation announced Tuesday that board member Kay Coles James will serve as its sixth president starting next year. Her goal, she said Tuesday, will be to expand the base of the conservative movement and “take it to places it may not have been before.” … The Heritage Foundation is the country’s largest conservative think tank and has played an integral role in policy formation during Republican administrations. James, however, said she will approach her job not as “some policy wonk,” but as a problem solver who is interested in how policy “can affect and empower people in their lives.” –Politico

The Heritage Foundation selected Kay Coles James as its next president, the conservative think tank announced Tuesday. James, a member of Heritage’s board of trustees since 2005, has worked in government, academia, and the conservative movement during her career, the Heritage Foundation said. James worked as a member of the National Commission on Children under former President Ronald Reagan, as well as roles in the administrations of former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. –The Blaze

Kay also joined Fox News to discuss her new role as president of Heritage.

Please join me in welcoming Kay to this new role at Heritage.

What questions or comments do you have for Kay as she begins her role as Heritage’s president?

 

You are cutting spending in the federal government

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Heritage staff and alumni are making great impact curbing the excessive spending of the federal government.

This week, the Washington Post ran an article that discussed Trump’s labor adviser James Sherk’s plans to reduce federal spending. Sherk is a former Heritage expert that focused on labor economics and data modeling.  The article stated:

Now, with James Sherk — a chief proponent of the notion that federal workers are overpaid — serving as Trump’s labor adviser, the proposals stand their best chance yet of becoming policies that dig deep into federal employees’ pockets.

Sherk, a labor economist, joined Trump’s team early this year after working for the conservative Heritage Foundation. His co-authored report, “Why It Is Time to Reform Compensation for Federal Employees,” was published by Heritage just days after the 2016 Republican National Convention nominated Trump.

“Our paper was intended to serve as a framework for any candidate or elected official who wants to improve the way the federal government operates and offer more competitive options to federal employees,” Rachel Greszler, a Heritage economist who wrote the report with Sherk, said by email Friday.

Thanks to your support Heritage experts are making a huge impact in Washington.

How do we cut size and scope of the federal government?

Spreading the conservative message

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Your support is allowing Heritage to share the conservative message effectively with an ever-growing audience.

One of the latest ways this is being done is through our five regular podcasts that explain the conservative stance on the issues of our day.

Podcasts allow us to reach people who don’t have the time to read articles or prefer listening over reading. Podcasts have become a very effective tool to keep our audience informed on the latest developments in today’s quickly-changing world.

You can listen to Heritage’s podcasts below:

Mass Ave – A weekly Heritage podcast giving listeners insight from the latest policy news from the steps of Capitol Hill.

SCOTUS 101 – A Heritage podcast breaking down what’s happening at The Supreme Court, and what the justices are up to.

The Daily Signal podcast – A daily podcast dedicated to bringing you insight on the biggest news stories of the day from the Conservative point of view.

The Right Side of History – A Daily Signal, bi-weekly show dedicated to discussing and often defending American history and first principles.

Problematic Women – A Daily Signal podcast, shines a spotlight on strong conservative women, current events, and the hypocrisy of the “feminist” left.

Thank you for making this possible.

Where do you get your news on what’s happening in our nation?

Staff Profile: Meet the editor who runs Heritage’s news outlet

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Your support has allowed Heritage’s news outlet, The Daily Signal, to play a major role in becoming an alternative source to the mainstream media.

I had the opportunity to interview Rob Bluey, editor-in-chief of The Daily Signal and vice president of communications for Heritage.

I learned about how he came to Heritage, why the organization started The Daily Signal, and what motivates him to fight for the conservative cause day-in and day-out.

Read his story below:

Steven: Tell us, if you can, in one sentence, what you do here at Heritage.

Rob: I see my role as motivating the team to create inspiring content about conservative ideas, and also being on the cutting edge of communications.

Steven: Talk us through the idea behind The Daily Signal and the impact that it has.

Rob: Several years ago, as we reviewed the communications operation at Heritage, we decided to take our message directly to the American people.

We already had a blog featuring commentary from Heritage experts, but we wanted to expand it. We started to shift the editorial strategy in 2014.

We worked with an industry leader in publishing to create The Daily Signal, and as we were building it, we started hiring talent. We brought on a managing editor, news editor and a team of reporters.

We started in June of 2014 with the investigative reporting of Sharyl Attkisson, who had left CBS News and helped establish our identity as a serious and credible news outlet. We continued to publish op-eds from Heritage scholars, just as we had done previously on our blog. But now we also had a news team that could go out and report stories about different events and Heritage priorities.

Steven: Why do you love working at Heritage?

Rob: The top reason in my case is that everybody is driven by our mission. The team is motivated to accomplish a set of goals. It’s more than just showing up to do a job.

At Heritage, there’s an incredible collaborative spirit and great teamwork to achieve our mission. I’ve worked at nonprofits and for-profits before this, and I just haven’t ever experienced anything quite like what Heritage has to offer.

Steven:   Are you a morning or an evening person?

Rob: Can I say both? With kids at home, it’s always a balancing act when to get things done. I’m up early because I want to have as much done by the time the kids wake up and working late after they go to bed because the news never stops. Fortunately, I focus on them when we’re together—whether it’s doing homework, practicing piano, or playing baseball.

One of the things that’s been important about working at Heritage is the family-friendly nature of the organization. Because my wife Melissa works here at Heritage as our creative director, we’re often  juggling responsibilities at home. Heritage has been great in that respect.

Steven: How did you get involved in politics? Talk us through the path that you took.

Rob: I was in high school. In 1996, I volunteered for the local congressman in upstate New York where I’m from. He was a Republican, albeit a very liberal Republican, but I was just fascinated by the whole process. Our family visited Washington, D.C., on summer vacations, and I just loved the city. I was also at the time editor of my high school newspaper, so the combination of journalism and politics was really my passion.

I started working at a weekly newspaper in Clinton, New York, called the Clinton Courier, and covered the local political scene. That experience early on in my career just kind of struck me as something that would be fun and exciting. All these years later, I’m still enjoying it.

If you could ask Rob one question what would you ask him?

UK Secretary of State visits Heritage

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On Wednesday the UK’s Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs, Boris Johnson, visited Heritage for a private meeting with Heritage experts.

After his meeting at Heritage, Johnson went on to meet with leaders in both the House and Senate.

Heritage has continued to maintain a strong relationship with the UK and Johnson’s visit speaks to that relationship.

Heritage tweeted this photo Wednesday of the meeting:

We will continue to strengthen relationships with U.S. foreign allies.

How important is the UK-U.S. relationship?

Heritage leading conservative legal movement

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One of the things Heritage does well is bring together the best minds and most powerful influencers in one place to address our nation’s most critical issues.

Just this week Heritage hosted the Legal Strategy Forum, a two-day biannual gathering of  CEOs and legal officers of top organizations who are committed to furthering the conservative legal movement.

Heritage brought in speakers to this group that included DC Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh, U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, and even U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

They discussed recent developments and litigation strategy in a wide variety of areas of concern to the conservative legal movement, and heard from recognized experts in those fields.

Watch Jeff Sessions’ remarks below:

Heritage will continue to lead to ensure the conservative legal movement grows and strengthens in the months and years ahead.

What do you think is the greatest challenge of our legal system?

A great American hero passes on

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Last week, a true patriot and Heritage’s longest serving employee, Richard Odermatt, Director of Research Editing, passed on peacefully from this world. 

His dedication to the quality of Heritage research reflected his strong belief in the principles of conservatism and desire to see them create a stronger America. His positive attitude, laser sharp intellect, eagle eye for details, biting wit and deep faith gave life to the work he did at Heritage.

 

President Ed Feulner had the following words to say about Richard’s passing:

The Heritage Foundation has lost its longest serving employee and one of its dearest friends. Richard Odermatt, our Director of Research Editing, was one of the most erudite men in Washington, profoundly talented, and blessed with a gentle, loving soul.

Richard possessed an endless range of knowledge and the ability to give attention to the smallest detail—qualities that made him the most talented research editor I have ever known.

He came to Heritage on January 22, 1975, and quickly made himself indispensable. In the early days, he not only edited our research papers, he would hand-deliver them to Congressional offices once or twice a week.

Richard lived a rich life outside of Heritage, too. He spoke nine foreign languages—ancient and modern—and travelled extensively. He taught English at a community college, was a seminary professor (and tutor) of Byzantine chant, and a cantor at the Holy Transfiguration Melkite Greek Catholic Church in McLean, Va.

Grounded in deep faith, he was unflappable in times of stress and over-joyed at the joy of others. We at Heritage will miss his warm presence, his shy, sly smile and his self-effacing humor. May God rest his beautiful soul.

His legacy is one that all of us on the Heritage team can learn from and will seek to carry out in the years ahead.

Please join me in saying a prayer for his family during this difficult time.

If you have any memories or encouraging words you would like to share with his family please comment below and we will share them.

 

Heritage expert leading the charge on health care reform

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Senior Research Fellow Robert (Bob) Moffit stays busy working in Heritage’s Center for Health Policy Studies.

However, in his spare time he also serves as Chairman of the Maryland Healthcare Commission where he is making a huge difference in reforming the healthcare system in Maryland.

When the announcement of Moffit’s appointment as Chairman was made this May the Washington Post had this to say:

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on Tuesday appointed a leading critic of the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act to chair the state’s health-care commission, drawing immediate criticism from Democrats.

Robert E. Moffit has served as a member of the commission, which oversees hospitals and health care in the state, since 2015. A senior fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, he has called for a full repeal of the federal health-care law, promoted Medicare vouchers and applauded the controversial health-care bill that House Republicans passed last week.

Last week, in his new role as Chairman, he led an effort to establish medical price transparency for elective hospital services in the State of Maryland.

Moffit’s focus on lifting the veil on hospital prices was already widely anticipated. At the time of his appointment as Chairman of the Commission last year, Moffit stated clearly that among his top priorities was price transparency in Maryland hospitals as well as broader regulatory reform of the Maryland health care system.

Concerning price transparency, Moffit said,

Despite the fact that health care will soon consume roughly one out of five dollars in our wallets, Americans know more about the price of a gallon of gasoline than they do about the price of common medical procedures. Hospital bills, in particular, are often mysterious. We also know that the price of elective hospital procedures, such as knee replacements or vaginal birth deliveries, vary widely.

Sunshine will spur more intense competition and innovation in care delivery.  Markets cannot function unless the consumers know the prices of the services they are buying. So that is why the Maryland Health Care Commission adopted a market-based solution to a widespread market problem.

Please join me in congratulating Moffit on his work towards a more conservative healthcare system.

Heritage is grateful for the service of people like Moffit who never tire in their work to increase the freedom of the American people–whether at Heritage or on their own time.

What questions would you like to ask Moffit related to our current healthcare system?

 

Former Heritage intern leads Pro-life movement

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Heritage believes strongly in educating and preparing the next generation of Americans to be leaders for conservatism.

One key way Heritage educates the next generation is through our exceptional internship program that teaches these young leaders the founding principles of our nation while providing them a place to put those principles into action.

Read more about the Heritage Young Leaders program >>

Many of these interns have gone on to be great leaders for the conservative movement.

This week Marjorie Dannenfelser, former Heritage intern and President of the pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List, received the Distinguished Alumni Award for her work in the pro-life movement. She sat down with The Daily Signal’s Senior Vice President Rob Bluey to discuss how the Susan B. Anthony List was created and you can watch her interview below to find out more about this incredible group.

In 1992, Dannenfelser, who had worked for Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, founded the Susan B. Anthony List out of her living room with the goal of increasing the number of pro-life women in federal and statewide office.

Since then the Susan B. Anthony List has helped elect more than 105 candidates to the U.S. House of Representatives, 20 to the U.S. Senate, and 19 to other statewide offices across the country.

How important is it to train and prepare the next generation of conservative leaders? What is the best way to accomplish this?

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