What a year it’s been! You are an investor in America’s future and in the conservative movement. Thank you once again for your support of The Heritage Foundation and for all our achievements in 2018!
• Among the many Heritage national defense recommendations followed by the Trump Administration is the suspension of U.S. aid to Pakistan, a supporter of the Taliban and other terrorist networks.
• Heeding the advice of Heritage Senior Fellow Mike Gonzalez, the U.S. Census Committee announces it will not create a new ethnic category in the 2020 Census (Middle East North Africa or “MENA”). This clandestine effort would have divided America along yet another ethnic line and fanned the flames of identity politics.
• The University of Pennsylvania announces that in its study of 7,815 think tanks around the world, The Heritage Foundation ranked No. 1 in terms of impacting public policy. The UPenn study also ranks Heritage No. 2 for “Think Tanks to Watch in 2018” and No. 4 for “Best Use of Social Media and Networks.”
• Vice President Mike Pence appoints Heritage Senior Fellow Dean Cheng, Heritage’s expert in Chinese military thinking and strategy, to the new U.S. Space Council Advisory Committee.
• Amid liberals’ anti-gun fervor in the wake of the tragic Parkland, Fla., school shooting, Heritage holds a successful “School Safety Teach-In.” The event brings together young people, teachers, mental health professionals, and policy experts to talk about solutions that could actually prevent school violence.
• A grassroots campaign by Heritage Action for America to get senators to confirm President Trump’s judicial nominees results in another great confirmation: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
• Heritage President Kay Coles James is interviewed by Fox News’ Chris Wallace as the “Power Player of the Week” segment. This comes on the heels of similar features on James in Politico Playbook’s “Women to Watch” Power List and CQ’s “18 to Watch in 2018.” These interviews are part of Heritage’s renewed effort to take the conservative message to more women, minorities, and young people.
• An idea first conceived by The Heritage Foundation’s Will Skillman Fellow Lindsey Burke—Education Savings Accounts for children from military families— is introduced as legislation in Congress. Heritage Action delivers to Capitol Hill a letter of support signed by 2,000 military connected families.
• Using talking points straight out of commentary by Heritage Senior Fellow Jim Phillips, President Trump announces U.S. withdrawal from the dangerous Iran nuclear deal. This is a move Heritage has urged since the deal was signed.
• Heritage celebrates a streak of pro-liberty decisions by the Supreme Court; decisions in which Heritage was involved in messaging and legal strategy. The Court upholds Trump’s travel ban, protects religious freedom in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, affirms the right of pro-life pregnancy centers not to advertise abortion, and defends the right of non-union members to refuse to pay mandatory union dues.
• Ambassador Nikki Haley chooses Heritage to deliver an internationally covered speech on the United States’ withdrawal from the U.N. Human Rights Council. The decision to withdraw from the anti-Israel U.N. Human Rights Council was heavily influenced by the writings of Heritage’s Jay Kingham Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs Brett Schaefer.
• On June 20, The New York Times Magazine ran a lengthy article highlighting Heritage’s extensive work on the 2016 Presidential Transition and highlighting Heritage’s work on recommending personnel for the Trump Administration.
• Heritage Action’s grassroots network of Sentinels pressures House members to vote against a “compromise” amnesty bill. The bill would have given amnesty, and a pathway to citizenship, to millions of illegal immigrants and would have been a disaster for American immigration enforcement and policy.
• Klon Kitchen, Heritage’s new senior research fellow for science, technology, and national security, has a meeting with Facebook executives to talk about their suppression of conservative voices. The media—from far right to far left—take notice of the meeting and of the growing respect that Facebook and Google have for Heritage.
• Recognizing the depleted state of America’s military, as highlighted in Heritage’s Index of U.S. Military Strength, Congress passes and the President signs an encouraging 2019 National Defense Reauthorization Act. The new NDAA puts renewed emphasis on modernizing America’s missile defenses and provides new authorities and funding to rebuild the nation’s military.
• Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions take action on an issue Heritage has been speaking against for years: affirmative action in college admissions. DeVos and Sessions reverse seven such discriminatory regulations from the Obama era.
• The House passes a package of three tax reform proposals, nicknamed “Tax Reform 2.0,” that follow Heritage guidance for expanding and making permanent key elements of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
• Rigorous campaigns by Heritage and Heritage Action help Judge Brett Kavanaugh to overcome a vicious smear campaign and become America’s newest Supreme Court justice.
• President Trump voices his intent to withdraw the United States from the bi-lateral Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia—a treaty Heritage has sharply criticized for decades.
• The New York Times once again takes notice as Heritage’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies launches a new academy to train and hone the constitutional insights of those who have accepted federal judicial clerkships in 2019.
• Heritage hosts 20 of the newly elected members of the House at its 2018 New Member Orientation. Attendees include former Navy Seal Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-TX, whose guest appearance on Saturday Night Live (in which he called for both political parties to respect civil discourse) went viral.
• A federal judge rules Obamacare unconstitutional because its individual mandate penalty—which was set at $0 under the Heritage-shaped 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act—becomes a mute “tax” that no longer advances a compelling government interest. The unexpected ruling lays the groundwork for Heritage’s free-market “Health Care Choices” proposal in 2019.
• The Trump Administration rescinds President Obama’s harmful 2014 “Dear Colleague” letter, warning schools that racial disparities in their suspension rates would trigger a federal investigation. Heritage spent the year explaining how this guidance sheltered violent students and made schools more dangerous.
• The most significant criminal justice reform bill in a generation is signed into law. Following many ideas espoused by The Heritage Foundation, the First Step Act gives judges more discretion to impose appropriate sentences for low-level, non-violent offenders—and equips inmates with skills they need to become law-abiding, productive citizens upon release.