A field of 20 Democratic presidential candidates was split into two groups of 10 for the first debate of the 2020 election, taking place over two nights at Knight Concert Hall in Miami, Fla., hosted by NBC News, MSNBC, and Telemundo. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

On Wednesday and Thursday, 20 Democratic candidates hoping to unseat President Trump in 2020 debated in two 10-person groups. They covered a range of topics, including immigration, health care, the economy, and education/student debt.

At The Heritage Foundation we have solutions, we know our proposals will work, and we are confident that they will expand liberty in this country. Outlined below are our solutions to each of the important topics mentioned.

  • Immigration – Immigration is one of the fundamental building blocks that help make America the unique nation that it is. But the debate over border security and immigration has become toxic. Learn about the principles that should guide thoughtful immigration reform here: America’s Biggest Issues: Immigration
  • Health care – Most Americans agree that the health care system in the United States is in need of an overhaul. But the solution is not to emulate the models found in Europe and Canada. Instead, health care should put patients and doctors in the driver’s seat: America’s Biggest Issues: Health Care
  • The economy – Despite what naysayers might tell you, the U.S. economy is booming. The way to expand wealth and prosperity to more Americans is not through more government programs, but by expanding the one thing that can achieve this: economic freedom.
  • Education/student debt – As stated by Heritage President Kay Coles James, “Colleges and universities are failing us. Students are often subject to socialist ideology, they’re not set up for career success, and they can’t pay off the debt they’ve accumulated.” Here is the solution to fix this broken system: America’s Biggest Issues: Education

What did you think about the policy proposals discussed during the debates?

(L-r) Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., and Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, discuss their thoughts on immigration and border security with The Daily Signal’s Rachel del Guidice. (Photo: The Daily Signal)

The illegal immigration crisis at America’s southern border is unprecedented. A surge of migrants is entering the United States seeking asylum, encouraged by America’s “catch-and-release” policies. Border apprehension rates are 330 percent higher than in 2018, and a staggering 915 percent higher than in 2017.

Despite this crisis, Congress has delayed taking action. On Thursday, a $4.6 billion package was signed that will finally provide much needed resources to those who are responding to this emergency.

In an op-ed published in The Daily Signal, Jessica Anderson, vice president of the independent advocacy organization Heritage Action for America, said Congress needs to take three steps to address this situation:

  1. Give our law enforcement and judicial systems the funding and tools they need to do their job, process asylum-seekers and migrants, and secure the border.
  2. Reform our “catch-and-release” asylum process, which is the root cause of this wave of mass migration.
  3. Fund border security.

“Those on the left may not like it, but we have to control our border and enforce our laws,” said Anderson. “Our current crisis has made that abundantly clear.”

Read Anderson’s full op-ed in The Daily Signal.

Interview: A Border Patrol Agent Shares What It’s Really Like at the Border

Listen to a conversation with Republican Study Committee Chairman Mike Johnson, R-La., and Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, on how they want to tackle the border crisis.

Is the $4.6 billion border package sufficient to address the border emergency for the time being?

The Supreme Court concluded its 2019 term on Thursday. (Photo: Phillip Nelson / Getty Images)

On Thursday, June 27, the Supreme Court of the United States concluded its 2019 term. Heritage experts, including the legal team at Heritage’s Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, weighed in on some of the top cases:

  • In American Legion v. American Humanist Association, the Supreme Court decided 7-2 that a 40-foot cross erected on government land in Bladensburg, Maryland, is not unconstitutional. Thomas Jipping, deputy director, assesses the justices’ reasoning here.
  • In Knick v. Township of Scott, the Court reversed a bad decision it made 30 years ago in Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City, which essentially limited the ability of a person to receive justice if the state takes their private property. Paul J. Larkin Jr., Heritage’s Rumpel Senior Legal Research Fellow, explains why this reversal is significant here.
  • In Department of Commerce v. New York, the Court determined that the Trump administration was within its constitutional rights to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census – but that its justification for doing so – to enforce the Voting Rights Act – may have been “contrived.” The Court sent the case back to the lower court for further findings. According to Mike Gonzalez, senior fellow at Heritage’s Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy, the ruling gives the Department of Commerce the opportunity to try again and provide a new justification for including the question. Read why it should do so here.
  • In Rucho v. Common Cause, the Court ruled 5-4 that partisan gerrymandering is a political question beyond the reach of the federal courts. Hans A. von Spakovsky, manager of the Election Law Reform Initiative and senior legal fellow, explains why the Court got this ruling right here.
  • In Gundy v. United States, the Court missed an opportunity to prevent Congress from delegating its legislative authority to the executive branch (in this instance, the attorney general). John Malcolm, vice president of the Institute for Constitutional Government, and GianCarlo Canaparo, legal fellow, explain why this was the wrong decision here.

Heritage’s Influence on SCOTUS: Last week, Justice Neil Gorsuch cited a law review article by Paul Larkin in his dissent in Gamble v. United States, a case involving the Double Jeopardy Clause. Larkin’s article discussed the myriad of problems created by overcriminalization, which the Meese Center has long advocated against.

This week, Gorsuch cited a law review article by Paul Larkin and Elizabeth Slattery, legal fellow and appellate advocacy program manager, in his concurring opinion in Kisor v. Wilkie, a case involving how much deference courts must give to executive branch agencies interpreting their own regulations. Both articles were published by the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy.  Larkin and Slattery criticized the Court’s current deference doctrine in this article.

Listen: Get the latest scoop on Heritage’s SCOTUS 101 podcast, hosted by Elizabeth Slattery.

Don’t Miss These Upcoming Events: On Thursday, July 11, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Heritage will host a Supreme Court Review of the 2018-2019 Term event. Click here to RSVP to the live stream.

On Tuesday, July 16, from 12 – 1 p.m., Heritage will host authors Carrie Severino and Mollie Hemingway, who will discuss their new book, “Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court.” Click here to RSVP to the live stream.

What would you say are the biggest wins and losses for conservatives at the Supreme Court this year?

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani mocked the White House after President Trump placed sanctions on Iran. (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)

U.S.-Iran tensions remain high after Iran shot down an American drone operating in international airspace last week, and allegedly attacked two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on June 13.

In response, President Trump placed sanctions on Iranian leadership, denying them access to key financial resources – a move that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani described as “outrageous and idiotic.”

The Daily Signal: Iran Says White House Is ‘Mentally Retarded’ After Learning of New Sanctions

Interview: Tom Spoehr, director of The Heritage Foundation’s Center for National Defense and a former Army general, discusses the implications of Iran’s provocations in recent weeks with The Daily Signal. Read or listen here.

Here in the United States, both war hawks and peace doves are criticizing President Trump for his handling of the situation.

“Frankly, it all sounded like a bunch of Monday morning quarterbacks who hadn’t bothered to watch the game on Sunday,” said James Jay Carafano, vice president of Heritage’s Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy. Read Carafano’s full assessment of Trump’s response here.

According to Heritage senior research fellow for Middle Eastern affairs James Phillips, the confrontation is “forcing Tehran to pay an increasingly painful price for its hostile foreign policy and refusal to return to nuclear negotiations.” If the regime continues to reject diplomacy in favor of violence, then a military clash or even war is likely to ensue. Read Phillips’ full assessment here.

Listen: As Tensions Between Iran and US Rise, What You Need to Know

If the Iranians continue to escalate in their attacks against American interests, what do you think President Trump’s next move should be?

Acting Secretary Mark Esper, right, with Thomas Spoehr, director of Heritage’s Center for National Defense. (Photo: Willis Bretz)

Mark Esper, a former chief of staff at The Heritage Foundation, is taking on a new and much bigger role at the Department of Defense. President Donald Trump named Esper the acting secretary of defense on Tuesday, June 18.

“The nation would be lucky to have Mark serve in any capacity, but he is particularly well-suited to step into one of the most important jobs in the world – leading the men and women of the armed forces in defense of America’s interests,” says James Jay Carafano, vice president for Heritage’s Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy and E.W. Richardson fellow.

“The qualities that made Mark Esper a great secretary of the Army will make him a great acting secretary of Defense, and ultimately secretary of defense, if nominated,” says Thomas Spoehr, director of Heritage’s Center for National Defense.

Learn more about Mark Esper.

Please join us in congratulating Mark Esper!

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