The State Department quietly issued a new policy that seems designed to keep its employees from freely speaking to Congress or the press — particularly about Benghazi and Hillary Clinton’s email controversy.

Heritage’s Daily Signal reports:

The State Department issued 19 pages of revised rules about official clearance for speaking, writing and teaching on July 27.

The new rules, first reported by Diplopundit, a blog that unofficially watches State Department leadership and management issues, say in part: “Employee testimony, whether in an official capacity or in a personal capacity on a matter of Departmental concern may be subject to the review requirements of this subchapter.

Written into the revised State Department regulation is the threat that an employee or former employee speaking to Congress or the press outside the policy could be fired and criminally prosecuted. “Noncompliance may result in disciplinary action, criminal prosecution and/or civil liability,” reads one section.

Writing for The Daily Signal, Sheryl Attkisson reports that the failure to seek approval from the State Department before speaking to Congress or the press could result either in their termination or criminal prosecution: “Noncompliance may result in disciplinary action, criminal prosecution and/or civil liability.”

Do you think the State Department is grossly overreaching with this new policy?


Conservatives should explain how their policies improve the lives of all Americans, Heritage President Jim DeMint said earlier this month at the RedState Gathering in Atlanta.

Kyle Wingfield reports for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

So Washington doesn’t need, and Republicans shouldn’t offer, a different program for every sub-group of Americans, said former Sen. Jim DeMint. “If you tell Americans you’re giving them opportunity for all but favoritism for none,” he told the crowd, “most of them will take that deal.”

In an interview afterward, DeMint, who now heads the powerhouse Heritage Foundation, said conservatives have long trailed the left at communicating a broad message. But he argued they’re making strides from “trying to explain policies, rather than helping people see this is really going to make their lives better.

“That’s what we’re in this for,” DeMint continued. “And we can prove that what this president’s done, and what liberal-leftist policies have done around the world, don’t make people’s lives better, they don’t help the poor.”

Be sure to read Wingfield’s whole report.

Then tell us in the comments: do you think conservatives need an approach like this?

EPA bureaucrats are poised to “impose higher energy costs on American families and businesses for meaningless climate benefits,” Heritage’s Nick Loris writes.

Loris identifies four consequences of this regulation:

  • Higher energy prices, lost jobs, weaker economy. Restricting the use of coal, “will raise electricity rates, and those higher prices will reverberate through the economy. Businesses will pass higher costs onto consumers, but if a company must absorb the higher costs, it will invest less and expand less. The combination of reduced production and consumption will result in fewer jobs and a weaker economy.”
  • No climate benefit, exaggerated environmental benefits. Even climate activists argue the regulations will have minimal effect on the climate. Moreover, the government uses bad math to arrive at the program’s stated environmental benefits, for example double-counting the benefits of some regulations.
  • Overly prescriptive EPA picks winners and losers. The federal government is encouraging states to choose its preferred energy sources, like renewable fuels, over proven sources like coal.
  • Federally imposed cap-and-trade. Congress already rejected cap-and-trade, but the EPA is pushing it anyway. States will have one year to develop their own cap-and-trade plan. If they don’t, they’ll be subjected to a federally-run program.

Do you think the administration should impose a cap-and-trade plan like this without Congress’ consent?

Here’s what you need to know about the nuclear sanctions on Iran:

Do you think Congress should vote to lift these sanctions?

Iran is the world’s number one state sponsor of terrorism. And the deal with Iran only makes the prospects for war more likely.

There is a better way:

Do you think the Iran deal should be passed?

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