Heritage stands for your values despite opposition

Your support of The Heritage Foundation has earned us a prominent place on Capitol Hill, standing strong for conservative principles in the face of opposition. Last Thursday, that prominent position aggravated Democrat Senator Jeff Merkley enough for him to attack Heritage by name for over 20 minutes on the Senate floor.

During his diatribe, the senator attacked the work of Ambassador Terry Miller, who directs Heritage’s Center for International Trade and Economics, and who has written extensively on the climate change debate. Senator Merkley accused him and Heritage as a whole of “misleading” Americans on matters of climate change, and “muddying the waters on established science.”

Senator Merkley also displayed posters on the floor of Congress showing Heritage at the center of what he called a “web of deceit,” claiming that we were “engaged directly in the game of politics on behalf of the Koch brother cabal.” He also claimed that our mission of introducing conservative ideas into the American mainstream was “a more complicated way of saying [Heritage] was created to be an advocate for the fossil fuel industry.” He used a diagram showing Heritage receiving donations from the Koch brothers and Exxon-Mobil in order to illustrate his point.

Senator Merkley’s comments were simplistic and wholly unfounded. While the senator may find it convenient to dismiss our research out of hand, we pride ourselves on the independence and quality of our scholarship. Heritage never has and never will tailor policy positions for money. Conservative values and constitutional principles come first in all of our work, and can never be swayed by the opinions of people in power or of special interests.

Heritage will proudly continue to represent your conservative values on Capitol Hill no matter what anyone might say about us.

How do you handle opposition to your conservative values?

Bringing relief to farmers with conservative policy

For a long time, farmers have struggled under heavy overregulation from the federal government. Your support of Heritage, however, is helping lay the groundwork to lift these restrictions. By providing consistent commentary and insight on conservative agricultural policy, Heritage is working hard to make sure that farmers’ latest opportunity for relief doesn’t go to waste.

The House Agriculture Committee just passed a Farm Bill that will be going to the House floor for a vote next month, but it needs many revisions before conservatives can support it. 

Heritage’s senior research fellow Daren Bakst has written extensively on the topic of the farm bill. Earlier this April, he wrote an article in The Daily Signal calling for significant reforms for subsidies and regulations in the upcoming bill, pulling the federal government out of agriculture. Bakst also published both a commentary and a report on Heritage’s website this week, where he continues to highlight how the bill will need to respect the free market instead of artificially propping up select crops and allowing all farmers to compete freely in the marketplace.

The Farm Bill also includes revisions to the food stamp program that would encourage people who can work to work before they can receive government benefits. Heritage’s senior research fellow Robert Rector released a report on April 19 outlining the change the farm bill makes to the food stamp program. While he approves of the move towards increased work requirements for welfare, he does point out that the bill would need to be much clearer about what the requirements actually are, especially for adults with dependents.

President Kay Coles James also voiced her concerns about the Farm Bill in a statement released on Wednesday before the House Agriculture Committee’s hearing, highlighting the opportunity the bill has to make needed changes and encouraging discussions about how to make this bill ideal for farmers across America.

As the bill continues through the legislative process, Heritage will be watching closely to help present the most relevant policy and bring farmers relief.

What do you think are the best ways to get the government out of agriculture?

Heritage experts provide recommendations on North Korea

Heritage experts are once again providing honest, conservative analysis in the media. With a summit becoming likely between President Trump, President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, Prime Minister Shinzō Abe of Japan, and leader of North Korea Kim Jong-un, conservative insight into the negotiations ahead will be critical. 

Last Monday, Senior Research Fellow Bruce Klingner published a piece in The National Interest that gives a detailed analysis of Kim Jong-un’s possible motives in stopping the nuclear tests. Overall, he advises caution—the Kim dynasty has often gone back on promises and moratoriums, and discontinuing the nuclear programs right now could potentially put the country in a position of strength if they were to begin negotiations. Klingner suggests we should be cautiously optimistic in the weeks and months to come.

Also on Monday, The Washington Times ran an article by Heritage founder and former president Ed Feulner, who has extensive experience with Korea and knows each of these leaders personally. In his article, he recommends three pieces of advice to the leaders meeting with Kim: 

1.       to present a unified front between the three countries

2.       to demand immediate dismantling and removal of North Korea’s nuclear weapons

3.       to be sure to maintain realistic expectations for the meeting

The Kim dynasty has historically disregarded the different deals and treaties they have made with the free world, so Feulner maintains it is likely that not much will change after this meeting. The point of the meetings, Feulner says, is both to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear power and to expect the Hermit Kingdom to “act as a member of the civilized world.” To achieve these goals, America, Japan, and South Korea must “be patient, be strong and be together.”

Heritage analysts will continue to monitor and advise the situation in North Korea as it unfolds, providing the analysis and advice that our leaders need most right now.

What do you think about the developments in North Korea?