Morning Action: Jim DeMint Takes the Helm at Heritage
JIM DEMINT. Today is Jim DeMint’s first day as President of the Heritage Foundation. In Heritage’s Morning Bell, President DeMint first thanked Ed Feulner for building up this great institution over the past 36 years; he promised that our principles will not change and that Heritage will continue to develop innovative policies for the 21st century; and he demonstrated the devastating effects liberal policies have had across the country. Then he laid out why Heritage’s mission is more important today than ever before:
Today, more people than ever before—69.5 million Americans, from college students to retirees to welfare beneficiaries—depend on the federal government for housing, food, income, student aid, or other assistance once considered to be the responsibility of individuals, families, neighborhoods, churches, and other civil society institutions. The United States must reverse the direction of these trends or face economic and social collapse.
Like Ed Feulner, he concluded with an optimistic note:
I promise you that Heritage will not let up on these and many other issues in the years to come. All of us here will put our shoulder to the wheel to restore American society to what it once was. This is my guarantee to you on my first day.
AMNESTY. Lawmakers aren’t the only ones who have an opinion about immigration reform:
A deal between the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and labor groups on visas for low-skilled workers was supposed to clear a path for an immigration reform package in the Senate.
Instead, some business groups are grumbling about the deal and they’re gearing up for a lobbying battle on Capitol Hill — where powerful interests helped doom immigration reform over the same issue before.
On Wednesday, the construction industry was the first to go public, saying they are “deeply concerned” about the temporary worker program and that the cap on construction visas is “simply unrealistic and destined to fail.”
SPEAKER PELOSI. Though President Obama gives lip service to working with Republicans to get things done, he has another vision for Congress and would like to have Nancy Pelosi become Speaker of the House once again:
President Obama returned to the fundraising trail Wednesday night with an eye on winning a House majority next year, telling donors in California it would be a “whole lot easier to govern” if Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress.
“I would love nothing better than an effective, loyal opposition that is willing to meet us halfway to move the country forward,” he said of Republicans at the home of Ann and Gordon Getty, where the second fundraiser was held.
“But I would be dishonest if I didn’t say that it would be a whole lot easier to govern if I had Nancy Pelosi as Speaker.”
REFORM. Some lawmakers suggest that getting reform right is more important that getting it done fast:
Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte on Wednesday floated the possibility that the House could eschew a comprehensive approach to overhauling the nation’s immigration system in favor of a step-by-step legislative strategy.
“Whether we take pieces of this and then put them together later on, or whether we pass something that’s more broad-based remains to be seen, but it’s just going to be what the will of the House will be, this needs to come from the bottom up,” Goodlatte told Stirewalt. “It’s not how fast or slow you go; it’s getting it right.”