House GOP Won’t Draw “Red Lines” on NCLB Conference

Washington — When the House passed its reauthorization of No Child Left Behind (H.R. 5), many conservatives were hopeful that House negotiators would fight for conservative policies in a conference committee with an even worse Senate bill (S. 1177).  However, Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) 44% recently said H.R. 5 was merely “a vehicle to go to conference” and House Education and the Workforce Committee chair John Kline (R-MN) 59% said he would not draw any “red lines” heading into the negotiations.  Heritage Action released the following statement from chief executive officer Michael A. Needham:

“Despite working in good faith, many House conservatives are now having the rug pulled out from underneath of them.  Neither bill delivers the type of conservative education reforms that are necessary to truly empower states, parents and students, and there is no conceivable way an acceptable bill can emerge from this process.”

 

 

 

House Ensures Export-Import Bank Remains Shuttered

Washington — With the House scheduled to begin their August recess today, it is clear that the Export-Import Bank will remain shuttered for the foreseeable future.  Proponents viewed a July highway and transit bill as their “best chance”  to resurrect the now-defunct bank.  Heritage Action released the following statement from chief executive officer Michael A. Needham:

“Despite the very best efforts of the Washington establishment, the Export-Import Bank remains closed. The bank’s expiration was the culmination of a three-year effort waged by conservatives against a vast, well-funded network of consultants, lobbyists and big-government interest groups.  House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy stood strong for conservatives.  If the Republican Party hopes to attract voters who gravitate to a message built around opportunity for all and favoritism to none, GOP leaders must follow his lead and preserve this historic policy victory.”

Heritage Action Opposes House Patent Bill (H.R. 9)

Washington — The America Invents Act of 2011 radically altered America’s patent law, and the impact of those changes and subsequent Supreme Court rulings continue to play out.  Nonetheless, some in Congress want to move another round of sweeping reforms aimed primarily at “patent trolls.”  Heritage Action opposes the Innovation Act (H.R. 9) and released the following statement from chief executive officer Michael A. Needham:

“Patent rights are delicate and complicated, but the strength of the American patent is a critical component of economic growth.  Rushed reforms, especially in the aftermath of a massive overhaul, are likely to produce unintended consequences like the weakening of patent rights. The House should give the system time to adjust to the 2011 reforms before moving forward on another set of transformational reforms.  Heritage Action opposes H.R. 9.  The bill should not come to the floor.”

Related:
Heritage: A Measured Approach to Patent Reform Legislation

 

Heritage Action statement on highway bailout, Export-Import Bank

Washington – Today, the House will vote on a 140-day, $8 billion bailout of the federal Highway Trust Fund (H.R. 3038).  According to reports, the bill is an attempt to preempt the Senate, which will try to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank as part of a longer-term highway bill.  Heritage Action released the following statement from communications director Dan Holler:

“Heritage Action is opposed to this $8 billion bailout.  That said, the bill appears to be a play call made by opponents of the Export-Import Bank, including Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Chairman Paul Ryan and Chairman Jeb Hensarling, to ensure the Senate does not jam the House.  It is incumbent upon them – and anybody who opposes Washington’s corrupt practice of favoritism – to ensure Ex-Im remains dead.”

First Amendment Defense Act Gains Momentum in House

Washington – Support is growing rapidly in the House for the First Amendment Defense Act (H.R. 2802).  Sponsored by Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) 92%, the bill would prevent the federal government from discriminating against any individual or group, whether nonprofit or for-profit, based on their beliefs that marriage is the union of a man and woman.  Supporters include Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) 63%, Natural Resource Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) 74%, Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) 80%, Science Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) 80%, Veterans' Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller (R-FL) 87%, RSC Chairman Bill Flores (R-TX) 84%, HFC Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) 96% and Policy Chairman Luke Messer (R-IN) 71%.  One Democrat, Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL) 29%, is among the bill’s 87 cosponsors.  Heritage Action released the following statement from chief executive officer Michael A. Needham:

“Momentum is growing in the House to protect religious liberty and the rights of conscience.  Heritage Action applauds Raul Labrador for leading this effort and Steve Scalise and Bill Flores for their efforts in moving the bill through the process.  If the House is serious, it must prioritize passage of the First Amendment Defense Act this month. This should be a non-partisan, non-controversial step and there is no reason to delay.”

Heritage Action is key voting in favor of co-sponsorship of the First Amendment Defense Act (H.R. 2802).

Additional information:

“I know that Americans of goodwill continue to hold a wide range of views on this issue. Opposition in some cases has been based on sincere and deeply held beliefs.  All of us who welcome today’s news should be mindful of that fact; recognize different viewpoints; revere our deep commitment to religious freedom.” (President Barack Obama, June 26, 2015)

“Finally, it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered. The same is true of those who oppose same-sex marriage for other reasons.” (Opinion of the Court in Obergefell v. Hodges, June 26, 2015)