Heritage Action was in the news this week on a whole host of issues, including the Blunt amendment, which would have repealed Obamacare’s anti-conscience mandate, and the delayed transportation bill.
But the best quote of the week came from an article in Roll Call, which observed that House Republicans cannot move a Republican budget pegged to higher spending levels because of our opposition:
“With the conservative Heritage Action for America vowing to oppose any budget that pegs the numbers to Budget Control Act levels, GOP leaders likely would not be able to pass a budget in the committee or on the House floor without Democratic support.”
Both the House and the Senate were in recess this week, but that didn’t stop us from picking up press mentions!
Transportation remains a high priority for both houses of Congress, and we’ve made our opposition well known. Both the House and the Senate decided to delay the highway bill until after this recess, and we were cited in CQ as one of the deciding factors:
“The GOP leadership’s efforts to line up its caucus got a boost when two leading business groups — the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers — endorsed the surface transportation–energy package and said they would score it among their key votes. But Republicans are in a tough spot because other conservative policy groups — notably Heritage Action for America — have urged a “no” vote and have said that they will include the bill in their legislative scorecard.”
Today, National Journal released its official 2011 Vote Ratings. In Washington, this is an annual rite of passage. Lawmakers will tout their top conservative ranking, or their top liberal ranking, or the fact that they have no principle at all!
National Journal used 97 Senate votes and 105 House votes to calculate the scores, with a rough balance of half economic votes, a quarter foreign and defense votes, and a quarter social votes. It is a broad scorecard to be sure, but the question for conservatives is whether this scorecard is “instinctually conservative.”
To answer the question, we compared our own legislative rankings to National Journal’s Composite Conservative Score in both the Senate and House. The results were surprising. Just five of Heritage Action’s most conservative Senators made National Journal’s top ten and none of Heritage Action’s most conservative Representatives made National Journal’s top ten.
See the comparison chart below:
Transportation and the payroll tax cut extension gained widespread press coverage this week. On Monday, we released a statement supporting the idea of extending the payroll tax cut without paying for it because, well, allowing people to keep more of their own money does not cost the government. On Tuesday, our CEO Michael A. Needham penned an op-ed for The Daily Caller about the extension:
“Yesterday, House Republican leaders wisely decided it was time to turn the tables. Instead of allowing an extension of the payroll tax cut to languish in a conference committee infested with obstinate Democrats who are demanding job-destroying tax hikes as a ‘pay for,’ they decided to bring forward a clean extension that will run for the remainder of the year.”
Last week was certainly transportation week for Heritage Action, as we received numerous mentions (including 4 mentions in CQ alone, and two mentions in Politico’s Morning Transportation) about our opposition to the current form of both the House and Senate transportation bills: