Heritage Action’s Week in Review
It was a busy and diverse week for Heritage Action. From books to blogs, we were mentioned in relation to a whole host of topics, from student loans to commemorative coins.
This week, Robert Draper’s new book – Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives – hit the bookstores. It quickly made its way around Capitol Hill and the cable media shows. In addition to more than half a dozen direct mentions, Heritage Action’s fingerprints are all over the central battles of the first session of the 112th Congress. Here is one of many examples:
“He [Speaker Boehner] did not call the South Carolinian “hard head” this time. That fact had already been established. Within weeks, the Heritage for America group would rank freshman Jeff Duncan as the most conservative of all 435 House members.”
President Obama’s focus this week was on keeping taxpayer-subsidized student loan interest rates artificially low for another year, so that he could tour the country asking college students (current students, who won’t even qualify for his proposed “help”) to vote for him in return for reduced interest rates. Heritage Action key voted against the House bill, which proposed to pay for keeping the rates the same for another year by using Obamacare as a slush fund (Obamacare needs to be repealed, not used as a revenue source). Yet again, it would take ten years of cuts to pay for one years of spending, which is not sustainable. The vote was telling, and we received a lot of press pickup for our opposition:
AP: Heritage Action for America, a conservative group, was lobbying Republicans to oppose the GOP bill and let interest rates rise, saying to do otherwise would burden taxpayers. Several conservative GOP lawmakers said Thursday they hadn’t decided how to vote.
National Journal: Republicans are grumbling privately about the GOP selling out on the student-loan issue by tacitly agreeing that a one-year fix is “must-pass.” The conservative grassroots group Heritage Action is urging members to vote against the bill, although there is no indication that GOP members will heed that call.
The Washington Post: Two conservative groups have now come out against the plan, claiming they will hold it against any House Repubilcans[sic] who support it.
Bloomberg: Heritage Action for America, a pro-Republican political action group, urged defeat of the student-loan measure, saying the vote would be among those used to rate lawmakers. “Not only do the subsidies fail to stem the rising cost of a college education, the loans are also easily attained, increasing the likelihood taxpayers will be left on the hook when students default,” the group said in a statement.
CBS News: Similarly, the conservative Heritage Action said in a statement, “Not only do the subsidies fail to stem the rising cost of a college education, the loans are also easily attained, increasing the likelihood taxpayers will be left on the hook when students default.”
NBC 17: The conservative Heritage Action for America was lobbying Republicans to oppose the GOP bill and let interest rates rise, saying to do otherwise would burden taxpayers.
Yahoo! News: The Club for Growth and Heritage Action for America, the advocacy arm of the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank, announced this week any lawmaker who votes for the bill will be dinged on their annual congressional ratings. The scorecards issued by these groups are meant to measure the members’ conservativism[sic] based on key votes throughout the legislative year.
On the Senate floor, Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) listed Heritage Action as one of the supporters for his Resolution of Disapproval for the NLRB rule that would allow union elections to take place just ten days after a union petition is filed.
A couple of our blog posts were also mentioned and cross-posted this week across the country. Longboat Key News used our blog post about the ongoing bankruptcies and floundering of “green” energy companies that received loans from the Obama Administration in a post about “green” dreams:
“A list of bankrupt or soon-to-be-bankrupt companies and their loan guarantees and grants compiled by Heritage Action for American illustrates the current futility of the renewable energy program: Solyndra – $535 million; Beacon Power – $43 million; Nevada Geothermal – $98.5 million; Sun Power – $1.5 billion; First Solar – $3 billion; Babcock & Brown – $178 million; Ener1 – $118.5 million; Amonix – $5.9 million; Abound Solar – $400 million; Solar Trust of America – $2.1 billion; A123 Systems – $279 million; Willard & Kelsey Solar Group – $6 million. Oh yes, all of the above has taken place in the last 30 months. (Can’t say Secretary Chu and the Department of Energy haven’t been busy.)”
The Foundry linked to our blog about Congress using commemorative coin bills to get funding for pet projects in our district:
“The use of commemorative coins to steer money to pet projects is nothing new, as Heritage Action’s Ashe Schow noted this morning. From 1982 to 2009, the U.S. Mint has produced 92 such coins – a rate of 3.4 coins per year. But the 112th Congress alone has introduced 14 commemorative coin bills, a significant uptick.”
Knowing that we’re helping to influence the political conversation as well as the continued use of our scorecard as the measure of conservatism is a huge win, and it’s all thanks to supporters like you who work to hold Congress accountable.