On Tuesday, the President will give his State of the Union address. I thought we'd take a moment to reflect on the state of Heritage Action since opening our doors in June of 2010.
Click through to see our success on repeal and New START, our work on Capitol Hill and in districts, and our goals for 2011.
Our inaugural issue was the repeal of Obamacare. Heritage Action was created after the passage of Obamacare, but we refused to accept the "new normal." Instead, we took the challenge head on, immediately working to repeal the new law.
When we started our repeal campaign, there was no consensus on how conservatives should respond to the new law. Out of the 178 Republicans in the House of Representatives, only 94 had sponsored legislation that would repeal Obamacare in its entirety. One Republican Senator said he was not interested in pulling Obamacare up by its roots and totally discarding it because that would be a "distraction."
That was unacceptable!
We began building support for Discharge Petition #11, which would have forced then-Speaker Pelosi to hold a vote on repeal. This strategy forced Republicans to unify on straight and outright repeal. Within a month, 121 Republicans signed; and in the end, 172 out of 178 Republicans signed the discharge petition.
Our strategy also forced Democrats to take a clear stand. 34 Democrats voted against Obamacare, many simply because Nancy Pelosi gave them permission after securing enough votes for passage. The discharge petition forced those Democrats to address repeal.
We believe our success in this campaign helped lay the groundwork for yesterday's repeal vote in the House and widespread agreement among conservatives that the law must be repealed.
The New START Treaty was the Administration's major foreign policy priority in 2010. The treaty was dangerous and flawed, undermining America's missile defense program and reducing our ability protect our national security.
Although the treaty was ultimately ratified, we are proud of the work we did to expose its flaws, delay Senate adoption and preempt further attempts to ratify other dangerous treaties.
Our efforts over the summer prevented the Obama Administration from ramming the bill through the Senate in July, leading former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle to credit us with delaying ratification of the treaty.
Immediately after the election, we launched a mailing effort to conservatives in 10 states, urging them to call their Senators and tell them not to ratify START. We activated thousands of Heritage Action supporters to call Senate offices and oppose the treaty.
Ratification was a crushing defeat for conservative foreign policy. But our efforts stopped easy ratification, which would have paved the way for President Obama to push through his broader arms control agenda. Our activists, armed with research from The Heritage Foundation, made a substantive difference in Washington.
Heritage Action on the Hill
Since June, we have conducted over 800 meetings with Members of Congress and their staff to advocate for conservative policy solutions to the problems we face as a nation. At these meetings, we show Members of Congress and their staff that we represent the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have a relationship with Heritage. This dynamic empowers our lobbyists in a way no corporate lobbyist or special interest group could.
We represent principled, conservative Americans, not big-government special interests.
Heritage Action in Districts
In 2010, we recruited tens of thousands of conservatives who committed to work with us to enact conservative policy. Our business plan calls for state-based action and leadership. We are now reaching out to activists that have proven themselves and are bringing them to the next level. Pennsylvania and North Carolina are home for two of our newest staffers, state directors building our local networks.
Look for Heritage Action in your district soon.
Our 2011 Mission: Hold Congress Accountable
November 2nd was an earth shattering election that rocked the beltway establishment. Newly elected conservatives made the House majority and considerably bolstered the Republican caucus in the Senate. They came to Washington promising to slash federal spending and get government under control, and we are partnered with you to hold them accountable.
Our 2011 objective is holding them to those promises. With your help, we are confident that this year will be filled with conservative victories.