Holding Congress Accountable to Conservative Principles

This morning, the Wall Street Journal published an article on the mandate the new Congress will have with the largest group of strong conservatives entering the Senate since 1995. Candidates running for office have a strong mandate to cut federal spending significantly and repeal Obamacare. Ron Johnson, the candidate running against liberal Sen. Russ Feingold has echoed a Heritage Action proposal to cut federal spending from its current level around 25 percent of GDP down to below one-fifth of the economy. The Journal goes on to identify 18 Senate candidates who want to fix our nation’s out of control tax code, 16 who are willing to take strong stands to fix Social Security, 11 who are interested in addressing Medicare, and 10 who will take on the federal government’s one-size-fits-all approach to education.

In short, the new Congress will present a tremendous opportunity to fight for the true conservative values our nation needs. Running on conservative values and winning elections, however, is only the first piece of the puzzle.

When these principled conservatives come to Washington, they will face an entrenched DC establishment set to thwart them and continue business-as-usual in Washington. Remember former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott’s recent quote – “We don’t need a lot of Jim DeMint disciples… As soon as they get here, we need to co-opt them.” Lott’s view stands in sharp contrast to Utah Senate candidate Mike Lee’s view that “the mandate from the voters is unequivocal: Do everything in your power to get this situation under control. Sometimes it is necessary to belly up to the bar and do what needs to get done.”

We have seen this fight between principled conservatives and the traditional beltway establishment play out already this year in the primary season. Lee won this fight in Utah against establishment candidate Sen. Bob Bennett. Marco Rubio won this battle against establishment Governor Charlie Crist. Pat Toomey won his fight against liberal Sen. Arlen Specter. The list goes on and on. And this fight will continue into Washington next year between those members of Congress who want to “belly up to the bar and do what needs to get done” and those who will try to “co-opt” them.

This is why we started Heritage Action for America: To hold Congress accountable to our nation’s conservative principles. Thanks for being with us in this fight. We have a tremendous opportunity ahead of us. We have a lot of work to do.

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