Heritage Action’s Week in Review 2-13-12

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:

CQ: Other Republican-leaning conservative policy groups, including the Club for Growth, Heritage Action for America and the Competitive Enterprise Institute, also have criticized the bill.

CQ: With conservative policy groups such as the Club for Growth and Heritage Action opposing the bill (HR 3864) that would pay for the five-year transportation package, some conservative freshmen in the House are reluctant to lend their support.

CQ: An alert sent Monday by the conservative group Heritage Action for America may also lead some Senate Republicans to have second thoughts about the highway bill. The group said that by “continuing to fund programs above dedicated revenue sources” the Senate bill will “inevitably lead to revenue increases . . . or bailouts.”

CQ: Conservative groups, including Heritage Action and the Club for Growth, have criticized the cost of the House bill and abandonment of the “user pays” principle for highway funding. Heritage Action criticized Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman John L. Mica, R-Fla., on Wednesday for increasing the scope of the GOP’s transportation proposal from a six-year, $230 billion plan announced last summer to the current five-year, $260 billion blueprint.

Politico: VOTE NO: Heritage Action for America advised senators against voting for the two-year Senate bill and said it would dock them on their conservative scorecard if they do. “Continuing to fund programs above dedicated revenue sources will inevitably lead to revenue increases (i.e. tax hikes) or bailouts,” Heritage said. The group also took issue with how the bill distributes funding to states based on the old SAFETEA-LU formula — which had 6,300 earmarks that skewed the funding breakdown.

Politico: WARNINGS: Heritage Action: “New revenues, however they are derived, take us in the wrong direction.  It sends the absolute wrong message to voters, who believe Washington spends far too much.  Figuring out how to pay for elevated levels of spending is not a conservative principle, and no one should pretend otherwise.”

The Hill: The conservative Heritage Foundation’s political arm is urging senators to vote against their chamber’s version of a new federal highway bill ahead of an important committee markup Wednesday afternoon.

RedState: Our friends at Heritage Action have a great piece out today that looks at CBO data and says that if House Republicans vote for the Highway Bill, they are basically guaranteeing a $54 billion bailout of the Highway Trust fund over the next five years.

One News Now: Dan Holler of Heritage Action recognizes that the measure includes good reforms, but he says it remains to be seen how Republicans aim to pay for it.

Global Warming.org: Observers expect the bill to fail, not only because there is very little for Democrats to like, but also because principled fiscal conservatives — from our “user-pays” coalition to Heritage Action to Club for Growth to RedState — have all slammed the legislation as a Big Government wolf wrapped in pro-market, pro-growth sheep’s clothing.

We also received a mention on Political News.me about our key vote of the Toomey amendment to senate highway bill, which would place a permanent ban on earmarks:

“Sens. Toomey and McCaskill’s Earmark Elimination Act is supported by Citizens Against Government Waste, the Club for Growth, Heritage Action, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, FreedomWorks, and Ending Spending, Inc.”

Speaking of scoring votes, our Legislative Scorecard was mentioned in an article by The Weekly Standard about how we key voted a little-known bill that was a true test of conservatism:

 “When Heritage Action, the new lobbying arm of the Heritage Foundation, scored the votes of House Republicans last year, a furor erupted. Republicans were incensed because their votes on a number of small, nice-sounding issues were counted, often reducing their conservative rating. A classic example was the firefighter grant program that 147 House Republicans voted to favor with $320 million last summer, though the program has been found to be ineffective and wasteful.

“But Heritage Action decided, quite correctly, that votes on relatively insignificant issues like this one can be telling. In this case, House Republicans were part of the spending problem in Washington they vowed to correct.”

Our scorecard seems to also have prompted someone to run for Congress, as seeing how his current representative scored made him realize there was a need for more conservatives in Congress.

Our scorecard was also used in the continuing battle for one of Illinois’ most competitive districts. The Publius Forum, McHenry County Blog, the Rockford Register Star and the Morris Daily Herald all used our scorecard to promote the race.

And finally, the newly formed Washington Free Beacon wrote a piece in opposition of the NAT GAS Act, something we have been fighting vehemently here at Heritage Action:

“Americans For Prosperity, along with other groups such as the Heritage Action for America, Club for Growth, and the National Taxpayers Union, sent a letter to Congress urging members to oppose the NAT GAS Act”

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.


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