Heritage Action’s Week in Review 2-3-12

We received a lot of pickup this week throughout the media, especially when it came to the bloated transportation bills in the House and the Senate:

Politico (sub. req’d): Needham also suggested House leaders are rushing the bill: “As more and more people get educated about this, there are members who are starting to raise eyebrows. That’s one of the reasons this is moving so quickly.”

Roll Call: “Highway spending has gotten totally out of control” and has become a symbol for the problems with government, Heritage Action for America CEO Michael Needham said.

National Review: Michael Needham, who heads up the Heritage Foundation’s activist arm, Heritage Action for America, put it well: “One of the problems you have in Washington is you take really bad legislation, which the highway bill is, and you put a sweetener in it. That’s what’s going on here.”

CQ: Heritage Action said the measure was “a missed opportunity to begin devolving transportation authority back to the states” and would create a “massive budget gap.”

New York Times: Outside pressures from each end of the political spectrum, which have dogged the House all year, are myriad: a five-year transportation bill, a major priority of Speaker John A. Boehner, is already being attacked by the left, for including new oil drilling as a way to pay for the bill, and the right — Heritage Action for America, a conservative group, is urging Republicans to reject new highway spending.

We also received a great shout out from Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-AZ) on CNN:

“Look, I’m about as conservative as they get. According to Heritage Action, I’m the second most conservative person in the House.”

CQ posted the transcript on their website, and in a press conference call Monday, Rep. Chaffetz again invoked our scorecard.

Our Legislative Scorecard also continues to be used to measure conservatives across the country. Now, when someone is mentioned in an article, our scorecard is used to qualify them to speak on behalf of the conservative movement:

Big Government: Rep. Pitts, who has a Heritage Action for America score of 79%, indicated that the Republican plan will include long-standing GOP priorities, such as limits on medical malpractice suits, the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines, and expansion of the use of health savings accounts.

News Tribune: Manzullo’s 84 percent ranking on the Heritage Action for America score card, which ranks legislators on how conservative they are…

Our key votes also made the news this week:

The Hill: Disapproval stamp: The conservative group Heritage Action announced on Monday that it was scoring a vote on the Senate’s postal reform bill, which could happen in the next couple of weeks.

St. Louis Beacon: Both McCaskill and Toomey vowed to continue to try to find a way to gain congressional approval of a permanent ban on earmarks. They said the amendment had been backed by several influential groups, including Citizens Against Government Waste, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, the Club for Growth, Heritage Action and the tea-party group Freedom Works.

FitsNews: EFEPA is supported by numerous taxpayer-watchdog groups including Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, Club for Growth, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, Freedom Action, Heritage Action, Less Government, National Taxpayers Union, and Taxpayers for Common Sense.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) mentioned us on the floor of the House in a speech about election-year politics:

“Well, this is an election year and it’s amazing sometimes what people will do in an election year because they know the people expect it that they might not do in a nonelection year. We are told there may be 20 or so senate seats that could possibly go either way. So I would hope that as my friends at freedom works, heritage action, other places as they start putting the heat on the senate to be responsible, no more automatic increases in every department’s budget, by golly you need to take a look at those budgets before you increase it one penny.”

Thankfully, the NAT GAS Act continues to gain negative attention, as blogger John Ruberry of Marathon Pundit used our research in a piece about how terrible this bill is.

We were also mentioned in a piece on First Street Research (part of CQPress) discussing the growing move of Think Tanks to create sister organizations in order to push their message on the Hill:

“Heritage Action for America launched in 2010 to work against the Obama health care plan. Its CEO is Michael A. Needham, former chief of staff to Heritage Foundation President Edwin Feulner. The group contracts with the Heritage Foundation for administrative and fundraising activities.

“Its mission, as reported to the IRS, is to promote “conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.”

Our communications director, Dan Holler, was quoted in the Linn County Leader when discussing bipartisanship on transportation spending:

“When it comes to taking on the subject of infrastructure investment, Conservative think tank Heritage Action’s Dan Holler admits, ‘There’s no campaign fodder, nothing sexy about it.’”

Our political director, Russ Vought, also penned a column for RedState about the issues in the current version of the transportation bill.

Dan was also featured on 5 radio programs in as many states this week, and appeared on a panel on Russian TV’s The Big Picture Rumble program:

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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