Heritage Action’s Week in Review 5-11-12

This may have been our most intense week yet! With five key votes, including the contentions reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, Heritage Action was mentioned dozens of times in stories across the country.

By far, our opposition to the Export-Import Bank was the most talked about, gaining 16 unique mentions, widely spread AP mentions and countless reposts:

The Hill: The conservative Club for Growth and Heritage Action groups on Monday said they will key-vote a bill reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank that was crafted by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) in collaboration with House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).

The Hill: Some conservatives believe the bank is a subsidy, and the Club for Growth and Heritage Action said Monday that it picks winners and losers in the economy.

The Hill: Many Republicans were skittish about reauthorizing what conservative groups such as the Club for Growth and Heritage Action have criticized as a corporate welfare program, even though the self-sustaining bank does not cost taxpayers money. These groups key-voted against the bill.

The New York Times: Conservative political groups like the Club for Growth and Heritage Action for America, the Wall Street Journal editorial page and the Cato Institute have spent months lambasting the government-chartered bank as a big-business boondoggle that could become the next Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, leaving taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars in loan guarantees.

Politico: Heritage Action put out a statement that foreshadows the difficulty the Obama administration will have in convincing Republicans to adopt the measure.

CQ: The Club for Growth, the leading voice of opposition to the bank, issued a “key vote” notification for the impending vote. Heritage Action for America, which also opposes the Ex-Im reauthorization, said it too would issue a key vote alert.

CQ: This time around, the Club for Growth, along with Heritage Action for America and other outside conservative groups that have been pushing the caucus to the right, has been aggressively targeting the bank.

Roll Call: Despite the ardent support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, conservative groups such as the Club for Growth and Heritage Action for America are not only lobbying hard against the bank but are telling lawmakers that a vote for it will be counted as a black mark against them.

Roll Call (subs. req’d.): Notably, the Ex-Im Bank deal pitted stalwart GOP groups against each other, with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in favor and the Club for Growth and Heritage Action for America opposed.

National Journal: But the conservative Club for Growth and Heritage Action for America were asking members to vote “no” and said the vote would be on their respective scorecards.

National Journal: Groups such as Heritage Action and the Club for Growth also worked against the bank’s reauthorization.

The Washington Examiner: The Club for Growth announced it would include the reauthorization vote on its scorecard. [Heritage Action] followed suit.

The Washington Examiner: Meanwhile, the Heritage Foundation and the Club for Growth also have Ex-Im reauthorization on their scorecard — but with those groups, members are graded up for opposing reauthorization.

Congress.org: That’s despite the efforts of the Club for Growth, the Cato Institute and Heritage Action for America, which had argued that the bank distorts the market.

Bearing Drift: A number of conservative groups have run up the black flag on the bill as well, including the club for Growth and the Heritage Foundation’s political advocacy arm, Heritage Action.

Crains Cleveland Business: The AP says that both the Club for Growth and Heritage Action for America declared that the Ex-Im Bank bill would be a “key vote,” meaning that lawmaker votes would become part of the groups’ scorecards determining their conservative credentials.

Law360 (subs. req’d.): Heritage Action for America said in a statement that the export financing organization dilutes free-market capitalism, arguing that the U.S. House of Representatives should reject the Securing American Jobs Through Exports Act of 2011, which would prolong the bank’s existence past its expiration in May.

Politico’s Morning Defense included our statement against the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) and described our opposition to the treaty as something that will hinder ratification (emphasis added):

“Heritage Action put out a statement that foreshadows the difficulty the Obama administration will have in convincing Republicans to adopt the measure. ‘Not only is this treaty unnecessary, it would also empower a new international bureaucracy at the expense of American sovereignty,’ the statement says. ‘As we have seen in the aftermath of the New START Treaty, promises made to secure votes often fall by the wayside.’”

The Export-Import Bank wasn’t our only key vote mention this week. We also key voted several amendments to the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill, including one from Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-KS) that would eliminate the wasteful Economic Development Administration. Representative Pompeo took to the House floor to point out the conservative groups in favor of his amendment:

“I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this amendment. Groups like the Business Coalition for Competition, Club for Growth, Heritage Action—folks who believe in the private sector’s capacity to create jobs support this.”

We received  a big victory on Twitter with our hashtag #7dollars in order to spread the word that President Obama’s student loan gimmick would only save certain students $7 a month when they graduate. Michelle Malkin’s website, Twitchy wrote about the hashtag and included sample tweets, including a couple from Heritage Action staff.

This week, Sen. Dick Lugar lost his bid for re-election in his Indiana primary. Heritage Action’s director of Senate Relations, Tripp Baird, was quoted in the AFP:

“Tripp Baird, director of Senate relations for the conservative Heritage Action for America, said part of Lugar’s problem was forging consensus when none was needed.

“Under an Obama administration, ‘getting stuff done has been terrible,’ Baird told AFP.

“‘If it’s not good policy that fixes the problem, then don’t do anything.’”

NPR also quoted Tripp:

“‘Lugar’s demise didn’t start with the Tea Party,’ says Tripp Baird of the conservative Heritage Action for America. ‘This is a product of the electorate — they don’t want milquetoast solutions anymore. The tipping point is here.’

“Baird, who previously worked on Capitol Hill for former Republican senators Trent Lott and Mel Martinez, says Lugar’s friendship with Obama — attack ads tagged him as ‘Obama’s favorite Republican’ — became ‘a kiss of death.’”

Our Legislative Scorecard was also used to gauge the primary before it took place, as U.S. News used our scores to highlight the race.

Our scorecard was also used, as usual, to measure Members’ conservatism. The Kansas City Star claimed that Kansas is to the right of the majority of House Members, and a congressional candidate in Texas used our scorecard to show her opponents’ low score.

Our questionnaire with Congressman Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) was posted on his official website, making him the first Congressman to highlight our post on their site.

Congressman Steve King (R-IA) credited Heritage Action’s Obamacare Repeal petition inspiring his repeal bill in the House:

“‘Heritage Action credited the petition for a swing of seven or eight congressional seats in 2010,’ King said. ‘My repeal became HR 2 on new Speaker (John) Boehner’s priority list. My repeal passed the House Jan. 19, 2011, but failed in the Senate, yet collected all 47 votes of Republican senators.’”

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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