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Federal Legislative Branch

Our Research & Offerings on Federal Legislative Branch
  • Issue Brief posted June 8, 2016 by Justin Bogie Congress Should Look Toward Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill as a Starting Point for Spending Cuts

    This week, the House of Representatives will consider the annual legislative branch appropriations bill, the third of 12 appropriations bills providing discretionary funding for the federal government. This bill provides funding for: Congress; the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP); the Government Publishing Office (GPO); the Government Accountability Office…

  • Commentary posted February 26, 2016 by Romina Boccia At the Debt Limit: Congress Should Focus on the Real Budget Crisis

    So now we know. In 2013, the administration intentionally misled Congress to “maximize pressure.” Treasury officials and President Obama claimed that if the government reached the borrowing limit, it would have to delay payments indiscriminately, across the board. It was unworkable, they said, to prioritize spending. They were using the threat of default to push…

  • Legal Memorandum posted December 11, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky, John-Michael Seibler The Obama Administration’s Defiance of Inspectors General—A Faulty Opinion from the Justice Department

    Executive Summary This Administration promised to be the most transparent White House in history. Yet, on July 20, 2015, after 14 months of delay, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released an opinion from its Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) that DOJ officers could withhold information at their discretion from the DOJ Inspector General (IG), the individual tasked with…

  • Commentary posted November 10, 2015 by Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D. A renewed call for Senate civility

    It's billed as "the world's greatest deliberative body." But at a time when public polls routinely place the popularity of federal lawmakers in single digits, it's time to ask: What happened to the U.S. Senate? That's a question that has troubled many, both inside and outside of Washington, for a long time. The dysfunction has reached such a low that a freshman…

  • Commentary posted November 9, 2015 by Jim DeMint For conservatives and the House Freedom Caucus, a time to build

    A few weeks ago the House Freedom Caucus was being roundly pummeled by the media, liberal and pseudo-conservative alike. This small band of conservative House members had the audacity to challenge the status quo in Congress, and in the eyes of Washington's comfortable elites, that's a serious offense. For years, Washington's chattering class has guarded the status quo…

  • Market Research posted September 28, 2015 by Mark Schreiber, Elizabeth Fender Americans to Congress: Do Your Job. Don’t Cave Over Veto Threat.

    Republicans and Independents Want Congress to Take Action, Even If It May Not Be Successful Almost all Republicans polled—88%—said that they think Congress should pass the legislation they feel is needed, even if it may be vetoed by the president. Support for this course of action was strong across all Americans, with 68% agreeing.   Source: Recommendations based off…

  • Backgrounder posted September 2, 2015 by Paul Winfree, Romina Boccia, Curtis S. Dubay, Michael Sargent Blueprint for Congressional Fiscal Action in the Remainder of 2015

    Congress has set the federal government budget on a dangerous trajectory and must take corrective action now. Taxpayers pay enormous amounts of money to the government, and the government borrows additional huge amounts of money. The government uses the taxes that it collects and the money that it borrows to pay for excessive spending, including spending for…

  • Issue Brief posted July 22, 2015 by David S. Addington Truth as the Victim of Kerry’s Promise to Iran

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made an unusual promise to the Islamic Republic of Iran: All senior Obama Administration officials will make every effort to support the Iran deal in their public statements. For any Obama Administration officials who have doubts about all or any part of the Iran deal, or about the likelihood that Iran will actually honor the deal,…

  • Backgrounder posted March 31, 2015 by Daren Bakst Achievable Economic Policy Reforms for Congress

    Congress can pass legislation this year that would make a significant difference in the lives of Americans. Despite the perception of partisan gridlock, broad support exists for many important domestic economic policy reforms. These policies are ambitious but achievable, and, if adopted, would promote economic growth, empower individuals, and reduce government waste.…

  • Issue Brief posted December 5, 2014 by John Malcolm President Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration Sets a Dangerous Precedent

    It is no secret that President Obama is a supporter of the DREAM Act–legislation that has been debated and rejected numerous times by Congress. Yet, instead of doing the tough work of building trust, engaging in intense negotiating, and making compromises in search of a bipartisan solution, the President has decided to "go it alone" by implementing broad swathes of that…

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  • Issue Brief posted January 31, 2014 by Cassandra Lucaccioni , Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D. Top Homeland Security Priorities for Congress in 2014

    The world today is more dangerous than it was on September 10, 2001. Threats to the homeland have increased as the President’s leadership has caused the U.S. to lose respect and influence on every front. After at least 61 thwarted terrorist attacks in the U.S.,[1] those who are committed to destroying America’s way of life cannot be ignored. Protection of the homeland…

  • Backgrounder posted March 31, 2015 by Daren Bakst Achievable Economic Policy Reforms for Congress

    Congress can pass legislation this year that would make a significant difference in the lives of Americans. Despite the perception of partisan gridlock, broad support exists for many important domestic economic policy reforms. These policies are ambitious but achievable, and, if adopted, would promote economic growth, empower individuals, and reduce government waste.…

  • Issue Brief posted November 12, 2014 by Romina Boccia Lame Duck Threats Congress Should Avoid

    A‌ lame duck session refers to when one Congress ‌is in session after a new one has been elected. After last week’s election, Members of Congress who lost elections or are retiring are lame ducks, who are protected from the consequences of passing politically unpopular legislation. This lame duck session is particularly important because the Republicans will take control…

  • Issue Brief posted November 20, 2014 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Medicare’s SGR: Fixing It the Right Way, Not in a Lame Duck Session

    Congress needs to junk the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula that governs Medicare physician payment. Under the formula, if Medicare physicians’ payments in any given year increase by more than the economy’s growth, an automatic and proportionate reduction in their reimbursements is imposed the following year. Conceptually flawed and practically draconian, the formula…

  • Commentary posted April 13, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. It's time for Congress to hit the 'reset' button on public diplomacy

    George Kennan knew a thing or two about how nations treat one another. In 1946, while serving as deputy chief of the U.S. mission in Moscow, he penned "the long telegram." That assessment of what motivated the Soviet Union shaped U.S. policy toward Moscow for decades. Later, at the new National War College, Kennan explained how "grand strategy" works. When nations…

  • Issue Brief posted November 13, 2014 by Charlotte Florance Nine Questions for the House Ebola Hearing

    Over the past seven months, Ebola has infected more than 13,000 people and claimed nearly 5,000 lives. Most of the infected people have been in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Both Nigeria and Senegal successfully overcame transportation-related cases in their countries and were declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization on October 20. The virus has also…

  • Commentary posted August 20, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. There's a place for the National Guard even in a tight budget, and Congress needs to find it

    It was a “hard luck” division, gathering nothing but casualties and setbacks since it landed in Normandy. Its general led from behind — well behind — ensconced in a well-appointed bunker. That all changed when Raymond S. McLain took over the 90th Infantry Division. Leading from the front, he turned those troops into a crack fighting force that swept across…

  • Issue Brief posted November 13, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky The Dangers of Lame Duck Sessions in Congress—Unfair and Undemocratic

    An awful lot of people are confused as to just what is meant by a lame duck Congress. It’s like where some fellows worked for you and their work wasn’t satisfactory and you let’em out, but after you fired ‘em, you let ‘em stay long enough so they could burn your house down.[1] —Will Rogers When Congress comes back into session after the November election and before a new…

  • Commentary posted April 15, 2014 by Elizabeth Slattery, Hans A. von Spakovsky Congress Can Help End Racial Discrimination

    The federal government wittingly and unwittingly endorses a great deal of racial discrimination in America. A 2011 report by the Congressional Research Service catalogued literally hundreds of government-wide and agency-specific set-aside and preference programs and grants throughout the entire executive branch that amount to some form of racial discrimination. If…

  • Lecture posted May 22, 2014 by Adam J. White Congress and the New Administrative State

    The administrative state begins with Congress. As the Supreme Court has observed, “an agency literally has no power to act…unless and until Congress confers power upon it.”[1] So let me offer a few words about what previous Congresses have done to create the new administrative state and what Congress can do, today and tomorrow, to restore some limits. Delegating Powers…

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  • Issue Brief posted June 8, 2016 by Justin Bogie Congress Should Look Toward Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill as a Starting Point for Spending Cuts

    This week, the House of Representatives will consider the annual legislative branch appropriations bill, the third of 12 appropriations bills providing discretionary funding for the federal government. This bill provides funding for: Congress; the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP); the Government Publishing Office (GPO); the Government Accountability Office…

  • Legal Memorandum posted December 11, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky, John-Michael Seibler The Obama Administration’s Defiance of Inspectors General—A Faulty Opinion from the Justice Department

    Executive Summary This Administration promised to be the most transparent White House in history. Yet, on July 20, 2015, after 14 months of delay, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released an opinion from its Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) that DOJ officers could withhold information at their discretion from the DOJ Inspector General (IG), the individual tasked with…

  • Market Research posted September 28, 2015 by Mark Schreiber, Elizabeth Fender Americans to Congress: Do Your Job. Don’t Cave Over Veto Threat.

    Republicans and Independents Want Congress to Take Action, Even If It May Not Be Successful Almost all Republicans polled—88%—said that they think Congress should pass the legislation they feel is needed, even if it may be vetoed by the president. Support for this course of action was strong across all Americans, with 68% agreeing.   Source: Recommendations based off…

  • Backgrounder posted September 2, 2015 by Paul Winfree, Romina Boccia, Curtis S. Dubay, Michael Sargent Blueprint for Congressional Fiscal Action in the Remainder of 2015

    Congress has set the federal government budget on a dangerous trajectory and must take corrective action now. Taxpayers pay enormous amounts of money to the government, and the government borrows additional huge amounts of money. The government uses the taxes that it collects and the money that it borrows to pay for excessive spending, including spending for…

  • Issue Brief posted July 22, 2015 by David S. Addington Truth as the Victim of Kerry’s Promise to Iran

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made an unusual promise to the Islamic Republic of Iran: All senior Obama Administration officials will make every effort to support the Iran deal in their public statements. For any Obama Administration officials who have doubts about all or any part of the Iran deal, or about the likelihood that Iran will actually honor the deal,…

  • Backgrounder posted March 31, 2015 by Daren Bakst Achievable Economic Policy Reforms for Congress

    Congress can pass legislation this year that would make a significant difference in the lives of Americans. Despite the perception of partisan gridlock, broad support exists for many important domestic economic policy reforms. These policies are ambitious but achievable, and, if adopted, would promote economic growth, empower individuals, and reduce government waste.…

  • Issue Brief posted December 5, 2014 by John Malcolm President Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration Sets a Dangerous Precedent

    It is no secret that President Obama is a supporter of the DREAM Act–legislation that has been debated and rejected numerous times by Congress. Yet, instead of doing the tough work of building trust, engaging in intense negotiating, and making compromises in search of a bipartisan solution, the President has decided to "go it alone" by implementing broad swathes of that…

  • Issue Brief posted November 20, 2014 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Medicare’s SGR: Fixing It the Right Way, Not in a Lame Duck Session

    Congress needs to junk the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula that governs Medicare physician payment. Under the formula, if Medicare physicians’ payments in any given year increase by more than the economy’s growth, an automatic and proportionate reduction in their reimbursements is imposed the following year. Conceptually flawed and practically draconian, the formula…

  • Issue Brief posted November 13, 2014 by Charlotte Florance Nine Questions for the House Ebola Hearing

    Over the past seven months, Ebola has infected more than 13,000 people and claimed nearly 5,000 lives. Most of the infected people have been in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Both Nigeria and Senegal successfully overcame transportation-related cases in their countries and were declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization on October 20. The virus has also…

  • Issue Brief posted November 13, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky The Dangers of Lame Duck Sessions in Congress—Unfair and Undemocratic

    An awful lot of people are confused as to just what is meant by a lame duck Congress. It’s like where some fellows worked for you and their work wasn’t satisfactory and you let’em out, but after you fired ‘em, you let ‘em stay long enough so they could burn your house down.[1] —Will Rogers When Congress comes back into session after the November election and before a new…

Find more work on Federal Legislative Branch