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  • Issue Brief posted November 22, 2014 by James Phillips Nuclear Negotiations with Iran: U.S. Must Avoid a Rush to Failure

    The November 24 deadline for a nuclear agreement with Iran is fast approaching, with no sign that a deal that would advance U.S. national security interests can be reached by that date. After almost a year of negotiations, Iran has won international acceptance of its once-covert uranium enrichment facilities and obtained substantial sanctions relief in exchange for…

  • 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…

  • Backgrounder posted November 20, 2014 by James M. Roberts The IMF’s Analysis of the U.S. Economy: Faulty Assumptions and Bad Policy Advice

    The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) 66-page report on its 2014 consultation with the U.S., pursuant to Article IV of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement, repeats a number of long-standing, orthodox, and desirable policy recommendations that urge the U.S. to confront its many long-term fiscal and monetary challenges. This year’s report also contains an unprecedented…

  • Backgrounder posted November 18, 2014 by Stephen Moore, Joel Griffith The Trans-Alaska Pipeline: Lessons for the Keystone XL Pipeline Debate

    Citing various environmental and economic objections, in April, the Obama Administration again delayed construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, this time until at least early 2015. Before the latest in a six-year string of delays, the President emphasized “how Keystone impacted greenhouse gas emissions would affect our decision,” lamenting “we’re already seeing severe…

  • Issue Brief posted November 18, 2014 by Daren Bakst, Rachael Slobodien The EPA and the Corps’s CWA Interpretive Rule: A Regulatory End Run

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers released an interpretive rule[1] narrowing an important Clean Water Act (CWA) exemption for agricultural activities. It was released at the same time they released their proposed “waters of the U.S.” rule that would greatly expand the waters the federal government can regulate under the CWA. By…

  • Special Report posted November 17, 2014 by Lisa Curtis, Charlotte Florance, Walter Lohman, James Phillips Pursuing a Freedom Agenda Amidst Rising Global Islamism

    Contributors Lisa Curtis is Senior Research Fellow for South Asia in the Asian Studies Center, of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, at The Heritage Foundation. Charlotte Florance is a Research Associate for Economic Freedom in Africa and the Middle East in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign and National…

  • Issue Brief posted November 17, 2014 by Robert Rector How Welfare Undermines Marriage and What to Do About It

    Historically, marriage has played a critical role in the raising of children. In most cases, the economic benefits of marriage are substantial. Marriage among families with children is an extremely powerful factor in promoting economic self-sufficiency: the ability of families to support themselves above poverty without reliance on government means-tested welfare aid. The…

  • Issue Brief posted November 17, 2014 by Jordan Richardson Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Goes Mainstream

    Civil asset forfeiture enables law enforcement agencies to seize money and property that they suspect is being used to commit a crime or represents profits from criminal activity. Law enforcement agencies do not need to convict or even charge the property owner to make these seizures. Civil asset forfeiture was intended to be used as a tool to combat organized crime, but…

  • Backgrounder posted November 13, 2014 by Kevin D. Dayaratna, Ph.D., Nicolas Loris, David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D. The Obama Administration’s Climate Agenda: Underestimated Costs and Exaggerated Benefits

    W‌hen his climate cap-and-trade bill was defeated in the Democrat-controlled Senate, President Barack Obama noted there were other ways of “skinning the cat.”[1] Now we know that his chosen way is an onslaught of mandates, regulations, and possibly taxes directed primarily by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The indicator…

  • 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…

  • Backgrounder posted November 12, 2014 by James M. Roberts, William Tucker Additional Reforms Can Boost Mexico’s Hydrocarbons Industry

    Economic freedom is key to addressing Mexico’s economic, security, and civil society concerns. Since President Enrique Peña Nieto began his single six-year term in December 2012, progress has been made in challenging the private and public monopolies and duopolies (and their labor unions) that have historically dominated and hampered huge portions of Mexico’s economy.…

  • News Releases on November 12, 2014 Heritage Manager Recognized for Support of Democracy Abroad

    Washington, November 12, 2014 – The Republic of Poland recognized James Dean of The Heritage Foundation Friday, November 7, for his "outstanding contribution to the building of democratic society and democratic institutions” during Independence Day celebrations at the Polish Embassy in Washington, D.C.  Dean, who is Manager of International and Diplomatic Programs at the…

  • 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 11, 2014 by Walter Lohman President Obama’s Burma Visit: An Alert Congress Makes All the Difference

    The context for President Barack Obama’s trip to Burma has changed considerably since his historic first visit in 2012. Then, his visit conveyed optimism for democratic reform and the benefits of deepening engagement. His second visit takes place in a climate leavened by considerable doubt. In 2012 a pliant bystander in Burma policy, today’s politically emboldened…