• Heritage Action
  • More
  • Issue Brief posted April 7, 2016 by Olivia Enos, Sarah Torre, Ana Quintana Strengthening the End Modern Slavery Initiative (EMSI)

    A complex problem affecting an estimated 21 million people worldwide, human trafficking demands comprehensive solutions to achieve the long-term eradication of slavery. Sex trafficking, labor trafficking, bonded labor, debt bondage, peonage (the involuntary servitude of laborers), and the use of child soldiers—all forms of trafficking according to the U.S. Department of…

  • Commentary posted April 5, 2016 by Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D. Big Biz Wins, Georgians Lose Re: HB 757

    Easter Monday didn’t bring good news to citizens in the peach state. Instead, corporate bullying killed a religious liberty bill. Big business and special interests successfully pressured Gov. Deal to veto legislation offering common-sense solutions to the challenges of a changing culture. It’s not unique to Georgia. And it’s bad news for all Americans. We’ve seen this…

  • Issue Brief posted March 22, 2016 by Sarah Torre Religious Liberty at the Supreme Court: Little Sisters of the Poor Take on Obamacare Mandate

    On March 23, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments from the Little Sisters of the Poor in their challenge to the Obamacare “contraception mandate,” which threatens the sisters with crushing government fines unless—in direct violation of their religious beliefs—they facilitate coverage of abortion-inducing drugs and devices, contraception, and sterilization in…

  • Commentary posted March 22, 2016 by Rachel Sheffield Welfare Reform Must Include Work Requirements

    How can we ensure that welfare acts as a safety net for the truly needy and not as a handout to able-bodied adults who can work? It’s a question that has long vexed federal and state officials, but there is a good answer. House Speaker Paul Ryan recently announced the members of a task force who will be responsible for building an anti-poverty, welfare-reform agenda.…

  • Commentary posted March 7, 2016 by Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D. Allowing Doctors to Kill Undermines Solidarity and Corrupts Medicine

    Physician-assisted suicide is often portrayed as a compassionate option for clear-thinking adults to end their lives peacefully. But the reality is much darker. Letting doctors prescribe deadly drugs can actually encourage acts of violence, often resulting from subtle social and psychological coercion. Physician-assisted suicide fundamentally changes the doctor-patient…

  • Issue Brief posted February 24, 2016 by Robert Rector, Rachel Sheffield Setting Priorities for Welfare Reform

    The United States’ means-tested welfare system consists of over 80 programs that provide cash, food, housing, medical care, and social services to poor and lower-income Americans. Total annual spending on these programs reached $1 trillion in 2015.[1] More than 75 percent of this funding comes from the federal government. The last substantial reform of welfare, enacted…

  • Commentary posted February 18, 2016 by Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D. The High Court's Anti-Marriage Ruling

    Love is in the air this Valentine's Day. But that doesn't mean that marriage and family are flourishing. A mistaken understanding of romantic love - the Hallmark and Hollywood version - has, unfortunately, undermined key aspects of committed marital love, and the consequences have been dire. Fifty years ago, Daniel Patrick Moynihan issued his famous report on the black…

  • Testimony posted February 11, 2016 by Robert Rector Reducing Hunger and Very Low Food Security

    Executive Summary There are frequent claims of widespread hunger in the United States. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has defined hunger as “the uneasy or painful sensation caused by lack of food.” Hunger is a temporary sensation of discomfort; it is very different from and less severe than malnutrition. The most widely accepted measure of hunger is the very…

  • Backgrounder posted February 8, 2016 by Robert Rector, Rachel Sheffield, Kevin D. Dayaratna, Ph.D. Maine Food Stamp Work Requirement Cuts Non-Parent Caseload by 80 Percent

    In 2015, the U.S. government spent over $1 trillion on means-tested welfare aid, providing cash, food, housing, medical care, and social services to poor and low-income individuals. The food stamp program is the nation’s second largest means-tested welfare program.[1] The number of food stamp recipients has risen dramatically from about 17.2 million in 2000 to 45.8…

  • Backgrounder posted January 8, 2016 by Roger Severino, Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D. Proposed Obamacare Gender Identity Mandate Threatens Freedom of Conscience and the Independence of Physicians

    Proposed new health care regulations threaten the religious liberty, freedom of conscience, and independent medical judgment of health care professionals. On September 8, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a notice of proposed rulemaking that would implement certain nondiscrimination provisions of the Patient…

  • Backgrounder posted December 4, 2015 by Paul Winfree, Daren Bakst, Rachel Sheffield, James Phillips, Diane Katz, Nicolas Loris, Katie Tubb, Roger Severino, Sarah Torre, Lindsey Burke, James Sherk, Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D., Brett D. Schaefer, David Inserra Important Policy Riders for the FY 2016 Appropriations Bills

    The Constitution unequivocally grants Congress the exclusive power to appropriate funds for the “necessary and proper” operations of government.[1] James Madison wrote in The Federalist No. 58 that providing budgetary powers to Congress was a critical element in maintaining individual rights: “The power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and…

  • Backgrounder posted November 30, 2015 by Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D. Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Laws Threaten Freedom

    America is dedicated to protecting the freedoms guaranteed under the First Amendment to the Constitution, while respecting citizens’ equality before the law. None of these freedoms is absolute. Compelling governmental interests can at times trump fundamental civil liberties, but sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) laws do not pass this test. Rather, they trample…

  • Issue Brief posted November 25, 2015 by Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D. First Amendment Defense Act Protects Freedom and Pluralism after Marriage Redefinition

    In June 2015, the Supreme Court redefined marriage throughout America by mandating governmental entities to treat same-sex relationships as marriages.[1] The Court, however, did not say that private schools, charities, businesses, or individuals must do so if they disagree. Indeed, there is no justification for the government to force these entities to violate beliefs…

  • Issue Brief posted September 30, 2015 by Jamie Bryan Hall, Roger Severino Disentangling the Data on Planned Parenthood Affiliates’ Abortion Services and Receipt of Taxpayer Funding

    Planned Parenthood Federation of America claims that the 665 clinics run by its affiliates[1] provide a “wide range” of health care as justification for taxpayers providing more than 40 percent of their funding, and that abortion is a small proportion of their services.[2] Yet, data show that Planned Parenthood Federation of America is the country’s largest abortion…

  • Commentary posted September 28, 2015 by Robert Rector Poverty in the U.S. — We Spend Much More Per Person on Social Welfare than Europe Does

    Tomorrow, the U.S. Census Bureau will release its annual poverty report. Conventional wisdom holds that the U.S. has a small social-welfare system and far more poverty, compared with other affluent nations. But noted liberal scholars Irwin Garfinkel, Lee Rainwater, and Timothy Smeeding challenge such simplistic ideas in their book Wealth and Welfare States: Is America a…