• Heritage Action
  • More
  • Commentary posted November 17, 2016 by James Wallner, John Malcolm On Judicial Nominations, Senators Are Meant to Advise, Not Rubber-Stamp

    With one seat vacant and several more likely to open up over the next four to eight years, the next president could shape the Supreme Court for a generation or more. But presidents aren’t the only ones who can shape the Court. The Constitution assigns joint responsibility to the U.S. Senate. Article II, section 2 stipulates that the president “shall nominate, and by and…

  • Commentary posted November 4, 2016 by John Malcolm, James Wallner On Judicial Nominations, Senators Are Meant to Advise, Not Rubber-Stamp

    With one seat vacant and several more likely to open up over the next four to eight years, the next president could shape the Supreme Court for a generation or more. But presidents aren’t the only ones who can shape the Court. The Constitution assigns joint responsibility to the U.S. Senate. Article II, section 2 stipulates that the president “shall nominate, and by and…

  • Backgrounder posted September 6, 2016 by James Wallner, Paul Winfree The Implications of Regular Lame-Duck Sessions in Congress for Representative Government

    Barring exceptional circumstances or strict exigency, Congress should not consider any major legislation or presidential nominations during a so-called lame-duck session—that is, between each November election and January 3, when a new Congress forms. Doing so undermines representative government by weakening the accountability link between the American people and their…

  • 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,…

  • Issue Brief posted July 20, 2015 by John Gray The Appropriations Process: Spending Caps Explained

    Each year, Congress funds much of the general operations of the federal government with legislation known as appropriations bills. These appropriations bills provide discretionary budget authority (authority for the government to spend money) for a number of programs, including national defense, national parks, transportation, and homeland security, among others. These…

  • Issue Brief posted June 26, 2015 by John Gray, Nicolas Loris, Daren Bakst FY 2016 House Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill: Right on Regulations, Wrong on Spending

    The new Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 2822) will be the seventh discretionary spending bill considered by the House of Representatives this year. The bill would provide $30.17 billion in discretionary budget authority (BA) for fiscal year (FY) 2016, roughly $246 million less than current levels. The bill largely…

  • Issue Brief posted June 19, 2015 by John Gray Senate Defense Appropriations: The Battle over Budget Priorities Continues

    This week, the Senate will begin the procedural process to begin debate on the Department of Defense (DOD) appropriations bill. The debate on the Senate bill comes a week after the House of Representatives passed the companion DOD appropriations bill.[1] The Senate bill provides $489 billion, nearly $1 billion less than the House bill. The funding levels provided are…

  • Issue Brief posted June 10, 2015 by John Gray House Department of Defense Appropriations: Where the Battle over Budget Priorities Begins

    This week, the House of Representatives debates the Department of Defense (DoD) appropriations bill, which provides $490.2 billion in discretionary budget authority (BA) for fiscal year (FY) 2016. The levels provided are nearly the same levels as current funding but $37 billion less than the President requested in his budget submission to Congress. However, the bill also…

  • Issue Brief posted June 4, 2015 by John Gray, Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D., Michael Sargent House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations: The Highway to Bankruptcy

    The House of Representatives will soon consider the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill. The THUD appropriations bill provides funding for the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. The bill provides $55.3 billion in discretionary budget authority. This represents a $1.5 billion increase above the current…

  • Issue Brief posted June 2, 2015 by John Gray House Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) Appropriations: Congress Just Violated the Spending Caps

    The Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) appropriations bill will be the fourth discretionary spending bill considered in the House of Representatives this year. The CJS appropriations bill provides funding for the Departments of Commerce and Justice. It also includes funding for the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, among…

  • Issue Brief posted May 27, 2015 by John Gray House Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill Freezes Pay for Members of Congress but Avoids Further Spending Cuts

    Next week, the House of Representatives is expected to consider the legislative branch appropriations bill, the third of 12 appropriations bills providing discretionary funding for the federal government. The legislative branch appropriations bill provides general funding for the overall operation of Congress, including the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP); the Government…

  • Issue Brief posted April 30, 2015 by John Gray, Nicolas Loris, Daren Bakst The House Energy and Water Appropriations Bill Misses the Mark

    This week, the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill is likely to receive floor consideration. One of 12 appropriations bills providing discretionary funding for the federal government, this bill provides funding for projects under the direction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps); the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation; the Department…

  • Commentary posted April 29, 2015 by John Gray The Republican Budgets: Balanced in Name Only

    In Washington, the conservative thing to do these days is to champion a balanced budget. Quite recently, in fact, Republicans have congratulated themselves for passing two budgets (one in each house of Congress) that, on their face, will achieve balance within ten years. However, there is more to this story. When you remove the Enron-style accounting gimmicks, the truth…

  • Issue Brief posted April 28, 2015 by David B. Muhlhausen, Ph.D., James Sherk, John Gray Trade Adjustment Assistance Enhancement Act: Budget Gimmicks and Expanding an Ineffective and Wasteful “Job-Training” Program

    On Wednesday, April 22, 2015, the Senate Committee on Finance reported out of committee the Trade Adjustment Assistance Enhancement Act of 2015. The bill was sponsored by Senators Susan Collins (R–ME) and Ron Wyden (D–OR). A day later, a companion bill (H.R. 1892), sponsored by Representatives Dave G. Reichert (R–WA), Tom Reed (R–NY), and Patrick Meehan (R–PA), was…

  • Commentary posted April 13, 2015 by John Gray Where your tax dollars go

    It's a question that naturally springs to mind when tax season rolls around: Where are all those tax dollars being spent? In total, Washington will spend $12,304 per citizen. Unfortunately, the government will only collect $10,878 in tax revenue per person. That means that, you, the American citizen, will be left with a tab of $1,426. The $1,426 dollars placed on every…