Heritage Research Influences Lawmakers’ ‘Drain the Swamp’ Plan


Heritage Research Influences Lawmakers’ ‘Drain the Swamp’ Plan

February 13th, 2020

Conservative lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives recently introduced a new report with policy recommendations to reform the federal government. More than 100 solutions are included in the plan and well over half of them are based on recommendations from The Heritage Foundation.

This government reform “playbook” was launched at a Republican Study Committee event on Feb. 6. The event featured two Heritage Foundation employees: Rachel Greszler, a research fellow in the Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget, and Rob Bluey, vice president of communications and executive editor of The Daily Signal.

Ideas included in the report include common-sense proposals such as not sending Social Security checks to dead people, not paying federal employees to work for outside organizations, and helping the federal government compete with the private sector to attract and retain the workforce it needs.

“While the government literally cannot count how many federal programs exist, the Republican Study Committee has taken a deep dive into the swamp’s murky bureaucracy,” said Greszler, who spoke on a panel moderated by Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., chairman of chairman of the RSC’s Government Efficiency, Accountability, and Reform (GEAR) Task Force.

Bluey moderated a separate panel featuring RSC Chairman Mike Johnson, R-La., and Rep. Denver Riggleman, R-Va., and Gianforte.

Greszler’s research covering compensation reform for federal employees was one of the solutions referenced in the report. Greszler and co-author James Sherk, a former Heritage policy expert, outline a detailed plan that would ease the burden on taxpayers while providing federal workers fair compensation based on performance and benefits modeled after the private sector.

Heritage’s Blueprint for Reorganization also contributed a wide range of data, including congressional action needed to reduce the federal government's footprint and reform the budget process.

The work of other Heritage policy experts was also referenced in the report:

  • Lindsey Burke, director of Heritage’s Center for Education Policy, has researched the federal education budget, highlighting school choice and eliminating unnecessary programs like the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program.
  • Daren Bakst, a senior research fellow in agricultural policy in Heritage’s Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, has recommended eliminating the Conservation Technical Assistance Program.
  • Aquiles Suarez, a former senior policy analyst on international economies, advocated splitting up the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

“The federal government is long overdue for reform,” said Greszler. “Taxpayers should not pay employees not to do their jobs and to instead advocate for policies that will cost taxpayers more and prevent accountability.”

Learn more about the event and the RSC plan on The Daily Signal.