Less than a week after voters cast their ballots for members of Congress on Election Day, a new crop of lawmakers made their way to The Heritage Foundation’s biennial orientation.
This year, 62 percent of newly elected members of incoming House Republicans attended Heritage’s orientation program on Nov. 11-12.
Heritage’s day-and-a-half New Members Orientation allows congressmen-elect to engaged with conservative movement leaders and Heritage policy experts prior to taking their official oath. Heritage’s program also happens before the official congressional orientation hosted by House leadership.
The Heritage Foundation has hosted the program since 1994.
“The Heritage Foundation’s 2018 New Members Orientation was one of our best yet,” says Thomas Binion, vice president of government relations. “Prior to taking the oath of office, more than 60 percent of the incoming House Republican class attended our orientation. For many of these newly elected Representatives, this was their first exposure to the workings of D.C.”
He added, “That first impression was a great victory as we set the tone for success for the incoming Republican class and gave a glimpse of Heritage’s unparalleled resources and staff. We look forward to strengthening our relationship and working with these new members during the 116th Congress.”
One goal of the orientation is to show new members the resources that Heritage has to offers to them and their staff. Heritage’s Truluck Center, which focuses on leadership development, offers résumés for conservative job-seekers.
This year's orientation kicked off with an address by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Members also attended key policy briefings on some of the top issues they will face during their time in Congress. These issues include immigration, the federal budget, criminal justice reform, foreign policy, and defense spending.
Incoming lawmakers also gathered advice on on how to engage new audiences and heard from Heritage Foundation President Kay Coles James.
Such an honor to welcome the newest members of Congress to @Heritage's orientation. The voters have given you much responsibility. We're counting on you to stand strong for the values that will make life better for all Americans!— Kay Coles James (@KayColesJames) November 13, 2018
Other notable congressional leaders who spoke included House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Reps. Mark Meadows and Mark Walker. White House counselor Kellyanne Conway spoke as well.