Heritage Foundation Ideas Play Key Role in Shaping Republican Platform


Heritage Foundation Ideas Play Key Role in Shaping Republican Platform

January 25th, 2017

Conservative policy solutions proposed by The Heritage Foundation helped shape this year’s Republican Party platform.

While not affiliated with any political party, Heritage advances public policy ideas to solve the nation’s most difficult problems.

The 2016 GOP platform, which serves as the guiding policy document for Republican leaders, includes recommendations to repeal and replace Obamacare, increase parental choice in education, and boost our national defense—ideas that have been pillars within Heritage research.

A few months ago, Heritage President Jim DeMint attended a meeting of the Conservative Action Project, where he and other top leaders in the conservative movement, think tank heads, defense experts, faith and family champions, and tax slayers worked on a definitive checklist of conservative policies for the next presidential administration.

That meeting resulted in a list of 12 priorities for the first 180 days of the next administration.

“Platforms are important to conservatives even apart from one or another party itself, because they’re statements of values and principle,” DeMint said. “It is an important part of Heritage’s policy work to influence those statements.”

Heritage researchers also met with convention delegates to discuss policy solutions for the country’s most pressing problems and Heritage provided copies of its Solutions 2016 book as a convention resource.

Compare these priorities and solutions with the final platform document, and the impact is clear.

“The proposal calls for balancing the budget by systematically evaluating every government program using a criteria that we developed in ‘Blueprint for Balance,’” said Paul Winfree, director of Heritage’s Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies and the think tank’s Richard F. Aster Fellow.

Justin Johnson, a senior analyst for defense budgeting policy at Heritage, noted that the platform mirrors many ideas outlined in Heritage’s “Blueprint for Reform” when it comes to combat readiness, growth of the military, and investment in a modern military.

“As outlined in [Heritage’s] 2016 Index of U.S. Military Strength, the platform is right to recognize that the U.S. military is getting weaker while threats to our vital interests continue to grow,” Johnson said.

On trade, the platform reflects policies that Heritage has supported and introduced.

“It starts by acknowledging that international trade is crucial for all sectors of America’s economy, and calls for a ‘Reagan economic zone’ like that proposed by Heritage in 2001,” Bryan Riley, senior policy analyst in trade policy, said.