Heritage Research Impacts Policy on Tax Cuts and Immigration


Heritage Research Impacts Policy on Tax Cuts and Immigration

February 21st, 2020

Members of Congress recently introduced two bills that include policy proposals from Heritage Foundation experts.

The Accelerate Long-Term Investment Growth Now (ALIGN) Act, introduced by Sen. Pat Toomy R.-Pa., is designed to help keep the economy growing and wages rising. The legislation focuses on making the expensing portion of the 2017 Tax and Jobs Cut Act permanent instead of expiring in 2022, a move that Heritage has strongly advocated.

“Until now, every major proposal to make the 2017 tax cuts permanent has neglected to address the expiration of the most pro-growth piece of the reform: full and immediate expensing,” writes Adam Michel, a senior policy analyst in Heritage’s Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget.

Michel has written extensively on the positive impact of the tax cuts and believes that Congress should seize on every opportunity to improve the current tax plan to further enhance the proposed reforms’ benefits for all Americans.

Michel’s reports—“Simple Changes Could Double the Increase in GDP from Tax Reform” and “Four Priorities for Tax Reform 2.0—and Seven Supporting Reforms”—match up with the ALIGN Act.

Michel has also appeared frequently on cable news and radio to advocate for the change.


Heritage senior legal fellows Hans von Spakovsky and Cully Stimson helped shape another bill introduced by Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Rep. Ken Buck R.-Colo.

The Stop Greenlighting Driver Licenses for Illegal Immigrants Act seeks to restrict funding for states that grant driver's licenses to illegal immigrants or fail to share information about criminal aliens with the federal government.

In their report “Enforcing Immigration Law: What States Can Do To Assist the Federal Government and Fight the Illegal Immigration Problem,” von Spakovsky and Stimson write:

"A driver’s license gives the alien the ability to travel freely throughout the country and is used for countless other purposes, including registering to vote and applying for government benefits, as well as establishing bank and credit card accounts. As one critic has said, it provides illegal aliens with the appearance of ‘legality, giving the alien access to goods and services he would otherwise be unable to use.’ And it ‘defies common sense to contend that the best way to combat accidents by illegal aliens is to give them all drivers’ licenses…to prevent crashes by unlicensed drivers, that state should discourage them from driving in the first place.’” 

Heritage’s Lora Ries, a senior research fellow who previously worked at the Department of Homeland Security, also contributed to the topic in her recent article on greenlight laws.

And Mike Howell, senior advisor to executive branch relations at Heritage, appeared on Fox Business to discuss the topic.


Both of these bills reflect Heritage’s impact on Capitol Hill. Tommy Binion, vice president of government relations, said Heritage experts are committed to providing members of Congress with the research they need to shape public policies.

“Heritage research has a major influence on Capitol Hill and can really transform the importance with which certain lawmakers view an issue,” Binion said. “In these most recent cases, Heritage’s work can be realized through actual policy outcomes. As a team, we take great pride in the role that we get to play in bringing Heritage research to the attention of lawmakers. Seeing these bills being introduced is a testament to the great work that Heritage is doing and really shows the true depth of the policy impact that we have.”

Jessica Anderson, vice president of Heritage Action for America, said the organization has worked closely with the sponsors of both bills. She said they are a “great example of using Heritage research on Capitol Hill.”