Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Think Tank that Shut Down the US Gov't?

Zeke Miller of Time Magazine has a new piece titled "Hidden Hand: How Heritage Action Drove DC to Shut Down," in which he blames the Heritage Foundation's lobbying arm, Heritage Action, for the US government shutdown.

Here are some excerpts:
There, a team of organizers, lobbyists and 20-something social media specialists are harnessing the power of the Tea Party to drive a wrench into Congress’ gears. Heritage Action for America, the political arm of the once esteemed Heritage Foundation, has been working day and night for years to bring about just the crisis now gripping DC.
As Washington stumbled toward a shutdown this weekend, Heritage Action has pledged to include votes on a “clean” continuing resolution in its running scorecard, even if the government shuts down. The group wouldn’t fully support the House Republican measure to delay Obamacare by a year as part of a measure to keep the government open, but in a small concession to Republican leadership, it also didn’t oppose Saturday’s House vote.
As Heritage Action flourishes, Heritage Foundation has become less of a force on Capitol Hill, its role for three decades as an omnipresent voice in hearing rooms and Senate hideaways crafting legislation for Republicans now firmly in the rearview mirror.

The Heritage Foundation was recently ranked as the 18th best think tank in the world by the annual University of Pennsylvania think tank rankings.  It was rated the 9th best think tank in the US.  It was also rated as the #1 think tank in the world in terms of best use of social media and the Internet.  Heritage was also rated as the 10th best think tank in the world in terms of most significant impact on public policy.