When Speaker John Boehner declared in December that conservative groups like Heritage Action for America had “lost all credibility,” Washington was stunned.
For years, the powerful organizations had pushed congressional Republicans further and further to the right, keeping score of every vote — even if a “no” vote meant shutting down the government.
But Heritage Action is now rolling out a less confrontational approach by holding its first-ever Conservative Policy Summit on Monday to celebrate ideas from conservative stars like Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Ted Cruz of Texas, and Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho on everything from health care to education. It’s a sign that the conservative wing of the party heard Boehner loud and clear. Heritage Action is willing to adapt — but it isn’t going away.
The question: Will a gentler and more proactive Heritage Action pull the same weight on Capitol Hill, where it has often shaped the priorities of House Republicans by trying to block bills, not pass them?
The Heritage Foundation was just ranked as the 17th best think tank in the world by the annual University of Pennsylvania think tank rankings. It was ranked as the 8th best think tank in the United States.