Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Politico: Heritage's Cozy Relationship With Trump Put to Test

Is the Heritage Foundation, a think tank which helped transition Donald Trump into the White House, turning into Donald Trump's worst nightmare?

Here  is more from Politico:
The Heritage Foundation has been cozying up to top White House aides and congressional leaders for months, hoping to put its conservative imprint on President Donald Trump’s policy agenda. But the first major bill that Republicans proposed — to repeal and replace Obamacare — runs completely afoul of Heritage’s priorities and threatens to upend a critical relationship between conservative activists and the Trump administration.
Now the 44-year-old think tank must decide whether to stay in the administration’s good graces by compromising some of its core values to get things done or embrace its long-standing reputation as a political bomb-thrower.
What’s happening at The Heritage Foundation is a revealing example of the path the group has taken from conservative rabble-rouser to insider. And it’s a test of how conservatives in the Trump era cope with being part of the establishment.
Heritage Action, the 501(c)(4) associated with the foundation, quickly bashed the bill on Tuesday, calling it “bad politics and, more importantly, bad policy.” Former Sen. Jim DeMint, Heritage Foundation president, is slated to go to the White House later Wednesday to discuss the bill with Trump, according to a Heritage source, part of Trump’s broader push to win over conservative groups.
And health care will not be the last fissure between Heritage and the administration. DeMint has been quietly working behind the scenes for months to kill policy proposals that depart from Heritage’s conservative values.

Even with all the disagreements and likely future disagreements, Politico notes that the Heritage Foundation is "closer to Trump world than any other administration since that of Ronald Reagan."

The article also notes that Heritage President Jim DeMint "strongly encouraged" the think tank's staff to work for Trump's transition, without taking leave from the think tank.  That has led to a number of Heritage staffers being hired by the Trump Administration.

Here is a recent Think Tank Watch piece on how the think tank's fingerprints are all over the White House budget.