A long-time veteran of Washington policymaking, Mike Franc oversees Heritage's outreach to members of the U.S. House and Senate and their staffs. From 1993 to 1996, he served as Heritage's Director of Congressional Relations. In 1996, he served as Director of Communications for House Majority Leader Richard Armey of Texas. Before joining Heritage, he served in the Office of National Drug Control Policy and as Legislative Counsel for then-Representative William Dannemeyer of California. A graduate of Yale University, Franc earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.
His State of the Union address began with a focus on our government’s foremost responsibility -- national security.
Recall how, after the Sept. 11 attacks, virtually any legislative bid miraculously morphed into a “security” measure? Opportunists re-dubbed a routine, pork-laden farm bill the “Farm Security Act."
To better understand the never-ending policy struggles between the president and Congress, consider the uniquely different perspectives that both bring to the legislative process.
The two fields of candidates couldn’t be further apart in how they would address fiscal issues. This week, let’s examine the boomer’s imminent retirements; next week we’ll consider how they propose to win the war against terrorism.
Amid all the chaos on Capitol Hill -- a possible vote to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney one day, shenanigans over the annual spending bills the next -- one constant has been the prolonged, backroom negotiation over the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
In July, the Treasury Department released a study cataloguing the ways our deplorable tax code restricts U.S. competitiveness. Ultimately, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson explained, “our workers pay the price.”
Osama bin Laden implored his comrades to "work in one united group." That's good advice for our side.
Remember the endless end-of-session confrontations between President Reagan and the Democratic-controlled Congresses of the 1980s? Former Speaker Tip O’Neill and his allies would bundle the year’s spending bills into one gargantuan package, quietly add tax increases, multi-billion dollar expansions to Medicare and Medicaid, tinker with housing, education, environmental and energy policies, and then send the unread legislative mess to the White House in the dark of night, daring the president to sign it.
Principled conservative lawmakers have been called many things as they doggedly pursue their quest for smaller government. In the House, liberals have resorted to using the “f” word -- “fringe” -- to describe small-government conservatives who have tried in vain to cut spending, eliminate frivolous earmarks, and reform failed welfare programs.
During the heady days of 1993 when former First Lady Hillary Clinton assembled a group of health experts to reconfigure our health-care system, liberal strategists realized that the march toward socialized medicine might be a slow and halting one. Thus, they devised several alternate routes to the promised land of a universal, government-run system.
Liberals who favor withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq believe the situation there is relatively straightforward: We are enmeshed in a civil war, a deeply-rooted sectarian conflict the outcome of which matters little to the U.S. Disengaging is the only way we can engage the real enemy -- al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations bent on our destruction -- in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
After two weeks of debate on the comprehensive immigration reform bill, a growing number of Americans have cooled on this legislative endeavor. Pollster Scott Rasmussen reports that support for the “grand bargain” has slipped three points (to 23%) while opposition has ticked up to 50%. Other polls have found that the more Americans know about it, the less likely they are to support it
The debate over the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform bill has forced lawmakers to grapple with another contentious issue, namely: What exactly are the fiscal consequences of granting citizenship to the 12 to 15 million illegal immigrants living within our borders and the millions more who yearn to settle here?
A certain irony surrounds the scheduled explosion of tax liability under the Alternative Minimum Tax. Namely, this is a "Blue State tax," with the heaviest concentrations of affected taxpayers living in states that voted for John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election, including New York, California, Illinois, Connecticut, New Jersey and Maryland.
When President Bush proposed to enhance U.S. "competitiveness" by doubling federal spending on research in the physical sciences over the next decade, adding 100,000 math and science teachers to the nation's high schools, and making the research-and-development tax credit permanent, he set off a predictable bidding war on Capitol Hill.
"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert," Nobel economist Milton Friedman once quipped, "in five years there'd be a shortage of sand." Friedman's admonition is especially pertinent to the ongoing effort by Senate liberals to give federal bureaucrats a leading role in setting the price of drugs for seniors.
A recent poll by the Pew Research Center has unleashed a torrent of obituaries for the principles conservatives hold dear. To Paul Krugman of The New York Times, the poll demonstrates that conservative values are "out of step with an increasingly liberal American public."
Get ready for the invasion of the armchair generals. With 535 Capitol Hill generals struggling to define every aspect of when and how our troops in Iraq may be deployed, timetables for their withdrawal and specific requirements for how, when and against whom they may strike, the challenge of winning the war in Iraq is about to get a whole lot tougher.
Five years after its passage, the frustration with NCLB has grown and spans the ideological spectrum. In 2006, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget, state and local education bureaucrats spent 6.7 million hours and more than $140 million complying with NCLB paperwork.
"Welfare," it has been said, "is mistrusted by those who pay for it and held in contempt by those who receive it." This may be true for those who deplore the loss of dignity and the self-destructive behavior that accompanies welfare dependency.