The conservative think tank Heritage Foundation has unveiled its list of top priorities for the new Congress and outlined a strategy to confront what it believes are the seven biggest challenges facing its mission of promoting public policies that focus on limited government, academic freedom, and other conservative principles.
“We needed to identify what we thought were the seven most pressing issues facing America,” Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts, who became the organization’s 7th president in October 2021 told Fox News Digital. “It’s both gratifying but also troubling that that’s where the mood of the country is. I say troubling because, while I am an optimist and I’m hopeful about the American future, we have some real problems when it comes to fiscal sanity which doesn’t exist even in Republican administrations as we know from the last one.”
In a 24-page document released on Thursday, Heritage Foundation explained that empowering parents to make education choices, securing America’s borders and reducing crime, ensuring free and fair elections, reversing regulations, spending, and inflation, countering the threat of communist China, holding big tech accountable, and protecting unborn life will be the top priorities of the organization in the next Congress and across the country in state legislatures.
“We have real concerns about education, both in K-12 and higher level, about the rule of law, and about China,” Roberts continued.
Roberts explained that the “gratifying” aspect of the current political scene is that “we are seeing real coalescing around those priorities with other organizations in D.C. and outside D.C., but also very importantly with the grassroots.”
Republicans are expected to take back control of the House of Representatives when the votes still be counted across the country are finalized and even though the GOP is likely to have a “slimmer” majority than some expected, Roberts told Fox News Digital he thinks “in a lot of ways it’s going to serve to really motivate” the party.
Republicans also still have a path to taking control of the Senate depending on the undeclared races in Arizona, Nevada and Georgia.
Roberts said that the Heritage Foundation priorities bring “more depth” and “specificity” to presumed House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s agenda and can be inserted into that agenda to address a “lack of motivation” among conservative voters in some midterm races.
The foundation’s agenda states that it will allocate resources to making sure that one of the first bills proposed in the new Republican House will secure the border and stop the current crisis, and it will also work to stop any congressional attempt to “federalize our election systems.”
Additionally, as part of the plan to counter record inflation that has surged over the past year sending costs skyrocketing, the foundation says it will work to ensure that Republicans use the power of the purse in the House to block Democratic spending plans.
“The power of the purse is the backbone of Congress’s authority in the U.S. Constitution and ensures that, especially in a divided government, Congress can prioritize federal spending,” the document says. “A conservative majority in the 118th Congress must exercise this power to a greater extent than ever before. The time to get our fiscal house in order before the next financial crisis is extremely short. Achieving these aggressive goals would restore fiscal sanity to the U.S. government and set the stage for a fiscally conservative presidency in 2025.”
On Sunday, the Heritage Foundation will be hosting an orientation for the newly elected members of Congress that Roberts says is part of the organization’s plan to put a high value on relationships and conversations behind the scenes to “push members to do things more courageously.”
Roberts says the orientation will help show conservative members of Congress they are supported by a network of friends both in and out of Washington, D.C. that will be helpful to encourage new members not to be “co-opted” by the various interests that often push conservatives to the left.
“I would say I understand that as a lifelong movement conservative that some elections like this would disappoint us, but I really believe that Heritage and the conservative movement in D.C., at least some organizations, are ready to be accountability partners with these new members, and it seems like the new members are ready to fight for America,” Roberts said.
Heritage rolled out a $1.5 million ad campaign on Election Night referring to the organization as “America’s outpost in Washington.” The ads are also plastered across terminals at Reagan National Airport that the group hopes will remind newly elected Republicans arriving in town this week of the “urgency of the current moment.”
“We are prepared to fight on behalf of the American people at the state and federal level and will bring to bear all resources available, including Heritage Action’s 2 million activists, 15 state-based offices and experienced lobbying team,” Jessica Anderson, executive director of Heritage’s conservative policy advocacy organization, Heritage Action, told Fox News Digital. “And we won’t rest until we achieve the reforms and policy changes that help Americans thrive across our country.”