- written by The Heritage Foundation
The Heritage Foundation welcomes the choice made by our country’s conservative majority. The voters decided to send to Congress men and women pledged to act upon the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values and a strong national defense.
Heritage has compiled this checklist of five overriding actions, representing the bare minimum required for Washington to fulfill its electoral mandate, meet its constitutional responsibilities and get America started on the right track. We must now hold our representatives, senators and President accountable and tell them: Get to Work!
FREEZE AND CUT SPENDING: Congress must immediately freeze discretionary budget authority at 2010 levels; and cut at least $170 billion from the federal budget for fiscal year 2012. This is only a first step. In the past four years, Congress has approved more spending than even the bureaucrats can handle. Congress must immediately survey unobligated balances of all appropriations made in the past four years and should reclaim these unspent taxpayer funds and use them to reduce the deficit.
REPEAL OBAMACARE: Congress must immediately pass a bill that repeals Obamacare. Until Congress is able to get the President to sign a law repealing Obamacare, it must withhold funding, block key provisions and override regulations carrying out Obamacare. Only after Obamacare is rejected, can Congress undertake a careful, thoughtful legislative process to make practical adjustments that allow the free market to provide affordable, effective health care insurance choices.
STOP THE OBAMA TAX HIKES: Congress must reject the Obama tax hikes, and make permanent the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, thereby helping the economy grow and create more jobs.
PROTECT AMERICA: Congress must pass a budget resolution that won’t put our troops at risk or leave Americans vulnerable. It can do this by providing for defense an average of $720 billion per year (to be adjusted for inflation) for each of the next five fiscal years, in addition to the funding needed for ongoing contingency operations. Congress must make the defense budget as efficient as possible and reinvest dollars achieved from reforms in the military to offset the cost of modernizing and developing next-generation equipment.
GET CONTROL OF GOVERNMENT: Congress must immediately reestablish legislative accountability by posting complete legislation, ending earmarks, reviewing all unauthorized programs and respecting constitutional limits on government. Congress must check executive branch overreach with aggressive oversight, roll back recent government interventions, stop unnecessary administrative regulations and sunset new ones, restrict bureaucrats’ rulemaking authority and override expansive executive orders.
For a more comprehensive list of Heritage's Solutions for America, see our full report below.
Compiled by a team of Heritage experts, Solutions for America identifies the nature and scope of our most pressing problems in 23 discrete policy areas, and recommends 128 specific policy prescriptions for Congress to consider. Some of the recommendations are groundbreaking. Others are familiar. Some are being debated right now. All have one thing in common: They would return power to the people. And, collectively, they will transform America, setting her back on the track to prosperity and greatness.
Perilous times necessitate bold action. America is at a tipping point. To continue on the current path of ever-expanding central government will plunge us into a statist abyss of lost liberties, vanishing opportunity and dying prospects of a better tomorrow. But our nation can just as well correct course, as she has so often in the past.
Americans by the millions have begun the process, rallying around the vision of the Founders. The policies articulated in Solutions for America are calculated to make that vision a reality, to build an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society flourish anew.
Read the Policy Agenda: