Heritage to Republicans: Don’t rain on the parade

Updated
U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) (L) and House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) (R) arrive at a news conference to introduce the new...
U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) (L) and House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) (R) arrive at a news conference to introduce the new...
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Tell us how you really feel, Heritage Action for America.


The lobbying arm of the conservative group that scores Republican lawmakers on the their votes, made it very clear that its members are enjoying the negative attention President Obama has received this week. In a letter addressed to Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the group’s CEO discouraged the Republican leaders from bringing any legislation to the floor that could distract from Obama’s scandal trifecta.

Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham wrote that “it would be imprudent to do anything that shifts the focus from the Obama administration to the ideological differences within the House Republican Conference,” in his letter posted on the group’s website Thursday–one day before lawmakers were set to convene for the first of many hearings into the actions taken by IRS officials to target Tea Party groups for special scrutiny.

Republican lawmakers have this week stayed on message in denouncing the IRS controversy and the Obama administration. Speaker Boehner accused the White House of “remarkable arrogance” over the IRS controversy, as well as news that the Justice Department seized phone records of Associated Press journalists. Tea Party leaders also mounted a unified attack of the president’s policies in a press conference Thursday.

Many have wondered how the Benghazi, IRS, and AP controversies would affect Obama’s ambitious second-term agenda, which consists of immigration reform, a deficit deal, and gun control. And if Heritage Action’s letter is any indication of how Republican lawmakers will proceed, Obama’s agenda is in serious jeopardy.

Read the full text of Heritage Action’s letter:

Dear Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor:

For the first time, the activities of the Obama administration are receiving a sustained public vetting.  Americans’ outrage over Benghazi is amplified by the Internal Revenue Service’s intimidation of conservative grassroots organizations and a cascade of negative headlines.  There is the real sense the Obama administration has been less than forthright with the American people, the press and lawmakers.

Recent events have rightly focused the nation’s attention squarely on the actions of the Obama administration. It is incumbent upon the House of Representatives to conduct oversight hearings on those actions, but it would be imprudent to do anything that shifts the focus from the Obama administration to the ideological differences within the House Republican Conference.

To that end, we urge you to avoid bringing any legislation to the House Floor that could expose or highlight major schisms within the conference.  Legislation such as the Internet sales tax or the FARRM Act which contains nearly $800 billion in food stamp spending, would give the press a reason to shift their attention away from the failures of the Obama administration to write another “circular firing squad” article.

Make no mistake, principled conservatives will still oppose bad policy if it comes to the floor.  Rather than scheduling such legislation for consideration, we urge you to keep the attention focused squarely on the Obama administration.  As the public’s trust in their government continues to erode, it is incumbent upon those of us who support a smaller, less intrusive government to lead.

Sincerely,

Michael A. Needham

Chief Executive Officer

Heritage Action for America

Heritage to Republicans: Don't rain on the parade

Updated