Heritage Foundation’s New Leader Talks Conservative Agenda With GOP

In his first day on the job, The Heritage Foundation’s new president, Kevin Roberts, told a group of House Republicans what their shared policy goals should be. 

“No disrespect to those of you who stand for election, But the most important thing we’re going to achieve is that we’ll look back 10 years from now, and say what we achieved as Americans being self-governing again,” Roberts told a lunch meeting of the Republican Study Committee on Wednesday on Capitol Hill. 

Since 1973, the Republican Study Committee, which includes more than 100 GOP House members has been the conservative policy caucus in the House Republican Party. 

Roberts answered questions about, among others, federal spending, higher-education, the Biden administration and differences among conservatives.

“We’re a bunch of conservatives, so there are going to be differences of opinion,” Roberts said. “The world isn’t going to end if we can’t agree 100% of the time, but let’s go fight like heck and charge those hills, the top of which are issues that we do agree on, like ending [Roe v Wade].”

After arguments at the Supreme Court had concluded, he spoke to the Republican Study Committee at Capitol about a Mississippi abortion case. He was concerned that Roe, the 1973 precedent which legalized abortion nationwide could be overturned. 

Roberts stated that conservatives could unite to oppose policies from the left and the Biden government.  

“We are fighting, I think, one of the most aggressive, radical leftist agendas in American history, and unfortunately, that’s saying something, going back to the days of Woodrow Wilson and FDR and Clinton and Obama,” the new Heritage chief said, adding:

I want you to know that when you’re looking for the intellectual ammunition to fight Biden inflation, to fight our open borders, to fight everything that they’re trying to do and ridiculous legislation they come up with, the Green New Deal, that you can count on The Heritage Foundation. 

Roberts joined The Heritage Foundation in Washington, after he was the president of Texas Public Policy Foundation, Austin, Texas for five years. In October, the Heritage board announced Roberts’ hiring. Kay C. James was the president of Heritage board and is now retiring.

Asked about corporations moving to the left politically—for example, in opposing state voter-ID laws—he noted that as president of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, he stood firm.

“Why can’t the think tank world say, ‘Who cares? Go pound sand.’ And it worked,” Roberts said. “This is common sense to you. That’s the kind of thing that we’ve got to scale all around the country. And the point is one way to say the cavalry is coming, and I’m looking forward to the fight.” 

Roberts viewed the potential for a long term policy when he was later asked about addressing left-wing indoctrination in higher educational. 

“I’ve been working in my previous role up to yesterday in Texas on a really big effort that Heritage will be part of, on reforming the accreditation cartel,” Roberts said. 

“You want to break up higher ed. There are two options. You either end tenure, which means we’re all going to be harmed by faculty. Or you make an end run—to go back to a football metaphor—and you break up the cartel that empowers them. 

“And so, we’ve got a plan that we’re putting in place. I’ll share that with you,” he added. “It’s not the kind of thing that can happen in a year, but it’s the kind of thing that can happen in a few years.”

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