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The Heritage Foundation

The Heritage Foundation
The Heritage Foundation is a highly influential conservative think tank established in 1973, originally focusing on pro-business and anti-communist policies.

Heritage Action, established in 2010, is Heritage’s advocacy off-shoot. The Heritage Foundation supports the Political Network for Values. Supporters of Heritage have included Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and William Buckley. Mike Pence was briefly a fellow with Heritage. Globally, The Heritage Foundation spent over $3 million on projects and international case support between 2008 and 2018. 

Heritage was founded in 1973 by Paul Weyrich, Edwin Feulner, and Joseph Coors. Coors, responsible for expanding the Coors Brewing Company first as President and then as Chief Executive Officer, provided Heritage with its first budget and continued to contribute over $300,000 annually. Coors was part of Reagan’s Kitchen Cabinet, financing Reagan’s early campaigns and providing many of Reagan’s policies via the Heritage Foundation. 

Heritage’s 1000+ page Mandate for Leadership policy document served as a blueprint for the Reagan presidency. Even later, in 1996 Clinton’s welfare reform was partially based on Heritage’s plan to roll back the welfare safety net. In  2005, Heritage and the Republican Study Committee pushed privatization in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Under Trump, over 60 Heritage Foundation staffers took administration posts. 

In recent years, the Heritage Foundation has struggled to maintain its dominant voice within American conservatism. Tucker Carlson, for example, has repeatedly criticized the Heritage Foundation. Regardless, the Heritage Foundation continues to push for ultra-conservatism. Project 2025, a coalitional plan to dramatically overhaul federal offices and replace tens of thousands of so-called ‘deep state’ federal employees with conservatives, is led by the Heritage Foundation. Other coalition members include the ADF, Family Research Council, and Turning Point USA.