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Conservative Heritage Foundation Wields Clout in Budding Trump Administration

Jim DeMint
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The Heritage Foundation, a longtime player in the conservative policy world, is poised to have a major influence on personnel in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration, easing concerns among some conservatives about the ideological direction of the new government.

A think tank that emerged in the 1970s as the premier conservative policy and research operation in Washington, D.C., the group has more recently become a political player in its own right.

Now headed by Jim DeMint, a former U.S. senator who made his name as a conservative firebrand while serving in Congress, Heritage has become a hybrid of an administration-in-waiting for Mr. Trump, a policy factory for the new Republican-led Congress and a political advocacy group whose aim is to push the GOP in a more conservative direction. The group has a nonpartisan nonprofit, called the Heritage Foundation, and a six-year-old advocacy arm, Heritage Action.

“I think he’s fortunate to have had this group ready to go with ideas and suggestions with personnel that wouldn’t be just a retread,” said David McIntosh, president of the conservative advocacy group Club for Growth.

Representatives for Mr. Trump didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Mr. McIntosh said he recognized that Mr. Trump was building an ideologically diverse administration, reaching out to moderate Republicans, some Democrats and people with nonpolitical backgrounds. But the involvement of Heritage was a comfort to many conservatives who worried about Mr. Trump’s commitment to the movement’s principles such as free movement of capital, fiscal responsibility and limited government.

“For a conservative like me, it’s a great sign that he’s willing to have a lot of them there,” said Mr. McIntosh.

Source: Conservative Heritage Foundation Wields Clout in Budding Trump Administration – WSJ