We recommit ourselves to the ideas of the American Founding.
Through the Constitution, the Founders created an enduring framework of
limited government based on the rule of law. They sought to secure national
independence, provide for economic opportunity, establish true religious
liberty and maintain a flourishing society of republican self-government.
A Constitutional conservatism unites all conservatives through the
natural fusion provided by American principles. It reminds economic
conservatives that morality is essential to limited government, social
conservatives that unlimited government is a threat to moral self-
government, and national security conservatives that energetic but
responsible government is the key to America's safety and leadership role in
the world.
A Constitutional conservatism based on first principles provides the
framework for a consistent and meaningful policy agenda. It applies the
principle of limited government based on the rule of law to every proposal.
It honors the central place of individual liberty in American politics and life.
It encourages free enterprise, the individual entrepreneur, and economic
reforms grounded in market solutions. It supports America's national
interest in advancing freedom and opposing tyranny in the world and
prudently considers what we can and should do to that end. It informs
conservatism's firm defense of family, neighborhood, community, and faith.
As we engage with the American people in a national debate, we seek
to take these principles to our citizens in this Agenda for Restoring the
America Dream. These are many of the key issues facing America
today. While each of us may engage on a portion of this agenda within our
personal and organizational mission, we hereby reaffirm our commitment to
fighting to retake and resolutely defend the high ground of America's
founding principles.
An Agenda for American Recovery and Growth
There hasn't been an economic recovery for most Americans since the recession officially ended in
2009. Today, the middle class is working harder than ever but are falling further behind. Government
pol icies regularly benefit a well-connected few in Washington while good jobs disappear everywhere
else. Our country needs real solutions that promote job growth, reward hard work, and create a level
playing field for everyone.
Reform Ineffective Regulations and Allow Hardworking Families to Keep More of What They Earn
Excessive regulations keep employers from creating good jobs and America's complex tax code is
a burden on individuals and small businesses alike. Because of ineffective rules, billions of dollars
are left on the sidelines when they should be invested in new technology and good-paying jobs.
The best thing lawmakers can do to spur growth and job creation in the short term is to end the
unnecessary red tape and simplify our tax system. It's time to reduce loopholes, simplify taxes
and let everyone keep their money to spend and invest in their local economy, not Washington.
Restore a Fiscally Accountable Government that Works for Everyone, Not Just Washington
The first thing our leaders must do to encourage job growth is to f ix Washington's fiscal mess,
restore a balanced budget, and stop putting special interests ahead of ordinary people. The
reckless mismanagement of our tax dollars and the rapid growth of debt are hurting the
economy and costing jobs. The government is spending more money than ever before, but things
aren't getting better. Wasteful spending has fueled an economic boom for Washington special
interests, but it's been a bust for the middle class.
Modernize Broken Government Programs and Help Provide Real Opportunity for Everyone
Everyone in this country deserves an equal chance to succeed. Unfortunately, ineffective
government programs often make it more difficult for hard-working American families to reach
their dreams. Failed job training and education programs, abuse of government assistance, and
policies that increase the cost of living all make it harder for the most vulnerable to get ahead.
It's time to fix dysfunctional government programs to ensure everyone has a fair opportunity for
Reform Health Care to Create a Truly Affordable System Without Shrinking the American Workforce
Americans know that Obamacare is unworkable and unaffordable. It's also a huge drain on our
nation's economy. Government forecasters have confirmed that Obamacare will reduce the
workforce by 2 million people over the next ten years. That doesn't even account for the lost
hours with the end of the 40-hour work week, new small business penalties, and money taken
out of the economy in the form of higher insurance prices. In short, Obamacare destroys jobs and
it needs to be ended immediately in favor of health care that is actually affordable and keeps
doctors and patients in charge.
The Specifics: Congress should swiftly consider the following legislative action to help spur economic
growth and better jobs for every American.
Restore a Fiscally Accountable Government that Works for Everyone, Not Just Washington
• Pass Congressional rules that require balanced budgets, responsibility, and accurate accounting.
• Pass spending levels that adhere to discretionary limits already promised in law.
• End fraud and overpayments that send taxpayer dollars to those who abuse the system.
• End direct payments to private companies based on connections instead of the best product.
• End the Export-Import bank which gives taxpayer-backed loans to create jobs overseas.
• Stop pumping tens of billions into big banks at the expense of average Americans.
• Reform financial and banking laws that enshrine permanent bank bailouts in law.
Modernize Broken Government Programs and Help Provide Real Opportunity for Everyone
• Streamline federal job training programs and ensure they are helping people find work.
• Reform programs that discourage people from trying to find work and shrink the workforce.
• Give working families more compensation flexibility and workplace protections.
• Make transportation infrastructure spending work better for states and local communities.
Reform Ineffective Regulations and Allow Hardworking Families to Keep More of What They Earn
• Lower tax rates for every taxpayer so they can invest where they live, and not in Washington.
• Simplify taxes and keep hard-earned money out oftax-preparers' pockets.
• End loopholes in order to lower tax rates for businesses to spur job growth and higher pay.
• End the Death Tax and other tax provisions that discourage savings and investment.
• Remove artificial barriers to energy exploration and production, such as blocking Keystone XL.
• Create a strong regulatory review process in Congress.
• End regulations that encourage fewer jobs with shorter hours.
• Eliminate ineffective regulations-and pending regulations-that keep businesses from hiring.
Reform Health Care to Create a Truly Affordable System Without Shrinking the American Workforce
• Replace Obamacare to fix heath care problems without raising costs or shrinking the workforce.
• Allow individuals and families to save for health care expenses in a way that meets their needs.
• Empower states to develop solutions that help the truly needy.
• End burdensome and unworkable regulations and mandates that disregard personal freedom.
• Put health care decisions in the hands of patients and doctors, not the federal government.
• Allow individuals and families to keep the plans they like as they transition through life stages.
An Agenda for a Stronger and More Peaceful America
In an increasingly dangerous world, conservatives share broad agreement about the constitutional
imperative to provide for the common defense, and the need to fund a defense budget adequate to
meet current and future threats to the U.S. Further, it is important to advance only those measures that
enhance national security and respect and protect the privacy and liberties of Americans equally well .
This president has failed to lead on foreign policy and national security. In the absence of presidential
leadership, Congress and conservative voices outside of government should begin to frame the terms of
the debate on national security.
Restore a Defense Capability Adequate to Threats and to Protect Vital US Interests and our Military
The hollowing out of America's forces represents an immediate and critical threat to America's
national defenses. It is imperative to restore that capability and reassert the idea of peace
through strength. The threat of Isla mists, jihadist regimes, non-state actors, and sovereign
states who are committed enemies of freedom and of the United States is a real one. Further, to
truly protect the country the military cannot be a tool for social engineering and the religious
freedom of all who serve must be protected.
Restore a Secure Border and Modernize Homeland Security
The porous nature of U.S. borders allows insurgent elements from myriad terrorist groups to
enter the U.S. More ever, these infiltrators are known to have brought in material that can be
used for the construction of weapons that could kif/large numbers of Americans. The border
must be secured. The Congressionally-mandated EMP Commission clearly outlined the
vulnerability of the electrical grid and economic sectors to the side-effects of nuclear attack or
solar flares. Their recommendations concerning the hardening of American infrastructure should
be incorporated in legislation.
Modernize Atomic Weapons and Missile Defense System
China and Russia have actively modernized their atomic weapons systems. America must do the
same. The growing number of countries with ballistic and/or cruise missiles capable of striking
the United States is growing, both raising the level of vulnerability and underscoring the need for
increased deployment of robust missile defense capabilities to protect the U.S. homeland.
Restore America's Constitutional Sovereignty, Rights, and Reform Intelligence Gathering
The continuing efforts to subordinate US sovereignty to international organizations must be
stopped. Efforts to abridge Secand Amendment Rights must be stopped. The sovereignty of our
country is further strengthened by achieving energy security. A more robust counter-intelligence
effort is needed to address the use of foreign money to influence domestic U.S. policy, espionage
against the United States by foreign powers, and foreign propaganda efforts on U.S. soil.
The Specifics: Congress should swiftly consider the following legislative action to protect U.S interests,
strengthen our nation, and promote peace.
Restore a Defense Capability Adequate to Threats and to Protect Vital US Interests and our Military
• Pass a defense budget adequate to meet current and future threats to the U.S.
• Pass legislation to protect the reli gious freedom of all those who serve in the military.
• Keep rogue states like Iran from acquiring nuclear capability.
Restore a Secure Border and Modernize Homeland Security
• Oppose border measures that do not fully secure our border.
• Legislation should be passed to secure the electrical grid and infrastructure from attack.
Modernize Atomic Weapons and Missile Defense System
• Modernize our nuclear arsenal to maintain it as a deterrent force.
• Restore missile defense capabilities to protect our homeland and secure our national interests.
Restore America' s Constitutional Sovereignty, Rights, and Reform Intelligence Gathering
• Do not pass any treaties that subordinate U.S. sovereignty t o an international organization.
• Do not pass any bill that restricts Second Amendment freedoms.
• Pass energy legislation that fully opens our domestic resources to make us energy secure.
• Reform counter-int ell igence operations to protect American interests at home and abroad.
An Agenda for Cultural Renewal and the American Family
The American family is the foundation of the country, but today is under assault by both the
government and much of the elite culture. A constitutionally limited government that protects our
freedom is only as strong as the culture it represents. Americans value decency, self-sacrifice, honesty,
and integrity. Too often, traditional val ues are mocked as outdated and irrelevant in a modern age. In
truth, our values are both t imeless and essential. Married moms and dads are best at raising kids, all
human life is precious and should grow and flourish, and faith and virtue both belong in the public
The right policies are those that respect the choices of parents for their kids, especially in education, and
that make life more affordable for working families.
Restore the Religious Freedom of American Families
Faith is the cornerstone of American life. It is unconscionable for the government to coerce
Americans to violate the tenets of their faith under lows like Obamocore. Similarly, it is
imperative to protect the rights of Americans who do not believe in redefining marriage. The
country is better and families are stronger when robust faith and freedom have a place in the
public square.
Restore Protections for Innocent Human life
All life is precious and deserves protection under the law. As work continues to renew the culture
around a deeper appreciation and respect for human life, it is important to immediately pursue
common-sense reforms like protecting life after 20 weeks of pregnancy- when babies hove
beating hearts and feel pain. Using taxpayer money to end life, particularly under Obomacare,
must stop.
Reform Government to Serve Families-Not the Other Way Around
Families make tough decisions about the family budget together around the dinner table. The
wrong policies on education, energy, housing, and more are all making family budgets tighter
and life less affordable. Allowing parents to decide where to send their kids to school and an end
to the wrong government policies that raise costs will allow families to keep more of what they
earn and spend it on the things that matter most to them.
Restore an Opportunity Culture
The notion is strong because the American spirit and will is strong. It is time to renew that
optimism and attitude in our culture. Government policies that discourage work and
entrepreneurship must end. The tragic cycle of dependency on government con be broken by
reforming a broken welfare system and failing programs like Medicaid. Policies that make
higher education unaffordable and out of reach for too many American must end.
The Specifics: Congress should swiftly consider the following legislat ive action to begin restoring the
culture and protecting families.
Restore the Religious Freedom of American Families
• End harmful mandates like those in Obamacare that force Americans to violate their faith.
• Pass legislation to protect states and individuals who support traditional marriage.
• Recommit to and strengthen good laws like the Religious Freedom Rest oration Act.
• End efforts to stop public prayers and other free exercises of fai th in the public square.
Restore Protections for Innocent Human Life
• Pass legislation to protect human life after 20 weeks
• Stop taxpayer financi ng of the destruction of life, particularly under Obamacare.
Reform Government to Serve Families-Not the Other Way Around
• End energy production mandates that make gas and food more expensive for fami lies
• Empower parents and local governments-not Washington-to make education decisions.
• Protect homebuyers and homeowners by ending failed government housing programs.
Restore an Opportunity Culture
• Reform welfare programs to lessen dependence, encourage work, and strengthen families.
• Make higher education more accessible to working families and non-t raditional students.
• Modernize Medicaid to make it more accountable, more local, and with better outcomes.
An Agenda to Hold Government Accountable by Preserving the Constitution
More and more Americans feel li ke Washington has become self-serving and is no longer listeni ng to
them. The endless growth of big government that wants to control more and more has created
countless scandals, wasted trillions of dollars, and put our constitutional form of government at risk. It
is time to make all branches of government more accountable to the people.
Restore the Rule of law
Government has become unmoored from its constitutional tethers. A parade of endless scandals
only re-enforces what most Americans already believe; that government plays by a different set
of rules than they have to. We must restore the idea that Amerka is governed by rule of Jaw, not
by the rule of men. That is why no law should apply any differently to Congress, the Executive, or
any other part of government, than it does to every other American citizen.
Reform Congress to Make it Work for the American People
Congress has ceded too much of its proper constitutional authority to the bureaucracy and the
administrative state. The leadership in Congress has too much control over the House and
Senate, at the expense of regular order, the committees, and the duly elected representatives of
each chamber. Complex legislation is rushed through before members even have a chance to
read it, let alone debate its merits. No bill should ever be voted on before it has been posted for
everyone to read for at least 72 full hours.
Modernize the Budget Process to Stop Wasting Money and End the Smoke and Mirrors
The budget process is broken. The President has routinely submitted a late budget. The Senate
does not even pass a budget. The House has failed to advance individual appropriations bills and
instead passes massive omnibus and continuing resolution spending bills. This broken process is
full of smoke and mirrors accounting, countless budget gimmicks, waste, fraud, and abuse, and
leads to the further degradation of the way government works. It is time to modernize the
budget process so that we can begin to reform government and restore constitutional order.
The Specifics: Congress should swiftly consider the following legislative action to restore the rule of law
and make Congress listen.
Restore the Rule of Law
• Renew aggressive oversight of all government departments, agencies, and programs.
• No law should take effect that treats citizens and their representatives differently.
Reform Congress to Make it Work for the American People
• No bill should pass until it has been posted online for a full 72 hours.
• Topics should be debated and voted on one at a time, not in complex bills and procedures.
• Bills must go through the committee process and come up under an open amendment process.
• End the practice of ceding complex rule making authority to bureaucrats.
Modernize the Budget Process to Stop Wasting Money and End the Smoke and Mirrors
• Pass individual appropriations bills instead of massive omnibus bills and CR's.
• Assess legislation and scoring in a way that accounts for the economic impact of legislation.
• End "emergency" spending designations so Congress fully accounts for expenditures.
• End automatic growth assumptions for government spending.
• Consider liabilities legacy costs when assessing mandatory spending.
• Score legislation to show the cost of a program beyond the first ten years.

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