The Agenda -> Correcting a historical anomaly in Israel. 

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The Agenda -> Correcting a historical anomaly in Israel. 

The Heritage Foundation
Dec. 05, 2017
It’s another busy week on Capitol Hill. Here is your weekly insight: Today the Supreme Court will consider the case of Jack Phillips. Heritage experts say his case could be as significant as Roe v. Wade. We explain why. Also, the Senate passed its tax reform bill but let’s not lose sight of the opportunity to rein in spending. Heritage experts know how Congress can do it. Plus, a big move could come from the White House this week on Israel—and it’s important to do it correctly. Take notes, we have your conservative policy solutions right here. —Michelle Cordero, Managing Editor,
A case as significant as Roe v. Wade. 
Today, the Supreme Court will consider the case of Jack Phillips, a Colorado cake designer who owns Masterpiece Cakeshop. Phillips declined to create a custom cake for a same-sex wedding and the state of Colorado punished him. Phillips was ordered to create cakes for same-sex weddings and to teach his employees, including family members, the state’s view of marriage. In this case, the Supreme Court will determine how much power government authorities have to override the consciences of those who dissent from the government’s view of marriage. “If the Supreme Court says Jack can’t act in accordance with his beliefs about marriage, it might one day also say that faith-based schools and charities can’t act in accordance with their beliefs. Many professions could be affected,” says Emilie Kao, director of Heritage’s Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion & Civil Society. Read more about this case and why it’s critical for the future of religious freedom and freedom of speech.
It’s time to right-size government spending.
Early Saturday morning, the Senate successfully passed its tax bill, 51-49. The House and Senate will now have to work aggressively to reconcile the differences between their bills through a conference committee. Both the House and Senate bills are a big improvement to America’s out-of-date tax code and should boost the economy, leading to more jobs and higher wages for working Americans. But beyond tax reform, Congress still has much work to do. Government funding expires on Friday. Before then, both chambers of Congress will have to strike a deal in order to fully fund the government. “While Congress is doing the critical work of reforming the U.S. tax code, it must not neglect opportunities to right-size government spending,” says Romina Boccia, deputy director of the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies and Grover M. Hermann research fellow. “As the late Milton Friedman reminded us, spending is the true tax. Deficit spending is simply deferred taxation, and today, both spending and deficits are on an upward trajectory.” Read Heritage’s latest on how Congress can rein in spending.
Correcting a historical anomaly in Israel.
This week, the Trump administration is expected to make a decision on whether to move the embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Both would be substantial foreign policy moves with far-ranging implications. “The move could also make uniting the Arabs in the face of the Iranian threat much more difficult,” says Jim Phillips, a senior research fellow in Heritage’s Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign and National Security Policy. “Iran wins when the Arab world is divided. The Trump administration can mitigate some of the risks by making it clear that it is only recognizing West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.” Read Phillips’ report on what standards must be met before moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.


On this week’s Mass Ave podcast, Emilie Kao, director of Heritage’s Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, is joined by Matt Sharp, senior legal counsel at Alliance for Defending Freedom, to break down the upcoming Masterpiece Cakeshop case. Plus, Nile Gardiner, director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom and Bernard and Barbara Lomas Fellow, highlights the U.S.-U.K. special relationship, including how the upcoming royal wedding and the president’s tweets will impact it. Listen to the podcast.
Wednesday at 11 a.m., Heritage will host a panel to discuss the court case of Jack Phillips, a baker in Colorado who declined to design a cake for a same-sex wedding. Speakers will include Kristen Waggoner, senior vice president for Alliance Defending Freedom and counsel for Phillips; Ilya Shapiro, senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute; and Lloyd Cohen, professor of law at the Antonin Scalia Law School of George Mason University. Watch the event live.
Thursday at noonElliott Abrams, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, will speak about American foreign policy after the Arab Spring. Watch the event live.
Friday at noonChristopher Harmon, co-author with Randall Bowdish of “The Terrorist Argument: Modern Advocacy and Propaganda,” will speak about the way terrorist groups communicate, recruit, and use social media. Watch the event live.


Adam Michel, a policy analyst in Heritage’s Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, detailed the Senate’s vote on tax reform on Fox News’ “Your World with Neil Cavuto.” Watch the interview.
Ryan Anderson, Heritage’s William E. Simon senior research fellow, debated the same-sex wedding cake case that’s before the Supreme Court this week on Fox News’ “Outnumbered.” Watch the interview.
Bruce Klingner, a senior research fellow in Heritage’s Asian Studies Center, discussed North Korea’s recent launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the East Coast on Fox Business’ “Making Money with Charles Payne and BBC’s “ BBC World News America.
Peter Brookes, a senior fellow in Heritage’s Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy, analyzed North Korean strategy on Fox Business’ “Cavuto Coast to Coast.” Watch the interview.
Romina Boccia, deputy director of the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies and Grover M. Hermann research fellow, and Jonathan Bydlak, founder and president of the Coalition to Reduce Spending, wrote in National Review on how the benefits of tax reform can come undone without controlled spending. Read the commentary.


Congress is considering another budget cap-busting deal, increasing spending by $182 billion over this year and the next. This deal would be bigger than the three previous deals combined. Congress should not bust the spending caps and prioritize defense spending with the spending limit enacted in the 2011 Budget Control Act. See and share more charts.
Have a question? Email us at [email protected].

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