June 30th, 2015

Reacting to the Supreme Court’s Decision

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Our government functions within a system of checks and balances.  By design, each branch of government is regularly at odds with the others to prevent the abuse of power.  There are certainly instances when this structure produces outcomes that elicit polarizing responses from different groups of people.  The Court’s decision last week to expand the definition of marriage is case and point.

We live in a country that encourages dissent and freedom of speech.  But if the Republican Party is serious about winning national elections, we must respect decisions handed down by the High Court and work within the confines of our Constitution and reality to promote a governing agenda for the American people.

Abolishing the Supreme Court, as some have suggested, is not only unconstitutional, but to me, deeply concerning.  Furthermore, pursuing a constitutional amendment to overturn the Court’s decision would be a gross waste of resources and would almost certainly crash and burn.  This brash rhetoric is not only bad for our Party but also bad for the country.

Republicans running for President would be wise to keep their eye on the prize: winning the general election and laying out a vision for the country that focuses on jobs, the economy and expanding access to the American Dream.

The American people are paying close attention to how our candidates respond to this.  I’ll be paying close attention as well.

May 23rd, 2015

Honoring Those Who Paid the Ultimate Sacrifice

file under Uncategorized - Fred Malek @ 9:40 am
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Memorial Day is a time for Americans from all stripes and backgrounds to come together and honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for freedom and the defense of democracy. Parades will be held in honor of the fallen, and families will pack up and head to the beach, meet with friends at backyard BBQ’s, and unwind for the unofficial kickoff of summer.

As a Vietnam veteran, I knew many brave young men who paid with their lives to protect our freedom. Many more men and women have done so over the years protecting our way of life and the virtues we hold dear, including some of my West Point classmates. I’m truly moved and proud of my country when witnessing the patriotism and appreciation for these heroes.

Washington may seem as divided as ever, but this weekend we should all put our differences aside and remember that we live in the greatest country on earth and remember the men and women who fight bravely everyday to ensure that holds true.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day. God bless America and God bless our troops.

April 21st, 2015

American Action Forum Turns 5

file under Uncategorized - Fred Malek @ 11:33 am
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Today marks the 5th anniversary of the American Action Forum, a group that I founded to inject forward thinking ideas into the public debate. By focusing on the issues that share common ground across the political spectrum, The Forum has become a leading voice for promoting innovative, free market solutions to create a smaller, smarter government.

The Forum’s data driven, nimble approach cuts through the rhetoric of Washington, proving that it’s not always the loudest voices that win the day, but rather those with the facts and the best ideas who come out on top. From providing cutting edge research on tax and economic policies, to analyzing crippling government regulations, the Forum keeps Members of Congress and influencers informed at real time of the most important issues in the public policy arena.

I have many people to thank for making this organization a success. Doug Holtz-Eakin, one of the most trusted economists and policy leaders on both sides of the aisle, has grown the team from a staff of two that started out in a small rented office, to a team of 30.  All of the incredibly bright people who have led the charge to bring this organization into the center of the public policy debate deserve credit for how far we’ve come in such a short time.

Success is never final, however, and I’m looking forward to continuing to make the American Action Forum a leading voice for sensible policy solutions to our nation’s most pressing problems.

Check out this great video on AAF’s anniversary here.

February 20th, 2015

Republican Governors Association is all About our Future Leaders

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In only five years Republicans have gone from occupying 23 governor’s mansions to 31, including pickups in deep blue Massachusetts, Illinois, and Maryland.  This is due in large part to the hard work and leadership of the Republican Governors Association.

The RGA is critically important to electing Republican Governors, and it plays an instrumental role in advancing conservative policies at the state level, but it’s much more than that.  From my experience the most important thing about the RGA is what it does to foster the future leaders of our party.  All you have to do is take a look at the qualified bench of current and former state executives that are likely to contend for the White House in 2016.

As a forum for ideas and constructive conversation, the RGA provides its members with a platform to elevate state and regional issues to the national level.  These conversations are especially important for our newest members to develop blueprints for managing the top priorities in their home states.  Connecting our most experienced members with our newest members also inserts fresh ideas into the mix while also building on proven results.

Our Republican Governors are at the forefront of the most pressing policy issues of today.  Whether it’s preparing for and managing the threat of a global pandemic or pushing back against the EPA’s unprecedented power grab, RGA members are leading on our biggest issues.

The RGA will host its quarterly meeting in Washington, DC today, a great time to catch up with our members and meet those who have joined our ranks following victories in the last election cycle.  I’m looking forward to a productive meeting today and to hearing what this group has to say.

January 14th, 2015

Fox and Friends: Fred Malek Discusses Prospects of Mitt Romney White House Run in 2016

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On Fox and Friends this morning I discussed the prospects of another Mitt Romney run at the White House in 2016.  While the former Massachusetts Governor and Presidential nominee hasn’t made up his mind yet, one thing’s for sure: this cycle is shaping up to include one of the most impressive slates of conservative candidates bidding for the White House I’ve seen in memory.

Republicans are going to have a constructive conversation over the next year as the eventual nominee emerges.  A number of current and former governors are expected to enter the race in the coming months, all of whom have a proven track record of accomplishments in their home states.

While much talk in recent weeks has focused on how much money it will take to win the nomination, the winning candidate is going to be the one who combines the most compelling vision for the country with the proven leadership to make this vision a reality.

I’m looking forward to hearing what this group has to say as they lay out their plans for the country.

Check out my interview with Brian Kilmeade here.


December 15th, 2014

Anti Defamation League Achievement Award

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The Anti Defamation League for over 100 years has led the charge to deter and counter hate crimes, anti-Semitism, and all forms of bigotry. During the course of its existence, ADL has vigorously defended democratic ideals and fought for the protection of civil rights. This profound commitment to human dignity makes it an honor for me to accept the Anti Defamation League’s Achievement Award this evening.

I’m looking forward to sharing this evening with close friends and family as the ADL honors me with this prestigious award. I would like to thank the ADL and everyone involved in tonight’s event for this tremendous honor. I am forever grateful and I look forward to continuing to work alongside ADL to combat prejudice, extremism and intolerance across the nation and throughout the world.

For those of you who are attending tonight’s dinner, you will hear me speak in greater detail about the importance of ADL’s mission. For those of you who follow my blog, I’ve included a copy of my prepared remarks below. Additional information about ADL and its fine work can also be found at www.adl.org.

Remarks of Fred Malek
Anti-Defamation League Award Dinner
Washington, DC
December 15, 2014

Thank you to my friends of 4 decades, Abe Foxman, and to my wonderful family and friends for being with us tonight. I am truly honored to have so many turn out for me, and of course for the ADL. Many nice things have been said about me tonight, and my heartfelt appreciation to Abe, Andrea, Ben, Bobbie, Norm, and Norm and special thanks to David Friedman and his regional team for all they did to make this evening successful. But in my mind, all of you here tonight deserved to be honored. More than a career or body of work, what truly matters in the long run is that we treat all with dignity and respect, that we are true to our word, and loyal to family and friends.   We will be remembered much more for that than any career accomplishment.   I believe that all in this room exemplify these values, and I believe any one of you would be a worthy honoree.

Tonight, I’d like to use my time to personally thank and honor the ADL for its mission, its work, and its vision.

One hundred and one years ago, when the ADL was started with two desks in a small Chicago law office, it was impossible to imagine the number of lives that would soon be sacrificed to the worst forms of hatred and prejudice.

World War I had not yet started, and hardly anyone used the word, “Holocaust.” We did not speak of civil rights, and in that year, 1913, when women asked for the right to vote, they were spat upon and beaten. How far we have come, and yet how far we still have to go.

Last May, the ADL released a ground breaking study, which found that over one-quarter of the world’s adults have anti-Semitic attitudes. That translates into more than one billion people. And that is a tragedy for all of us in the 21st century.

Seventy years after Auschwitz, it is heartbreaking, particularly for those of my generation, who can recall the atrocities of World War II, to hear anyone in Europe, or in any part of the world, chanting anti-semitic slogans. Such statements are inexcusable and indefensible. It is vitally important that the ADL continue to document and call to account those who would speak or act upon these horrible thoughts and words. “Never again” must always mean, never again.

But in its mission, the ADL reminds us that hate and bigotry are not confined simply to anti-Semitism. From its beginnings, the ADL believed that fighting against one form of prejudice required fighting against all forms of prejudice.

It is my sincere hope, and I believe the hope of everyone in this room, that in another hundred years, the need for the ADL will be greatly diminished. But until we become a color-blind, class-blind, and faith-blind society and nation, until we can truly become “a world without hate,” the ADL’s mission and message will remain essential to protecting our most basic freedoms.

All my adult life, I’ve used as my personal and ethical code the motto of my alma matter, West Point. It is three simple words that have a most profound meaning: “Duty, honor, country.” There is no greater honor that can be shown to our country than defending the ideals of democracy, protecting civil rights, and ending bigotry, and no greater duty for all of us. I am honored to be in your company. Thank you again.

June 25th, 2014

As Boehner Looks to the Future His Position as Speaker Remains Stronger than Ever

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Speaker John Boehner’s skillful leadership has led us through rocky times, proving that he is truly invaluable for the country’s future. During his often tumultuous rein as Speaker, he has served as the chief negotiator with President Obama and proven his unrelenting commitment to conservative principles. It is also clear that no one in the Republican Party has worked harder to settle intraparty differences, a skill that will become increasingly important as Republicans look to move their top legislative priorities after the Senate swings their way after the midterms.

Eric Cantor’s primary loss and his subsequent decision to step down as Majority Leader was a blow to the Republican Party. It also led to some speculation that the Speaker might consider giving up his gavel at the start of a new Congress. However, Boehner silenced any speculation this week when he said he was “all-in” to remain as Speaker.

Boehner’s impressive fundraising efforts (he’s helped raise $88 million for Republicans in 2014), and his new pledge to donate more than $1 million just this week to the House Republican Campaign Fund are signs the Speaker is committed to ensuring his colleagues are reelected. These are also strong indications that he is working to consolidate his power among rank and file members.

There’s no doubt that Republicans are in a good place to hold or increase seats in the House, and John Boehner’s leadership has clearly helped solidify that position. There are few in Congress that posses his experience as an able lawmaker and conservative leader, and we are fortunate to have him.

I am pleased to see the Speaker reaffirm his commitment to leading the House of Representatives for the remainder of this session and on to the next.

June 12th, 2014

Eric Cantor: A Principled Conservative Leader

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When we hear people talk about principled conservative leadership, it’s easy for me to have Eric Cantor in mind.

Eric led the House Majority from the front. He took a policy oriented, yet savvy political approach and served as Speaker Boehner’s most trusted lieutenant during one of the most difficult times to run the Congress. With partisan rancor at an all time high, President Obama’s big government assault, and a struggling economy — Eric managed to execute a very difficult job with integrity.

I often counsel conservatives and Republicans to put their minor differences aside and work together to tackle our country’s most pressing issues. Following the path of common ground will be critical for Republicans this fall. We can no longer afford to bicker over minor differences when we all share the same goal of ensuring every citizen has the opportunity to better themselves and pursue the American dream. While Eric may not appear on the ballot come November, I am certain that he will continue to be a champion for this common-sense approach and for conservatives across the country.

Eric’s commitment to preserving liberty and providing opportunity to every American should serve as the standard for all those who seek public office. His accomplishments in Washington cannot be overlooked. He has fought to protect Americans from losing their insurance under Obamacare and helped roll back spending in Washington for the first time in decades. The stack of bills Eric ushered through the House demonstrates the pro-growth policies we need to help a struggling country and middle-class.

Whatever Eric and his family decide to do, I know they will remain committed to public service. We wish them well, and are thankful for their service to our country.

May 22nd, 2014

Doing What’s Right in Washington

file under Uncategorized - Fred Malek @ 10:04 am
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I had the wonderful opportunity to speak at Bisnow’s Lodging Investment Summit last week and decided to dish out one of my favorite credos: from the West Point motto is to choose the harder right over the easier wrong.

Following the event I took some time think about how conservatives can apply this to tackling some of our biggest policy issues in Washington and across the country.

Having the courage to do what’s right is becoming increasingly important in today’s policy debates. John Boehner recently said in response to his frustration over immigration reform: “I’ve had every brick and bat and arrow shot at me over this issue, just because I wanted to deal with it. I didn’t say it was going to be easy.” Taking on big issues isn’t easy and it takes courage to stand up to business as usual in Washington, whether it’s reforming our broken immigration system, controlling our runaway debt, or fixing our crumbling entitlement programs.

To do what’s right we must stick to our core principles of smaller government and economic freedom; personal responsibility over government dependence; and a free market economy that benefits all Americans. We cannot afford to distract ourselves with the less important issues of the day, and we must recognize the difference between personal beliefs and what’s best for the country.

Working across the aisle takes courage, but bipartisanship by itself is empty if we fail to understand our differences and get to the core of what’s best for the country. Understanding the big problems and proposing answers that have broad support is critical to advancing our cause.

I’m looking forward to working with conservatives at the state and federal level in the coming election cycle and will continue to encourage lawmakers to stand up with the courage to make tough decisions.

May 13th, 2013

Invest in Immigration

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The early part of the 113th Congress, and the 112th Congress before it, has spent far too much time playing economic defense: whether it was debating over whether or not to raise the debt-ceiling or avoiding the fiscal cliff, a great deal of energy was spent figuring out ways to just soften the blow from years of reckless spending. Of course our enormous debt and annual deficits must be reduced, but the best tonic is enhanced economic growth. The legislative activity in recent days is finally different as markup continues on the Gang of 8’s Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013—a bill with significant implications for strengthening our economy.

This type of common sense immigration reform needs to be embraced by conservatives. Modernizing our broken immigration system will naturally stimulate a labor force with people revered for the type of small-business entrepreneurialism that will strengthen our economy and raise our GDP.

Former CBO Director and current President of the American Action Forum, Doug Holtz-Eakin (my partner in my role as Chairman of the AFF) penned a compelling study last month that examined just what our economy can expect from immigration reform. While Doug goes into far greater detail than I will here, the economics of the issue from a big-picture standpoint are elementary and proven to be true:  when you increase the population with a group that has higher participation levels than the current population you grow and strengthen your labor force, growing GDP and most importantly growing GDP per capita—the ultimate sign for a growing economy.

In plain English, more people who work hard doing either highly skilled jobs or jobs Americans won’t do creates greater output and more money in our economy. We’re now celebrating job growth of under 200,000 jobs  a month and unemployment north of 7.5%, all the while the participation of working age Americans in the workforce continues to shrink. The economy’s slow improvement is a good sign but it’s not good enough.

Conservatives need to be the small business party. We already stand for principles inherent to small business success but we need to articulate why that is: small businesses are the life-blood of our economy, and the people with the courage to run a small business embody the resiliency that makes us who we are. Over the past several decades immigrants have shown a higher propensity for owning small businesses—conservatives need to embrace policy that ushers in a greater opportunity for our economy to succeed.

Of course there are other issues to address as well and there’s no reason they shouldn’t be. Our border must be secure and immigrants who entered the process the right way must stay at the beginning of the line.

No doubt there are costs associated as well, some of which—emergency medical and child education—have been in place and paid for years; but passing this bill and beginning the true modernization of a broken system is an investment. It’s an investment that Congress should make in the same spirit earlier generations afforded our ancestors.  The investment that allowed immigrants like my grandfather and my good friend Henry Kissinger to come and contribute to our nation, a nation of immigrants.