EXCLUSIVE: The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) is launching the ‘American Dream Initiative’ to promote solution-oriented domestic policy ideas that both Republicans and Democrats can support in a narrowly divided Congress.
The ‘American Dream Initiative’ is a four-year research endeavor that will focus on strengthening the American economy and promoting upward mobility by working with lawmakers and community leaders to alleviate poverty, address the housing shortage and push limited government constitutional ideas.
The initiative’s new Center on Opportunity and Social Mobility will promote ‘evidence-based domestic policy ideas’ that have the potential to garner broad support across the political spectrum on issues such as child poverty, homelessness and intergenerational mobility out of poverty.
AEI, a nonpartisan think tank based in Washington, D.C., is confident that the center will provide the new, extremely slim Republican majority in the House of Representatives with ideas that are likely to win bipartisan traction and avoid gridlock.
AEI President Robert Doar told Fox News Digital that the project is ‘very much a research initiative.’
‘It’s about developing research and ideas that can help us make the changes we need to make our country stronger,’ he said. ‘But it’s also about promoting those ideas and reaching out to people not just in Washington but all across the country that need to know more about these ideas so that they can bring them to their state houses or their city governments and make change there.’
AEI plans to work with Republicans and Democrats in Congress as well as the Biden administration to familiarize its research findings and enact change.
Doar said that ‘skills development’ and benefit programs reform that encourages employment and earnings are both areas that can bring both Republicans and Democrats together in agreement.
‘I think we all agree as Americans that what people want to do to get out of poverty or to move up is to be working, and earning and contributing and participating in the economy, not sitting on the sidelines receiving benefits,’ he continued. ‘So, I think there’s an area where we can get a lot of agreement across the aisle.’
Doar noted that AEI played a big role in discussions with both political parties during the fiscal year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) negotiations, leading to a big increase in defense spending that was passed at the end of the last Congress.
An AEI spokesperson told Fox News Digital that the initiative was created in order to respond to the ‘populist attacks on the American Dream’ coming from both the political left and the right.
Doar said he doesn’t know if the American dream itself has changed but that ‘the perception and the reality of whether it’s possible for people to obtain it is changing a little bit in America.’
‘And you always have to be focused, if you care about our country, on making sure that people who start at the bottom have an opportunity to move up and a legitimate opportunity … to move up through earnings and through their own work and effort. And while I think that’s very much true in America today, I don’t think it’s maybe as true as it could be or as it should be or as it once was,’ Doar told Fox News Digital.
‘The goal is to have better outcomes for Americans,’ said Doar. ‘We need to be doing work that is united by the concept of protecting the American dream for future generations.’
Former Joint Economic Committee Staff Director Kevin Corinth will be leading the center along with AEI senior fellow Scott Winship.