A Free-Market Agenda for the 116th Congress

2019 Agenda for Congres_banner_cr

After a contentious election season, we look forward to the nation’s elected representatives rolling up their sleeves and getting to work. Divided party control in the 116th Congress will mean that negotiation and compromise will be the order of the day. As previous sessions of divided government have taught us, however, valuable reform is still possible under these conditions.

We need that opportunity for reform. The federal government continues to regulate virtually every aspect of our lives and impose huge burdens on American families and businesses. Many in Congress, however, are interested in creating binding limits on the executive branch. With that in mind, the Competitive Enterprise Institute presents the following policy recommendations in our new publication “Free to Prosper: A Pro-Growth Agenda for the 116th Congress.”

Regulatory Reform and Agency Oversight           

  • Improve Regulatory Oversight and Accountability  
  • Rein in Overregulation and Regulatory “Dark Matter”        
  • Strengthen Disclosure with a “Regulatory Report Card”
  • Implement a Regulatory Reduction Commission and Sunsetting Procedures
  • Require Votes on Major or Controversial Rules       
  • Implement a Regulatory Cost Budge
  • Restrain the Runaway Administrative State by Reining in Chevron Deference


  • Reclaim Tariff Authority from the Executive Branch
  • Reject Retaliatory Tariffs
  • Pursue New Trade Agreements with the United Kingdom, the European Union, and China
  • Renegotiate Existing Trade Agreements to Remove Trade-Unrelated Provisions   
  • Engage with the World Trade Organization to Remove Unfair Trade Barriers

Banking and Finance           

  • Bring Accountability to the Unaccountable Consumer Financial Protection Bureau           
  • Oppose Regulatory Overreach in Financial Services
  • Allow Consumers Greater Access to Innovative New Financial Services through the Growth of Fintech, Crowdfunding, Blockchain, and Cryptocurrency    
  • Address Too-Big-to-Fail

Energy and Environment    

  • Repeal the EPA’S Clean Power Plan
  • End Federal Efficiency Standards for Consumer Products   
  • Freeze and Sunset the Renewable Fuel Standard     
  • Oppose Carbon Taxes
  • Prohibit Use of the Social Cost of Carbon to Justify Regulation      
  • Reclaim Congress’ Authority to Determine Climate Policy 
  • Reject the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol       
  • Address Unaccountable Environmental Research Programs
  • Improve the Quality of Government-Funded Research        
  • Eliminate U.S. Funding for the International Agency for Research on Cancer

Private and Public Lands    

  • Reform and Reduce Environmental Regulation of Private Lands
  • Shrink the Federal Estate
  • Unlock Federal Lands
  • Restore Resource Production on Federal Lands       
  • Remove Climate Planning from Federal Lands Policy

Technology and Telecommunications        

  • Protect Internet Freedom against Burdensome Net-Neutrality Mandates    
  • Protect Privacy and Cybersecurity by Securing Private Information from Undue Government Prying           
  • Empower the Market to Protect Cybersecurity
  • Modernize Regulation of Television and Media
  • Update Copyright for the Internet Age
  • Do Not Empower States to Be Able to Tax outside Their Borders

Labor and Employment      

  • Reform the Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Harmonize the Definition of Employee across Government
  • Reform the Worker Classification Process    
  • Give Employers and Employees Greater Choice over Compensation          
  • Reform the National Labor Relations Act and the National Labor Relations Board
  • Clarify the Definition of Joint Employment  
  • Enable Voluntary Union Membership
  • End Government-Subsidized Union Activity

Food, Drugs, and Consumer Freedom      

  • Protect Consumers’ Access to Tobacco Substitutes and Vaping Products
  • Protect Federalism and American Adults’ Access to Online Gambling Platforms  
  • Strengthen Cooperative Federalism by Descheduling Cannabis from Federal Drug Prohibitions


  • Reform Surface Transportation         

Read “Free to Prosper: A Pro-Growth Agenda for the 116th Congresshere.