WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a nonprofit that advocates for limited government and free enterprise, has released its policy goals for the 115th Congress, detailing steps lawmakers can take to rein in overreach by federal agencies and reduce the costs of federal regulations.

CEI’s congressional agenda, which was released last week, focuses on eight policy areas: regulatory reform and agency oversight; banking and finance; labor and employment; energy and environment; environmental protection on private and public lands; technology and telecom; transportation; and food, drugs and consumer freedom.

The nonprofit argues that the policy ideas and solutions are necessary to move America forward, toward economic growth and prosperity, not to mention individual liberty.

“Congress is poised to make great strides in returning a balance of power to the federal government through reining in the regulatory state,” said Kent Lassman, CEI president.

“At CEI, we are ready to help members of Congress understand and implement these ideas that will lift some of the burden off of taxpayers and bring much needed accountability to the federal government.”

Specifically, CEI would like to see: votes required on major or controversial rules; greater accountability for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan to be overturned or at least defunded; the EPA’s carbon dioxide standards for new fossil-fuel power plants to be repealed; streamline regulation of genetically engineered plants and foods; and an update to the rules for evaluating new drugs and medical devices.

“Congress must be willing to look at the evidence and revisit policy choices that have produced significant costs and negligible benefits for the typical American. The inertia of bureaucratic expansion prohibits agencies from doing this vital evaluation of the law and regulation that reach into every corner of our lives. There will be political disagreements about these issues, but we can all concur that Congress is our national institution designed to channel political disagreement toward changes in policy,” Lassman wrote in the introduction to CEI’s agenda.

“We must not let politics seep into every nook and cranny of national discourse. There are clear areas for commonsense prescriptions that accentuate consumer choice and reduce the negative effects of rigid, centralized regulatory dictates. We know the 115th Congress can implement basic budgeting, cost-benefit analysis, and review systems to increase regulatory transparency and accountability.”

To view CEI’s full agenda, click here.

The 115th Congress is scheduled to convene Jan. 3 at noon EST. A joint session to count the electoral votes of the 2016 presidential election will be held Jan. 6. President-Elect Donald Trump and Vice President-Elect Mike Pence are to be inaugurated Jan. 20.

Republicans maintain control of both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate as a result of the November elections.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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