Welcome to the 118th Congress
Welcome to the 118th Congress! As you shift your focus away from the campaign trail and toward policymaking, we would like to introduce ourselves and offer to be a resource to you and your staff during your time in office.
The R Street Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, public policy research organization—a “think tank”—based in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to engage in policy research and outreach to promote free markets and limited, effective government. We work extensively on both federal and state policy and tend to focus on issues that other groups often neglect. We recognize that the policymaking process calls for practical responses to current problems—a philosophy that underpins our motto: “Free markets. Real solutions.”
R Street differs from many other groups in its dedication to building broad coalitions and working with a wide array of organizations and individuals across the political and ideological spectrums who share specific policy goals. We offer research and analysis that advance the goals of a more market-oriented society and an effective, efficient government, with the full realization that progress on the ground tends to be made one inch at a time.
Our team consists of a wide range of policy experts, many of whom have experience as both academics and practitioners in their respective fields of study. In addition, we have a team of full-time government affairs professionals who are eager to engage with you and your staff. Here are just some of the ways in which we might be useful to you and your office:
- Identifying policy problems that are properly the role of Congress to fix;
- Identifying policy solutions to those problems;
- Providing deep expertise and guidance as you draft new bills and amendments and as you consider whether to co-sponsor or vote for or against other bills and amendments;
- Assisting with the building of broad coalitions that can help advance shared policy goals; and
- Helping you and your team navigate the highly complex and opaque process and procedures of Congress and the larger federal government.
The R Street Institute maintains eight distinct policy departments, with a wide range of expertise in each. They are described below.
Our Competition Policy program addresses government barriers that hurt businesses and people, with a particular focus on occupational licensing, alcohol policy, shipping and postal policy, health care disintermediation and regulatory reform.
Criminal Justice and Civil Liberties
R Street’s Criminal Justice and Civil Liberties Policy program produces research and commentary on public policy related to all stages of the justice system: policing, pretrial policy, sentencing, incarceration, juvenile justice and reentry. We work across the ideological spectrum to prescribe reforms that prioritize human dignity, public safety, due process, individual liberty and fiscal responsibility.
Cybersecurity and Emerging Threats
The Cybersecurity and Emerging Threats department serves as the locus for R Street’s work on cybersecurity threats to national, state and private sector organizations; the international balance of powers; military strategy; and other emerging national security issues.
Energy and Environment
R Street’s Energy and Environmental Policy program seeks to advance a cleaner environment and a thriving economy through principles of market competition, limited government and well-founded science.
Finance, Insurance and Trade
Our Finance, Insurance and Trade department explores efficient and effective market-based approaches to priorities such as risk-based insurance regulation; ending environmentally destructive taxpayer subsidies through the National Flood Insurance Program and the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation; and exploring the benefits of mitigation through programs like the RESTORE Act and the Coastal Barrier Resources System.
The work of R Street’s Governance program aims to assess and improve America’s national system of self-governance, with a focus on Congress. We research and disseminate solutions to lawmaking and judicial and electoral issues, including topics such as science and budget policy. We are strong proponents of strengthening Congress’s Article I powers and modernizing the legislative branch.
Integrated Harm Reduction
When it comes to our Integrated Harm Reduction program, we believe that “abstinence only” approaches to risky behaviors will not work on a population-wide basis. As such, we emphasize harm-reduction approaches that accept that harmful behavior may continue even as we seek to mitigate—if not eliminate—the harms involved. The central elements of our work in this space include tobacco, opioid and sexual behavior harm reduction.
Technology and Innovation
Last, but certainly not least, R Street’s Technology and Innovation policy program conducts research and advocacy around the public policy frameworks that govern both established and emerging technologies. Our goal is to push back against laws and regulations that impede economic progress or individual liberty and to advance policy solutions that allow technology to move at the speed of innovation.
As you work to navigate the complexities of Congress and the federal government generally; build out your staff and legislative priorities; and encounter new or challenging policy problems, we hope that we will become among the first entities you think of to provide you and your staff with principled expertise and perspective. As committee assignments are finalized and your staff settle into their new roles, our government affairs staff will be in touch to introduce themselves and look for opportunities to collaborate.
In the meantime, we hope you will save the date of Tuesday, March 7, from 5:30-7:30 pm EST for a reception we will be hosting in the Rayburn “Gold Room” (RHOB 2168) to welcome the 118th Congress. Additional details will follow soon.
Best wishes to you and your colleagues for a successful 118th Congress. Please do not hesitate to reach out any time.
R Street Institute
R Street Institute
Director, Federal Government Affairs
R Street Institute