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Groups seek policy wins despite focus on looming elections

States are likely battlegrounds for many issues that remain contested at federal level; associations stress need for market solutions

Jan. 19, 2020
By Walt Williams

Common wisdom is that not much gets done in Congress during an election year, but business groups are forging ahead on policy priorities with an eye toward the states and a message that big problems are best tackled by the free market, not regulation.

Several associations opened 2020 by outlining their legislative goals for the coming months. U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue, in his annual State of American Business address Jan. 9, rejected the notion that legislative action has come to a standstill at the federal level, pointing to the House passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement and the permanent repeal of the medical device tax as business priorities that succeeded last year.

“So, no, it’s not going to be a year of inaction,” he said in prepared remarks. “We don’t buy the excuse that nothing can get done in an election year.”