News Releases

(Washington, D.C.)—Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) applauded the House passage of the Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act that she wrote with Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), which will now be sent to the President’s desk to be signed into law. Their bill would establish a 15-member commission to study how best to strengthen and expand the use of data to evaluate the effectiveness of federal programs and tax expenditures. The commission would also study how best to protect the privacy rights of individuals and ensure confidentiality.

“Congress will now have more tools to help make sure our government is working for all, due to the Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission – this is great news for families in Washington state and across the country.” said Senator Patty Murray. “I am glad to see this bill sail through Congress with such strong support, and  I want to thank Speaker Ryan for helping get this bill across the finish line. I look forward to continued bipartisan work to help improve the effectiveness of the federal government.”

Specifically, the commission would determine whether the federal government should establish a clearinghouse for program and survey data, what data should be included in the clearinghouse, and which qualified researchers from both the private and public sector could access the data to perform program evaluations and policy-relevant research. By coordinating data across federal programs and tax expenditures, and giving qualified researchers greater access to that data, with appropriate controls on the use of that data, federal agencies would gain a better grasp of how effective they are, and lawmakers would gain a better grasp of how to improve them.

The Senate passed the bill on Wednesday, along with an amendment incorporating several technical changes co-sponsored by Senator Murray and Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), by unanimous consent. The bill passed through the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee by a voice vote on June 24, 2015.

For more information on the bill, click here. For the text of the bill, click here.