Legislation to Implement Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking’s Recommendations Passes House

November 16, 2017

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) continued their bipartisan collaboration to ensure “rigorous evidence is used to inform and shape public policy at all levels, from Congress to our executive agencies.” To achieve this goal, Ryan and Murray introduced legislation, The Foundations for Evidence-Based Policy Making Act of 2017 (H.R. 4174 and S. 2046), in their respective chambers on October 31st. The legislation was on the fast track, and on November 15th, it passed the U.S. House of Representatives on a voice vote.

The bills reflected their determination to implement the recommendations from the final report of the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking (CEP), The Promise of Evidence-Based Policymaking, released on September 7, 2017. The report addresses three themes: (1) strengthening privacy protections, (2) improving secure access to data, and (3) expanding government capacity. The proposed legislation includes a number of the report’s recommendations. Ryan and Murray collaborated in creating the commission through the Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act of 2016 (Public Law 114-140).

The nonprofit Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) will continue the Commission’s work, and has launched a new Evidence-Based Policymaking Initiative. The Center will also provide expertise on the implementation of the report’s recommendations. Katharine Abraham, University of Maryland, and Ron Haskins, Brookings Institution, served as the Commission’s co-chairs and will continue their roles with the Initiative.