A bipartisan bill aimed at using evidence-based data to evaluate whether taxpayer-funded federal programs really work is getting a second look in Congress.
Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, along with Washington Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, have introduced the Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act
of 2015 —
retooling a bill first introduced in November that died in committee.
"If we want to make government more effective, we need to know what works," Ryan said in a statement on his website.
"Too often, Washington rewards effort instead of results, and this commission will help us change the focus."
In a speech Wednesday calling for a "new battle plan" in the war on poverty, Ryan touted the proposed legislation's chances this time around.
"The commission would figure out how we can use data to evaluate public policy and report back to Congress," Ryan said, the Daily Caller reports.
"The bill is working its way through the legislative process, and all signs look good."
Vox reports the bill
also got a nod in President Barack Obama's 2016 budget as a proposal that "exemplifies the high-level and bipartisan momentum for doing more to tap this important resource [the use of data to improve federal programs]."
In the end, Congress will know what works, and what doesn't, Ryan and Murray said in their joint announcement of the bill's introduction in April.
"By coordinating data across federal programs and tax expenditures, and giving researchers greater access to 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 pair contend.
Despite Ryan's optimism about the bill's chances, there are critics on both sides of the aisle, Vox reports.
"Some on the left suspect the initiative is just a Trojan horse to cut spending; others on the right worry that data will be used to determine how to get more people into government programs," Vox writes.
Vox notes the concept is already in use in the United Kingdom.
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