Evidence-Based Policymaking Bill Passes U.S. House

Proposed Bill Requires Federal Agencies to Increase Access to Data

On Nov. 15, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R.4174, the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2017, which will implement the recommendations from the report of the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking (CEP). The CEP was established in 2016 by a bipartisan, bicameral bill introduced by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA). NCFR reported on the release of the CEP report back in September.

After the vote, this House bill was sent to the U.S. Senate and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. A different version of the bill from the Senate, S.2046, was sent on Oct. 31 to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. No further action has been taken.

The proposed bill requires federal agencies to develop evidence-building plans for consultation by the public, appoint a chief evaluation officer and chief data officer, and establishes a uniform application process for outside researchers to access federal data.

COSSA (The Consortium of Social Science Associations), of which NCFR is a member, supported the bill in a letter to lawmakers, writing that the legislation will “help make our government more effective and efficient by building evidence about the practices, policies and programs that will achieve the most effective and efficient results so that policymakers can make better decisions.”

You can read more of COSSA’s coverage of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act on their website.