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Evidence Legislation Passed by Congress “Enormous Step” for Effective Policymaking

Washington, D.C.– The following statement is from Katharine Abraham and Ron Haskins, co-chairs of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Evidence-Based Policymaking Initiative, following Congress’ final passage today of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018:

Today Congress took an enormous step toward improving our country’s ability to develop and use the evidence needed for effective policymaking. Passage of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 is a milestone moment for our country that will have far-reaching benefits for the American public and the effectiveness of our government.

When the 15-member U.S. Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking that we co-chaired issued its final report to Congress and the president in September 2017, there were no guarantees that action would be taken on our unanimous recommendations regarding data access, privacy protections, and evidence-building capacity. Just over a year later, however, many of those recommendations are becoming law.

We applaud the bipartisan leadership of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), and their tireless efforts to advance the vision of the commission. We also thank the bipartisan co-sponsors of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 for their commitment to better using the data government already collects to promote effective public policies: Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Sen. Todd Young (R-IN).