Ryan and Murray’s Next Big Project: Better Use of Big Data

The budget wunderkinds want the federal government to use data to improve its efficiency.

Members of the bipartisan budget conference Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) (L) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) discuss their initial meeting at the U.S. Capitol October 17, 2013 in Washington, DC. Congress voted last night to fund the federal budget and increase the nation's debt limit, ending a 16-day government shutdown. 
National Journal
April 17, 2015, 9:04 a.m.

House Ways and Means Chair­man Paul Ry­an and Sen. Patty Mur­ray, who forged a ma­jor bi­par­tis­an budget deal in 2013, are on a new quest: har­ness­ing Big Data to make the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment run more ef­fi­ciently.

The duo is re-up­ping its push for a bi­par­tis­an com­mis­sion to ex­plore how the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment could make data bet­ter avail­able to pub­lic and private re­search­ers. Dis­cus­sions with House and Sen­ate gov­ern­ment re­form com­mit­tee staffs have been pos­it­ive, an aide said, and they have in­dic­ated that the bill could be marked up soon.

The pan­el would ex­plore wheth­er and how the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment could cre­ate a clear­ing­house for spend­ing, tax, and sur­vey data. The hope would be that gov­ern­ment and non-gov­ern­ment ana­lysts would use the data to re­search how ef­fi­ciently fed­er­al pro­grams work and how they could be im­proved.

One ex­ample, per an aide: The Census Bur­eau con­ducts a reg­u­lar house­hold sur­vey on wel­fare be­ne­fits, in­clud­ing food stamps. But it doesn’t in­clude ad­min­is­trat­ive data from the De­part­ment of Ag­ri­cul­ture on the food-stamp pro­gram. Bring­ing those two data­sets to­geth­er in the clear­ing­house would the­or­et­ic­ally provide a fuller pic­ture of how the pro­gram is work­ing.

The 2014 ver­sion of the Ry­an-Mur­ray bill didn’t earn much pub­lic hoopla, but re­search­ers at think tanks such as the Urb­an In­sti­tute praised the bill when it was in­tro­duced in Novem­ber. Obama also en­dorsed it in his FY 2016 budget re­leased in Feb­ru­ary.

The com­mis­sion, for which Ry­an and Mur­ray re­quest a $3 mil­lion budget, would have 15 months to com­pile its re­com­mend­a­tions and would need 75 per­cent of its mem­bers to sign off on its re­port be­fore send­ing it to the pres­id­ent.

Pres­id­ent Obama, House Speak­er John Boehner, Minor­ity Lead­er Nancy Pelosi, Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Mitch Mc­Con­nell, and Minor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id would each be al­lowed to ap­point three mem­bers.

“If we want to make gov­ern­ment more ef­fect­ive, we need to know what works,” Ry­an said in a state­ment. “Too of­ten, Wash­ing­ton re­wards ef­fort in­stead of res­ults, and this com­mis­sion will help us change the fo­cus. So I want to thank my good friend Sen­at­or Mur­ray for her hard work on this bill and urge all my col­leagues to sup­port it.”

What We're Following See More »
APPEARED ON COLBERT
Gillibrand Announces Exploratory Committee
12 hours ago
THE DETAILS
TOURING IOWA
Sherrod Brown Also in 2020 Mode
12 hours ago
THE LATEST
FIRST KNOWN INCIDENT OF TRUMP DIRECTLY REQUESTING A COVER-UP
Report: Trump Told Cohen to Lie to Congress
12 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"President Donald Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter. Trump also supported a plan, set up by Cohen, to visit Russia during the presidential campaign, in order to personally meet President Vladimir Putin and jump-start the tower negotiations. 'Make it happen,' the sources said Trump told Cohen."

Source:
OFFICE WILL BE BASED IN BALTIMORE
Kamala Harris Announces for President
12 hours ago
THE LATEST
SAYS OFFER IS NOT "IN GOOD FAITH"
Pelosi Rejects Trump's Immigration Offer
2 days ago
THE LATEST
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login