October 28, 2021

Modernization Committee Holds Hearing on Bolstering Evidence-Based Policymaking in Congress

The hearing explored how Congress can make greater use of impartial and evidence-based analysis in the policymaking process

The Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress (“Modernization Committee”) held a hearing to discuss how to improve the way members, committees, and staff access and decipher complex data and analyses so they can make better decisions during policymaking process.


The committee heard from experts in the field on how private industry collects and interprets data to improve their operations and serve their customers, and how Congress can take lessons learned and become more effective at addressing the challenges facing our nation. Specifically, these experts discussed ways that collection of data across agencies could be benefit from standardization and that presentation and use of that data could be strengthened through improved interfaces and data visualizations.  

“Identifying and trying to fully understand a problem should always be the first step in crafting a solution. But without good access to data and evidence, policy can often be driven more by what folks think than by facts we know.  Incorporating objective analysis helps lawmakers draft legislation that gets to the core of an issue, offers effective solutions that help the people we represent get the best bang for their buck, and build trust among people on both sides of the issue,” said Chair Derek Kilmer (D-WA). “Our committee will be looking at steps to ensure Congress has the resources, capacity and procedures in place to make evidence-based policy the norm.”

“Congress should be crafting collaborative, fact-based policy to tackle our nation’s largest problems,” said Vice Chair Timmons (R-SC). “It is vital that the policies serving our communities are backed by defensible data. I look forward to further examining the ways in which Congress can step up and strengthen the way we legislate.”

During the hearing, titled “Strengthening the Lawmaking Process: How Data Can Inform and Improve Policy,” members heard from Dr. Nick Hart, President of the Data Foundation, Poppy MacDonald, President of USAFacts, and Tara McGuinness, a Fellow and Senior Adviser at New America.


You can watch the full hearing HERE.