As ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on June 24, 2015
S. 991 would establish the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking (commission) to study the inventory and infrastructure of data related to federal programs. The 15-member commission would be directed to determine the best structure for information that is collected and maintained by federal agencies to effectively analyze and evaluate federal programs. In addition, the commission would consider whether to establish a clearinghouse for information collected by federal agencies. Finally, the bill would require the commission to report to the President and the Congress, no later than 15 months after a majority of members have been appointed, a statement of its findings along with recommendations for legislation or administrative actions it considers appropriate. The commission’s authority would terminate 18 months after enactment of the bill.
CBO estimates that implementing S. 991 would cost $3 million over the 2016-2020 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts. The bill would authorize several federal agencies to contribute up to $3 million from appropriated funds to carry out the duties of the commission. Enacting S. 991 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
S. 991 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments.
On May 28, 2015, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 1831, the Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act of 2015, as ordered reported by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on April 16, 2015. The bills are similar, and CBO’s estimates of the budgetary effects are the same.