It's not often you see Democrats and Republicans in Congress agree on much let alone reforms to the way the federal budget and policy are adopted. This is what makes the bipartisan introduction of the Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray of Washington (D) and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin (R) so exciting. Sen. Murray currently serves as Chairman of Committee on the Budget in the Senate and Rep. Ryan as Chairman of the Committee on the Budget in the House.
One of the lovely formulations in John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address expressed his hope that “a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion.” Kennedy was talking about the Cold War, but we could use a little of this in the partisan and ideological warfare that engulfs our nation’s capital.
And so let us pause at the beachhead established after the midterm elections by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). They have co-sponsored a bill that’s unlikely to get a lot of attention but deserves some — not because it will revolutionize politics but because it could, and should, encourage both sides to begin their arguments by asking the right questions.
The Bipartisan Policy Center commends Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) for their bipartisan introduction of legislation that would create a “Commission on Evidence-based Policymaking.” This move precedes and could inform what is likely to be a multi-year effort on comprehensive tax reform. Once again, these lawmakers have come together to bust political stalemates. One year ago they brokered a two-year budget agreement that prevented a government shutdown and modified discretionary spending caps while achieving some small deficit-reduction.
House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Budget Chairman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) are pushing for a bipartisan commission to look at whether and how to consolidate data on the effectiveness of federal spending programs and tax breaks.
"Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) chided Republicans for threatening to halt progress on a government funding bill because of President Obama’s executive action on immigration. 'Even children understand that flipping the table over doesn’t help you win the game,'Murray said on the Senate floor Wednesday. 'It just means someone has to pick up the mess you’ve made. And when it comes to Tea Party political tactics, we’ve done more than enough of that here in Congress.'"
“Affordable child care and education are among barriers working women in the Tri-Cities face, Sen. Patty Murray was told during a Tuesday forum at the Tri-Cities Business & Visitor Center. Sherry Armijo, Abadan’s vice president of sales, told Murray and more than 50 women and a few men that something also needs to be done to overcome the most silent form of discrimination — low expectations.”
“This summer, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray argued that if climate change is not addressed aggressively and soon, it will ‘add tens and potentially hundreds of billions of dollars in fiscal costs over the next decade alone, with much larger costs in later decades.’ In a memo to her Senate Democratic colleagues, Murray argued that the economic and fiscal impact of climate change is ‘largely unaccounted for in current budget projections’ and if the nation does not act soon to address climate change ‘the budgetary and economic costs will continue to grow and will worsen our long-term fiscal outlook.’”
“Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) dared Republicans to defend their votes against raising the minimum wage, ensuring equal pay for women and allowing student to refinance loans. Senate Democrats have made those three issues key to their ‘fair shot’ agenda ahead of the midterm elections. ‘Democrats have put solutions on the table — a higher minimum wage, student debt relief, giving women more tools to fight pay discrimination, and more,’ Murray said on the Senate floor Tuesday. ‘And if Republicans have more to say than ‘no,’ it’s time for them to do the same. If Republicans are going to reject our ideas, I think our constituents deserve to hear what else they have to offer.’”
“In the memo to Democrats on Friday, Murray said climate change is not strictly an environmental issue, adding that it will ‘have serious ramifications for our economy and the federal budget, and failure to confront it will make it harder to meet our nation’s long-term fiscal challenges.’”
“The climate change debate found a new arena on Tuesday: The Senate Budget Committee. The hearing coincides with a new report from the White House which concludes that delaying action on climate change could cost the U.S. about $150 billion per year. ‘These costs are too important to ignore, and it’s time for the Budget Committee to begin to assess the damage climate change will have on our budget and economy,’ Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), chairwoman of the committee, said on Tuesday. Murray added that the added costs of climate change are not ‘adequately’ included in long-term budget outlooks.”