Is There a Bipartisan Evidence Agenda?
By Patrick Lester, Social Innovation Research Center
With control of Congress and the White House split between Republicans and Democrats, there may be little reason to think much will be accomplished in Washington between now and the 2016 elections. But a new book from Results for America — released just days after this year’s elections — suggests that there may be an opportunity to advance a bipartisan agenda to promote the use of evidence in social policy.
The book, Moneyball for Government, is edited by Peter Orszag and Jim Nussle, two former directors of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under Presidents Obama and George W. Bush respectively. The book is purposefully bipartisan in its tone and authorship, with articles by a variety of former high-level officials in the Obama and Bush administrations, including Melody Barnes and John Bridgeland, domestic policy advisors to the two presidents, and Gene Sperling and Glenn Hubbard, who each served as top economic advisors.
The book does not gloss over the difficulty of finding common ground between the two parties. “This is not the first time a bipartisan group of serious thinkers has come together to propose an important new idea,” write two of the authors. “And let’s be honest: not many of these attempts have actually changed the way we do things in Washington.”