Rep. Blake Moore announced Wednesday he will co-lead the new What Works Caucus, along with a bipartisan group of House members committed to ensuring federal tax dollars are used efficiently.

Moore joined his colleagues, Reps. Greg Landsman, D-Ohio, Rudy Yakym, R-Ind., and Brittany Pettersen, D-Colo., in launching the caucus, which will begin to meet regularly following the busy appropriations process that will take up the representatives’ time in coming weeks.

Caucus members will work to identify measurements that can be used to determine the effectiveness of policies and programs and will make recommendations to House committees and federal agencies to improve outcomes “for children, families, and communities nationwide,” according to a statement released Wednesday.

“This can be used from defense to welfare,” Moore said in an interview with the Deseret News. “Across the board we can do better at this. When you have a $6 trillion budget, we need to do a better job of evaluating the effectiveness of what we’re spending our money on.”

Moore referenced his past employment with Cicero Group, a Salt Lake City-based consulting company, saying in his role as engagement manager he implemented data-driven improvements in private and nonprofit organizations to cut costs and enhance outcomes. The same process should be employed in the federal government, Moore says.

“I would argue that one of our biggest problems is we have so many programs on the books that just get re-upped or that have a lack of sunset clauses to get reevaluated and we continue to waste money, and so this is like the effort to try to curb that,” Moore said. “Just put the best practices in place that any company, or any other organization outside of the federal government, would do with their funding.”

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Moore said he has seen government waste firsthand as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees tax law. The committee has tried to track down millions of dollars of improper payments during COVID-19, Moore said, which shows the need for better measurements before and after policies are passed.

According to a Government Accountability Office report released Tuesday, between $100 billion and $135 billion of the approximately $900 billion in federal COVID-19 unemployment aid was likely stolen by fraudulent actors.

“These programs are so big and so large and they just get put on the books and then if they’re in the mandatory spending side, then they get put on autopilot,” Moore said.

According to the congressman, who represents Utah’s 1st Congressional District, one of the first things the caucus will evaluate is the need for a congressional chief data officer to present the legislature with research to inform their policy decisions and “mimic what you’re seeing in the private sector.”

“We are not embracing what you can see the private sector utilize in making smarter decisions,” Moore said. “That’s the fundamental reason I like this What Works Caucus idea, is because so much gets done in this place, and we don’t always have measures in place to evaluate if it’s successful or not.”

Moore says the caucus will take a “bite-sized approach” to encourage federal agencies “to generate evidence on the effectiveness of their new programs,” which will encourage “best practices to just be used more often, become more of a standard, to see better outcomes.”

The What Works Caucus was initially launched in the summer of 2019 by Utah Democratic Rep. Ben McAdams, of Utah’s 4th Congressional District, and Indiana Republican Rep. Jackie Walorski. McAdams lost reelection in 2020 to Rep. Burgess Owens following redistricting. Walorski was killed in a car crash last year.

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The What Works Caucus is supported by Results for America, a nonprofit organization that helps local, state and federal leaders make data-driven changes in the way they allocate funds.

“We commend these bipartisan members for launching the Congressional What Works Caucus and working across party lines to help Congress improve the impact of federal investments and deliver better results for the American people,” said Michele Jolin, CEO and co-founder of Results for America, in a statement Wednesday.