Friday, May 11, 2012

(USA) House Votes to Cease Funding for American Community Survey

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

On May 9 the House of Representatives voted an amendment by Representative Daniel Webster (R-FL) to HR 5326 to prohibit the use of funds with respect to the American Community Survey (ACS), lead the charge to dismantle the ACS entirely on the grounds that it's unconstitutional. As reported in Bloomberg Business Week, The ACS-which has a long bipartisan history, provides data that help determine how more than $400 billion in federal and state funds are spent annually. Businesses also rely heavily on it to do such things as decide where to build new stores, hire new employees, and get valuable insights on consumer spending habits. Cutting the funding is part of the desire by House Republicans to cut spending.  Originally, an amendment by Congressman Ted Poe, (TX -R) would have repealed the mandatory requirement to complete the survey, to enforce section 221(a) of title 13, United States Code,  People who refused to complete the survey could be fined up to $5,000 under Section 221(a) of Title 13 US Code .
See: http://tinyurl.com/7l3rr2f
original url:
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-05-10/killing-the-american-community-survey-blinds-business

The American Community Survey is an ongoing statistical survey by the U.S. Census Bureau, sent to approximately 250,000 addresses monthly (or 3 million per year).  It regularly gathers information previously contained only in the long form of the decennial census. It is the largest survey other than the decennial census that the Census Bureau administers. (from Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Community_Survey).  To learn more
about the American Community Survey go to: http://www.census.gov/acs/www/

This still has to go to the US Senate for discussion and a vote.

Thank you to Steve Morse for alerting us to this latest Congressional action affecting the American Community Survey.

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

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