The Census Project, a coalition of organizations dedicated to a fair and accurate census, sent a letter to all Members of the U.S. House of Representatives regarding the FY16 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) appropriations bill. The bill was approved by a vote of 242-183 on June 4.
The bill would cut President Barack Obama’s budget request for the Census Bureau and thus jeopardize planned improvements to the 2020 Census and the effectiveness of the American Community Survey (ACS). The Census Project letter stresses that the proposed cuts could have an adverse effect on the ability of state and local government to meet the needs of vulnerable populations.
The U.S Census Bureau is planning improvements to the 2020 Census process in order to reduce costs and improve accuracy. Adequate funding is necessary to fully test and evaluate the proposed reforms. However, the House CJS bill would cut the Administration’s budget request for the Census Bureau by $387 million, which would force the Census Bureau to use older, more costly methods for conducting the 2020 Census.
The letter also notes that the House CJS bill would cut funding for the ACS by 20%, which could force the Census Bureau to reduce the sample size and consequently affect the reliability of data about rural and small communities. NLIHC and other affordable housing organizations use these data to determine the need for affordable housing at the county level. The data are also used to determine the amount of funding that states will receive from the National Housing Trust Fund.
The letter to the House of Representatives is at http://www.thecensusproject.org/letters/fy16budget/CensusProject-FY2016CJSapprops-LtrToFullHouse-June2015-REVIEWCOPY.pdf
More about The Census Project is at http://www.thecensusproject.org