Senate Committee Shares FY 2023 Census Appropriations Legislation
While the Senate will not move appropriations legislation through normal order for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023, the Senate Appropriations Committee just released all 12 of its subcommittees’ proposed legislation and committee reports for each funding bill, including the Commerce Justice Science (CJS) appropriations legislation that fund the Census Bureau.
The Senate CJS bill would provide $1.485 billion for the Bureau (including $330 million for Current Surveys and Programs and $1.115 million for Periodic Census and Programs), which is:
- an increase of $131 million from FY 2022;
- $20 million less than was proffered in the House Appropriations Committee-passed FY 2023 bill ($1.505 billion);
- $20.47 million below the President’s budget request; and
- below the $2 billion recommended funding level from stakeholders and many Senators and Representatives.
House appropriators want to bring their version of the FY 2023 CJS bill to the House floor in August or September, but a larger omnibus funding bill is the most likely outcome, post-election.
Read the Census Project’s blog for further details on the funding and detailed report language of interest to census stakeholders, such as relating to the population estimates, American Community Survey (ACS), measuring race and ethnicity, and more.
Ensuring a Fair and Accurate Census Act (H.R. 8326) Approved by House Committee in Response to Investigation of Citizenship Question
The House Oversight & Reform Committee passed the Ensuring a Fair and Accurate Census Act (H.R. 8326) on July 20, 2022 by a 25 – 17 vote. The legislation aims to “enhance the independence and transparency of the Census Bureau” and “safeguard [it] from undue influence from political parties.”
The bill’s sponsor, Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12), described the bill as a response to a memo released that same day about the investigation into the Trump Administration’s attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. As the memo concluded, the committee’s investigation “exposed how a group of political appointees sought to use the census to advance an ideological agenda and potentially exclude non-citizens from the apportionment count. Despite experts, statisticians, and stakeholders warning of the threats that a citizenship question could pose to the census, Trump Administration officials pressed forward until the Supreme Court ruled their effort was illegal.”
By contrast, Committee Ranking Member James Comer (R-KY-01) contended that the Act would “make it easier for the Census Bureau to conduct an unfair and inaccurate census” by “eliminating nearly all accountability for the Census Bureau” and reducing the Bureau’s flexibility to adapt in future censuses. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) also criticized the bill, saying that it “more completely delegates Census Bureau responsibility to bureaucracy” instead of Congress. Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA-10) concurred, worrying that the bill would make the census director “unremovable.” He said that, “when the federal bureaucracy is unaccountable, that is when it most threatens to undertake rogue activity… precisely what we are looking at right now as it relates to the census.”
The bill avoids making the Census Bureau an independent agency, something that Chair Maloney told NPR that she knows “both Republican and Democratic administrations” have opposed, but she noted that it provides “strict guidelines, rules, regulations” while keeping the bureau within the Department of Commerce.
Read the Census Project’s blog for full analysis of the bill and review of the committee markup.
U.S. House Approves LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act (H.R. 4176) with bipartisan support on a 220 – 201 vote on June 23, 2022.
As explained in a Standard Deviations blog post in which Caroline Medina of the Center for American Progress analyzes H.R. 4176, “This landmark legislation would require the collection of voluntary, self-disclosed demographic data on sexual orientation, gender identity, and variations in sex characteristics (SOGISC) across federal surveys, while maintaining necessary confidentiality and privacy standards that govern federal statistics.”
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced a similar bill, S. 2287, on June 24, 2021. It is not likely that the Senate will consider the House-passed measure or S. 2287 before the 117th Congress adjourns later this year.
NCSL Hosting Discussion with Census Bureau on Redistricting Data
NCSL and the Census Bureau’s Redistricting and Voting Rights Data Office will host a discussion with census data users and others about the 2030 Redistricting Data Program. The conversation will focus on projects that make up the program and its proposed schedule. Likely topics may include prisoner enumeration, a possible single race and ethnicity question, and a possible Middle Eastern or North African race category. Mostly, though, the bureau wants to hear what’s on the minds of data users. This free event is open to everyone and will be held on Thursday, August 4, 2022 (9-11 a.m. MT), following NCSL’s Legislative Summit, at the Colorado Convention Center (Room 104).
New members of the National Advisory Committee (NAC)
The Census Bureau announced the appointment of eight new members to its National Advisory Committee (NAC), which considers topics such as hard-to- reach populations, race and ethnicity, language, aging populations, American Indian and Alaska Native tribal considerations, new immigrant populations, populations affected by natural disasters, highly mobile and migrant populations, complex households, rural populations, and population segments with limited access to technology. The NAC also advises on data privacy and confidentiality, among other issues.
The new NAC members are:
- Dana Watters, program director, Local Democracy Initiative, National League of Cities.
- Jeanine Abrams McLean, president, Fair Count.
- Zhenchao Qian, associate director, Population Studies and Training Center, Brown University.
- Suzanne Thornton, assistant professor of statistics, Swarthmore College.
- Arloc Sherman, senior researcher, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
- Alexis Santos, assistant professor of human development and family studies, Pennsylvania State University.
- Miguel Marino, associate professor, Oregon Health and Science University.
- Filiz Garip, professor of sociology and public affairs, Princeton University.
Census Bureau News
The U.S. Census Bureau announced the schedule for the release of the 2021 Income, Poverty and Health Insurance statistics from the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC) and the American Community Survey (ACS).
The Bureau announced the start of data collection for its new survey to measure business conditions on an ongoing basis. The Business Trends and Outlook Survey (BTOS) is the successor to the Small Business Pulse Survey (SBPS), a high-frequency survey that measured the effect of changing business conditions during the coronavirus pandemic and other major events like hurricanes on our nation’s small businesses.
The U.S. Census Bureau announced that the next round of data from the 2020 Island Areas Censuses will be released in October 2022.
The Bureau announced the release of major updates to the data explorer tool, My Community Explorer (MCE). MCE is an interactive, map-based tool that highlights demographic and socioeconomic data. These data measure inequality and help inform data-based solutions.
Census Bureau Data Releases
The Census Bureau released new Business Formation Statistics (BFS) for June 2022.
The U.S. Census Bureau released new data from phase 3.5 of the experimental Household Pulse Survey (HPS) on July 20.
The U.S. Census Bureau released a report on how economic surveys captured the initial shock and resulting impact of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as economic trends since the national emergency was declared. The Coronavirus Pandemic’s Economic Impact brief uses data from the Quarterly Services Survey, Advance Monthly Retail Trade Survey, Monthly Wholesale Trade Survey, and Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories, and Orders Survey to gauge the pandemic’s impact on key economic sectors.
A new Bureau report, Occupations, Earnings, and Job Characteristics, highlights the features of U.S. workers and their employment conditions.
The Census Bureau, in collaboration with Harvard University, released a new interactive data tool, data tables, and research paper on young adult migration. This research uses deidentified decennial census, survey, and tax data for people born between 1984 and 1992 to measure migration between locations in childhood and young adulthood.
The Bureau released the 2020 State and Local Government Finance Table that details revenues, expenditures, debt, and cash and security holdings by level of government including state, local, and state and local figures combined. The Annual Survey of State and Local Government Finances is the only known comprehensive source of state and local government finance data collected on a nationwide scale using uniform definitions, concepts and procedures.