On July 28, the U.S. Congress adjourned for its traditional August district work period without completing action on the 12 Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 appropriations bills, including the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) bill, which funds the Census Bureau. The U.S. Senate is expected to return on September 5, while the U.S. House of Representatives is not back until September 12. When Congress returns, it will only have 11 legislative days to pass all FY 2024 appropriations bills and send them to President Biden for his approval before FY 2023 ends on September 30.
In separate actions, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees considered their versions of the FY 24 CJS appropriations bill.
On July 14, the House CJS Appropriations Subcommittee considered or “marked up” its version of the Fiscal Year 2024 CJS bill. The bill provides $1.354 billion for the Census Bureau ($300 million for the Current Surveys and Program account and $1.054 billion for Periodic Census Account). This funding level is $131 million below the agency’s FY 2023 level, essentially funding the Bureau at its FY 2022 level.
The bill also contains a provision that would require the Census Bureau to exclude undocumented immigrants from the state population totals used to apportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives after each future decennial census. When the House Appropriations Committee considers the bill in September, Representative Grace Meng (D-NY-6), a member of the CJS subcommittee, plans to offer an amendment to strike this provision.
After the House Appropriations Committee votes on the CJS bill, a report will be released clarifying the Committee’s other interests and priorities regarding the Census Bureau.
In an effort to expedite consideration of its version of its FY 2024 CJS bill, the Senate Appropriations Committee bypassed the CJS subcommittee and brought the bill to the full committee for consideration on July 13. The bill passed the full committee by a vote of 28-1.
As expected, the Senate recommended a higher level of funding for the Census Bureau than the House. Specifically, the Committee provided $1.501 billion for the Census Bureau ($346 million for the Current Surveys and Programs account and $1.155 for the Periodic Census account). The Committee’s funding recommendation is $147 million above the House and $16 million above the agency’s FY 2023 funding level. The bill falls approximately $105 million short of the amount that the White House had requested for the Census Bureau in the President’s proposed FY 2024 budget request.
A report accompanying the bill included language about programs under each of the Bureau’s accounts. The Census Project published a blog that includes the Senate report language and an update regarding future action on the FY 2024 CJS bill.
Over the next month, census stakeholders will be communicating the consequences of flat or decreased funding for the Census Bureau in FY 2024 and the importance of ensuring the Bureau receives the highest possible level of funding.
Census Project Sponsors ACS Webinar
On July 24, The Census Project sponsored a webinar regarding the release of its revised report, “America’s Essential Economic and Social Data at Risk: A Vision to Preserve and Enhance the American Community Survey (ACS).”
The expert panel featured one of the report’s primary authors, Dr. Linda Jacobsen, Population Reference Bureau, and former Census Bureau Director Mr. John Thompson. Dr. Jacobsen presented an overview of the report, focusing on the report’s major findings and sections added in 2023 that spotlight how the survey informs policies and programs serving veterans and the nation’s health care industry. Mr. Thompson discussed how the ACS fits into broader data collection modernization and dissemination initiatives that the Census Bureau is pursuing.
The speakers’ slides and a recording of the webinar are posted on The Census Project home page.
Maine Enacts Legislation Regarding Enumeration of Incarcerated Individuals
On June 30, Maine Governor Janet Mills signed into law legislation that officially allows incarcerated people to be enumerated at their home addresses for redistricting purposes. With this measure, Maine becomes one of 17 states that have taken similar action. A blog published by the Prison Policy Initiative provides additional details.
Census Bureau News
In a July 27 “Random Samplings” blog, Deborah Stempowski, Census Bureau Associate Director for Decennial Census Programs, discussed how the agency is preparing for the 2030 Census.
On July 11, Census Bureau Director Robert Santos published a blog highlighting the significance of World Population Day.
The Bureau will be sponsoring a series of webinars about 2030 Census preparations.
On July 18, the Bureau released a report, Aging Veterans: America’s Veteran Population in Later Life, which examines characteristics of the nation’s 8.1 million veterans ages 65 or older in 2021.
Census Bureau Data Releases
Data from phase 3.9 of the experimental Household Pulse Survey (HPS) was released on July 19. The HPS is an effort by the Census Bureau and other federal statistical agencies to inform federal and state response and recovery planning by providing near real-time data on the social and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and other emergent issues on American households.
The scheduled release of the 2022 Income, Poverty and Health Insurance statistics from the Current Population Survey (CPS) Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) and the American Community Survey (ACS) were announced on July 11.
On July 5, the Bureau released an updated table package, Employment and Labor Force Characteristics for Same-Sex and Opposite-Sex Married Householders and Their Spouses, with statistics from the 2021 American Community Survey.
News You Can Use
Below are several articles posted on The Census Project home page in July 2023. For a complete listing, go to: https://thecensusproject.org/recent-media/.