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Concerns Raised Over House Move to Cut Funds for Census Surveys


The House of Representatives passed an amendment to the FY13 Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill in May that would eliminate all funding for the American Community Survey (ACS). In response to this, the Joint Economic Committee held a hearing, “The Economic Impact of Ending or Reducing Funding for the American Community Survey and other Government Statistics” in June. 

While both Republicans and Democrats recognize the importance of the statistics provided by the ACS, some Republicans are opposed to the mandatory nature of the ACS and would prefer if it became a voluntary survey. However, witnesses from key public policy and business economics organizations testified to the need for the ACS as it currently stands, stating that making it a voluntary survey would destroy the reliability of the data acquired and increase the costs of the survey. 

Data derived from the census survey are an integral and essential part of the work housing advocates are able to do. The reliable data allows advocates to push for services and funding because the numbers show that there is a clear need. 

Click here for the hearing. 
Click here for a summary of the hearing. 


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