House committee advances bill blocking census citizenship question

House committee advances bill blocking census citizenship question
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The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday advanced a government funding bill that would block the Census Bureau from including a citizenship question in its 2020 survey.
 
The census provision was included in the $74 billion commerce, justice, science appropriations bill for fiscal 2020. The bill would boost spending by nearly $10 billion above current levels, with about $8.5 billion going toward census activities.
 
The panel approved the measure in 30-22 vote, largely along party lines. The House is expected to take up the legislation in June.
 
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Democrats have accused the Trump administration of including the citizenship question as a way to deter immigrant families from participating in the decennial count, which is used to determine congressional representation and federal funding for states and municipalities. The administration has argued that the question will help with enforcement of the Voting Rights Act.

The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) blasted the administration's plan to include the immigration question, saying it puts the census “in serious peril.”

“Barring swift intervention, data from the 2020 Census will be inaccurate and incomplete,” said California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who co-chaired a NALEO commission on the issue. “For the next decade it will make political representation less democratic, misdirect the flow of federal funding, and force businesses, policymakers, scientists, and the country to rely on erroneous population data.”

The Supreme Court is expected to weigh in on the matter next month. 
 
In addition to blocking the census question, the House spending bill would fund a slew of initiatives President TrumpDonald John TrumpHarris bashes Kavanaugh's 'sham' nomination process, calls for his impeachment after sexual misconduct allegation Celebrating 'Hispanic Heritage Month' in the Age of Trump Let's not play Charlie Brown to Iran's Lucy MORE asked to cut or eliminate in his budget proposal, such as the National Science Foundation, which would get a $561 million increase instead of $1 billion cut.
 
It also would add $815 million to fund NASA, $54 million to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that provides data on climate and weather, and funding for gun safety programs.
 
“The budget proposed by the Trump Administration left a series of budgetary holes throughout the agencies that this subcommittee had to fill,” said Rep. José Serrano (D-N.Y.), who chairs the Appropriations subcommittee on commerce, justice and science.
 
“This bill makes significant investments in justice reform, economic development, and the science agencies,” he added.
 
The bill’s advancement is the latest in a flurry of activity from the committee, which is expected to advance the 8th of its 12 bills through committee later Wednesday.
 
Updated at 2:45 p.m.