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September 15, 2022

Rep. Aguilar Votes to Strengthen U.S. Census

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Rep. Pete Aguilar voted to pass H.R. 8326, the Ensuring a Fair and Accurate Census Act, which will protect the independence and integrity of the Census Bureau and strengthen the accuracy of collected data.

“The strength of our democracy depends on the accuracy of our census data,” said Rep. Aguilar. “It helps us properly serve our constituents and our communities, and ensures the proper and equitable distribution of trillions of federal dollars. This bill will make sure the Census Bureau is operating free from political influence, while providing us with accurate data to support our small businesses and communities. After the Trump Administration’s efforts to undermine the census count and dilute the political power of Latino communities, these commonsense reforms are necessary to ensuring every American counts.”

The Ensuring a Fair and Accurate Census Act would protect against political interference in the Census Bureau by placing operational, statistical, and technical decisions for the decennial census in the Director of the Census. With limited exceptions, all positions within the Census Bureau would be career position within the civil service. Political appointees would be limited to the position of Director and up to three other positions. Beginning with the 2030 Census, the Secretary of Commerce would not be permitted to include any subject, type of information, or question that was not previously submitted to Congress in accordance with current notice requirements.

Beginning in fiscal year 2027, the Ensuring a Fair and Accurate Census Act would include five-year budget projections of Census Bureau activities to provide transparency into the Bureau’s projected needs. The legislation would also require the Secretary of Commerce to submit to Congress the status of all research, testing, and operations that are part of the Census Bureau’s comprehensive plan for the decennial census and make the reporting available to the public on the Bureau’s website. Additionally, this bill will ensure that all future data collected by the Census Bureau is submitted to Congress and is thoroughly analyzed by both the Census Bureau and the Government Accountability Office.

Rep. Aguilar serves as Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus and as a member of the House Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on House Administration and the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol.