Democrats Vote Against Bill Adding Citizenship Question to Census

This March 23, 2018 photo shows an envelope containing a 2018 census test letter mailed to
AP Photo/Michelle R. Smith

Democrats in the House Oversight Committee voted against a bill seeking to add a citizenship question to the U.S. Census.

“HR7109, the Equal Representation Act, does two simple things. First: the bill requires the Census Bureau to include a citizenship question on the decennial census questionnaire,” Rep. James Comer (R-KY) said of the bill. “Second: the bill directs that this information be used to ensure fair representation by requiring only citizens be included in the apportionment base.”

Comer noted in his speech before the oversight committee that the question would be a simple “Yes” or “No” question regarding an individual’s citizenship.

“By requiring this question, the United States government will be able to collect accurate data on the makeup of our population,” he said. “The census bureau currently estimates the non-citizen population using survey data from the census-administered American community survey. But that data is not based on the entire population. It’s only an estimate and suffers a large margin of error.”

Comer noted that the census would not ask people to say their immigration status.

“It’s an easy question and it doesn’t reveal anything about a specific immigration status,” he said.

Comer further noted an estimated 22 million people are currently in the United States with a non-citizen status.

Though the bill passed the committee and will be headed to the U.S. House floor, every Democrat on the committee voted against it.

“We just passed this commonsense bill through our committee. Unsurprisingly, every Oversight Democrat voted against it. On to the floor!” the House GOP Oversight Committee said on X.

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