WASHINGTON, DC – Taking the oath of office today to begin his 6th term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Duncan Hunter (CA-50) announced his “First 100-Day Initiative,” a proactive legislative plan to introduce common-sense reforms for the American people.
“We are beginning a new Congress, with new Democratic leadership,” said Congressman Hunter. “Some in this leadership see it as their mandate to bring about impeachment or simply become obstacles in President Trump’s agenda. This is not our mandate; our mandate is to produce good policy on behalf of our nation. It is for this reason that over the course of the first 100 days of the new Congress, I will be introducing legislation in a variety of policy areas implementing common-sense reforms benefitting the lives of everyday Americans. I call on the Democratic majority to give these bills full consideration.”
Congressman Hunter began the Initiative on the first day of the new Congress by re-introducing the Authorizing Moderated Enumeration Responses Including Citizenship Acquisition (AMERICA) Act, which will limit the penalty imposed on U.S. citizens refusing or neglecting to answer one or more questions in connection with the 2020 census. As mandated by the Constitution of the United States under Article 1, Section 2, a census is to be conducted every 10 years to collect basic demographic information of persons living in the United States for purposes of apportioning the U.S. House of Representatives and to levy direct taxes. The decennial census consists of 10 basic questions. In 2005, however, the U.S. Census Bureau has also issued an annual, 14-page mandatory survey to 3.5 million households across the country, called the American Community Survey (ACS). The ACS asks each recipient dozens of extremely personal questions, everything from household income to which type of fuel is used to heat the home. While some citizens have no issues providing this information, many have described the process as intrusive. Despite this feedback, the U.S. Census Bureau has informed recipients of the ACS that the government-mandated survey is not optional and will result in a fine if not completed.
“I am beginning the First 100-Day Initiative by reintroducing the AMERICA Act, which will protect the privacy of Americans by ensuring that those chosen to participate in the American Community Survey are not penalized for refusing or neglecting to complete the questionnaire. The federal government’s priority should not be to penalize private citizens for not participating in a government-mandated survey outside of what is required of the Constitution,” said Congressman Hunter.
Congressman Hunter’s legislation, which was originally introduced in the last 115th Congress, will amend the census survey to ensure that those answering are not penalized for refusing or neglecting to answer certain questions. The bill also authorizes the U.S. Census Bureau to consider questions based solely on the number of individuals living in a household and their citizenship status. It is expected that this legislation will be referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform for further consideration.
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