Monday, November 16, 2009

The Vitter-Bennett Census amendment blocked in the Senate!

The U.S. Senate blocked a controversial amendment that would have required the Census Bureau to belatedly add a citizenship question to the 2010 Census questionnaire.

In voting for cloture on the Commerce Justice and Science (CJS) FY10 Appropriations bill, a majority of senators effectively stopped the amendment from coming up for a vote. If approved, the amendment would have asked respondents to identify if they are a U.S. citizen and would have required the reprinting of Census questionnaires at an estimated cost of $1 billion.

The Vitter-Bennett amendment was opposed by the Leadership Council on Civil Rights, the NAACP and NAACP LDF, LULAC, People for the American Way, the Center for American Progress, the Japanese American Citizens League, SEIU, MALDEF, the NALEO Education Fund, and many other oraganizations. "The civil rights community won an important battle today in the fight for a fair and accurate 2010 census that counts every person in the United States as required by the U.S. Constitution," said LCCR President and CEO Wade Henderson.

The amendment threatened to severely disrupt the 2010 Census. LCCR argued that hastily considered changes such as those proposed by Sens. Vitter and Bennett would delay the census and jeopardize the timing of redistricting and reapportionment, as well as negatively affect any public and private project that depends upon an accurate count of the U.S. population.

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