WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) joined Members of the Congressional Tri-Caucus today for a press conference on the damaging ramifications of the Vitter-Bennett amendment to the successful implementation of the 2010 Census. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“The census doesn’t exist to score political points—it exists to give us an accurate picture of our country. Adding a new question to the census, especially at this late date, would be damaging and irresponsible. That's also the opinion of every living Director of the Census. For one, it would cost hundreds of millions of dollars and require us to destroy census materials that were already finalized as early as 18 months ago.
“It would also lead to an inaccurate count. With a question about citizenship, immigrants who fear being deported, along with their families and friends, are much more likely to avoid the census.
“And that’s a problem for all of us. We need an accurate count to distribute federal money fairly and to ensure that none of our communities get shortchanged—that our roads get the money they need to stay safe, that our schools have enough teachers, and that our streets have enough police officers.
“The Vitter-Bennett Amendment makes all of that much less likely. That’s why the Democratic leadership will continue to work for a fair, accurate, and impartial census.”