Today, the House Appropriations Committee will consider amendments to the Fiscal Year 2012 Commerce/Justice/Science Appropriations legislation, which already cut about 25% from Census funding compared to FY11. MRA expressed our support for restoration of the Census' funding in a joint letter with our Census Project allies yesterday to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee.
A couple of the amendments expected today would impact the Census Bureau:
One amendment to be offered would cut 0.3% of spending across the board for all programs in the legislation in order to use the funds to increase outlays for the Office of Justice Programs instead.
Rep. John Carter (R-TX) will offer an amendment to reduce Census Bureau funds by $86 million and the Legal Services Corporation by $136 million, in order to increase funding for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP).
MRA has already contacted Rep. Carter's office in order to express our concerns. Unfortunately, despite widespread concerns about the ineffectiveness of the SCAAP program, the optics of increasing funding to deal with illegal immigration are far better for most Congressmen than appropriately funding the important functions of the Census.
UPDATE: Rep. Carter withdrew his amendment, pursuant to MRA's request.