The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bill with funding inadequate to continue the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). This survey has a sample size large enough to provide income, poverty, housing quality, and other important data for states and certain counties on an annual basis. Without this large survey, detailed information such as racial/ethnic breakdowns of income and poverty by state is only available every 10 years. The Senate committee’s appropriation in the Commerce, Justice and Science bill ( H.R. 2862 , as amended by the Senate committee) included $727.4 million for the Census Bureau, below the current year’s level, $150 million less than the President’s request, and $85 million below the level set by the House.
Not apparently wanting to know very much about poverty, the Appropriations Committee also recommended slashing the sample size of the survey that provides annual national poverty estimates (the Current Population Survey).
The Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill is scheduled to reach the Senate floor the week of July 11.