Dems Vote Against Citizenship Question for Next Census

( – As House Republicans continue to advance legislation that would add a question about citizenship to the US Census, all of their Democrat colleagues in the House Oversight Committee voted against it in what amounted to a symbolic gesture. On Thursday, April 11, HR7109 passed the Oversight Committee, although every Democrat on the committee opposed it.

According to GOP Rep. James Comer of Kentucky, the “Equal Representation Act” would require the Census Bureau to add a question about citizenship to the decennial questionnaire and directs the government to utilize the information gathered from this additional question “to ensure fair representation” when determining “the apportionment base” of each state by excluding the counting of non-citizens.

Comer clarified in his speech that the census question about an individual’s citizenship would only require a simple “yes” or “no” response and that the purpose is “to collect accurate data” about the population and its makeup. He said that although the bureau estimates the number of non-citizens from other survey data, those estimates suffer “a large margin of error.” Comer said the question would not directly ask an individual’s “specific immigration status.”

Heritage Action, the policy advocacy arm of the conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation, announced its support for the Equal Representation Act at the end of January, scoring it as a key vote.

The decision advances the legislation to the House floor for a vote. Support or opposition for the measure is rooted in how each lawmaker feels about the potential impact the law could have on congressional reapportionment. The current law counts foreign citizens residing in the US while counting for the census records, which impacts how many of the 435 seats in the House of Representatives are held by each state. The decennial census is used to reapportion these seats when necessary.

Democratic Rep. Yvette Clarke of New York openly admitted back in 2021 that absorbing significant numbers of migrants would help her district “for redistricting purposes.” Comer said around 22 million people currently reside in the US as non-citizens.

The House GOP Oversight Committee celebrated the advancement of what they call a “commonsense bill,” and noted that all of their Democrat colleagues opposed it. “On to the floor!” they concluded in a social media post.

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