Federal Legislation
March 21, 2011

H.R. 931—To Make Participation in the American Community Survey Optional

Action Requested:
HSLDA urges you to contact your U.S. representative and tell him or her to cosponsor H.R. 931. To find your representative’s contact information, please use HSLDA’s Legislative Toolbox. It is not necessary to identify yourself as a homeschooler. Your message can be as simple as, “Please support H.R. 931, to allow the American Community Survey to be optional. Congress should not force private citizens to give out extensive detailed personal information to the federal government.”

Summary:
H.R. 931 will allow the American Community Survey to be optional with the exception of questions related to name, contact information, date of response, and number of people living at the same address. HSLDA strongly supports this bill because it will help protect the privacy of all families.

Status:

3/3/2011 Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, for a period to be subsequently determined by the speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned
3/3/2011 Referred to House Judiciary
3/3/2011Referred to House Oversight and Government Reform
3/3/2011 Referred to House Judiciary
3/23/2011Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution.

Sponsor: Representative Ted Poe (TX-2)

Bill Summary and Status H.R. 931

HSLDA’s Position:
Support.

Talking Points:
The United States government has conducted a census of its population since 1790. The government’s power to do so comes from Article 1, Section 2(3) of the Constitution. In 1992, the House Commerce Oversight Subcommittee asked the Census Bureau to create the American Community Survey to give Congress annual demographics. Federal law views the American Community Survey as part of the census, and individuals who do not fill out the form have been faced with up to a $5,000 fine. The American Community Survey has been sent to a select number of homes every year since. H.R. 931 would allow families the option of ignoring invasive questions without facing a fine.

 Other Resources

“Congress Introduces Legislation to Make American Community Survey Optional”

American Community Survey Background

“HSLDA Examines the American Community Survey”