A White House executive order issued last year requiring the sharing of federal citizenship data with the Commerce Department would be repealed under legislation introduced by Rep. Steven Horsford Monday.
The order was issued by President Donald Trump in July 2019 shortly after the Supreme Court ruled in June that the Commerce Department, which oversees the decennial census, provided insufficient reasons for asking a citizenship question on the 2020 census.
Horsford, in a release, said that the order is designed to disenfranchise minority populations by not counting them in the census, which is used to apportion federal dollars, including for health care and food aid, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Census data is also used for the creation and realignment of congressional districts.
“The executive order directing federal agencies to compile citizenship data through administrative records and merge it with decennial census data is a blatant effort to collect this information for political and discriminatory purposes,” Horsford said.
“The sharing of this information could cause an inaccurate allocation of more than $800 billion of taxpayer funds for critical programs like Medicaid, SNAP, infrastructure projects and education grants,” Horsford continued. “An undercounting of our state’s citizens would silence the voices of Nevadans in the democratic system.”
Horsford leads the Congressional Black Caucus’s Census 2020 Task Force, which seeks to help ensure an accurate count, especially of minorities.
The bill has 20 co-sponsors, including Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas, who is chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. The measure is the House companion to legislation introduced by Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii in July 2019.
This story was updated on June 22, 2020, at 2:30 p.m. to note that Rep. Joaquin Castro co-sponsored the bill.