House Debates King’s Census/Citizenship Question Amendment

House Debates King’s Census/Citizenship Question Amendment


FOR WHAT PURPOSE DOES THE GENTLEMAN FROM IOWA SEEK RECOGNITION? MR. KING: THANK YOU, MADAM CHAIR. I SEEK RECOGNITION TO TAKE UP AMENDMENT NUMBER 9 MADE IN ORDER BY THE RULE. THE CHAIR: THE CLERK WILL DESIGNATE THE AMENDMENT. THE CLERK: AMENDMENT NUMBER 9 PRINTED IN PART B OF HOUSE REPORT 116-119 OFFERED BY MR. KING OF IOWA. THE CHAIR: PURSUANT TO HOUSE RESOLUTION 445, THE GENTLEMAN FROM IOWA, MR. KING, AND A MEMBER OPPOSED EACH WILL CONTROL FIVE MINUTES. THE CHAIR RECOGNIZES THE GENTLEMAN FROM IOWA. MR. KING: THANK YOU, MADAM CHAIR. I APPRECIATE BEING RECOGNIZED AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE UP AMENDMENT NUMBER 9, KING NUMBER 9. WHAT IT DOES IS IT ADDRESSES THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE UNDERLYING BILL AND STRIKES LINES 14 THROUGH 18. LINES 14 THROUGH 18, THE AFFECT OF THAT LANGUAGE IS THAT IT PROHIBITS THE U.S. CENSUS FROM ASKING THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER A RESPONDENT TO THE CENSUS IS A CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES. THERE ARE PEOPLE THAT HAVE POLITICAL REASONS TO WANT TO PROHIBIT ASKING THAT QUESTION. BUT THIS GREAT NATION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA HAS AN OBLIGATION TO KNOW WHAT PERCENTAGE OF THE PEOPLE WITHIN THE UNITED STATES, WITH — ALL OF WHOM WILL BE COUNTED IN THE CENSUS, WHETHER THEY’RE QUALIFIED TO BE COUNTED IN THE CENSUS OF THE UNITED STATES IS BE A HOMOSAPIEN. THAT’S ALL. SO WE HAVE SEVERAL CATEGORIES. WE HAVE CATEGORIES OF U.S. CITIZENS THAT NEED TO BE COUNTED. WE HAVE CATEGORIES OF LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENTS THAT NEED TO BE COUNTED — RESIDENCE THAT NEED TO BE COUNT — RESIDENTS THAT NEED TO BE COUNTED. AND WE HAVE ILLEGAL ALIENS THAT ALSO WILL BE COUNTED. I WANTED OUR COMMERCE SECRETARY TO GO FURTHER AND TO COUNT EACH OF THESE CATEGORIES SEPARATELY AND ASK THE QUESTION, IF YOU’RE A CITIZEN, SAY SO. IF YOU’RE A NONCITIZEN, BUT YOU’RE LAWFULLY PRESENT IN AMERICA, TELL US BY WHAT LEGAL AUTHORITY YOU ARE. AND IF YOU’RE UNLAWFULLY PRESENT, GIVE US THAT ANSWER TOO. SO WE CAN LOOK AT THE WHOLE CROSS-SECTION OF THE 326 OR 30 MILLION AMERICANS THAT WE ARE AND UNDER THE CONFIGURATION OF OUR PEOPLE. AND OUR FOUNDING FATHERS CALLED FOR A MANDATORY CENSUS AT THE END OF EVERY 10 YEARS FOR THE PURPOSE OF REAPPORTIONMENT AND REDISTRICTING. SO IT’S BEEN SO VERY IMPORTANT THAT FOR REDISTRICTING PURPOSES, WHEN WE COUNT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, THAT WE KNOW WHAT CATEGORIES THEY FIT IN. THE COMMERCE DEPARTMENT HAS DIALED THIS DOWN FROM THE BILL THAT I INTRODUCED AND THEY SIMPLY ASK TO SEPARATE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN U.S. CITIZENS AND NONCITIZENS, WHICH PUTS ILLYLE ALIENS AND OTHER VISA HOLDERS — ILLYLE ALIENS AND OTHER VISA HOLDERS IN THE SAME — ILLEGAL ALIENS AND OTHER VISA HOLDERS IN THE SAME CATEGORY. THE LEGISLATESY OF THAT QUESTION IS IMPORTANT — LEGITIMACY OF THAT QUESTION IS IMPORTANT AND IT’S IMPORTANT THAT WE UNDERSTAND THAT THE VOICES IN THIS CONGRESS BE THE VOICES OF AMERICAN CITIZENS, NOT THE VOICES OF ILLEGAL ALIENS. THERE’S A STUDY THAT WAS DONE TWO CENSUSES AGO THAT SHOWED THAT SIX CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS IN CALIFORNIA THEORETICALLY COULD HAVE BEEN REPRESENTED BY ALL ILLEGAL ALIENS. AND SO THAT DIMINISHES AND DILUTES THE VOTES AND THE REPRESENTATION OF AMERICAN CITIZENS. FURTHERMORE, WHEN THE ELECTORAL VOTES ARE CAST FOR THE VOTES OF PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, THOSE ELECTORAL VOTES ARE ADDED UP, THEY NEED TO ALSO TOTAL ILLEGAL ALIENS IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. SO FOR THIS, I BRING THIS LANGUAGE, THIS AMENDMENT, TO CORRECT THIS LANGUAGE WHICH IS IN THE UNDERLYING BILL, AND ASSURE, ASSURE THAT WE COUNT CITIZENS SEPARATE FROM ALL THE REST, BUT REMIND PEOPLE THAT EVEN THOUGH I’D LIKE TO BE ABLE TO COUNT LEGALS AND ILLEGALS IN SEPARATE CATEGORIES AND VISA HOLDERS IN SEPARATE CATEGORIES, THAT ISN’T EVEN PROPOSED BY OUR CENSUS DEPARTMENT. THIS IS A MILD APPROACH BY THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION AND IT’S SEEKING TO BE UNDERMINED BY THE LANGUAGE THAT EXISTS IN THE UNDERLYING BILL. SO I APPRECIATE THE ATTENTION AND I WILL RESERVE THE BALANCE OF MY TIME. THE CHAIR: THE GENTLEMAN RESERVES THE BALANCE OF HIS TIME. DOES ANYONE CLAIM TIME IN OPPOSITION? THE GENTLEMAN FROM — I’M SORRY, FOR WHAT PURPOSE DOES THE GENTLEMAN RIDES RISE? SERSER I RISE IN OPPOSITION TO THE — MR. SERRANO: I RISE IN OPPOSITION TO THE AMENDMENT. THE QUESTION OF CITIZENSHIP WAS UNDER UNILATERAL DECISION UNDER SECRETARY ROSS LAST YEAR. SECRETARY ROSS CHOSE TO OVERRULE RECOMMENDATIONS FROM NONPARTISAN EXPERTS AT THE CENSUS BUREAU AND IGNORE THE POTENTIAL IMPACTS INCLUDING THE QUESTION WOULD HAVE ON RESPONSE RATES TO THE CENSUS WITHOUT RIGOROUS TESTING AND ANALYSIS. EVEN MORE RECENTLY, ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE ON THE OTHER SIDE’S ATTEMPTS TO ABUSE THE CENSUS IN AN EFFORT TO GERRYMANDER THE DISTRICT HAS COME TO LIGHT. FILES RECENTLY DISCOVERED FROM A REPUBLICAN REDISTRICTING SPECIALIST REVEALED THAT THE CITIZENSHIP QUESTION WOULD RESULT IN A STRUCTURAL ELECTORAL ADVANTAGE FOR REPUBLICANS AND NONHISPANIC WHITES. THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT ENFORCEMENT EXCUSED THE — THIS AS NOTHING MORE THAN A RUSE AND A SOLUTION IN SEARCH OF WHAT THEY VIEW AS A PROBLEM. IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT THEY HAVE TURNED TO THE CENSUS TO PLAY THIS POLITICAL GAME, TO UNDERMINE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. MOST CHANGES TO THE CENSUS UNDERGO YEARS OF TESTING AND ANALYSIS BEFORE BEING ADDED TO THE CENSUS FORUM. THE REASON WE HAVE THAT PROCESS IS TO BETTER UNDERSTAND THE IMPACT A CHANGE CAN HAVE ON THE RESPONSE RATE AND ACCURACY OF THE CENSUS. IT ALLOWS FOR THE BUREAU TO BETTER PLAN AND ADJUST ITS OPERATIONAL AND OUTREACH STRATEGIES. SINCE IT IS ONLY TESTING THE IMPACT OF THE QUESTION THIS SUMMER, WOULD — WITH RESULTS ANTICIPATED IN OCTOBER AFTER CRITICAL MILE STONES HAVE PASSED. THE ADMINISTRATION LEAVE NOES TIME FOR CENSUS TO MITIGATE THE POTENTIAL IMPACTS OF WHAT THEY MAY FIND. WILBER ROSS REFUSED TO LISTEN TO THE EXPERT ADVICE OF ADVOCATES AND EXPERTS AT THE BUREAU WHO DID NOT RECOMMEND ADDING AN UNTEST QUESTIONED SO LATE IN THE PROCESS. ADDITIONALLY, THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT INCLUDING THIS QUESTION WILL HAVE A SERIOUS NEGATIVE IMPACT ON THE SELF-RESPONSE RATE OF THE CENSUS. PEOPLE WILL SIMPLY CHOOSE NOT TO RESPOND TO THE CENSUS FORM AND THE BUREAU WILL BE FORCED TO ENGAGE IN EXPENSIVE IN OPINION PERSON FOLLOW-UPS THAT WAS NOT ORIGINALLY ASSUMED IN THEIR COST ESTIMATES. THIS SHOULD NOT BE AN ISSUE THAT DIVIDES US. IT SHOULD NOT MATTER WHETHER YOU LIVE IN A RED OR BLUE STATE OR WHETHER YOU REPRESENT AN URBAN OR RURAL DISTRICT, THE QUESTION WILL IMPACT EVERYONE. THIS AMENDMENT WILL REDUCE THE ACCURACY AND CREASE THE UNDERCOUNT IN PLACES LIKE FLORIDA, TEXAS, ALABAMA, MICHIGAN, CALIFORNIA, AND NEW YORK. THIS IN TURN WILL AFFECT REAPPORTIONMENT AND THE DISTRIBUTION OF FEDERAL FUNDS FOR THE NEXT DECADE. AND MANY OF THE COMMUNITIES WE REPRESENT. WE CAN AND SHOULD DO BETTER. OUR CONSTITUTION IS CLEAR. IT REQUIRES THAT WE COUNT ALL PERSONS EVERY 10 YEARS. IN CONCLUSION, THE ISSUE IS VERY SIMPLE. IF YOU REPRESENT A COMMUNITY THAT WILL BE UNDERCOUNTED BY THIS QUESTION, THEN YOU SHOULD OPPOSE THE AMENDMENT. IF YOU SUPPORT THE PETITION OF THE CONSTITUTION, THEN YOU SHOULD ALSO OPPOSE THIS AMENDMENT. I URGE A NO VOTE. AND I RESERVE THE BALANCE OF MY TIME. THE CHAIR: THE GENTLEMAN RESERVES THE BALANCE OF HIS TIME. THE GENTLEMAN FROM IOWA IS RECOGNIZED. MR. KING: THANK YOU, MADAM CHAIR. I’D BE HAPPY TO YIELD TO THE GENTLEMAN FROM ALABAMA. THE CHAIR: THE GENTLEMAN YIELDS BACK THE BALANCE OF HIS TIME. THE GENTLEMAN FROM ALABAMA IS RECOGNIZED. MR. ADERHOLT: MADAM CHAIR, I RISE IN SUPPORT OF THE AMENDMENT. UNFORTUNATELY THERE IS A CAMPAIGN THAT SEEMS TO BE OF FEAR THAT SURROUNDS THIS CITIZENSHIP QUESTION. IT’S REALLY — IT REALLY SHOULD BE AN EDUCATIONAL CAMPAIGN. I’D LIKE TO JUST REITERATE SOME IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT THE CENSUS ITSELF. THE PROPOSED QUESTION REGARDING CITIZENSHIP STATUS ONLY ASKS IF A RESPONDENT IS A CITIZEN. IT HAS ALREADY BEEN POINTED OUT IT. DOES NOT ASK IF THE RESPONDENT IS HERE LAWFULLY OR NOT. ALSO A PERSON’S RESPONSE IF THEY ARE NOT A CITIZEN IS NOT — DOES NOT PROVIDE THE GOVERNMENT WITH ANY RELIABLE INFORMATION ABOUT WHETHER THEY ARE LAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE U.S. FURTHERMORE, BY LAW, THE CENSUS BUREAU CANNOT AND IT WILL NOT DISCLOSE ANYONE’S RESPONSE OR SHARE DATA FROM WHICH ANY INDIVIDUAL CAN BE IDENTIFIED. WITH I.C.E. OR ANY OTHER FEDERAL AGENCY. FORTUNATELY THE CENSUS BUREAU IS DEPLOYING EXPERT COMMUNICATORS AND TRUSTED MESSENGERS TO CONDUCT LOCAL OUTREACH IN HARD TO COUNT COMMUNITIES AND MOTIVATE EACH AND EVERY PERSON TO RESPOND TO THE CENSUS. A SUCCESSFUL 2020 CENSUS WILL PROVIDE A FULL AND ACCURATE AND A SECURE ACCOUNT OF EVERY PERSON THAT’S LIVED IN THE UNITED STATES WHILE GATHERING THE DATA VITAL TO BOTH UNDERSTANDING OUR NATION’S CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS AND BOLSTERING THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT. THE CITIZENSHIP QUESTION DOES NOT THREATEN ANYONE. THE BILL INCLUDES THE OUTREACH SOURCES NEEDED TO MAKE THIS FACT ABUNDANTLY CLEAR EVERYONE TO. INCLUSION OF THIS PROVISION WILL ONLY — TO EVERYONE. INCLUSION OF THIS PROVISION WILL ONLY SERVE TO SOW MORE CONFUSION AND MAKE THE 2020 CENSUS MORE DIFFICULT. FOR THIS REASON I URGE A YES VOTE ON THE AMENDMENT. THE CHAIR: THE GENTLEMAN’S TIME HAS EXPIRED. THE GENTLEMAN FROM NEW YORK IS RECOGNIZED. MR. SERRANO: MADAM CHAIR, THE GENTLEMAN IS CORRECT. THERE IS A CAMPAIGN OF FEAR. BUT IT’S NOT BY WHAT WE’RE DOING HERE. IT’S WHAT WILBER ROSS WANTED TO DO. THE CONSTITUTION IS CLEAR. COUNT ALL THE PEOPLE. NOT THE WHITE, NOT THE BLACKS, NOT THE HISPANICS, NOT WOMEN, NOT MEN, REPUBLICANS OR DEMOCRATS. ALL THE PEOPLE. AND SO IT’S REALLY STRANGE TO ME THAT PEOPLE IN MANY DISTRICTS THAT DO NOT SUPPORT OPPOSITION ARE NOT YELLING. AFTER ALL, YOU MAY NOT LIKE UNDOCUMENTED PEOPLE IN YOUR DISTRICT, BUT IF THEY GET COUNTED, THEY BRING MORE FEDERAL DOLLARS, ALLOW FOR MORE REDISTRICTING PROPERLY, AND SO WHY WOULD YOU OPPOSE THAT? LET US STICK TO THE CONSTITUTION. YES, THERE IS A CAMPAIGN OF FEAR. IT IS FREER TO TRY TO PUT INTO PEOPLE WHO ARE UNDOCUMENTED TO SAY, WE’RE GOING TO ASK FOR YOUR CITIZENSHIP, ALTHOUGH WE’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO ASK YOU THAT. WE’RE GOING TO ASK YOU THAT AND MAYBE THAT WILL TURN YOU AWAY FROM FILLING OUT THE FORM WHICH IS WHAT WILL HAPPEN AND WE WILL NOT GET AN ACCURATE COUNT. LASTLY, IT IS IN EVERYONE’S INTEREST IN THIS COUNTRY TO GET AN ACCURATE COUNT. I RESERVE. THE CHAIR: MEMBERS ARE REMINDED TO DIRECT THEIR REMARKS TO THE CHAIR. THE GENTLEMAN FROM NEW YORK. IS RECOGNIZED. THE GENTLEMAN FROM NEW YORK IS THE ONLY PERSON WITH TIME REMAINING. MR. SERRANO: I HAVE NO TIME REMAINING? THE CHAIR: THE ONLY TIME. MR. SERRANO: I YIELD BACK THE BALANCE OF MY TIME. THE CHAIR: THE GENTLEMAN YIELDS BACK THE BALANCE OF HIS TIME. THE QUESTION IS ON THE AMENDMENT OFFERED BY THE GENTLEMAN FROM IOWA. THOSE IN FAVOR SAY AYE. THOSE OPPOSED, NO. IN THE OPINION OF THE CHAIR, THE NOES HAVE IT. THE AMENDMENT IS NOT AGREED TO. MR. KING: MADAM CHAIR. THE CHAIR: THE GENTLEMAN FROM IOWA IS RECOGNIZED. MR. KING: I ASK FOR A RECORDED VOTE. THE CHAIR: PURSUANT TO CLAUSE 6 OF RULE 18, FURTHER PROCEEDINGS ON THE AMENDMENT OFFERED BY THE GENTLEMAN FROM IOWA WILL BE POSTPONED.

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