IA Supports Census Bureau Funding Increase for FY23
As the Congressional appropriations process slowly moves forward for Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23), the Insights Association is supporting a significant increase in funding for the decennial census and the American Community Survey (ACS). Quality data from these constitutionally-mandated programs are essential to the function of the insights industry.
The House CJS Appropriations Subcommittee will mark up its FY23 funding bill, including the Census Bureau’s funding, on June 22, 2022, with full committee markup following on June 28. The Senate has not scheduled any hearings or divulged any legislation for FY23.
The FY22 appropriations cycle ended six months late, with the President signing an omnibus funding bill into law on March 15, 2022, providing the Census Bureau with $1.354 billion, $88 million below the amount ($1.442 billion) requested by President Biden and approved by the U.S. House of Representatives and $78 million below the level ($1.432 billion) recommended by the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee. While less than the House and Senate had recommended, the FY22 funding level is $248 million above the Bureau’s FY 2021 enacted funding level ($1.106 billion).
FY23 census funding request
The Insights Association joined a Census Project coalition letter with 75+ other groups in support of “$2 billion in funding for the Census Bureau, which represents a $495 million increase over the President’s budget request ($1.505 billion) and $646 million over the agency’s FY 2022 enacted level ($1.354 million).”
Some key highlights from our request include:
- “2020 Census—The President’s Budget proposed $160 million for 2020 Census programs (an $85 million decrease) in FY 2023, as the Bureau compiles the last of the decennial data products and finishes evaluations/assessments. These activities were mostly delayed because of the pandemic disruption of the headcount. Much of the resources necessary will be provided by carryover funding, but funding is still required to support the remaining major IT contract (the Technical Integrator) through the conclusion of all 2020 Census activities and “finalize lessons learned” on the IT systems side.”
- “2030 Census—The President's Budget proposed $252 million for the 2030 Census in FY 2023 (a $249 million increase from only $3 million in FY 2022). This is nearly twice the increase requested a decade ago for the 2020 Census in the comparable cyclical year (FY 2013) ($64.8 million), as the Bureau intends to continue research and testing to design the next decennial headcount, including work to develop and maintain the completeness of the address list (so that less of the country must be updated in the field), the use of administrative records as a source of data for enumeration, and bringing efficiencies to field operations to reduce non-response follow up. Early decade investments in the decennial census will allow the Bureau to sustain critical capabilities and, as a result reduce the risk of additional funding needs in the peak years later in the decade.”
- “The American Community Survey—While the President’s budget requests an additional $10 million to improve how the ACS measures the sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) population, census stakeholders and data users in the public, private, non-profit sectors believe the ACS needs an immediate infusion of substantial funding to pursue other long overdue enhancements to the survey. These enhancements include increasing the survey’s sample size, improving its non-response follow up operations, addressing steadily declining response rates, revising content, and making other methodological and operational improvements. An independent report issued in 2022 by The Census Project urges an infusion of $100 to $300 million to protect the ACS from further data quality deficiencies and take up a long list of activities to ensure the survey is accurately capturing data about the nation’s increasingly complex population and households.”
This funding request for the Census Bureau is separate from our advocacy to bring transparency to and/or defund the Bureau’s Ask U.S. Panel project, which would waste millions of taxpayer dollars developing an online panel duplicative of existing ones provided by insights companies and organizations (including IA members), instead of contracting out for the research for a fraction of the cost.
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