Several partners and other open government allies are urging the Senate to reject the House’s short-sighted decision to defund the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS).
In the House’s zeal to reduce federal spending, they eliminated one of the most important tools we have at our disposal to make sure other federal spending is distributed as effectively and efficiently as possible. The ACS is an annual survey that provides data on the social and economic needs of local communities. Statistics generated from ACS are used by the federal, state and local government to help decide everything from school lunch programs to new hospitals.
Eliminating ACS would also be a blow to the economy’s potential job creators. ACS’ rich data set on neighborhood characteristics like income, education, and occupational skills is used by retailers to decide where they should open their next location. Manufacturers and service sector firms also use ACS data to identify and understand the occupational skills of local labor markets
We urge the Senate (and the eventual Conference Committee members) to make sure their FY 2013 spending bill includes sufficient funding for the ACS, and does not include language that will end this important service to the American public.