Several partners and other open government allies joined OpenTheGovernment.org recently in urging the Senate to reject the House's short-sighted decision to defund the US Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS). The House eliminated the funding from HR 5326, the FY 2013 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.
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 make sure other government spending is distributed as effectively and efficiently as possible. Potential job creators like retailers, manufacturers, and service sector firms also rely on ACS' rich data set on neighborhood characteristics, including income, education, and occupational skills, to improve their business decisions.
The Senate's version of the FY 2013 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, S. 2323, was passed by the Appropriations Committee in April but is not yet scheduled for a floor vote.