I On Politics


Congress Member Carolyn. B. Maloney (D-NY), co-chair of the House Census Caucus and author of the Census IDEA Act, hosted a meeting for members of Congress and census advocates on January 16 to discuss the impact following a federal judge’s ruling ordering the Trump administration to remove a citizenship question from the 2020 Census, as well as the next steps Congress can take to protect the ruling. The Congress member led an amicus brief of 126 current and former members of Congress in support of the lawsuit against the citizenship question.

Joining Rep. Maloney at the briefing were: Representatives Jose Serrano (NY-15), Jesús G. “Chuy” García (IL-4), and Rashida Tlaib (MI-13); representatives from the New York State attorney general’s office; Vanita Gupta, president & CEO, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; Arturo Vargas, CEO, NALEO Educational Fund; Angela Manso, director of Policy and Legislative Affairs, NALEO Educational Fund; David Gans, director of Human Rights, Civil Rights & Citizenship Program, Constitutional Accountability Center; and Praveen Fernandes, vice president for public engagement, Constitutional Accountability Center.

“Yesterday’s court decision blocking the citizenship question was a critical victory, but it is not the end of this fight,” said Rep. Maloney. “We know the Trump administration will not easily abandon its political assault on the census. That is why today we announced a new Congressional effort to urge the administration not to appeal this decision and to pass legislation I intend to introduce to prevent this question from ever getting on the 2020 Census. We need to lift this cloud of the citizenship question and go full steam ahead on the 2020 Census if we’re going to have any chance of making sure the next census is successful.”

“The 2020 Census is one of the most urgent civil rights issues facing the country, and right now, Congress has the opportunity and responsibility to help ensure the count is fair and accurate for all communities. The court’s decision to remove the citizenship question from the 2020 Census confirms that widespread concern about the administration’s motives was not misplaced,” said Vanita Gupta.

“Given the importance of Census 2020 in distributing billions of dollars in federal funding and the allocation of political power to communities across the country for the next 10 years, we cannot afford to have millions of Latinos and other Americans missed in the nation’s decennial count,” stated Arturo Vargas.

“Judge Furman’s ruling holding the citizenship question unlawful and removing it from the 2020 Census is a huge victory for democracy and the rule of law,” said David Gans. “It ensures the integrity of the constitutionally mandated count of all persons and prevents partisan manipulation of the census, which is the cornerstone of our democracy. Judge Furman’s careful and meticulous ruling confirms what was clear from the start: the citizenship question was about undercutting the integrity of the census, not protecting voting rights.”


Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Congress Member Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) reintroduced on January 17 their legislation to fund research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on firearm safety and gun violence prevention. Last year, doctors and public health officials across the country came out in support of such research and affirmed the need to address gun violence as the health crisis that it is.

“In the face of national public health crises, the federal government marshals its resources to protect Americans, and gun violence should not be an exception,” said Senator Markey. “For too long and for no real reason, our best minds at the CDC have been denied the resources they need to research, understand, and formulate strategies to prevent the root causes of gun violence. The Gun Violence Prevention Research Act would fully fund this critical research agenda and treat gun violence like the public health crisis that it is. No one should fear non-partisan, scientific research, not Democrats, not Republicans, and not the NRA.”

Representative Maloney said, “Just as we would study any other epidemic that takes 100 lives a day, nearly 40,000 in 2018, we need to study firearm safety and gun violence prevention. This legislation can save lives by finally giving our nation’s top public health researchers the funding they need to develop new ways to prevent gun violence.”

For over twenty years, an appropriations rider known as the Dickey Amendment has limited our understanding of this epidemic by hindering research into gun violence. The Dickey Amendment prevents the CDC from using funds to “advocate or promote gun control,” but it has been misconstrued as a ban on gun violence prevention research. Last year, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar testified that the Dickey Amendment does not prevent the CDC from conducting research into gun violence prevention, and report language accompanying the Fiscal Year 2018 omnibus appropriations legislation similarly made this clarification. Before his death, the author of the original rider, former Representative Jay Dickey (R-AR), came out in support of funding gun violence prevention research at the CDC, and stated that the rider should not stand in the way of researching the epidemic of gun violence.

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