HR 2255: "To make participation in the American Community Survey voluntary"


Last Updated: July 27, 2015
HR 2255: "To make participation in the American Community Survey voluntary"
Rep. Ted Poe (TX)

H.R. 2255 will allow the American Community Survey to be voluntary, with several exceptions:
• The name of the respondent.
• The date of the response.
• The number of people living or staying at the same address.

HSLDA's Position:
Action Requested:
None at this time

Introduced and Referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (5/21/2015)


The United States government has conducted a census of its population since 1790. The government’s power to do so comes from Article 1, Section 2(3) of the Constitution. In 1992, the House Commerce Oversight Subcommittee asked the Census Bureau to create the American Community Survey to give Congress annual demographics.

Federal law views the American Community Survey as part of the census, and individuals who do not fill out the form can be fined up to $5000, according to the Census Bureau (18 U.S.C §3571). The American Community Survey has been sent to a select number of homes every year since. H.R. 2255 would allow families the option of ignoring invasive questions without facing a fine.

Note regarding questions about religion:

According to current law: “Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, no person shall be compelled to disclose information relative to his religious beliefs or to membership in a religious body - 13 U.S.C §221(C).”

H.R. 2255 includes the current language, prohibiting questions about religion and religious body membership.

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Bill History