Mrs. MALONEY. Mr. Speaker, today I am proud to be introducing a resolution supporting the importance of census surveys and the data they produce. Special thanks to Senator John Rockefeller for his leadership on the issue and for introducing the Senate companion, and to the House original cosponsors, Reps. Michael Honda, Judy Chu, Keith Ellison, John Olver, Betty McCollum, José Serrano, Laura Richardson, Earl Blumenauer, Fortney Stark, John Lewis, and Barney Frank, for their strong support of census surveys.
Since our founding, Congress has recognized the value of census surveys to inform policymaking and measure our country's progress. By including this modern invention in our Constitution, the founders turned a survey into a tool of political empowerment. The decennial census is the basis for fair representation and fair distribution of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal aid. In recent times, the information is used by the public and private sectors for planning purposes and to better understand the needs of communities.
The statistics gathered through the Census Bureau give politicians, researchers, urban planners, educators, and other interested Americans, a regular and measurable snapshot of the growth and the socio-economic status of our Nation. Census programs like the American Community Survey and the Economic Census provide vital data to federal, state, and local governments, to all sectors and industries, and to all geographic areas across the country--from rural to urban to suburban neighborhoods.
These surveys are a fundamental building block for how our country measures itself; the value of these statistics cannot be underestimated. They let us know how we are doing as a nation, identifying areas where we could grow, where we could be more economically efficient, and how best to compete globally. I urge my colleagues to support this resolution.