Maloney Applauds Administration’s Change of Heart on Important Census Survey’s Future

May 31, 2007
Press Release
WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), a long-time champion of the Census and former ranking member on the Government Reform Census Subcommittee, today applauded the Administration’s decision to preserve the Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), which is used to analyze the effects of public policy on American families.  Last year, the Administration announced plans to do away with the important survey tool. 

“Commerce Secretary Gutierrez and Census Director Kincannon should be commended for coming forward and admitting that the Administration’s plan to eliminate SIPP was wrong.  Now, we need assurance from the OMB that the Administration’s change of course will receive proper budgetary support,” said Maloney. 

“We’ll have the statistical equivalent of a Katrina on our hands if the OMB refuses to request funding for the SIPP.  We need the SIPP to determine which government programs are working and how to best make use of taxpayer dollars in tight fiscal times,” said Maloney.   

In his Fiscal Year 2007 budget, President Bush proposed doing away with the SIPP before its 2010 redesign.  Last week, however, Census officials confirmed that the Administration had abandoned its plans to replace the SIPP. 

Background:

The SIPP was created by the Census Bureau in 1984 to gather more detailed information about the impact of government aid on people’s lives and how people move in and out of government programs.  Rather than just capturing information at a point in time, the SIPP is unique because it questions thousands of the same people every few months for several years, providing a greater understanding of transitions into and out of government programs.

The rich and detailed data generated by this survey allow researchers and lawmakers to examine the real-world impact of a wide variety of government programs, such as welfare reform, Medicaid, child-support enforcement, and unemployment insurance.  The survey provides essential information on the extent to which programs meet families’ basic needs and promote upward mobility.  The SIPP also provides more in-depth information than other government surveys on work-family issues, such as maternity leave, child care usage and costs, and the work schedules of couples.                                                                                

Congresswoman Maloney has fought hard to preserve the SIPP program and its funding.  Last June, she joined Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) to introduce joint House-Senate legislation that would keep the SIPP intact and create a multi-agency commission to review proposed changes to or elimination of the survey (click here for more information). 

More Information on Maloney’s Census Work:

Rep. Maloney Applauds Appropriations Chairman Obey, Subcommittee Chair Mollohan for Boosting Census Budget (January 30, 2007)

Rep. Maloney Leads Members of Congress Calling on President to Fill Top Census Vacancies Quickly with Qualified, Non-partisan Professionals (January 12, 2007)

New Report Detailing Children’s Well-Being and Daily Activity Again Underscores Importance of SIPP Data (January 11, 2007)

New Report on African American and Latino Hardship Rates Shows the Importance of SIPP Data (November 21, 2006)

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