Jun 29, 2000
Press Release

WASHINGTON D.C. - On Friday, June 23, the House of Representatives voted down an amendment that included significant cuts in the Census Bureau's budget after Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D - Manhattan, Queens) led opposition to it. The amendment, which was introduced by Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC), failed by a vote of 145-223.

The Coble Amendment (H. AMDT. 889) offered several modifications to HR 4690, an annual appropriations bill for several Federal agencies. In particular, the amendment would have cut funding significantly from the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), jeopardizing the government's ability to track key economic indicators and social developments.

Maloney, ranking Democratic Member of the Census Committee, spoke on the Floor of the House of Representatives urging opposition to the Coble Amendment. The following are excerpts from her remarks:

"This amendment would cut funding for the Census Bureau's Periodic Programs account by $40 million - a cut of almost 30%. This is not a cut from the 2000 Census Budget, but rather a cut from the funds used to measure employment and unemployment; child welfare; hospitals and care providers; and the basic inputs to the Consumer Price Index. The Gentleman's amendment will also cut $10 million, a 20% cut, from the funds for the Economic Statistics Administration in the Department of Commerce. Most of the ESA funds go to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) which calculates the key indicators like Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and measures of inflation used to track economic performance. Massive cuts to these two statistical agencies will affect the quality of information on the economy and social welfare for years to come."

"It is not just our understanding of the economy that is at risk here today. Our ability to understand women and children's issues will be crippled by the Coble cuts. For nearly three decades we have tracked the disparity between men and women performing the same work. The Coble cuts will make it difficult to measure those differences. We must not sacrifice our ability to monitor our economy and our society for such short term gains."