Posted on May 10, 2024

House GOP Passes Bill to Add Citizenship Question to Census

Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill, May 8, 2024

House Republicans passed a bill Wednesday that calls for adding a citizenship question to the decennial census, re-upping an issue the Supreme Court blocked in 2019.

The legislation — titled the Equal Representation Act — cleared the chamber in a party-line 206-202 vote.

The measure would direct the Census Bureau to add a question to the 10-year survey asking for the respondent’s citizenship status and require that the U.S. only consider citizens when determining the number of congressional seats each state receives.

Targeting that apportionment would give Republicans a pathway to slicing away at the impact of high-population, liberal-leaning states such as California.


Democrats railed against the legislation as an attack on immigrant communities.

“A citizens-only census, as this legislation intends, is reckless, cynical, and frankly, illegal,” Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) said on the House floor Wednesday. {snip}

In a statement of administration policy issued this week, the Biden administration said it “strongly opposes” the measure “which would preclude the Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau from performing its constitutionally mandated responsibility to count the number of persons in the United States in the decennial census.”