Mr. ROE of Tennessee. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
The text of the amendment is as follows:
Amendment No. 25 offered by Mr. Roe of Tennessee:
Page 38, line 13, after the dollar amount, insert ``(reduced by $97,400,000)''.
The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 552, the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Roe) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Tennessee.
Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Chairman, we have heard it a thousand times that every vote counts, but, Mr. Chairman, if we allow for the use of the practice known as ``statistical sampling,'' as this bill clearly allows, it is my fear that every voter will not be counted and maybe some voters might be counted more often than others.
Since the new administration has come into office, they have made it known that they plan on politicizing this basic constitutional function of the Federal Government. At a time when the Federal Government is endlessly enacting unconstitutional laws and executive orders, it is incumbent upon this body to safeguard at least one obligation that is required of us by the Constitution of the United States.
The Constitution requires the government to take an actual head count. Not a guess, not an estimate, but a physical head count. Statistical sampling, however, simply creates profiles and assumes how many people live in various parts of our country, and it does not actually do any counting.
In other words, sampling makes people up. It even guesses their age, their sex, their race, and even their background. Implementing this process would undoubtedly leave the census open to massive amounts of fraud and political tinkering. With groups out there like ACORN, who are potentially in line to be entrusted by our government anyway, allowing sampling to be used in addition to their already known shady practices, we might as well just say we don't care in the least about getting accurate
results. Mr. Chairman, enough is enough. We must take legitimate steps to ensure the integrity of next year's census.
I believe there was another amendment made by my friend Mr. McHenry from North Carolina that would have done even more to ensure the integrity of this process. Mr. McHenry and my friend and colleague from Georgia (Mr. Westmoreland) have worked tirelessly on this very issue. They know more than any other Members in this Chamber the pitfalls and the constitutional concerns that come with the use of statistical sampling, both as it relates to the census and to the apportionment
process of this very body. But because of this gag rule that the majority has imposed upon us, Mr. McHenry's amendment will not be eligible to be debated, which is shameful. This is just one example of how the Democrats' decision to completely close off the amendment process for this bill is ending up shutting out meaningful debate.
The tactics employed yesterday in the dead of the night are completely against the promise of openness and honesty that this body is supposed to stand for.
Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. MOLLOHAN. Mr. Chairman, first of all, I want to assure the gentleman that the Census Bureau will not use sampling for purposes of apportionment. To the extent that's a concern, I want to extend that assurance. The Supreme Court has already ruled against the use of sampling for the purposes of apportionment, and it will play no role in the apportionment next year. Existing law prohibits the use of sampling for apportionment.
This amendment would prevent the Census Bureau from completing important aspects of the census that are unrelated to apportionment, such as coverage measurement. Coverage measurement is used to measure the undercount and thus assure the quality, and provides a performance measure, if you will, Mr. Chairman, for the decennial activities. The Bureau needs this data to identify gaps in coverage and to improve its process so that Americans can be assured of the best possible census in the future.
Now, I've heard this debate for the last several censuses. Sitting on this committee, we deal with this issue every 10 years. Sampling is a statistically sound methodology. Again, it's not going to be used for apportionment, assuring the gentleman. But it is a statistically significant and accurate way to have a better count. It's sound, and it achieves accuracy, and that's the whole point, through a scientific method.
Now, I didn't take statistics, so I have to rely upon the scientists to tell you this, but I've listened to enough of them assure us that that's the way they get a better count, a more accurate count, and isn't that tremendous that we have these sophisticated methods to achieve that?
So to oppose sampling in and of itself, I think, is to disagree that sampling does achieve greater accuracy, and I think that is disagreed with by the scientific community.
Mr. Chairman, at this point I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New York (Mr. Towns).
Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 30 seconds.
I respectfully disagree with my friends on the other side. This doesn't have anything to do with the American Community Survey. It has to do with the census, and that's the reason that the amendment is written the way that it is written. It says the census and the census only. It has to do with the census. It has to do with the apportionment that's based on the census. And the Constitution requires actual counting, not statistical surveys or statistical sampling. It is to ensure integrity that
we know who's here and what they're all about. And that's what my amendment is all about.
Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, this whole amendment process is flawed. We had other amendments that were maybe considered better. And because of these flaws, the American people surely will not receive the accurate census that the Constitution requires that they receive next year.
We have made many efforts to try to cut spending, but those were all counted out of order too by the new rule. This is a flawed process that is deplorable, and we should have let the process go on. And I find it detestable, frankly.
Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to withdraw my amendment.
The CHAIR. Without objection, the amendment is withdrawn.
There was no objection.
AMENDMENT NO. 79 OFFERED BY MR.