Update, 11/5/09: Because the health care debate in the House pulled so much attention away from the Senate this week, the Senate narrowly passed the CJS Appropriations bill today without the Vitter Census Amendment by a vote of 60 to 39 (Roll Call 335). Thank you for your calls--even though the motion passed, 39 Senators opposed is impressive! This marks one of the closest cloture votes in the Senate this year.
Update, 10/29/09: Your calls are successfully stalling the Senate Majority from bringing the CJS Appropriations bill to a final vote. Keep up the good work, and continue to encourage your Senators to support the Vitter amendment!
October 21, 2009
Tell Your Two Senators to Oppose Cloture on the CJS Appropriations Bill Unless the Vitter Census Amendment Receives a Vote
As you know, the U.S. Census is taken every ten years, and the next one is set to be conducted in 2010. The census is critically important because it determines the reapportionment of the House of Representatives and Electoral College votes for each state. But, for the very first time, the Census Bureau's questionnaire (which is sent to American households) lacks the simple question: Are you a citizen of the United States of America?
The omission of a citizenship or legal-status question is problematic because the census is the only way to get an accurate count of how many illegal aliens are residing in the United States. By counting citizens and non-citizens alike for congressional reapportionment purposes, the federal government is doing a massive disservice to those states with lower illegal immigrant populations and it is rewarding those states with larger illegal immigrant populations with additional congressional seats. The Vitter amendment (offered to the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill, H.R. 2847) would simply require that the census form include an additional question asking the legal and citizenship status of those being counted.
Using the U.S. Census Bureau's 2008 American Community Survey (ACS) estimates, the following states are projected to lose congressional seats to states like California and Texas, who have larger illegal resident populations:
It is in the interest of the American people that Congress does everything in its power to ensure the integrity of our republic and of our elections. We are counting on you to make sure your Senators feel the pressure!
The Vitter amendment has now been pending for over 2 weeks, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is maneuvering to bring this bill to a vote again (as it has already failed once) in hopes to block the Vitter amendment.
We ask that you begin calling both of your Senators and tell them to oppose cloture on the CJS Appropriations bill (H.R. 2847) unless the Vitter Census Amendment is allowed to receive a vote. Last week, the Senate failed to invoke cloture (motion to proceed to a final vote) on this bill. Please call your Senators and tell them that we need this important amendment today!
A vote for cloture is a vote against the Vitter Census Amendment!
Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121