Statement on Bipartisan Effort to Strengthen Legislation to Prevent Deceptive Look-alike Census Mailings

WASHINGTON–(ENEWSPF)–April 28, 2010.  House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Edolphus “Ed” Towns (D-NY), Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-CA), Information Policy, Census and National Archives Subcommittee Chairman Lacy Clay (D-MO), Subcommittee Ranking Member Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) released the following statement today after the House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 5148, legislation sponsored by Rep. Issa. The bill removes any ambiguity from H.R. 4621, bipartisan legislation sponsored by Rep. Maloney that was signed into law last month, regarding the use of the word “Census” on materials mailed through the U.S. Postal Service.

“Only a few weeks ago, the House acted unanimously to bring an end to misleading fundraising mail designed to look like it is from the Census Bureau.  When it comes to the Census there is no separation between Republicans and Democrats.  Working together we thought we put an end to this deceptive practice.  Unfortunately, the foolishness of the RNC to move forward with yet another deceptive mail piece has caused us to act again.

“Today we sent an unmistakable and unified message that it is wrong to use the Census to mislead citizens, confuse voters and annoy recipients.  The bipartisan legislation we passed unanimously today makes it clear to the RNC what was clear to all of us:  That any use of the word ‘Census’ visible through the envelope will trigger a requirement to disclose the name and return address of the sender.

“The Census, currently underway, is a vital source of information for America’s future.  We thank our colleagues on both sides of the aisle for supporting this critically important legislation that will protect the integrity of the Census.”