RNC Agrees to Halt Deceptive Census Mailers After Pressure from the Oversight Committee
Washington, D.C. (Mar.13, 2020)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, issued the following statement after the Republican National Committee responded to the Committee’s request to halt all deceptive census communications in electronic and paper form:
“I’m pleased the Republican Party agreed to stop producing and distributing fake Census communications that could harm the accuracy of the 2020 Census. The Census determines how we distribute more than a trillion dollars in federal resources and congressional representation for all communities. I hope the RNC will follow through with its commitment and take all the necessary steps to avoid further interference with the Census.”
On March 5, 2020, Chairwoman Maloney, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee Chairman Jamie Raskin, Government Operations Subcommittee Chairman Gerry Connolly, and Committee Member Rep. Katie Porter sent a letter to the RNC demanding they stop sending out fundraising mailers that resemble official Census documents.
The envelopes on these mailers say they include an “OFFICIAL DOCUMENT”—a questionnaire labeled “Census Document” and “2020 Congressional District Census.” The questionnaire states that responses “will be shared with the White House,” and it directs individuals to return the questionnaire “within 7 days to ensure accurate tabulation and dependable results.”
The RNC has also been sending deceptive communications on social media, which could be particularly damaging because the 2020 Census is the nation’s first that will be conducted largely online.
In addition to the Committee’s letter on March 5, yesterday Maloney introduced the Census Form Integrity Act to strengthen a bill she introduced in 2010—the Prevent Deceptive Census Look Alike Mailings Act.
After this bill was introduced, the RNC wrote a letter to the Committee committing to “use words other than ‘census’ in future RNC mailings and digital advertising.”