H.R. 931, To make participation in the American Community Survey voluntary, except with respect to certain basic questions (38 comments ↓)

  • This item is from the 112th Congress (2011-2012) and is no longer current. Comments, voting, and wiki editing have been disabled, and the cost/savings estimate has been frozen.

H.R. 931 would make participation in the American Community Survey voluntary, except with respect to certain basic questions.

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    Costs: $0.00 per
    and increases their $162,301.27 share of the national debt by $0.00.
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Peggy Johnson

August 11, 2011, 11:21pm (report abuse)

Please please please pass this bill. I am one of the unlucky ones who received an American Community Survey. The questions are so invasive and personal. I think it is deplorable that I am being threatened and hounded by my own government to answer them. I have received several threatening phone calls at all hours of the day and as late at 10:00 p.m. from the Census Bureau. I understand that the next step is that they will visit me. These questions should be voluntary. Why should I be forced to share whether I am pregnant, my mental condition, how many times I've been married, when I leave for work and when I get home, who my employer is, how much my electric bill is, how much my home is worth if it were sold, among many other very personal questions. I can't believe this is happening in America.

Austin Heffernan

November 14, 2011, 2:06am (report abuse)

The fact that the American Community Survey and its associated fines for non-compliance exists speaks volumes about how our Government is no longer a servant to its citizens. The bureaucrats have appointed themselves the masters. If you don't think this profiling is dangerous, talk to an Asian-American whose family was located using Census Department data and was rounded up and imprisoned during WWII. Urge your Congressman to support H.R. 931, which will allow Americans to choose whether or not they want to supply the Government with extremely detailed, personal information.

Stephen Dulan

December 29, 2011, 9:15pm (report abuse)

Why should I share with others every aspect of my personal life (my marital status, how many times I have been married, my health condition, health insurance, my employer’s name, my income, bank interest, dividends, how many cars I have, the features of my house, its market price, mortgage, property taxes, utilities costs, where I was born, my ethnic origin, how well I speak English, etc…).

This survey is a dangerous invasion of privacy, an outright attack on a free society, and it must be stopped now.

We as American People have a Constitutional right to our Privacy.

June Kidd

January 4, 2012, 10:03am (report abuse)

My father and my husband fought to keep this country free. We all have a responsibility and an obligation to see it stays that way - especially our "elected officials"


January 27, 2012, 10:56pm (report abuse)

I just received the American Community Survey. How much evil has been committed in the name of "community"? I've grown to despise the word. The battle against tyranny never ends. These American community types will never leave you alone. I'm not responding. Now I must live in constant fear of my government threatening me if I don't let them help me, like an overbearing mother that smothers her son to death. "When people fear the government - that is tyranny; when government fears the people - that is liberty." -Thomas Jefferson. This is what we have sunk to in this country - a commerce dept. that threatens the citizens in order to validate its existence. What has happened to liberty? Why do so many Americans fail to see their freedoms slipping from them as the greedy hand of government gently slipping its fingers around their throat.


January 28, 2012, 9:28pm (report abuse)

I am being harrassed by the survey thugs as well, please pass this bill. I will never tell them anything.


January 30, 2012, 6:54pm (report abuse)

I just received the American Community Survey and will not be filling it out or sending it in. Send me the fine, throw me in jail.. that will just get the issue of constitutionality to the Courts quicker. The Census Bureau knows that and so no one has ever been fined or taken to court for not filling the information out in this survey. Tell, me should we be scared of our government? If we are then something is wrong because in the USA, we the people are the government. Wake up people. Object to this infringement on our Constitutional Rights to privacy. Check out this link http://www.wnd.com/2012/01/legal-team-tells-census-bureau-to-back-off/

Sleeping Giant

February 2, 2012, 12:04am (report abuse)

The collection of "statistics" is a useful function to the American People. The US Census Bureau crossed the line from "statistic gathering" to "intelligence gathering" when it began collecting "Personally Identifiable Information (PII)". Power to "interrogate" law abiding citizens can only be granted by a Constitutional Amendment and the vote of the people. Unless the US Supreme court reviews and upholds those statutes, no one should provide any type of PII to anyone. The Supreme Court should rule that the American Community Survey is illegal and instruct the Commerce Dept to eliminate all PII from its databases. Just as mail-in ballots avoid PII, the methods for "statistics gathering" should be no less stringent.

Sleeping Giant 2

February 2, 2012, 12:05am (report abuse)

I have combined an adaptation of Hayden's excellent refusal cover letter, excerpts from citizen's testimonials regarding harassment, a copy of the ACS I found online and mailed it to the Editorial Directors of the nation's 25 largest news agencies. I have also purchased 50 bumper stickers that say: 'Google "REFUSAL American Community Survey" as a down payment on my children's liberty. Please do the same.

Homeland security and emigration control are very important issues; however, the people working them cannot be allowed to trample upon our Constitution. They must propose a solution and put it to the people directly. We all know that it was just this type of information gathering that allowed the German government to carry out it's atrocities in 1935. Although it's hard to imagine that happening here, there are other abuses that are easy to imagine such as phone, home, and work place harassment.


February 16, 2012, 10:37pm (report abuse)

A census worker has been here at least four times in less than two weeks. Who give the right to theses people to harrass me and disrupt my life. Is this what our tax money is being spent on?? Lets put it to better use.


March 4, 2012, 11:52am (report abuse)

I am a disabled veteran with over 21.5 years of Service in the United States Air Force. I have received 2 surveys, 2 letters and 2 visits. I still tell them NO and they are wasting their time and OUR taxpayer money every time they visit. To this date not one of the visitors has shown me any credentials and I keep telling them to leave. I will no longer answer my door or the phone unless I am certain as to who it is. Don't let these people shove you around! Just because you get a letter in the mail that states you MUST fill in the survey or you are breaking the law doesn't mean I am going to fill it out just to appease them! Stick together and just say NO! Ask them for their home address and number and if they refuse remind them that they work for us. If they give you their info then give them a call at 11:00pm on a Sunday evening just to say hello! One last thing, the visitors are very direct and threatening, but the letters beg you to please fill it out. Pathetic!!!


April 5, 2012, 1:40pm (report abuse)

Good news! Rutherford Institute has issued a stern warning to the Census Bureau regarding ACS.


Resident Apt.1

May 10, 2012, 12:34pm (report abuse)

The Sensless Bureau will continue all it's tactics until the American people put their foot down firmly on it's neck and say no. To learn more about the American Community Survey visit:


freedom fighter

May 17, 2012, 4:40pm (report abuse)

The government should fear the people and not the people fear the government. No to this abusive, fascist inquisition. It is an abuse of power of the government.

Carmen Brown

May 21, 2012, 1:08pm (report abuse)

Please pass this needed legislation. I fear answering personal questions to a government agent. I personally don't trust the loving, caring, all-powerful government enough to tell them my business. I'm not paranoid. No. I learned about Trail of Tear, slavery, Jim Crow, concentration camps for Japanese-Americans, and many other atrocities perpetrated by our federal and state governments. Angels do not govern us. Corrupt, power hungry people govern us. Check the news for the latest update on that. Questions by census workers must be voluntary.


May 21, 2012, 1:52pm (report abuse)

This survey is a scandalous invasion of people's liberty. The government has no right to compel it's citizens to provide this information. The politicians and bureaucrats who have saddled Americans with this abomination don't know the meaning of the word "liberty" and are not fit to hold office in this country.

Mildred Kenna

May 21, 2012, 7:22pm (report abuse)

It takes a demented person to do these ACS jobs. To bang on your door incessantly all hours of the day and night,and call all hours of the day and night to try to intimidate to, takes a sick, dangerous individual. Only an idiot would respond to these sociopaths. What a sick country to all such a practice. The way to deal with this is to publicize the ACS and its tactics and sociopathic, psychopathic workers internationally. I am working with several friends in the international press to do an exposee on this fascist agency.

Laura Blanchard

May 21, 2012, 10:06pm (report abuse)

I got a call from the American Community Survey people concerning a vacant property we own. I told them their questions were appallingly intrusive and they went away. Should I expect a fine?


May 25, 2012, 11:48am (report abuse)

Congrats to all you Americans who are taking a stand against this Govt. intrusion into our privacy and liberty called the "American Community Survey". I'm an 80 year old single female who lives alone. I would never give this info to anyone! I've now received 2 letters, 1 postcard and 2 survey forms. I sent the 2nd survey back BLANK with a cover letter citing the Constitution. I will avoid if possible answering harassing phone calls and will not answer the door to strangers. If necessary, I will call the police. If accosted, I will demand constitutional authority and a court order. If worse comes to worse I will call an attorney and the media. I will NEVER give them any personal or private info! I'm extremely sorry now that I filled out the regular census form two years ago. I should have written 1 (resident) and let it go at that. Thank you all for standing up for freedom! I'm so disappointed in those who simply roll over for obscenities such as this!

Hugh Farnham

May 25, 2012, 6:10pm (report abuse)

While I certainly support defunding the American Community Survey altogether, The 'mandatory' nature of this invasive questionnaire must be overturned.

The federal government has absolutely no enumerated power to compel me to answer these questions. Furthermore, I believe that to do so is a violation of the 4th Amendment.

And beyond the legal objections I have, I find the very notion that Congress would deem to compel me to comply with this survey utterly outrageous and offensive.

Unconstitutional - American Community Survey law

June 20, 2012, 7:56pm (report abuse)

The American Community Survey law is a violation of Article 4 of the Bill of Rights, which secures the right to privacy. Article 4 says: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Katie Mossman

June 27, 2012, 12:22pm (report abuse)

My guess is this is *selectively* random survey, with the intent to create a certain statistic for a govt project. Where is the list of what addresses were sent the survey? How do we know if it included all socioeconic areas? What about the illegals & homeless, who also cost the USA dollars & have finacial needs? Where are the results Of the survey published?


August 4, 2012, 6:01pm (report abuse)

I just read an article saying that businesses like Target use this surgery to find out about their customer base. It's all about money as usual. I might have filled it out if they hadn't asked for personally identifiable information. My husband said the senses worker was nice but he wouldn't give her any information besides the number of people who live in our house. She told him we were the first people in the whole city to refuse the surgery! That is unbelievable! Either she was lying or people really are intimidated by their government. Sad days.

Aggravated in American

October 9, 2012, 4:21pm (report abuse)

Does anyone know where we’re at on this HB 931 as of today’s date?? I recently received a 2012 American Community Survey (as well as a follow-up mailing and phone call) and I really feel that neither I nor my family should have to answer these extremely invasive questions. Any update would be appreciated.


October 22, 2012, 9:25pm (report abuse)

I too received the survey and will NOT fill it out!!! I'm ready for the calls and visitors. first, I have no landline affiliated with the resident at this address. 2nd if they visit, they will find it very difficult to get to my residence unless they can climb over a 10' razor wire gate or pusth through dense woods and thorny underbrush...

Given the questions they are asking... that should come from local and state municipalities. none of the questions are relevant to federal needs.

My county gov't knows how many bedrooms I have, how much my house is worth, how much my taxes are.

Social Security knows how much I make and where I work along with IRS

State DMV knows how many cars I have.

DOT knows traffic patterns and loads on a regular basis.

and so on. Basically everything on the form is available from several different gov't agencies. wny should I compile that information for them?


October 30, 2012, 1:19pm (report abuse)

Received 2nd survey a couple weeks ago. how long till the phone calls? Better yet, a personal visit. When I first read it, I knew there was no way I would answer the ACS. After researching and reading information online, I stand firm in the opinion this survey is unconstitutional, illegal, immoral, and hilarious. As rp2012 stated, almost all the info is publicly available to "them". I DID NOT answer invasive questions on the 2010 census and had a worker visit me 3 times and I held firm. I actually look forward to a visit over this ACS just so I can stand my ground and mess with their head. For every statute they quote requiring my answer I am ready with one that contradicts them.


November 6, 2012, 11:14am (report abuse)

Yup, got it. All mail that is addressed to "Resident" goes directly to the shredder. I keep a whistle next to the phone for telemarketers and a well trained Doberman for solitors at my door.


November 7, 2012, 6:02pm (report abuse)

Well, didn't take long. First call last week, politely informed them I wasn't gonna fill it out. Another call a few minutes ago. I quoted the constitution, he quoted sections authorizing survey. I quoted supreme court ruling protecting me from having to open my books and affairs to others. He wanted me to mark refused on the survey, I told him I wasn't wasting my time and didn't know if I even still had the survey. His reply was "I guess we will just have to step it up a notch" and wished me a good day, i asked what he meant and he repeated his statement and call ended. I expect the on-site visit within a week. I will have a copy of the Constitution in hand when they visit.


November 10, 2012, 5:55pm (report abuse)

Received two separate American Community Surveys in the mail. I hadnt opened either one. Survey guy showed up at my door last Sunday. I told him I thought census was only taken every 10 years. He said we had been randomly selected by our address and I had to complete it. He had laptop computer in hand and expected me to sit down with him on the spot to do it. I told him I was on my way out, would fill it put and mail it in later. He said it was too late to mail it in, I need to give it to him in person. He left his card--I'm supposed to call him when it's ready. I started to fill it out this week but am uncomfortable with the ridiculously personal questions they want answered. Will see if I can hide out and hope he doesn't show up again. Is that wishful thinking???


November 11, 2012, 1:08am (report abuse)

Hdh, Although I haven't received a visit yet (and I eagerly await it as I am ready to make a stand) I would bet you get at least 1 more visit, and then possibly a visit from a supervisor. I have dug deep into this the last couple of weeks and that seems to be what to expect. Don't live in fear of them, go about your normal life. If approached, politely refuse. Go (or stay) inside and shut the door. If they begin pounding on the door or peeping in windows, call your local police and report them. You have a right to feel secure in your own home. I plan to take a little firmer approach, in fact I welcome their visit for no other reason than to have the satisfaction of kicking them off my property for trespassing. They are a government agent and (right or wrong) I am of the belief they better have a warrant to enter my property.


December 1, 2012, 10:14pm (report abuse)

Ok, an update. Today around 12:15 pm I got a visit. Had to be today of all days. I was scheduled to appear as Santa at 1pm for a local charity function, so was half way dressed when I say a car outside the fence and 2 people standing there. An older gentleman and a young lady. The lady did all the talking, identifying them as from the Census and wanting to ask some questions. I told them i was in a hurry, couldn't talk, see me another day and went back inside. Said screw it, went back outside and told them not to waste their time coming back as I had answered all the questions I was gonna, and went back inside. They sat in their car for about 15 minutes before leaving. I expect (hope?) they will be back to get a piece of my mind. Too bad I didn't have time to deal with it today.


December 6, 2012, 2:22pm (report abuse)

Got my "survey" the other day followed by a post card telling me to return it as soon as possible. It will remain unsent. Other than the total number of people who reside at an address the rest that the ACS is "requesting" is personal and private information. I don't need to know what time you leave for work, what you drive, how many people are with you and how long it takes you to get to work-and neither should anyone need to know that about me or my family. Pass H.R. 931 a.s.a.p.


December 7, 2012, 1:03pm (report abuse)

Got a letter a couple days ago basically saying they would be back if I didn't call them. that the survey was mandatory, but contradicted with asking me to consider answering just the questions I felt comfortable with. Another contradiction, they cant share any of my info or answers with ANY other agency, yet can have the justice dept prosecute me for not complying. How will the JD know who to go after if they cant share any of my info? 3rd and most scary says by law I have to give them safe "ingress and egress" to my property and home if they deem it necessary to complete the survey. Without a warrant? I think not.


December 8, 2012, 4:57pm (report abuse)

I expected another visit today, being Saturday, and Wasn't disappointed. Same lady as last Saturday only she was alone this time. Said she was here to help me complete the survey. I informed her I had answered all the questions I was going to. She said "Oh so you mailed it it" and I informed her no, I didnt mail it, I gave the guy that called Nov.2 the only answer they get which is 2 people live here. She didnt pressure just made sure i understood the purpose of the survey. I politely made sure she knew about the Constitution and told her I would answer no questions without a subpeona. I dont think this lady has ever come across someone who refused to answer and had the citations to quote to her. She just stood there with a dumb look on her face. I also told her not to waste the taxpayer money sending anyone else out (she indicated I would get another visit) and not to waste time trying to prosecute as it wouldnt stand up in a court of law. Fun Fun. Look forward to the next visit :)


December 13, 2012, 8:41am (report abuse)

I am standing MY ground and saying NO to this invasion of privacy! Only Social Security and my state Jobs and Family Services and any other agency that I need help from will get such information!

Let's be real I have serveral chornic illnesses and in pain 24/7 which docs don't listen to me anyway! And in bed most of the time because of a nasty ulcer on foot. Then there is this worker awaking me or when I just got home from church 3 mims she comes knocking and I was headed back to bed.

Like I need to be bothered by this nonsense and to threaten me with jail and/or 5000 bucks which I don't have the money. I have my health to deal with and the clowns in congress taking my disabilty check away!


December 13, 2012, 11:21pm (report abuse)

Another letter today to assure me the survey is mandated under Title 13 and is a component of the 2010 Decennial Census. "Your response does make a difference and is mandatory". I called our regional office (LA) @ 800-992-3530 after hours, menu asks me to choose which survey I am calling about. There are like 8 different surveys ranging from health to construction. (call and see for yourself) Why is the Census Dept wasting money doing surveys on construction (and private health matters) when all they were originally intended for is to count the sheepole?

Time for me to put my foot down. I will call tomorrow and request a supervisor come out so I can end this once and for all.

kelluvsbears stand your ground. My point of view: They CANT by their own definition of law law share ANY of my info with ANY other agency, so how can they bring me personally up on charges?

Mike in MI HatesACS

December 29, 2012, 4:44pm (report abuse)

Been just saying no for a couple of months now. They keep harassing me with phone calls and coming to my house after I have repeatedly told them to leave and not come/call back. I have told them I refuse, they have threatened me with fines, to which I told them fine just don't bother me any longer. This is harassment, plain and simple.


January 11, 2013, 7:43am (report abuse)

This is the second time I've gotten this survey. I thought it was supposed to be "random".... I only filled out the normal census info last time and I will only do the same this time. Stop invading our privacy and wasting our time and money!

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