Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) today expressed her disappointment with a federal court ruling barring the Census Bureau from using statistical sampling as part of the 2000 census count. "This decision puts too many of America's most vulnerable citizens at risk and should not stand. We cannot afford a repetition of 1990 where 1.6% of the population was undercounted, and most of these people were inner city minority residents," Pelosi said.
Rep. Pelosi is particularly concerned with the failure to count America's children. "A recently released Columbia University study said that one in four children under the age of six in America lives in poverty. How could this be, in a country as great as ours? Maybe one of the reasons is that we do not have an accurate count of our children. Fifty-two percent of the undercount in 1990 were children. We cannot minister to the needs of America's children, if we do not have an accurate count of those children," Pelosi said.
The court ruling was based on federal law and not on the constitutionality of sampling. The Clinton Administration plans to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court where supporters of sampling are more hopeful for a favorable decision. In the meantime, Rep. Pelosi will continue to oppose legislation which prohibits sampling.
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