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Congress moves to ban ‘census’ use

Fri., April 30, 2010

Congress is moving quickly to pass a new law to outlaw the use of “census” in mailings that are connected with money-raising schemes, not the official count of the U.S. population.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed on a voice vote this week and sent to the Senate a new bill designed to close a loophole the Republican National Committee believes it found in a law that passed without any dissent earlier this year and was signed April 7.

A mailing that suggests it contains official U.S. census documents but actually is a fundraising request from the RNC was sent last week to residents of Eastern Washington and other states. RNC Chairman Michael Steele told CNN this week the mailings are within the law: “I can’t help it that the Democrats wrote a bad bill.”

After complaints about the new mailing surfaced, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., drafted new legislation. He told the Associated Press it’s not a partisan issue: “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.”

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