CENSUS BUREAU ECONOMIC QUESTIONNAIRE
(House of Representatives - April 25, 2013)

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[Pages H2302-H2303]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                  CENSUS BUREAU ECONOMIC QUESTIONNAIRE

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. Posey) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. POSEY. Mr. Speaker, generally, we believe that what's good for 
the goose is good for the gander. That's why I was a little bit shocked 
when it was brought to my attention by a number of my colleagues that 
they received an economic census in the mail--a very complex, 14-page 
document asking them in very great detail about their business, about 
their suppliers, about their cost, about who they sell to, and who 
their customers are. These were received by mom-and-pop businesses, 
sometimes just mom businesses, no pop--one-person businesses. One said:

       It will take me two days to fill out this questionnaire. I 
     have to work. If I don't work 2 days, my business will go 
     down the drain.

  I wondered how important this information was, so I wrote a letter to 
the Department of Commerce and the Census Bureau to ask just a few 
questions about it. I asked about their constitutional authority to do 
that, and they gave me their statutory authority. I'll talk about their 
letter in a minute. Then, while they didn't have time to answer my 
letter on a timely basis, they did have time to send another relatively 
harassing letter to the businesses threatening them with more 
penalties--a fine--and just scared the daylights out of them if they 
did not take time to return that form.
  I finally got my response from them, and what I found was that they 
didn't answer all my questions. I asked them:

       Please provide me with the information describing the 
     universe the economic census questionnaires were mailed to 
     and how they were selected.

  No answer.
  One constituent who received a questionnaire was a sole proprietor 
with no other employees; another was a sole proprietor with two 
employees.

       Please provide me a summary, if you have one, as to how 
     many of the businesses to which economic censuses were mailed 
     were sole proprietors or small businesses or corporations? 
     How many would you consider to be large corporations? Were 
     there any Fortune 500 companies?


[[Page H2303]]


  They didn't tell me.

       Please tell me how many Federal employees from your 
     agencies were involved in the development and execution of 
     the economic census. Do you not need to count Postal Service 
     time while delivering or returning the forms?

  No answer.

       Please provide me with the names of any Federal employees 
     associated with the development of the economic census that 
     have ever owned or operated any business whatsoever in the 
     private sector.

  They did not answer.

       Please provide me with the identity of any Federal agency 
     which has ever provided the kind of detailed financial 
     information and operating information to citizens that you've 
     requested from the people you are supposed to serve.

  No answer.

       The cost of completing the questionnaire will be costly for 
     small business. How much do you anticipate the cost of labor 
     will be to a business to comply with your request to complete 
     the questionnaire?

  No answer.

       Please advise how the information gleaned from these 
     questionnaires will be used.

  They gave me some generalizations.

       Please explain the benefit you anticipate the public will 
     gain from the questionnaire.

  Well, sort of. They said it would help them look at statistics.

       Please provide me with a one-page summary of major 
     activities performed by your agencies. Please cite the number 
     of times you perform each activity and the cost of performing 
     each activity on a unit cost basis. The aggregate cost of all 
     performing activity should be equal to the exact amount of 
     money that was passed through your agencies during a 1-year 
     period.

  Of course, they did not answer that.
  They have no problem demanding that information from the private 
sector, but the government sector is completely unwilling to go through 
the least little amount of trouble to provide Congress with that same 
information.
  We are often thought to believe that what's good for the goose is 
good for the gander, and so I will persist on trying to get answers to 
those questions for the constituents in my district, and hopefully for 
those in your districts that have also been interested.


   Awarding Congressional Gold Medal to Puerto Rico's 65th Infantry 
                                Regiment

  Mr. POSEY. Mr. Speaker, I would also like to say I am pleased to be 
here today and joined by Resident Commissioner Pierluisi in support of 
a bill awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to Puerto Rico's 65th 
Infantry Regiment, also known as the Borinqueneers.
  When the Korean war erupted in 1950, the soldiers of the regiment 
served in a segregated unit, despite President Truman's order 
desegregating the military 2 years earlier.
  Army commanders doubted the effectiveness of these Puerto Rican 
troops, calling them ``rum and Coca-Cola soldiers.'' They were required 
to use separate showering facilities and ordered under penalty of 
court-martial not to speak Spanish. They were even told to shave their 
mustaches until ``they gave proof of their manhood.''
  Despite this adversity, the Regiment embraced their Hispanic 
heritage, calling themselves ``Borinqueneers'' after the Taino word for 
Puerto Rico.
  The Regiment served with distinction during the Battle of Chosin 
Reservoir in December 1950. Fighting alongside the 1st Marine Division, 
they covered one of the greatest strategic withdrawals in military 
history. Fighting in temperatures as low as Negative 37 degrees, the 
Borinqueneers were among the last defenders of Hungham harbor, and 
suffered tremendous casualties during the evacuation.
  The Regiment later participated in numerous battles, conducting the 
last recorded battalion-size bayonet charge in Army history. Though 
they struggled with a grave shortage of trained non-commissioned 
officers and personnel policies that pushed it to the breaking point, 
they overcame these challenges, fighting valiantly, and earning the 
respect and admiration of their commanders.
  The Borinqueneers are part of a proud tradition of service in the 
face of adversity that includes the Tuskegee Airmen, Montford Point 
Marines, Navajo Code Talkers and the Japanese-American 442nd Regimental 
Combat Team--all of whom have already received the Congressional Gold 
Medal.
  I therefore rise in support of the Borinqueneers--the Forgotten 
soldiers of a Forgotten war--and urge all of my colleagues to join us 
by cosponsoring this legislation to ensure that the Borinqueneers 
receive their long overdue recognition.

                          ____________________