What I find remarkable about the reinstatement of the SIPP money is the comforting knowledge that there are people out there who actually READ the budget lines. The Commerce, Justice, et al. Appropriations bill is notoriously massive omnibus legislation.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT: Meghan O'Shaughnessy (202) 225-7944
June 13, 2007
WASHINGTON - Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), a long-time champion of the Census and former ranking member on the Government Reform Census Subcommittee, today praised the inclusion of full funding for the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), and funding for the 2010 Census Partnership Program, in the Fiscal Year 2008 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. The Bush Administration left the funding for these important Census programs out of its original budget proposal, and Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV) was instrumental in securing this appropriation.
"I commend my friend and colleague Mr. Mollohan for his foresight in fully funding the SIPP, an essential survey tool that helps analyze the effects of public policy on American families. I know how difficult it can be to find funding in this tight budget, but Rep. Mollohan recognized that good data makes good policy. I also applaud the funding for the Census Partnership Program, which is essential to obtaining the most accurate census count possible," said Maloney. "My hope is that the Administration will now get behind this effort and support Mr. Mollohan's fully funding the SIPP and funding the Partnership Program."
The Bush Administration originally planned to end the SIPP, with the intent to replace it with a redesigned survey later on. After reevaluating their plan and receiving negative feedback from members of Congress and policy stakeholders, the Administration acknowledged that the timeline for ending the SIPP and beginning its replacement would not only yield a disastrous data gap, but an unworkable survey tool. The Administration changed course and decided to continue the SIPP.
The Census Partnership Program was integral to the success of the 2000 Census. It partners the Census Bureau with community leaders who help stress the importance of the census to their constituencies. There was no funding included for this program in the President's budget proposal, which would make it impossible for the program to achieve the same level of success as it did in 2000, when it had over two years to build community relationships.
The SIPP was created by the Census Bureau in 1984 to gather more detailed information about the impact of government aid on people's lives and how people move in and out of government programs. Rather than just capturing information at a point in time, the SIPP is unique because it questions thousands of the same people every few months for several years, providing a greater understanding of transitions into and out of government programs.
The rich and detailed data generated by this survey allow researchers and lawmakers to examine the real-world impact of a wide variety of government programs, such as welfare reform, Medicaid, child-support enforcement, and unemployment insurance. The survey provides essential information on the extent to which programs meet families' basic needs and promote upward mobility. The SIPP also provides more in-depth information than other government surveys on work-family issues, such as maternity leave, child care usage and costs, and the work schedules of couples.