An effort to be more inclusive or attempted intrusion by the federal government? Democrats and Republicans took starkly contrasting views on Tuesday of proposed legislation that would put voluntary questions about sexual orientation and gender identity on federal surveys. Under the bill debated by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, no one would be required to give the information nor would they be penalized for refusing to do so.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, the committee's Democratic chair, says the measure would help make data collection as inclusive as possible. Republican committee members called the measure government intrusion and overreach at its most personal.
“By including this, we can ensure that our policies are more equitable and inclusive of the constituents we serve,” Maloney said.
“We should be alarmed by this attempt by the federal government to gather such sensitive data,” said Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona.
“Attempting a citizenship question was a fear tactic used to discourage certain people from participating in the 2020 census,” Maloney said. “This is a bill that will help us serve our constituents better.”