On Wednesday, the House voted 416-0 to ban misleading mailings designed to look like official government documents, following criticism from both sides of the aisle that two Republican groups were sending out fundraising letters that appeared to be official communications from the Census Bureau.
Under the new bill, which was co-sponsored by Representatives Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), mailings using the word “census” will have to include the name and address of the sender, as well as an unambiguous disclaimer that the letter has not been authored by the federal government, the Associated Press (AP) reports.
Meanwhile, several Democratic leaders have blasted the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) for trying to confuse citizens and piggyback on the Census Bureau’s multimillion dollar advertising campaign.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has alleged that the fundraising letters, which were signed by RNC Chairman Michael Steele and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), may discourage people from completing their Census surveys, The Hill reports.
“[Boehner and Steele] have a responsibility to tell every Republican who received their fundraising solicitation that it is not an official U.S. Census form and encourage them to fill out their census form,” said DCCC spokesman Ryan Rudominer.
Democratic leaders in the Senate have said they plan to sign off on the bill recently approved in the Senate.