IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
November 2, 2021
Mr. Schatz (for himself, Mr. Casey, and Ms. Warren) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
To amend chapter 7 of title 13, United States Code, to prohibit certain deceptive practices in relation to a census, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Honest Census Communications Act.
Prohibition on deceptive practices relating to census
Chapter 7 of title 13, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
Prohibition on deceptive practices
In this section—
the term census means any census under this title, including the decennial census of population;
the term census-related information means any information regarding—
the time, place, or manner of holding any census; or
the qualifications for, or restrictions on, participation in any census; and
the term covered communication means any—
electronic or digital communication, including a communication through a website, application, online forum, social media platform, streaming service, or other means of communications using the internet or a similar communications network; or
telephonic communication, including any phone call, text message, or other communication sent, received, or transmitted using a wireless or wireline phone or a cellular or other phone network.
It shall be unlawful for any person, whether acting under color of law or otherwise, to communicate or cause to be communicated any census-related information by any means, including by means of any covered communication, or to produce any census-related information with the intent that the census-related information be communicated—
knowing the census-related information to be materially false; and
with the intent to impede or prevent another person from participating in any census.
Any individual who violates subsection (b) shall be fined in the amount equal to the maximum penalty provided under subsection (d), imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both.
A civil penalty of not more than $11,181 may be assessed against any individual who violates subsection (b).
The table of sections for chapter 7 of title 13, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
Subchapter IV—Deceptive Practices
251. Prohibition on deceptive practices.