WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Committee on Oversight and Reform Vice Chair Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Government Operations Subcommittee Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (VA-11), Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee Chairman Jamie Raskin (MD-08), and Congressmen Don Young (AK-AL), and Ruben Gallego (AZ-07) introduced the 2020 Census Deadline Extensions Act, to extend the Census Bureau’s statutory deadlines for the delivery of apportionment and redistricting data and ensure the American people of the data’s quality and thoroughness. Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced a companion bill in the Senate.
“With the data from the 2020 Census guiding millions of dollars in federal funds to improve our community’s health care, public safety, roads, and schools, my constituents in Los Angeles simply cannot afford to be undercounted, especially in the midst of this crushing economic and public health crisis driven by COVID-19,” said Vice Chair Gomez. “The 2020 Census Deadline Extensions Act represents another critical tool to help us in our shared commitment to ensure all communities are represented through a fair and accurate 2020 Census count. I’d like to thank Chairwoman Maloney for her leadership in helping us ensure that everyone is counted and has a strong voice in our representative democracy.”
“Ensuring a complete and accurate Census count has long been a top priority for the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and passing this bill is a crucial step to make that happen,” Chairwoman Maloney said. “An inaccurate Census count would jeopardize Americans’ access to over $1.5 trillion dollars for healthcare, roads, job training, and education. I urge all my colleagues to support the bipartisan 2020 Census Deadline Extension Act so their constituents receive the resources they deserve.”
“Congress must be a partner in ensuring we have a fair and accurate Census,” said Subcommittee Chairman Connolly. “Our legislation will take a crucial step to guaranteeing every community is fully represented in the Census. I thank Chairwoman Maloney for her steadfast leadership on this.”
“The 2020 Census faced unprecedented challenges, from a pandemic radically changing Census operations to an Administration playing political games with the count,” said Subcommittee Chairman Raskin. “But we have been committed to a full and accurate count since the beginning, and this legislation will give the Bureau the necessary time to get it right. I am glad that we have reached bipartisan consensus on this critical bill.”
"The Census is critical to ensuring that Alaska is treated fairly when it comes to allocating federal funding for education, health care, and more," said Congressman Young. "I am proud to help introduce the bipartisan 2020 Census Deadline Extension Act, which will give the Census Bureau the time they need to analyze and compile thorough, accurate data. This is a crucial task, and one that will impact our country, our elections, and our public services over the next decade. This legislation will not only reestablish Congress's authority over the Census, but will also help our constituents succeed for years to come. I ask my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join us in this important effort."
“Now is not the time to lose momentum in the fight for a fair and accurate 2020 Census,” said Congressman Gallego. “There is still work to be done to ensure that the Census includes accurate enumerations of Hispanic, Indigenous, rural, and other minority and hard-to-count communities that were targeted by disinformation and intimidation during the Census count last year. I am proud that there is continued, bipartisan support for this bill that reinforces the rights of all people in the United States to be counted and to receive the political representation and federal funding they deserve.”
The 2020 Census Deadline Extensions Act:
- Reestablishes Congress’ authority over how the Decennial Census is conducted;
- Provides the time necessary for career experts to properly process the data; and
- Ensures that the data delivered on behalf of the American people is complete and accurate.
The House Oversight and Reform Committee has consistently pressed to extend the deadline for the 2020 Census since the Trump Administration asked Congress to pass urgent legislation to extend several key Census deadlines, as a result of the coronavirus crisis, in April. The House swiftly passed the requested extensions on May 15, 2020, as part of the Heroes Act, but the Senate failed to act, and the extended deadlines were never codified.
Chairwoman Maloney also introduced stand-alone legislation on May 27, 2020, the Fair and Accurate Census Act, and Senator Schatz and Senator Kamala Harris introduced the Senate companion on June 23, 2020.
Since then, the Bureau has faced additional challenges with processing Census data including the identification of at least 15 anomalies which, while routine, require additional time for the experts to address.
In January, the Census Bureau announced that it had revised its internal delivery timeline and would be able to provide accurate apportionment data to the President by April 30, 2021, and redistricting data to every state by September 30, 2021.
For the full text of this legislation, please click here. For a one-page summary, please click here.