Former Census Directors Urge Congress to Provide Full-Year Funding for 2020 Census Immediately

A bipartisan group of former directors of the U.S. Census Bureau wrote to Congress today urging “a full-year appropriation for the 2020 Census as soon as legislatively possible, to avoid disruptions in the launch and steady implementation of robust census operations.”

The seven directors, who served under both Republican and Democrat White Houses, arrived as the full Senate is considering a “minibus” package of Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations bills, including the CJS bill that includes funding for the Census Bureau and the decennial census.

“We are deeply concerned that the 2020 Census effort could be hampered if the Census Bureau does not have the certainty of a full year funding level soon, whether the vehicle for such funding is a final Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations bill (standing alone or in an Omnibus appropriations package) or a second Continuing Appropriations Resolution,” said the directors.

The “best chance,” they said, for the Bureau to count “all states, localities, communities, and population groups at equal levels of accuracy and coverage” will be for “the director and senior officials” to know they have “the resources available for final preparations and the entire enumeration process as soon as possible.” The former Census Bureau Directors recognized “that a budget that recognizes the challenges at hand is one of the most prudent investments this nation can make to strengthen our democracy, support informed decision‐making in the public and private sectors, and offer transparency in resource allocation and policy outcomes.”

Read the full letter.