The leaders of The Census Project (www.thecensusproject.org), a coalition of 700+ national, state, and local organizations in support of the decennial census, urgently appealed to Congress today to “provide full-year funding for the 2020 Census as soon as possible, whether as part of a package of final spending bills, or in a new Continuing Resolution.”
According to the Census Project, “the Census Bureau must have the certainty of full funding for the decennial census now, so that it can commit sufficient resources for final preparations, major operations, and expanded activities targeting hard-to-count communities, without concern that its funding may fall short of need.” Absent the certainty of funding, the Bureau might have to curtail important decennial census activities, like outreach, advertising, cybersecurity measures, or staff hiring.
The letter reminded Congress that “the constitutionally mandated 2020 Census will shortly be in full swing,” with most American households receiving 2020 Census forms not long after the expiry of the latest FY20 Continuing Resolution. “The census year has already begun.”
Lost time in the 2020 Census can no longer be made up. The Census Bureau now faces “two hard statutory deadlines: Census Day on April 1, 2020; and the December 31, 2020 requirement to deliver the Apportionment Count to the President and Congress. The window of opportunity to ensure a successful 2020 Census is closing.”
Should a second continuing resolution be required, the Census Project urged including “a full year appropriation of no less than the Senate committee-reported amount of $6.7 billion for the 2020 Census. Preferably, the Senate will soon consider and pass a full year FY 2020 Appropriation for the Department of Commerce which will provide the Census Bureau with all it needs.”
Read the full letter.