On Monday, September 21, House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey (D-NY) introduced a continuing resolution (CR), H.R. 8319, to extend federal government funding through December 11—a necessary action since the current fiscal year (Fiscal Year (FY 2020)) ends on September 30. The agreement, which was struck by House Speaker Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, will be considered in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday, September 22. It is expected to pass. The timeline for Senate consideration has not been announced, but it must be approved before the end of the Fiscal Year on September 30 (otherwise, we risk a potential government shutdown).
Census stakeholders had been urging negotiators to include language in the CR to extend the 2020 Census statutory reporting deadlines, such as from the bipartisan Census Deadline Extension Act (S. 4571, H.R. 8250). The final agreement does not include this language.
It does, however, provide the Census Bureau with $1.514 billion to support 2020 Census operations. The amount represents the President’s Fiscal Year 2021 request for the Periodic Census and Programs account plus $122 million. The Administration’s request had assumed $122 million in carryover spending from FY 2020 to FY 2021. By providing the additional $122 million in the CR, the Census Bureau is guaranteed access to this funding rather than assuming the carryover balances will be available to support additional 2020 Census costs through December 11. The CR also allows the Census Bureau to spend their funding at a faster rate, granting the agency additional flexibility if it is needed.