Congressional Tri-Caucus Urges Census Reporting Deadline Extension Before Year’s End

The chairs of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus, and Congressional Hispanic Caucus wrote to House leadership this week, urging them to “continue to push for an extension of the deadline for delivering apportionment and redistricting data to April and July 2021, respectively,” as they “finalize negotiations on end of year legislation.”

The White House still insists that it aims to deliver totals by the December 31, 2020 statutory deadline, even though “on November 19th, the Census Bureau announced that they have experienced processing anomalies during post enumeration processing” and “the Commerce Department has been notified that it will not be possible to produce apportionment totals by January 26th at earliest.”

An extension “is necessary for the Census Bureau to implement complex data processing activities thoroughly and to complete the most accurate 2020 Census possible. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the 2020 Census completely, and the Census Bureau must dedicate enough time to ensure that we have a complete and accurate census.”

Emphasizing the importance, the letter concluded that, absent “bipartisan legislative action to preemptively extend the 2020 Census, Congress may be forced to assess and possibly reject the accuracy of the results of the 2020 Census in the new year.”

Congress is currently debating both a COVID-19 relief package and an omnibus Fiscal Year 2021 funding bill as the end of the year quickly approaches.