On Wednesday, August 4, by a vote of 10-3, the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee voted to advance the nomination of Robert Santos to be the next Director of the U.S. Census Bureau. Three Republican members of the committee, U.S. Senators James Lankford (R-OK), Rick Scott (R-FL) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) opposed the nomination without explaining their positions. The chair of the committee, Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), spoke favorably about Mr. Santos, saying he has “shown the leadership and dedication to scientific integrity needed to lead the Census Bureau’s important work.”
If confirmed, Mr. Santos would be the first person of color to serve as a Senate-confirmed or permanent director of the U.S. Census Bureau. It is not clear when the full Senate will consider his nomination.
Wade Henderson, Interim President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, released a statement urging the Senate to approve Mr. Santos’ nomination promptly.