The Biden Administration has requested a funding “anomaly” for the Census Bureau. As noted by Shalanda Young, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), on September 7, “with the end of the fiscal year rapidly approaching, it’s clear that Congress will need to pass a short-term continuing resolution (CR).”
(There has been no action on Fiscal Year 2022 funding for the Census Bureau since House committee passage of the Commerce Justice Science (CJS) appropriations legislation in July.)
The White House’s proposed funding anomalies, described as “technical assistance to Congress on a short-term CR” and meaning funding at levels different from current fiscal year appropriations, include one for the Census Bureau:
Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Census Bureau – Periodic Censuses and Programs Sec. ___. Notwithstanding section 101, amounts are provided for “Department of Commerce—Bureau of the Census—Periodic Censuses and Programs” at a rate for operations of $1,132,537,000.
Language is needed to provide the Department of Commerce, Periodic Censuses and Programs account with a rate for operations of $1.1 billion to cover key operations of the 2020 and 2030 Decennial Censuses, the Economic Census, and the Data Ingest and Collection for the Enterprise program. Funding enacted for this account in FY 2021 relied on significant unobligated balances, which are now depleted. Without the anomaly, Decennial Census operations, preparations for the 2022 Economic Census, and development of the Data Ingest and Collection for the Enterprise program will be negatively impacted.
While this proposal mirrors the Administration’s request for FY 2022, stakeholders of The Census Project are seeking a higher level of funding, just as they did recently with the Senate.