On November 4, 2021, the United States Senate voted 58-35 to approve the nomination of Mr. Robert Santos to be next Census Bureau director. With the Senate’s confirmation, Mr. Santos becomes the first Latino and the first person of color to serve as a permanent, Senate-confirmed Census Bureau Director.
The saga of his Senate confirmation began on October 7 when Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Gary Peters (D-MI) asked the Senate to take up and pass the Santos nomination (through December 31, 2026) under “unanimous consent” (UC). Senator Peters’ UC request was denied when Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) objected (See Census Project October 2021 update for additional details). Senator Scott’s action set the stage for the November 4 debate and roll call vote. Ten Republicans (Blunt (R-MO); Capito (R-WVA); Collins (R-ME), Cornyn (R-TX), Graham (R-SC), Grassley (R-IA), Murkowski (R-AK); Portman (R-OH); Romney (R-UT); and Toomey (R-PA) joined 48 Democrats to approve his confirmation. Seven members of the Senate missed the vote.