Another Continuing Resolution (CR), which would extend current funding for all federal agencies through March 11, is working its way through Congress. The Further Additional Extending Government Funding Act (H.R. 6617) passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a 272 – 162 vote on February 8, 2022. The Senate is expected to approve the bill before the end of this week and send it to the President for signature.
The CR contains only one anomaly, providing emergency funding for water contamination from the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility in Hawaii. The Census Bureau did not receive a funding anomaly, so the new CR would continue to hold the Bureau at FY 2021 funding levels through March 11.
Census Bureau officials confirmed that 2022 Economic Census operations should not be disrupted by the CR. The Economic Census reaches peak operations in 2022, but the Bureau has made necessary adjustments to support the survey through the duration of the proposed CR.
The Data Ingest and Collection Enterprise (DICE) program is the largest Census Bureau program most adversely affected by the CR extension. DICE, an initiative to re-engineer current business processes and technology solutions to update and streamline data collection operations, has instituted a hiring freeze. Further, the program is delaying the development of key technologies because of the CR. The Bureau believes it can rectify the impact of these delays if a final FY 2022 appropriations bill is enacted by mid-March. However, if another longer CR is necessary after March 11, there may be long-term adverse impact on the DICE program’s development schedule.
The Biden Administration will unveil its FY 2023 budget request sometime after the State of the Union address on March 1.
The Census Project will soon release its FY 2023 funding recommendation, which will renew our recommendation for last year and again urge Congress to provide the Census Bureau with $2 billion.