July 2018 Census Project Update

While Congress moved several Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations bills in July, the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) bill, which funds the Census Bureau, was not one of them. Based on conversations with senior appropriations staff, neither the House of Representatives nor the Senate will consider the bill until mid-September at the earliest.  July was still a newsworthy month for census stakeholders!

Steven Dillingham Nomination

On July 18, the White House announced its intent to nominate Dr. Steven Dillingham to serve as the next Census Bureau Director. Currently, Dr. Dillingham serves as Director of the Office of Strategic Information, Research, and Planning for the U.S. Peace Corps. He led the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics in previous Republican administrations. He has graduate degrees in law and public administration from the University of South Carolina and an undergraduate degree in political science from Winthrop University. If confirmed, Acting Director Dr. Ron Jarmin would become the agency’s Deputy Director. A White House press release is available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/president-donald-j-trump-announces-intent-nominate-personnel-key-administration-post-10/.

Census stakeholders will be engaged when the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee holds a hearing to explore Dr. Dillingham’s nomination. At press time, the Committee had not announced when a confirmation hearing would be held. With few legislative days left in the U.S. Senate, some experts are speculating that Dr. Dillingham’s nomination will not be considered by the full Senate until next year.

2020 Census Printer Announces Bankruptcy

On July 23, the media reported that Cenveo, the company contracted to print the questionnaire for the 2020 Census, is going bankrupt. As a result, the company reached a recent agreement with the Department of Justice and Government Publishing Office to end its 2020 Census contract as part of the company’s bankruptcy proceedings.

Census stakeholders are encouraging congressional oversight committees to explore the implications of the canceled contract and subsequent agreement—especially as it pertains to the conduct and cost of the 2020 Census.

More information is available at: https://www.piworld.com/article/cenveo-61-million-2020-us-census-printing-contract-terminated-department-justice/.

Census Bureau Nominations

On July 27, the Census Bureau announced in the Federal Register a request for nominations for 5 individuals to serve on the Census Scientific Advisory Committee. The agency is seeking nominees who have “scientific and technical expertise in such areas as demography, economics, geography, psychology, statistics, survey methodology, social and behavioral sciences, Information Technology, computing, or marketing.” Nominations must be submitted by September 25. More information is available at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/07/27/2018-16021/request-for-nominations-of-members-to-serve-on-the-census-scientific-advisory-committee.

In another notice, the Bureau announced that it was extending its deadline for nominations to serve on the National Advisory Committee on Race, Ethnic and Other Populations. Nominations are now due September 4, and the Bureau is seeking to fill 7 slots. The revised Federal Register notice is posted at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/07/27/2018-16020/request-for-nominations-of-members-to-serve-on-the-national-advisory-committee-on-racial-ethnic-and.

News You Can Use

Wilbur Ross’ false claim to Congress that the census citizenship question was DoJ’s idea—July 30, The Washington Post


Multi-State Lawsuit Against Census Citizenship Question to Move Ahead—July 26, National Public Radio


Judge Allows Lawsuit Trying to Block Citizenship Question from Census—July 26, The New York Times


Census Bureau Faces Hiring Woes Amid Low Unemployment—July 18, The Hill


Census Bureau Nominee Becomes Lightning Rod for Debate Over 2020 Census—July 20, Science