Trump administration appears to miss deadline to start printing census

The Trump administration appears to have missed a deadline to begin printing forms and other mailings for the 2020 census, according to NPR.

The public radio network, citing a website tracking the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), reported on Tuesday that OMB had not officially approved the 2020 census materials for printing as of Monday. 

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The report comes less than a week after the Supreme Court ruled that the administration did not provide a sufficient reason for adding a citizenship question to the census, thus blocking the question for the time being. 

Lawyers for the Department of Justice told a federal judge in Maryland on Monday that the White House had yet to reach a final decision on whether it would make another case for including a citizenship question on the census, NPR reported. 

U.S. District Judge George Hazel is reportedly holding a hearing on the issue on Tuesday. 

The government is scheduled to officially start its head count of every person living in the U.S. in January. The count will begin in rural Alaska that month before moving on to the rest of the country in April, NPR noted. 

In light of the Supreme Court ruling, President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Trump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' MORE has said that he is looking "very strongly" at delaying the census. 

“We’re looking at that,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday when asked about a delay. “So you can ask other things, but you can’t ask whether or not somebody is a citizen? So we are trying to do that. We’re looking at that very strongly.”

Trump added that the question was essential to the census because “it’s very important to find out if somebody’s a citizen as opposed to an illegal.”

Legal experts have said that delaying the census is unconstitutional. The Constitution states the census must be conducted every 10 years and must count all people living in the United States. 

The Commerce Department has previously said that it faced a July 1 deadline to print census forms. But the department said that the deadline could be pushed back to October due to extenuating circumstances. 

Census Bureau officials have also testified that the printing of census materials could be delayed to Oct. 31, NPR reported. 

The Census Bureau's public information office and a spokesperson for the government's 2020 census printing contractor declined to comment to NPR. 

The Commerce Department and White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Hill.