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Trump administration misses census data deadline, eyes March handover to Congress

Trump administration misses census data deadline, eyes March handover to Congress

Data from the 2020 Census will likely not be provided to Congress until March due to analysis delays caused by various global events as well as problems with some of the information collected, the Trump administration said on Monday after missing a deadline.

The Associated Press reported that Justice Department attorneys told a court that it will take until at least March 6 to fix anomalies discovered last year during an already shortened analysis period.

Experts had warned for months that the Trump administration was not giving adequate time for both data collection and analysis in a year complicated by both the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and wildfires across the western U.S. that forced thousands to flee their homes last year.

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Lawmakers have accused the Commerce Department, which oversees the Census Bureau, of stonewalling their attempts at oversight while hiding information about delays affecting the 2020 census. In December, the House Oversight and Reform Committee moved to subpoena Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossOn The Money: Retail sales drop in latest sign of weakening economy | Fast-food workers strike for minimum wage | US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits Census Bureau racing to complete noncitizen data, watchdog says MORE over the issue.

Ross, wrote committee Chairwoman Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn MaloneyDemocrats urge tech giants to change algorithms that facilitate spread of extremist content Hillicon Valley: Biden names acting chairs to lead FCC, FTC | Facebook to extend Trump ban pending review | Judge denies request for Amazon to immediately restore Parler Judge denies request for Amazon to immediately restore Parler MORE (D-N.Y.), "repeatedly failed to inform the Committee on a timely basis of grave problems with the Census, forcing us time and time again to read about them in the press rather than from the agency."

"By blocking the production of documents requested by the Committee, you and others in the Trump Administration are preventing Congress from verifying the scope of these anomalies, their impact on the accuracy of the Census, and the time that professionals at the Census Bureau need to fix them," Maloney added in her letter to Ross last month. 

The delays mean that the data will not be provided to Congress before President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBudowsky: A Biden-McConnell state of emergency summit DC might win US House vote if it tries Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman inks deal with IMG Models MORE takes office, an outcome that assures that the 2020 census data will not be affected by one of outgoing President TrumpDonald TrumpSchumer: Impeachment trial will be quick, doesn't need a lot of witnesses Nurse to be tapped by Biden as acting surgeon general: report Schumer calls for Biden to declare climate emergency MORE's priorities for the data: the subtraction of undocumented immigrants from the population count, a move that would wildly affect congressional representation and federal funding in some areas.