Bipartisan senators ask congressional leadership to extend census deadline

Bipartisan senators ask congressional leadership to extend census deadline
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A bipartisan group of senators are asking congressional leaders to include an extension of the statutory deadlines for the 2020 census in the next coronavirus relief package.

In a letter to Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump puts Supreme Court fight at center of Ohio rally CDC causes new storm by pulling coronavirus guidance Overnight Health Care: CDC pulls revised guidance on coronavirus | Government watchdog finds supply shortages are harming US response | As virus pummels US, Europe sees its own spike MORE (D-Calif.), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyMcCarthy's Democratic challenger to launch first TV ad highlighting Air Force service as single mother Trump asked Chamber of Commerce to reconsider Democratic endorsements: report The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - White House moves closer to Pelosi on virus relief bill MORE (R-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGraham: GOP will confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee before the election Trump puts Supreme Court fight at center of Ohio rally The Memo: Dems face balancing act on SCOTUS fight MORE (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerJacobin editor: Primarying Schumer would force him to fight Trump's SCOTUS nominee CNN's Toobin: Democrats are 'wimps' who won't 'have the guts' to add Supreme Court seats Republican senator says plans to confirm justice before election 'completely consistent with the precedent' MORE (D-N.Y.), 48 senators — including GOP Alaska Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiGraham: GOP will confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee before the election Gardner signals support for taking up Supreme Court nominee this year Tumultuous court battle upends fight for Senate MORE and Dan SullivanDaniel Scott SullivanWill Republicans' rank hypocrisy hinder their rush to replace Ginsburg? Hillicon Valley: DOJ indicts Chinese, Malaysian hackers accused of targeting over 100 organizations | GOP senators raise concerns over Oracle-TikTok deal | QAnon awareness jumps in new poll Republican Senators raise concerns over Oracle-TikTok deal MORE and 46 Democrats — said an extension is needed to ensure an accurate count for apportionment and redistrict.

“As you work on the next legislative package to address the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we strongly urge you to extend the statutory deadlines for the delivery of apportionment data and redistricting files following the 2020 Census,” they wrote.

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“Extending the deadlines for the delivery of these files in the next COVID-19 relief package will ensure that the Census Bureau has adequate time to complete a full, fair, and accurate 2020 Census. It will also ensure that both the Congress and the states receive accurate data for apportionment and redistricting.” 

The letter cited a request from April from Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossTrump 'very happy' to allow TikTok to operate in US if security concerns resolved TikTok, WeChat to be banned Sunday from US app stores The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by National Industries for the Blind - Trump seeks to flip 'Rage' narrative; Dems block COVID-19 bill MORE and Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham that Congress extend the statutory deadlines “for apportionment counts to be delivered to the President by April 30, 2021, and redistricting data to be delivered to the states no later than July 31, 2021.”

Since then, Trump administration has decided to curtail the census's enumeration period from the end of October to Sept. 30 due to statutory constraints during the coronavirus pandemic.

Census Bureau officials have expressed doubt they could get a proper count completed by the deadline.

“We have passed the point where we could even meet the current legislative requirement of December 31. We can’t do that anymore,” Tim Olson, who leads field operations for the census, said in a May quote cited in the letter.

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The letter is just the latest development as the Census Bureau races to complete a full count of the population, with millions of dollars for states and the makeup of House districts on the line.

Current models predict an accurate count would lead Rust Belt States, California and Alabama to lose seats while the Sun Belt, Montana and Oregon would see their congressional delegations grow. One study estimated that a state gets around $2,000 in federal money over the next decade for every person counted as a resident.

The decennial population count has already been thrust into uncertainty with the tightened timeline sparking fears that hard-to-reach communities, particularly communities of color, could be undercounted.

Meanwhile, President TrumpDonald John TrumpBubba Wallace to be driver of Michael Jordan, Denny Hamlin NASCAR team Graham: GOP will confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee before the election Southwest Airlines, unions call for six-month extension of government aid MORE in July issued an order seeking to block undocumented immigrants from being counted in the 2020 census for the purpose of allocating congressional representation, though that measure was met with swift legal challenges.