August 05, 2020

Feinstein to Census Bureau: Don’t Stop Count Month Early

Washington—Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today called on the Census Bureau to ensure an accurate census during the coronavirus pandemic by not stopping its counting efforts a month early.

“Rushing the enumeration of these remaining households will likely produce an incomplete census count, resulting in underfunding and underrepresentation of historically undercounted communities, many of which have been the hardest hit by COVID-19,” Senator Feinstein wrote.

“The Census Bureau has a constitutional duty to count every person living in the United States. Limited enumeration time will hinder the agency’s ability to carry out this duty, jeopardizing communities’ access to federal funding and resources for the next 10 years.”

Full text of the letter follows:

August 5, 2020

Dr. Steven Dillingham
Director
United States Census Bureau
4600 Silver Hill Road
Washington, DC 20233

Dear Dr. Dillingham:

I am writing to express concern about the U.S. Census Bureau’s recent announcement that all counting operations will end one month earlier than planned. To ensure a complete count of our country’s population, I ask that you reconsider this decision and continue working with Congress to extend the statutory deadlines for reporting census results.

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly delayed and disrupted the Census Bureau’s operations, leading to decreased participation in the 2020 Census. As of the date of this letter, 2020 Census response rates lag behind 2010 response rates, and nearly 4 out of 10 households remain uncounted by the Census Bureau.

Rushing the enumeration of these remaining households will likely produce an incomplete census count, resulting in underfunding and underrepresentation of historically undercounted communities, many of which have been the hardest hit by COVID-19.

The Census Bureau has a constitutional duty to count every person living in the United States. Limited enumeration time will hinder the agency’s ability to carry out this duty, jeopardizing communities’ access to federal funding and resources for the next 10 years.

In the midst of a global pandemic that is already hurting our most vulnerable residents, I urge you to reconsider your decision and take steps that allow the Bureau to count our country’s population with the utmost accuracy and care.

Thank you for your attention to this request. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or my staff.

Sincerely,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

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