Bill attempts to prevent political interference in U.S. headcount
New questions on a census form would have to be approved by Congress and a director of the US Census Bureau could not be fired without cause under a bill that tries to prevent the type of interference in the future politics in the nation’s 2020 headcount that took place under the Trump administration.
Legislation introduced this week in the U.S. House of Representatives would set up roadblocks against attempts to politically interfere in the once-a-decade census that determines how many congressional seats each state gets and how they are distributed. $1.5 trillion in federal spending each year, according to U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, DN.Y., the bill’s sponsor.
“The census is a foundation of American democracy, and it must be protected from partisan interference,” said Maloney, chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, which was holding a hearing on the bill Thursday. .
In the years leading up to the 2020 census, the Trump administration tried unsuccessfully to add a question about citizenship to the census questionnaire, a move advocates feared would scare Hispanics and immigrants from participating. whether they are legally in the country or not. The Supreme Court blocked the issue.
The Trump administration has also tried unsuccessfully to get the Census Bureau to illegally exclude the nation’s residents from the population figures used to allocate congressional seats among states, also known as apportionment numbers.
Critics claimed that the citizenship issue was inspired by a Republican redistricting expert who believed that using voting-age citizen population instead of total population in an effort to redraw congressional and legislative districts could be advantageous for Republicans and non-Hispanic whites.
The Trump administration has pushed for the distribution figures to be released before President Donald Trump leaves the White House in January 2021, shortening the schedule for field operations that had been extended due to the pandemic. The bill would vest in the Director of the Census Bureau all technical, operational and statistical decisions for the once-a-decade census.
The Trump administration has appointed an unusually large number of politicians with no prior experience in the statistical agency to leadership positions within the Census Bureau. The bill would limit the number of political appointees to three: the director of the Census Bureau and two other positions. All other positions should be filled by career civil servants, including the deputy director position, who should have knowledge or experience with the Census Bureau.
Even though many of the Trump administration’s policy efforts ultimately failed, some supporters believe they had an impact, with a much greater undercount of most racial and ethnic minorities in the 2020 census compared to the 2010 census.
The 2020 census black population had a net undercount of 3.3%, while it was almost 5% for Hispanics and 5.6% for American Indians and Native Americans. Alaska living on reservations. Those who identified with another race had a net undercount of 4.3%.
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