Congressman José E. Serrano

Representing the 15th District of New York

Congressman Serrano’s Statement on Department of Commerce Plan to Delay 2020 Census Operations

Apr 14, 2020
Press Release

The Bronx, NY – Today, Congressman José E. Serrano released the following statement on the Census Bureau’s proposal to adjust and delay 2020 Census operations in response to the coronavirus pandemic:

“As Chairman of the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee with jurisdiction over the Census Bureau, I am very concerned about the havoc that the Coronavirus pandemic is having on the implementation and accuracy of the 2020 Census. For this reason, I appreciate the need to think about changes to the decennial timeline and statutory requirements. That said, we need more details on the Administration’s proposal and clear plans from the Census Bureau itself. As the process moves forward, I hope the Administration engages members of Congress and provides us with information in a timely manner. Specifically, as CJS Chairman, I would like to see a clear breakdown of the cost impacts of the proposed changes and whether the Census Bureau has the resources it needs to support a safe and accurate Census. Although we have provided the Bureau with significant contingency funds in prior years, we need more information on their planned use and any additional costs related to necessary changes to ensure they are sufficient.  In particular, I would like clearer information on the Bureau’s revised plans to ensure an accurate count of hard-to-count communities.  Even during this time, we need to make sure we have a fair and accurate count.”

Congressman Serrano chairs the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over the Department of Commerce and the Census. The Congressman participated in a phone call yesterday with Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on the Census Bureau’s plans to delay and adjust Census operations. As part of its plans, the Department of Commerce intends to postpone all Census Operations until June 1, 2020 and complete the count on October 31, 2020 (a delay of 3 months). The Administration is also seeking support for Congress to change current statutory deadlines on when to deliver apportionment counts to the President, from December 31, 2020 to April 30, 2020; and redistricting data to the states, from March 31, 2021 to July 31, 2021. For more information about the Census Bureau announcement, click here: https://2020census.gov/en/news-events/operational-adjustments-covid-19.html

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Congressman José E. Serrano has represented The Bronx in Congress since 1990.