Chairwoman Maloney Issues Statement Following Court Decision to Extend Key 2020 Census Deadlines

Sep 25, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (Sept. 25, 2020)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, issued the following statement after a federal court ruling extended the 2020 Census enumeration to October 31:


“I commend the court’s decision, which is based on concerns raised by career Census Bureau experts and four former Census Bureau Directors about the dangers of cutting the 2020 Census short during the coronavirus crisis—including an internal document that the Administration’s efforts to rush the count will ‘result in a census that has fatal data quality flaws that are unacceptable for a Constitutionally-mandated activity.’  An inaccurate Census will hurt Americans in both red states and blue states, preventing them from receiving hundreds of millions of dollars their states are due in federal programs for healthcare, roads, job training, and education.”


Chairwoman Maloney has consistently pressed to extend the deadline for the 2020 Census since the Trump Administration asked Congress to pass urgent legislation to extend several key Census deadlines, as a result of the coronavirus crisis, in April.  The House swiftly passed the requested extensions on May 15 as part of the Heroes Act. 


Chairwoman Maloney also introduced stand-alone legislation on May 27, the Fair and Accurate Census Act, and the Senate companion was introduced on June 23. 


In late July, the Trump Administration suddenly reversed its position, forcing the Census Bureau to drastically curtail operations, including cutting field operations by one month and cutting data processing by three months.


On August 27, the Committee received a new report by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office warning about risks with the compressed timing of the Census, including serious concerns regarding the “accuracy of data collected,” the “completeness of data collected,” and “data quality.”


On September 2, the Oversight Committee released an internal Census Bureau document presented to Secretary Ross on August 3, the same day the Administration announced a new truncated schedule to deliver apportionment data to the President by the end of the year.  The document warned that this drastically reduced timeline will force the Census Bureau to curtail or entirely remove key steps developed over the past decade to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the Census. 


On September 10, at a hearing held to analyze the risks of rushing the Census under the new schedule, former Census Bureau Director John Thompson testified, “If the actions described in the document that the Committee recently released are actually what is being implemented by the Census Bureau, it is clear that quality is being sacrificed in order to meet the September 30, 2020 deadline.”



116th Congress