Committee Examines Significant Risks to Census with Bureau Director and GAO

Feb 13, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (Feb. 13, 2020)—This week, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, held a hearing with the Director of the Census Bureau and officials from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine a new GAO report warning of “significant risks” to the “cost, quality, schedule, and security” of the 2020 Census.

TAKEAWAYS

  • Experts from GAO testified that the Trump Administration has fallen behind in recruiting Census workers, establishing partnerships, testing technology, and addressing cybersecurity vulnerabilities. 
  • Witnesses agreed that the Census Bureau needed to conduct robust outreach to fully count minority, rural, and other historically undercounted communities.   An undercount could cause these communities to lose their voice in Congress and miss out on federal funds for healthcare, schools, roads, and other essential services.
  • The Committee demanded that the Census Bureau do more to show all Americans that despite the Trump Administration’s anti-immigrant policies, the Census is safe and secure—and will not include a citizenship question.
  • In response to bipartisan concern that the Census Bureau has not responded to the Committee’s requests, the Director of the Census Bureau agreed to provide the Committee a list of all Census partners in every congressional district by the end of the week. 
  • Members of the Committee pressed the Census Bureau Director to combat disinformation, including a deceptive mailer from the Republican National Committee disguised as a 2020 Census form.  Chairwoman Maloney vowed to take further steps, including examining possible legislation, if necessary to prevent further deception. 

WITNESSES

The Honorable Dr. Steven Dillingham
Director
United States Census Bureau

Mr. Albert E. Fontenot Jr.
Associate Director
Decennial Census Programs
United States Census Bureau

Mr. J. Christopher Mihm
Managing Director
Strategic Issues
Government Accountability Office

Mr. Nick Marinos
Director
Information Technology and Cybersecurity
Government Accountability Office

VIDEOS 

Watch Chairwoman Maloney’s opening statement.

Watch Rep. Clay’s question line.

Watch Rep. Lynch’s question line.

Watch Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s question line.

Watch Rep. Porter’s question line.

Watch Rep. Tlaib’s question line.

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Issues: 
116th Congress