The Census Project sent a sign-on letter (supported by MACS) to leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees and Appropriations Subcommittees on Commerce, Justice, and Science, urging Congress to fully fund 2020 Census planning and the American Community Survey in the final FY2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill. Congress must complete action on all of the spending bills (which it will roll into one bill) by December 11, when the Continuing Resolution (CR) runs out, or pass a second CR.
…As you consider final Fiscal Year 2016 agency budgets in accordance with the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, the undersigned members of The Census Project urge you to increase funding for the 2020 Census and related American Community Survey (ACS), both of which were dangerously underfunded in the House and Senate Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bills earlier this year.
Failure to provide a funding level for decennial census planning that is much closer to the President’s request of $663 million could cost taxpayers billions of dollars, as the Census Bureau falls back on more costly but “tried and true” counting methods, rather than implementing more cost-effective methods that haven’t been fully researched and tested. The bureau cannot meet the congressional goal of conducting the 2020 Census for less than the 2010 Census without adequate investment in final research, testing and development of sweeping design reforms, to ensure operational feasibility while maintaining accuracy.