Shaheen, Hassan & Bipartisan Group of Senators Call for Extension of Census Deadlines to Give Census Bureau Enough Time for Full and Accurate Count Amid Delays Due to Pandemic

August 12, 2020

**Senators Urge Extension Be Included In Upcoming COVID-19 Relief Package**

**Earlier this week, Shaheen – Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that Funds the U.S. Census Bureau – Requested an IG Investigation into Shortened Census Schedule**

(Washington, DC) – Yesterday, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined a bipartisan group of 48 Senators, led by Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), calling for the extension of the statutory deadlines for the delivery of apportionment data and redistricting files following the 2020 Census. The Senators urged House and Senate leaders to include the extension in the upcoming COVID-19 relief package.

“Extending the deadlines for the delivery of these files in the next COVID-19 relief package will ensure that the Census Bureau has adequate time to complete a full, fair, and accurate 2020 Census. It will also ensure that both the Congress and the states receive accurate data for apportionment and redistricting,” the Senators wrote in their letter to House and Senate leaders.

Citing a request first made by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham to extend the deadlines for apportionment to April 30 and redistricting to July 31, the Senators underscored the need to give the Census Bureau adequate time to collect and report an accurate count following delays due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The full text of the letter can be found below and is available here.

Earlier this week, Shaheen – Vice Chair of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations subcommittee that’s charged with funding the censussent a letter to the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Commerce requesting an investigation into whether political pressure from the White House and Department of Commerce leadership led to the decision to shorten field data collection and self-response operations by a month. Last week, Shaheen called on the Bureau’s Director Stephen Dillingham to answer a series of questions to ensure the 2020 Census is completed fairly and accurately. Her letter was in response to reports that the Trump administration is trying to rush execution of the Census for political purposes. Just last month, Senator Shaheen sent a bipartisan letter with Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) – the Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the U.S. Census Bureau – raising concerns of political impropriety after reports the Trump administration transferred political appointees to the nonpartisan agency.