Shaheen on GAO Census Report: “This assessment should be a wakeup-call”

August 28, 2020

(Washington, DC)— U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the Ranking Member of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations subcommittee which funds the Census Bureau and the implementation of the decennial census, released the following statement after the Government Accountability Office, an independent, non-partisan federal oversight agency, determined that the Trump administration’s rushed census reporting timeline threatens the accuracy of this year’s census count. Senator Shaheen has led calls for investigations into this abrupt timeline change, urging both GAO and the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Commerce to conduct thorough reviews. 

“This assessment should be a wake-up call,” said Ranking Member Shaheen. “There is no policy justification for rushing the census count, yet it risks drastically undercounting communities as this report clearly outlines. The fact that the Trump administration still hasn’t issued a rationale for its curtailed timeline is telling. I look forward to the result of the Department of Commerce Inspector General’s investigation as to whether political gain was a factor in this decision. An inaccurate census will trigger a constitutional crisis and further undermine faith in our governing institutions. Every effort must be made to make sure this census is done fairly and accurately despite the challenges posed by COVID-19.”