Census Bureau Faces Questions on Release of 2020 Data
The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee (HSGAC) held an oversight hearing on March 23 to review activities related to the 2020 Census and the Census Bureau. The hearing featured the testimony of Ron Jarmin, Acting Director of the Census Bureau; J. Christopher Mihm, Managing Director for Strategic Issues at the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and Nick Marinos, Director of Information Technology & Cybersecurity at GAO. Panelists answered questions on the outcome of the 2020 Census operation, including its use of new technologies, efforts to reach diverse communities, and the status of the Post-Enumeration Survey. In addition, several Republican members of the Committee questioned Director Jarmin about the Census Bureau’s decision to wait to release apportionment and redistricting data, despite Congressional deadlines, in order to produce more accurate data (see previous coverage). The Senators noted that the Bureau’s current timeline for releasing the information conflicts with some states’ constitutional deadlines to conduct reapportionment, which has led some states to sue the Bureau to release the data sooner. Jarmin maintained that the Bureau was doing everything it can to release accurate data as quickly as possible. A recording of the hearing and the witnesses’ written testimony is available on the HSGAC website.