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Congressman Jamie Raskin

Representing the 8th District of Maryland

Rep. Raskin's Subcommittee to Examine 2020 Census Preparations and Repairing the Damage of the Trump Administration’s Citizenship Question Campaign

July 22, 2019
Press Release

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)—On Wednesday, July 24, 2019, Rep. Jamie Raskin, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, will hold a hearing entitled “Beyond the Citizenship Question:  Repairing the Damage and Preparing to Count ‘We the People’ in 2020.”

WHERE: 2154 Rayburn House Office Building

WHEN: Wednesday, July 24, 2019

TIME: 2:00 p.m.

The hearing will broadcast here

PURPOSE

The Census Bureau is in the final year of preparations for the 2020 Decennial Census, with some field operations scheduled to begin in August.  This hearing will examine the areas in which the Bureau is at risk of missing key milestones, as well as its efforts to conduct a complete count in “hard-to-count” communities. 

BACKGROUND

  • The Bureau must take aggressive steps to repair the damage caused by the Trump Administration’s “contrived” campaign to impose the citizenship question.
  • For example, the Bureau should clearly indicate what steps it is taking to differentiate Census workers from immigration officials, including developing a script and communications plan to account for the heightened climate of fear caused by this Administration. 
  • The Bureau should increase outreach to hard-to-count communities instead of sitting on $1 billion in appropriated funds.
  • The House’s FY2019 appropriations report directed the Bureau to “devote funding to expand targeted communications activities as well as to open local questionnaire assistance centers in hard-to-count communities.”   Despite this directive, the Bureau has all but eliminated Questionnaire Assistance Centers (QACs) for the 2020 Census and has not obligated over $1.02 billion in unspent funds.   The Bureau has not made clear whether or not it will conduct more outreach to hard-to-count communities with those funds.
  • The Bureau should improve processes for tracking and implementing security recommendations to safeguard data and avoid missing key deadlines.  The Department of Homeland Security has made 42 recommendations to the Bureau to strengthen its 2020 cybersecurity efforts, 10 of which are mandatory and 32 of which are voluntary.   The Bureau has yet to articulate a reliable method for tracking or implementing those recommendations. 

WITNESSES

The Honorable Steven Dillingham, Ph.D.

Director

U.S. Census Bureau

Robert Goldenkoff

Director of Strategic Issues

U.S. Government Accountability Office

Nicholas Marinos

Director of Information Technology and Cybersecurity

U.S. Government Accountability Office

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