Jul 22, 1999
Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, during the House subcommittee markup of the Commerce-Justice-State spending bill, the Republican leadership will reportedly own up to the crisis that they created and declare a budget emergency to fully fund the 2000 Census.
"Republicans created this emergency," Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) said. "They labored in a cynical, partisan way to prevent modern statistical methods from being used to correct the historical racial differential undercount in the 2000 Census -- methods endorsed by the National Academy of Sciences and the census professionals. At last they have finally accepted responsibility for the crisis they have created and are providing the funds needed to complete the Census.

"Today’s proposed appropriation of an additional $1.7 billion for a total of $4.5 billion for the census in the next fiscal year is great news, but it is soured by the reminder that these extra dollars could have been saved, had a less expensive, more accurate census plan been adopted. The truly good news is that even despite the Republicans’ efforts, the Census Bureau is moving forward in accordance with the Supreme Court’s decision to use modern statistical methods for all purposes other than the apportionment of seats among the states, including providing accurate data for redistricting and distribution of federal funds.

"Although I am pleased that Republicans are appropriating these essential dollars to fund the census as the President and the Bureau of the Census requested, I find it ironic that Republicans would, on the same day, propose multi-billion dollar tax cuts, and simultaneously resort to declaring a budget emergency in order to fund the census, a project that arrives without fail every ten years."


In early June, the Administration released the projected increased costs of the 2000 Census due to the Supreme Court’s January decision that, based on current statutory authority, the Census could only use old methods for the apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives among the states. With that decision and the unwillingness of the majority to change the law, the census, even after spending an additional $1.7 billion dollars, will probably miss at least a net 5.5 million people, mostly Blacks, Hispanics, American Indian and Asian-Americans in its count for apportionment.

Luckily, we will be getting a much more accurate count for all other purposes, such as redistricting of congressional and state legislative seats and distribution of federal funds since the Supreme Court’s decision allowed modern statistical methods for all other purposes. If the funding for the 2000 Census as now envisioned goes through without restrictions, we will have accurate data available for these purposes, thanks to the work of the professionals at the Census Bureau.