Maloney Calls on Congress to Protect 2020 Census After Brunell Admission of Political Motives Behind Citizenship Question

May 16, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC— Following a report from Science Magazine in which Thomas Brunell, President Trump’s initial pick to lead the Census Bureau, confirmed that the addition of the citizenship question was a political decision that will drive down census response rates and increase costs, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Co-Chair of the House Census Caucus and author of the 2020 Census IDEA Act, released the following statement:

“Today, Tom Brunell confirmed two things many of us already knew -- that he was the original pick of the Trump Administration to run the Census Bureau and that a citizenship question will cause millions of people to not answer the census, while dramatically increasing its costs.

“Mr. Brunell, a partisan Republican redistricting expert who wrote a book entitled Redistricting and Representation: Why Competitive Elections are bad for America, was stunningly unqualified for the position of Census Director, let alone Deputy director, and today’s revelations by him are more proof of that.

“The Census is supposed to apolitical and count every person living in this country. A citizenship question totally undermines those requirements. It is up to Congress now to protect the integrity of the 2020 Census or the next decade of our country’s representation and funding formulas will be based on partisan, inaccurate data that will cause severe harm to communities all across the nation.”

 Mr. Brunell’s quote is below: 

“That follow-up ‘may be a little bit harder and more expensive to do,” he says, “because there will be a couple of million more people they need to count. So the Census Bureau hires more people, and Congress ponies up the money, and they bang on more doors to get the answers they need. They may need to scramble, but they will get the job done.’”