STATEMENT BY CONGRESSWOMAN CAROLYN MALONEY (D-NY) ON THE GAO REPORT ON THE CENSUS
NEW YORK, NY -- Today, after learning that the GAO has released a report expressing the concern that the Census Bureau may not be entirely prepared for all eventualities that may come in the 2000 Census, Congresswoman Maloney, the Ranking Member for the Subcommittee on the Census, released the following statement:
"Above all else, today's GAO report shows that there is a quick, efficient way to protect the 2000 Census from any potential operational problems.
"The accuracy of 2000 Census will only be at risk if either of two different scenarios occur: first, if the mail response rate is lower than the Bureau expects, and they are forced to hire a larger number of additional Census Enumerators, (workers); second, if the Bureau finds that to hire their target of 860,000 enumerators they must offer higher wages than they planned in order to compete in today's economy with its record low unemployment. All the Census Bureau needs to protect itself from these two risks is an account of emergency funding that can be accessed quickly -- a "contingency fund."
"That is why I am currently drafting legislation to create a $100 million contingency fund, which I plan to introduce on the first day of session. I know that if the Majority is serious about helping the Census, there will be no problem passing this legislation quickly. A contingency fund would allow money to be available for the 2000 Census, to support any unexpected expenses that may arise during the information gathering period."###