Bill attempts to prevent political meddling in US head count

Jul 14, 2022, 9:49 AM | Updated: 10:04 am
FILE  - This Sunday, April 5, 2020, file photo, shows an envelope containing a 2020 census letter m...

FILE - This Sunday, April 5, 2020, file photo, shows an envelope containing a 2020 census letter mailed to a U.S. resident in Detroit. A U.S. Census Bureau director couldn't be fired without cause and new questions to the census form would have to be vetted by Congress under proposed legislation which attempts to prevent in the future the type of political interference into the nation's head count that took place during the Trump administration. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

New questions on a census form would have to be vetted by Congress and a U.S. Census Bureau director couldn’t be fired without cause under proposed legislation that attempts to prevent in the future the type of political interference into the nation’s 2020 head count that took place during the Trump administration.

The legislation introduced this week in the U.S. House of Representatives would put in place roadblocks against attempted political meddling in the once-a-decade census that determines how many congressional seats each state gets and the distribution of $1.5 trillion in federal spending each year, according to U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., the bill’s sponsor.

“”The census is a foundation of American democracy, and it must be protected from partisan interference,” said Maloney, the chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which was holding a hearing on the bill Thursday.

In the years leading up to the 2020 census, the Trump administration unsuccessfully tried to add a citizenship question to the census questionnaire, a move that advocates feared would scare off Hispanics and immigrants from participating, whether they were in the country legally or not. The Supreme Court blocked the question.

The Trump administration also unsuccessfully tried to get the Census Bureau to exclude people in the country illegally from population figures used for divvying up congressional seats among the states, also called the apportionment numbers.

Critics claimed the citizenship question was inspired by a Republican redistricting expert who believed using citizen voting-age population instead of the total population for the purpose of redrawing of congressional and legislative districts could be advantageous to Republicans and non-Hispanic whites.

The Trump administration pushed to have the apportionment numbers released before President Donald Trump left the White House in January 2021, cutting short the schedule for field operations that had been extended because of the pandemic. The bill would vest the Census Bureau director with all technical, operational and statistical decisions for the once-a-decade census.

The Trump administration named an unusually high number of political appointees without prior experience in the statistical agency to top positions in the Census Bureau. The proposed legislation would limit the number of political appointees to three: the Census Bureau director and two others positions. All other positions would have to be filled by career civil service workers, including the position of a deputy director, who would be required to have knowledge or experience with the Census Bureau.

Even though many of the Trump administration’s political efforts ultimately failed, some advocates believe they did have an impact, with significantly larger undercounts of most racial and ethnic minorities in the 2020 census compared to the 2010 census.

The Black population in the 2020 census had a net undercount of 3.3%, while it was almost 5% for Hispanics and 5.6% for American Indians and Native Alaskans living on reservations. Those identifying as some other race had a net undercount of 4.3%.

___

Follow Mike Schneider on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MikeSchneiderAP

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Volunteers clear rubble on the second floor of Zhanna and Serhiy Dynaeva's house which was destroye...
Associated Press

In Ukraine, rebuilding starts with neighbors’ help

NOVOSELIVKA, Ukraine (AP) — As battles raged around Kyiv, one Russian advance was stopped in front of Maria Metla’s home. Artillery gutted most of the house, while the rest was pulverized by tank fire. Metla, 66, is now counting on her neighbors to have somewhere to live this winter. Crews of volunteers turn up on […]
2 hours ago
FILE - Saudi Aramco engineers and journalists look at the Hawiyah Natural Gas Liquids Recovery Plan...
Associated Press

High oil prices help Saudi Aramco earn $88B in first half

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi energy company Aramco said Sunday its profits jumped 90% in the second quarter compared to the same time last year, helping its half-year earnings reach nearly $88 billion. The increase is a boon for the kingdom and the crown prince’s spending power as people around the world pay […]
1 day ago
Scuffles break out between political party agents and police, including presidential candidate Rail...
Associated Press

Brief scuffles slow tallying in Kenya’s close election

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenya’s peaceful presidential election saw a brief disruption late Saturday when riot police responded to scuffles at the national tallying center amid tensions over the close results. An agent for longtime opposition leader and candidate Raila Odinga announced from the lectern that the tallying center was the “scene of a crime” […]
1 day ago
A Kyrgyz woman and her dog stand near a traditional yurt where she lives with members of her family...
Associated Press

AP PHOTOS: Fermented horse milk season on in Kyrgyzstan

SUUSAMYR, Kyrgyzstan (AP) — High up in the Tian Shan mountains of Kyrgyzstan, the season for making the fermented drink known as kumis is in full swing. Connoisseurs of kumis, an important part of nomadic tribes’ diets for untold centuries, say the Suusamyr valley is home to the best version of the drink. In winter, […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Reports: 1 dead, 17 hurt in crash outside Pennsylvania bar

BERWICK, Pa. (AP) — One person has died and another 17 people were injured after a vehicle struck a crowd gathered at a Pennsylvania bar on Saturday for an event to raise money for victims of a house fire that killed 10 earlier this month, authorities said. WNEP-TV said the crash occurred outside the Intoxicology […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Today in History: August 14, McVeigh sentenced to death

Today in History Today is Sunday, Aug. 14, the 226th day of 2022. There are 139 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Aug. 14, 1945, President Harry S. Truman announced that Imperial Japan had surrendered unconditionally, ending World War II. On this date: In 1848, the Oregon Territory was created. In […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Bill attempts to prevent political meddling in US head count