Senate nixes emergency census funding

The Census Bureau might not get an additional $210 million as a result of a recent Senate vote.

The Senate voted 77-21 June 26 to remove the emergency spending designation from the funding, essentially dropping it from the fiscal 2008 Supplemental Appropriations Act.

Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez had requested additional money for this fiscal year at an April 3 hearing before a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee. He said the money would help offset the total cost of the 2010 census, which is estimated at $2.2 billion to $3 billion more than the original estimate, bringing the total to $14.5 billion. Some of that  increase has been attributed to the Census Bureau's decision to make follow-up surveys paper-based rather using handheld computers.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who demanded the vote, argued that the $210 million could not be considered emergency spending. He blamed the rising costs on Census' mismanagement.

Coburn also said additional funding for the census could be provided in the next fiscal year, which comes in three months.

“Emergency spending bills should be reserved only for true emergencies, and the 2010 census is not one of them,” Coburn said in a floor speech. “The real ‘emergency’ with the 2010 census is the failure, mismanagement and incompetence of the Census Bureau."

Featured

  • Cybersecurity

    DHS floats 'collective defense' model for cybersecurity

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wants her department to have a more direct role in defending the private sector and critical infrastructure entities from cyberthreats.

  • Defense
    Defense Secretary James Mattis testifies at an April 12 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Mattis: Cloud deal not tailored for Amazon

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to quell "rumors" that the Pentagon's planned single-award cloud acquisition was designed with Amazon Web Services in mind.

  • Census
    shutterstock image

    2020 Census to include citizenship question

    The Department of Commerce is breaking with recent practice and restoring a question about respondent citizenship last used in 1950, despite being urged not to by former Census directors and outside experts.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.