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

  • Workforce
    White House rainbow light shutterstock ID : 1130423963 By zhephotography

    White House rolls out DEIA strategy

    On Tuesday, the Biden administration issued agencies a roadmap to guide their efforts to develop strategic plans for diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA), as required under a as required under a June executive order.

  • Defense
    software (whiteMocca/Shutterstock.com)

    Why DOD is so bad at buying software

    The Defense Department wants to acquire emerging technology faster and more efficiently. But will its latest attempts to streamline its processes be enough?

Stay Connected