In COVID-19 Relief Bill, House Democrats Propose Pushing Census Deadlines

May 12, 2020

As the U.S. Census Bureau resumes some 2020 census field operations put on hold by the pandemic, House Democrats are moving forward with proposals for major changes to the national head count as requested by the bureau.

The coronavirus relief bill released Tuesday includes provisions that would push back by four months the legal deadlines for the bureau to deliver 2020 census results — including the latest state population counts used to redistribute congressional seats and Electoral College votes among the states, and the data used to redraw voting districts.

If passed, the legislation would also boost the emergency budget for the census by $400 million.

But the bill, known as the Heroes Act, is not expected to gain traction in the Republican-led Senate.

It does offer some insight into the House Democrats' wish list for the constitutionally mandated count of every person living in the country.

The bill includes a provision that would block the Trump administration's ongoing efforts to use government records to produce data about the U.S. citizenship status of every person living in the country, as well as requiring Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham to provide a monthly report about the count's progress to lawmakers.

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