December 9, 2023

WASHINGTON (AP) – The House on Thursday passed legislation that aims to make it harder for future presidents to interfere with a decade-long census that determines political power and federal funding, a move that failed Trump’s administration. Comes in response to effort. The citizenship question is part of the 2020 headcount.

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Law 220-208 was approved, with only Democratic lawmakers voting for it. The bill requires the Secretary of Commerce to certify to Congress that any new questions sought on future censuses are adequately studied and tested, and that the Government Accountability Office review the certification.

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It also seeks to limit political influence by mandating that the director of the US Census Bureau be fired only in cases of dereliction of duty or malfeasance in office. It vests the director with all technical, operational and statistical decisions and states that a deputy director must be a career employee with experience in demography, statistics or related fields.

“Parisal manipulation of the census is simply wrong,” said Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democrat who chairs the Committee on Surveillance and Reform, which examined the Trump administration’s efforts to link the citizenship question. “My bill will protect the census and ensure it doesn’t happen again, no matter which party is in power.”

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From the archives (January 2021): Last Trump administration suspends effort to address citizenship in census data

Republicans unanimously opposed the bill, saying it places more power in the hands of non-elected bureaucrats, reducing accountability.

Representative James Comer, a Kentucky Republican, said the changes are designed to simplify future census results by favoring Democratic-leaning states over Republican-leaning states. be difficult to finish. Decisions he believes would be an unfair or incorrect count.

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Given the party-line vote in the House, the bill faces an uphill climb in an equally divided Senate. But Sen. Gary Peters, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, said, “Obviously we will be looking at this very seriously.”

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The census determines how many congressional seats each state receives and distributes $1.5 trillion in federal spending each year. Its results are used to redraw political districts. The 2020 Census was one of the most challenging in recent memory due to efforts by political interference, the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters.

In the years leading up to the 2020 Census, the Trump administration unsuccessfully attempted to add the citizenship question to the census questionnaire, a move that advocates feared Hispanics and immigrants would be afraid to participate, regardless of whether they were in the country legally or No. The Supreme Court has stayed this question.

The Trump administration tried unsuccessfully to get the Census Bureau to illegally exclude people in the country from population figures used to divide congressional seats between states, also known as division numbers. is called. The Trump administration tried to end data collection and processing ahead of a revised schedule set by the Census Bureau in response to the pandemic, a move critics see as an attempt by the administration to release partition numbers while President Donald Trump is still in office. were in ,

Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans are disproportionately left out in the 2020 census

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Census challenges emerge as new insights into Trump administration’s efforts to influence 2020 population count

The split numbers were released in April 2021, four months after President Joe Biden took office and Trump left.

Critics claimed that the question of citizenship was inspired by a Republican redistribution expert who believed that using the civilian voting-age population instead of the total population for the purpose of rescheduling congressional and legislative districts for Republican and non-Hispanic whites. can be beneficial.

Even though many of the Trump administration’s political efforts have failed, some advocates believe they have had an effect, with the majority of racial and ethnic minorities in the 2020 census significantly outnumbering the 2010 census.

There was a net reduction of 3.3% in the black population in the 2020 census, compared to about 5% for Hispanics and 5.6% for American Indians and Native Alaskans living on the reservation. The net reduction of those identifying as any other caste was 4.3%.

With the legislation, “we are reaffirming our commitment that every person in every community counts,” said Representative Judy Chu, a Democrat from California, who chairs the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

From the archives (July 2020): Trump signs memo that would exclude undocumented immigrants from the census after the Supreme Court blocked the administration’s attempt to add to the citizenship question