The Insights Association joined with 88 other Census Project coalition partners in a May 14, 2020 letter to Congress calling for more census funding.
In addition to IA’s earlier testimony in the House in support of FY21 appropriations for the Census Bureau, the impact of the COVID-19 crisis has led to broad operational and reporting delays in the 2020 Census that will require more funding than anticipated.
That’s why our coalition letter asked Congress to replenish the Census Burea’s contingency fund, so that the 2020 Census can keep rolling with the punches:
“We understand that the additional cost of all adjustments to the 2020 Census operational timeline, as well as direct COVID-related costs (such as PPE for field staff, extra technology to support more enumerators, COVID-sensitive advertising, etc.), could total as much as $1.5 billion. The Census Bureau intends to cover these additional costs by accessing its contingency fund. Census stakeholders are concerned that tapping the contingency fund will deplete the fund, leaving the Bureau unable to adequately address other emergencies that may jeopardize the 2020 Census, including natural disasters, IT failures, and, unfortunately, further waves of COVID-19. The Census Bureau’s FY 2021 request does not account for the use of its FY 2020 contingency funds. We ask that the Committee provide flexibility to increase the Census Bureau’s discretionary appropriations in light of unplanned expenditures and to replenish the contingency fund to support the Bureau’s efforts to successfully complete the 2020 Census. It should be noted that census stakeholders have already identified several “enhancements,” such as targeted advertising and outreach materials in additional languages and increased and expanded Census Questionnaire Assistance capacity, that are needed to address the severe disruption the COVID19 crisis has caused for successful conduct of the 2020 Census.“
NewsLetter from The Census Project to Congress on FY21 appropriationsGovernment AffairsHoward Fienberg, CAE – The Insights Association