Sen. Carper’s Bipartisan Census Reform Bill Approved by Key Committee

Decennial Census Modernization and Enhancement Act of 2010 Now Goes Before the Full Senate for Approval

WASHINGTON – Today, the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee approved the "Census Oversight Efficiency and Management Reform Act." The bipartisan bill was introduced by Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chair of the Senate Subcommittee that has jurisdiction over the Census, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), and Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA). The bill now goes to the Senate floor for consideration. 


"This is an important step forward in our effort to modernize and improve the Census process," said Sen. Carper, chairman of the Senate Committee with oversight of the Census.  "Even as we are working diligently to ensure that the 2010 Census will be as successful as possible, it is important to start looking ahead to the 2020 Census and acting to improve our Census operation." The Census Oversight Efficiency and Management Reform Act, enacts several common sense reforms that will strengthen the Census Bureau and enhance our ability to conduct a thorough, cost effective, and accurate Census.  I’m encouraged that this legislation has moved quickly through the Committee process with unanimous support and I hope it will be promptly considered and passed by the full Senate." 


This legislation would improve Census management challenges that arise from the fact that the Census operates on a constitutionally mandated ten-year cycle while Presidential administrations, which oversee management of the Census, operate on a four-year cycle. The bill strengthens Congressional oversight of the Census to help prevent operational problems that have emerged on the eve of the censuses in 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2010, in part from a lack of steady leadership and management due to changes in Presidential administrations.


Seven former directors of the U.S. Census Bureau, including both Republicans and Democrats, have endorsed the Census Oversight, Efficiency and Management Reform Act.  Those former Census directors include Vincent P. Barabba (1973-1976; 1979-1981), John G. Keane (1984-1989), Barbara Everitt Bryant (1989-1993), Martha Farnsworth Riche (1994-1998), Kenneth Prewitt (1998-2001), Charles Louis Kincannon (2002-2008), Steven H. Murdock (2008-2009).