WASHINGTON, DC - Today Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate Subcommittee that oversees the Census, released the following statement regarding the announcement by the U.S. Census Bureau that they plan to give at least $1.6 billion back to the government because the 2010 Census came in under budget:
"This is welcomed news, particularly given the many challenges that had to be overcome to ensure a successful 2010 Census. I want to offer my congratulations to Census Director Dr. Robert Groves and his entire team for their efforts to get the 2010 Census back on track and under budget. It's not every day that we hear of a government agency returning over a billion dollars to the Federal Treasury, and that achievement should be recognized and applauded.
"As the 2010 Census winds down, we can't rest on our laurels. Already, critical planning is underway for the 2020 Census and I am hopeful that we can implement many of the lessons we learned from this year's Decennial Census and use that information to improve our efforts for 2020. Our goal for 2020 should be to increase the participation rate and do it at a lower cost to the taxpayer. It's an ambitious goal but one that I think is achievable.
"To achieve that goal, earlier this year I introduced bipartisan legislation, the 'Census Oversight Efficiency and Management Reform Act,' with my colleagues Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), and Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) to improve our Census efforts. Specifically our legislation would address challenges which 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 also 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. I hope and expect the Senate to pass this legislation later this year and I look forward to working with my colleagues and the Administration to ensure that the 2020 Census is even more successful than the 2010 Census."