Dec 31, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Census Bureau to miss Dec. 31 deadline for first time

 A woman uses a fan to cool off while waiting at a Census 2020 booth at a farmer's market in Everett, MA on July 24

Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Census Bureau has confirmed it will miss Thursday's deadline to produce the first set of 2020 census results for its count used to determine representation in Congress.

Why it matters: It's the first time the bureau has missed the end-of-year deadline since Congress set the Dec. 31 date 44 years ago.

The intrigue: Wednesday's announcement was expected, but what is unknown is whether the data will be presented before President Trump leaves office on Jan. 20. Census Bureau staff have a completion target of Jan. 9, NPR reports.

  • The Trump administration has been pushing to exclude undocumented immigrants from the population base used for congressional seat apportionment.
  • The Supreme Court earlier this month said a lawsuit challenging these plans was "premature" and threw out the suit.

Yes, but: The House Committee on Oversight and Reform obtained internal documents indicating that Census Bureau officials do not expect to have the data ready until President-elect Joe Biden takes office, AP notes.

What they're saying: The bureau said in a statement Wednesday it plans "to deliver a complete and accurate state population count for apportionment in early 2021, as close to the statutory deadline as possible."

Of note: There are no penalties for missing the New Year's Eve deadline.

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