Republicans on the House Oversight Committee on Friday accused the Biden administration of politicizing the census, pointing to the new numbers released this week that were more favorable to Democrats than anticipated.
They questioned whether there was “political interference” at the Census Bureau, given that New York, New Jersey and Illinois — all blue states — far exceeded the previous population estimate in this week’s actual enumeration count. Meanwhile Arizona, Florida and Texas, red-tinged states, saw large drops from the December population estimates.
Adding to their suspicions, when they inquired about the results earlier this week with the Commerce Department, which oversees the Census Bureau, they were referred directly to the White House.
“This is concerning,” said the lawmakers, led by Rep. James Comer, Kentucky Republican.
In a letter to new Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo they pointed out that during the Trump administration Democrats had complained that the White House was involved in big decisions — something that officials denied in a follow-up investigation, the GOP said. But now the bureau is referring inquiries directly to the White House.
“While Democrats falsely accused the Trump administration of using the Census process for political gain, President Biden has done just that,” they said.
Backing up that accusation, the GOP lawmakers pointed to President Biden’s to cancel a Trump attempt to subtract illegal immigrants from the count used to apportion seats in the U.S. House.
That count was released this week, and the Republicans said it would have looked different if the previous policy had been left in place.
“Several liberal states with sanctuary policies may have lost more congressional seats if illegal immigrants had not been included in the apportionment base,” the Republicans wrote.
The Washington Times reported earlier this week on questions about the census numbers that have been raised by activists on both ends of the ideological spectrum.