Thursday, February 12, 2009

Boehner: White House Politicization of Census Will Taint Results, Open Door to Massive Waste of Taxpayer Funds

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) joined other House Republicans today at a press conference to urge President Barack Obama to reconsider an unprecedented plan by the White House to move control of the Census Bureau and the 2010 Census from the Commerce Department to political operatives on the White House staff. Boehner issued the following statement after the press conference:

“Yesterday, led by Ranking Member Issa, we wrote to President Obama urging him to reconsider a plan to hand over control of the 2010 Census to political operatives in the White House. This unprecedented move would undermine the goal of a fair and accurate Census count. And it would open the door to massive waste and abuse of taxpayer funds.

“The American people expect the Census to be fair, impartial, and free of politics. And they expect us to protect the hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars the government distributes each year based on Census data. If this process is controlled by political operatives at the White House, instead of experts and statisticians at the Census Bureau, Americans are right to lose confidence in it.

“This is a time when we should be working together to eliminate government waste and protect every single taxpayer dollar. Politicizing the Census makes this impossible. The American people deserve better.”

NOTE: Yesterday, Boehner and other House Republican leaders sent a letter to President Obama saying that politicization of the Census will “undermine the goal of a fair and accurate Census count” and “open the door to massive waste and abuse in the expenditure of taxpayer funds.” An estimated $300 billion in federal funds are distributed annually on the basis of U.S. Census data, according to Census officials.

The letter was signed by Boehner and the entire House GOP elected leadership team, Oversight & Government Reform Committee Ranking Member Darrel Issa (R-CA), Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Lamar Smith (R-TX), House Administration Ranking Member Dan Lungren (R-CA), Information Policy, Census, and National Archives Subcommittee Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (R-NC), and Census Task Force Chairman Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA).

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