Census Bureau Chief Quits Amid Heavy Criticism

Dems accuse Dillingham of politicizing the census
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 18, 2021 3:38 PM CST
Census Bureau Director Is Leaving Same Day as Trump
Steven Dillingham, the director of the US Census Bureau, speaks outside the Oklahoma State Capitol, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020.   (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Facing criticism over efforts to produce citizenship data to comply with an order from President Trump, US Census Bureau director Steven Dillingham said Monday that he plans to resign with the change in presidential administrations. Dillingham, whose term doesn't expire until the end of 2021, said in a statement that he would resign on Wednesday, the day Trump leaves the White House and President-elect Joe Biden takes office, the AP reports. The Census Bureau director’s plan to resign comes as the statistical agency is in the middle of crunching the numbers for the 2020 census, which will be used to determine how many congressional seats and Electoral College votes each state gets, as well as the distribution of $1.5 trillion in federal spending each year.

Last week, Democratic lawmakers called on Dillingham to resign after a watchdog agency said he had set a deadline that pressured statisticians to produce a report on the number of people in the US illegally. "I no longer have faith that he can lead the Bureau to produce a fair, accurate, and complete 2020 Census count as required by the Constitution," Rep. Carolyn Maloney, chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, said in a statement. "Rather than ensure an accurate count, Dr. Dillingham appears to have acceded repeatedly to the Trump Administration’s brazen efforts to politicize the Census."

(Read more Census Bureau stories.)

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