Republican lawmakers on Friday sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo questioning whether there was “political interference” involved in the final 2020 census numbers.
A total of seventeen GOP Representatives from the House Committee on Oversight and Reform signed the letter to Raimondo, who oversees the Census Bureau.
In it, they indicate they “have questions about the methodology and the role the Biden White House may have played in releasing these numbers.”
Much of their concerns revolve around the fact that numbers seem to have fluctuated somewhat from estimates released in December.
And while there is no hard evidence of the reasoning behind the differing numbers, the letter notes their suspicions have been raised based on a coincidence.
“The apportionment population results released by the Census Bureau are strikingly different from the population evaluation estimates released just months ago on December 22, 2020,” the letter reads.
“Remarkably, the differences benefit traditionally blue states – which gained population compared to the estimates – over red states which tended to lose population compared to the estimates.”
GOP reps question Biden admin on alleged ‘political interference’ in census, citing departure from estimateshttps://t.co/JCHvdExSgN
— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 30, 2021
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GOP Reps: Political Interference Involving Census?
The final census numbers are used to decide how many congressional seats each state will get for the next decade.
The letter notes that New York, which is slated to lose one House seat, “was estimated to have a population of 19,336,776, but was attributed an apportionment population much greater than that of 20,215,751.”
The difference is nearly 900,000 census entries.
“Likewise, states such as New Jersey and Illinois experienced large population increases of hundreds of thousands of individuals compared to the December estimates, while states such as Arizona, Florida, and Texas experienced large decreases from the December estimates.”
The table below shows the states that “gained” and “lost” the most population since December estimates and Team Biden took over the Census.
But something is fishy here and Congress should demand an investigation. pic.twitter.com/asaf3kUbpm
— Kambree (@KamVTV) April 28, 2021
New York In Question
The difference between the final number and the December estimates is crucial for New York.
The Empire State, after all, was expected to lose two House seats, not one.
“New York could lose up to two congressional seats in the coming round of reapportionment, further diluting the state’s influence in Washington,” Spectrum News reported at the time.
Instead, they only lost one seat, and only because they fell short by 89 people according to the final results.
On the flip side of that, some estimates had Texas gaining three seats. It gained two instead.
These states will lose a congressional seat in the next election, according to the latest Census figures: New York California, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. @ForecasterEnten explains.https://t.co/PH1JepsHkc pic.twitter.com/Ylc35HyI1T
— New Day (@NewDay) April 27, 2021
Now, was there political interference involved with the Census numbers?
The December estimates are just that – estimates – and of course are subject to change.
Another factor may be the counting of illegal immigrants which in blue states is more likely to be a higher number.
Former President Donald Trump had signed an executive order last July stating illegal immigrants would no longer be counted in the population numbers for the purposes of redrawing electoral districts.
President Biden reversed the order “within hours” of taking office.
President Trump on 2020 Census: “I think it’s very important to find out if somebody’s a citizen as opposed to an illegal.” pic.twitter.com/bQ3inQnJ21
— CSPAN (@cspan) July 1, 2019
Still, House Republicans found the trend, whatever its cause, so disturbing they felt compelled to send the letter to Raimondo, while also demanding documents and communications regarding the process.
“This trend calls into question whether there was any political interference with the apportionment results released by the Census Bureau,” they wrote.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, not content with the near 900,000 person turnaround from the estimates in December, is looking into legal options to overturn the 89-person shortfall and thus salvage another seat.
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