A group of House Republicans wrote a letter asking Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo if there “was any political interference” in the final census numbers that will be used to decide representation for each state for the next 10 years.
Kentucky Rep. James Comer led a group of over a dozen Republican representatives, including Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan and Arizona Reps. Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs, in the letter outlining their allegations against the Biden administration, Fox News reported.
“Given the extra time it took to complete the 2020 Census — including not meeting the statutory deadlines by months — we have questions about the methodology and the role the Biden White House may have played in releasing these numbers,” the letter said.
“Especially as the results differ from evaluation estimates released mere months ago in ways that benefit blue states over red states.”
In December, the Census Bureau released a range of estimates that showed many traditionally Republican-leaning states gaining seats in the House of Representatives.
The group of representatives pointed out that the population results released by the Census Bureau this week “are strikingly different” than those estimates.
“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 representatives said.
“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.”
They pointed out New York’s estimated population of 19,336,776 rose to 20,215,751 while states like Arizona, Florida and Texas saw large decreases in their population estimates.
Texas gained two seats instead of its projected three and New York was estimated to lose either one or two seats but only lost one.
“While Democrats falsely accused the Trump Administration of using the Census process for political gain, President Biden has done just that,” the lawmakers said.
The Republicans asked Raimondo to provide the committee with a series of documents and communications related to the Census data, including information on whether illegal immigrants were counted and could have affected the final numbers.
Former attorney general Eric Holder floated the idea the Trump administration’s attempt to add a citizenship question to the census could have resulted in lower-than-expected population counts due to undercounting Hispanics in Florida, Arizona and Texas, according to The Washington Post.
“I just wonder if it had the impact of suppressing the count,” he said.
Former Census Bureau statistician Chris Dick said it will be hard to know the details until the bureau releases race, ethnicity and geography data later this year.
“I think we have to be careful,” he told The Post.
“I don’t think we have enough information to say the census was flawed, but I don’t think we have enough information to say the census was a success.”
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