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Media Contact: David Vance, National Media Strategist, 240-605-8600 or dvance@commoncause.org

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Sen. Schatz Introduces Bill to Prevent Politicization of Future Census Counts

Today Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced the Census FACTS Act to ensure that future censuses do not see the unprecedented level of political malfeasance and politicalization that plagued the 2020 Census count.  The Census Federal Advisory Committee on Transparency and Standards (Census FACTS) Act charges Congress and President Biden to create an expert, nonpartisan committee to identify the specific problems encountered during the 2020 Census -- including political interference by the Trump Administration; the COVID-19 pandemic; and the level of transparency, public participation, and responsiveness on the part of the Census Bureau in making its policy decisions. In highlighting these problems and making recommendations to fix them, the committee established by the Census FACTS Act would help to restore the public confidence in the Census Bureau. Separately, the bill also clarifies the Reapportionment Act of 1929 to ensure that total population is used in Congressional redistricting.

Census Apportionment Totals Released, Sets Redistricting Cycle in Motion

Today, the Census Bureau released apportionment data, which determines the number of representatives in the House of Representatives for each state and the Electoral College. Undoubtedly, this census endured unprecedented challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted, delayed, or canceled virtually every census operation. This was exacerbated by the political interference from the previous administration, including attempts to add an untested, eleventh-hour citizenship question to the census form and unconstitutionally exclude noncitizens from the apportionment totals.

Inauguration Resets Country’s Course Toward Our Nation’s Ideals and Aspirations

Today, our country is headed in a different direction – and we welcome the change.  Today, the nation under President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris charted a new course of aspiration and hope for every American regardless of the color of their skin or who they voted for on Election Day. We have turned away from a wayward course that undermined our democratic norms, truth, values, institutions, and the rule of law.

Media & Democracy 12.21.2020

COVID-19 Stimulus Package Provides Significant Broadband Relief to Help Connect Low-Income Households, Ignores other Democracy Reform Priorities 

Today, Congress released the text to an emergency $900 billion COVID-19 stimulus package that includes $7 billion to increase broadband access throughout the nation. While, foregoing other needed democracy reforms present in earlier versions of pandemic relief legislation, the package specifically includes an Emergency Broadband Benefit, which provides $3.2 billion for a $50 monthly subsidy for eligible low-income households and a $75 monthly subsidy for households on Tribal lands to purchase a broadband connection. Households eligible for the Benefit include those who qualify for the Federal Communications Lifeline program, free and reduced school lunch, college Pell grants, and individuals who have seen a loss of income due to the economic fallout since the beginning of the pandemic.  

Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments on Trump Effort to Erase Undocumented Immigrants from Census to Skew Congressional Apportionment

“Common Cause believes that the Supreme Court must act before the dagger is in the heart of our Constitution. The Administration has made clear its intention to erase millions of people from the census and has engaged in multiple steps to advance its plot to sabotage the Census count,” said Kathay Feng, Common Cause National Redistricting Director. “We are counting on the Supreme Court to protect our most vulnerable families and our constitution.” 

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