tv 2020 Census CSPAN April 23, 2018 2:46pm-3:01pm EDT
we have resources on our website. a link to the national constitution center's interactive constitution, and the landmark cases podcast at c-span.org/landmarkcases. >> john thompson, former u.s. bureau census director from 2013 to 2017 joined a panel of academics to discuss the upcoming 2020 census. focusedthe conversation -- the american enterprise institute is the host of this forum. we will show you in the house gavels and at three eastern and return when they gavel out.
>> good afternoon. here and ir fellow would like to welcome all of you and our c-span audience to our session on making the 2020 census succeed. found moderatehe today i responded enthusiastically. i know it is virtually impossible for many of my colleagues to do the important work that they do. any opportunity to talk about our prayer statistical agencies the senses did not have the funds to run the test into other areas.
there are concerns other panelists will touch on today that i hope will present charges to the center -- the senses and future ones. declining response rates and information explosion and rapidly changing technologies, different language requirements with a diverse population, complex living arrangements and finally a mobile population. the first census that will have an online option. i hope that our panelists can touch on some of these issues today. let me just say a word about each one of them. they will speak for five to seven minutes and then we will have an open conversation. john thompson is the executive director of the council of associations on federal statistics.
in the 24th director of the froms, where he served august 2013 to june 2017. he introduced the director's blog. he was formerly president at the university of chicago. thea's director of institute for policy research and faculty fellow at and alexander professor at the school of education and social policy there. she is also research associate. and director of the hamilton project at brookings. that is an initiative to promote policy to enhance broadway -- broad-based economic growth. and a senior legal fellow at the me center for legal and judicial studies. civil rights, a lecture and integrity, and government regulation. at theed for two years government election commission
and before that worked at the justice department. my colleague here is director of economic policy studies here in the john g searle scholar at aei. mike oversees the broad portfolio with his work and economic policy, financial, poverty studies, tax policy, energy economics and health care policy. mike worked at the census bureau. we will begin today with john thompson. >> thank you very much, i'm delighted to be here. the five minutes but the census in context to describe the readiness so i'll attempt to do that. i think everyone knows that the census is constitutionally mandated article i, section two, including rear porti of the congress, drawing a big district by cgressiis dts and loca vl districts. that by congressional districts
and local voting districts. it is used to allocate over $600 billion a year of federal funds annually. it is essential for state, local and tribal governments to make many decisions. it supports business investment in local communities. and finally, is used to ensure the accuracy of virtually every demographic survey collected in the united states, which would include the current population survey, which predicts month-to-month change in unemployment when the national health interview survey which measures the health of our country and the american community. that's why there's so many concerns about the accuracy of the census because of all the important uses. so to talk about the 2020 census readiness, it's important to understand that census process has evolved in some ways and in others it hasn't. beginning in the 270, the census bureau went to e-mail back
senses and that is essentially being used until today, questioners e-mail back, electronically capture the information. and then you go out and collect the information from those households that do not self respond. until today, that operation and as our country has grown more diverse over the years since 1970, the only way that a paper and pencil operation can be employed is you have to add more and more people to it and that is why if you look at the cost of the senses, over the years they go up faster than any rate of inflation and faster than population growth. again, we are using an operation to try to do something very difficult. so, for the 2020 census, the idea was to modernize and use automation intelligently. that one from developing the address using spatial technologies so you don't have to walk every street in the country to use the internet as the primary response option in the census bureau trust we
realize don't have access to the internet may provide those households. they also allow people to call in for the first time and get their information over the phone. importantly, the census bureau is using automation and mobile technology to deploy the work force to collect the information from those households that don't self respond and they are going to be using iphone's and i patted to do this. it introduces tremendous efficiencies into the operation. in fact from the census bureau has estimated in 2014 if they receive the resources needed, they could have reduced the cost of collecting the 2020 census from 17 billion which would be the process in 2022 a little over 12 billion that would have
been about $5 million. however, in if you look at the amount of money the census bureau asked for in the amount they receive, 2012 through 2017, the census bureau was underfunded by $200 million. this forced the census bureau to make a number of decisions. they had to do for some operations. you just heard they had to reduce three tests to one, which was a function of this. they also had to defer, this is very important. we can talk about this later. they had to defer committees on advertising in partnership program, which is essentially how they achieve accuracy in the census. i think the good news is that
the census bureau and their athletic 18 budget did receive more money of over a billion dollars more. this really indicates bipartisan support i believe for the census bureau and will help them tremendously to overcome difficulties that might be imposed on them this fall when there will undoubtedly be a continuing resolution. so it was a very, very good move for the census are still needs a lot more money. so finally, let me conclude by noting that recently the census commerce secretary roth decided to get a citizenship question to the census.
i am five other directors of the census bureau have written a letter which is publicly available, expressing concerns and the essence is that we don't believe and i'll speak for myself right now, we don't believe that there has been adequate testing such question and there is a great risk to including it on the census. and under count that resulted count that result in the census will be with the census bureau for 10 years. it's very important we have that census. what i will conclude. they're not let me ask a question in response, can you tell us how about it is going? the projectthe
management review and a mention at the time herself response rate was 36%. they said that was on track with what they are looking for. the next big step in the census bureau said that their automation was ready to go. we need to see the automation and how it works to make sure that it does work. the good news there is the gao will be there looking independently and they will be writing publicly, so everyone will know. >> thank you. thanks so much. it is a pleasure to be back here. michael and i wrote a paper about a year ago were we try to lay out a framework for why it is so important to have well functioning and census bureau and other statistical agencies. those are very important to the united states. michael and i will each talk a little more about that. in terms of the census, we are
successful and accurate census is crucial for a number of reasons. in terms of the number of seats each state has in the house of representatives. but also the distribution of billions of dollars in federal funding every year to local communities, infrastructure, vital services at hospitals, schools. we are facing increasing challenges to collect enough in cultural, linguistic and economic diversity makes it harder to enumerate everyone. on top of that is increasing distrust of the government. as a know in the past, the census had cost overruns and they came up with a very innovative plan to try to keep accuracy high, but also reduce cost this time. they are planning on entering data collection methods in his answers. putting internet as well as the questionnaire that will make it more streamlined down the road. by making a smart investment in technology messaging and advertising to accurately account a population that's increasingly hard to count makes a lot of sense.
of course you need to make those investments today, not two years from now. if we wait until it is too late, we will end up pouring a lot more money on the problem to make sure we get up to the accuracy that we need. the first time really modernizing the senses then we need these tests. i think everyone will continue to point out with arty scaled-back these tests. it is very important that desire cannot did with fidelity and that wean troubleshoot. sothinmethat not a lot of people understand as we are not just talking about undercutting. >> the u.s. house is about a gavel and for what is expected to be a brief pro forma session.
we will return to it. the resignation letter of oxman that ofenstine on congressman jim bridenstine i'm will begin tomorrow at 2 --pore house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's room, washington, d.c., april 23, 2018. i hereby appoint the honorable mac thornl berry to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, paul d. ryan, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. chaplain conroy: let us pray. gracious god, we give you thanks for giving us another day. you have blesseds