Tester Statement on Federal Court Ruling Extending Census Deadline

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after a U.S. District Court ruling ordering the Administration to abandon its attempt to shorten the 2020 Census schedule, extending the deadline until October 31st. The Trump Administration has appealed the decision.

“This ruling restores Census operations to their originally planned deadline, and it’s the right call to make sure every Montanan is counted,” said Tester. “But the Administration’s appeal is another blatant attempt to undermine the Census and keep folks—particularly Native American communities across our state—from participating, which puts Montana’s chances of gaining a second Congressional seat in jeopardy. Congress needs to put this issue to rest, and I urge Senator McConnell and my Republican colleagues to stop blocking my bipartisan legislation to give the Census Bureau the time it needs to get the job done.”

Tester is cosponsoring the bipartisan 2020 Census Extension Act, which would require the Census Bureau to continue 2020 Census field operations until October 31, 2020, giving the Census Bureau more time to ensure every Montanan is counted. Additionally, the bill extends the deadline for the delivery of apportionment data to the U.S. House of Representatives from December 31, 2020 to April 30, 2021 and extends the statutory delivery of redistricting data to states from March 31, 2021 to July 31, 2021. Senate Republicans, led by Senator Mitch McConnell, have refused to bring the legislation up for a vote.

Montana currently ranks second to last in overall response rate.