From: Census2000 <Census2000(a)ccmc.org>
Commerce Spending Bill Moves Forward With Full Funding for Census 2000
A House-Senate conference committee completed negotiations earlier this
week on the fiscal year 2000 (FY00) spending bill covering the Census
Bureau. The Commerce, Justice, and State, The Judiciary and Related
Agencies Appropriations bill (H.R. 2670) allocates about $4.5 billion
for Census 2000, the amount requested by the Clinton Administration and
included in the House version of the measure. The Senate had allocated
only $2.8 billion in its version. The $4.5 billion is considered
"emergency spending," a designation first made by House appropriators
that removes those funds from tight discretionary program spending
limits set in previous budget agreements.
The House and Senate are expected to vote on the 'conference report'
this week before sending it to the President for his signature or
veto. (The text of the conference bill and related 'report language'
explaining the intent of lawmakers is in House Report 106-398.)
Congress passed a second temporary funding bill (called a Continuing
Resolution) yesterday to keep federal agencies operating past the
October 21st deadline in the first stopgap bill. The President has
signed only five of the thirteen annual Federal funding bills since the
start of fiscal year 2000 on October 1. He is expected to sign the
second Continuing Resolution while budget negotiations continue between
the White House and congressional leaders.
The conference agreement on the Commerce spending bill retains a
provision in the House bill that requires the Census Bureau to obtain
approval from Congress to shift funds between decennial census
activities. The bill divides the $4.5 billion for Census 2000 among
broad categories of census operations, such as advertising and
promotion, field data collection, and data processing. In an October
15th letter to House Census Subcommittee Chairman Dan Miller (R-FL),
Census Bureau Director Kenneth Prewitt called the reprogramming
requirement "a dramatic departure from past practices" and said that
significant delays in approving requests to transfer money could
"compromise" census operations. "Decisions must be made quickly and
frequently adjusted to adapt to ever-changing conditions in the field,"
Dr. Prewitt wrote. The director said that in previous spending bills,
Congress has only required reprogramming notice and approval to shift
funds between different agency programs.
Advertising campaign launch: The Census Bureau will publicly launch the
Census 2000 paid advertising campaign at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.
on October 27. Our last News Alert (October 12) included an earlier
tentative date for the event of October 28.
Questions about the information contained in this News Alert may be
directed to TerriAnn Lowenthal at 202/484-2270 or, by e-mail at
terriann2k(a)aol.com. For copies of previous News Alerts and other
information, use our web site www.census2000.org
<http://www.census2000.org>. Please direct all requests to receive News
Alerts, and all changes in address/phone/fax/e-mail, to the Census 2000
Initiative at Census2000(a)ccmc.org. or 202/326-8700. Please feel free to
circulate this information to colleagues and other interested