From: Census2000 <Census2000(a)ccmc.org>
Congress Clears Spending Bills for 2000;
Census Gets $4.5 Billion in "Emergency" Funds
Congress last week took its final steps to ensure funding for Census
2000 and other Federal activities in the fiscal year that began on
October 1, passing and sending to the President for his expected
signature a large spending package that includes funds for Census 2000.
The measure allocates about $4.5 billion for decennial census
operations, an amount that includes an extra $1.7 billion the Census
Bureau requested last June to pay for its revised census plan. All
funds for Census 2000 are designated as "emergency spending," meaning
the expense didn't't count against strict spending caps set by Congress
earlier in the budget process.
Appropriators agreed to relax a provision in an earlier version of the
Census Bureau's funding bill that requires the agency to obtain approval
from Congress before transferring money between census activities.
Under the modified provision, the Bureau must give three days notice
before shifting funds between operational accounts.
After weeks of negotiations, Congress and the Clinton Administration
reached final agreement on a wide range of controversial issues that
were delaying enactment of five of the 13 annual appropriations bills.
The package includes an across-the-board reduction of 0.38 percent in
all discretionary, or non-entitlement, federal spending. However,
agency heads are given flexibility to apply the cut as they see fit to
the activities under their purview. The House of Representatives passed
the spending package by a vote of 296 - 135 on November 18; the Senate
followed suit a day later, approving the bill by a vote of 74 - 24.
To discourage legislators from stalling final passage of the omnibus
measure, congressional leaders used the District of Columbia spending
bill (H.R. 3194) as the vehicle for moving the remaining four
appropriations bills, by referencing new versions of them in the
legislative language. The final version of the Commerce, Justice, State,
and The Judiciary appropriations bill, which covers Census Bureau
programs, was reintroduced earlier in the week as H.R. 3421. (The
original bill, which the President vetoed on October 25, was H.R. 2670.)
Congress has adjourned for the year, bringing the first session of the
106th Congress to a close. Before heading home to their states and
districts, lawmakers approved an eighth 'continuing resolution') that
funds government agencies covered by the omnibus spending package
through December 2, to give the President time to sign the final bill.
Stakeholder activities: The Commerce Secretary's 2000 Census Advisory
Committee will meet on December 2-3 at the Embassy Suites Alexandria,
1900 Diagonal Road, Alexandria, VA (tel. 703/684-5900. The meeting runs
from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. on December 2 and 9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. on
December 3. The preliminary agenda includes updates on census field
operations, advertising, data products, race and ethnic data tabulation,
and evaluation plans, as well as reports from the National Academy of
Sciences/National Research Council census panel and the Race and Ethnic
Advisory Committees. The meeting is open to the public.
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