With the government partially shut down, how long before 2020 Census preparations go awry?
The Census Bureau insists that leftover funding from FY2018 can keep the work "afloat" during the shutdown for 6-8 weeks, according to Federal News Network:
“It’s really just an amount of money that they can use to keep their heads above water and to keep planning on track,” Mary Jo Hoeksema, the co-director of the Census Project, said in an interview Friday.
However, President Donald Trump in a press conference warned Friday that the shutdown could last for “months or even years.” If that were the case, the statistical agency would have to pause its work on the 2020 count.
When the carryover funding runs out, so will preparation for the 2020 Census, at an ever-critical time.
The Census Bureau has exempted about 10,000 temporary workers brought onboard to handle 2020 count preparations, but beyond that, there are only 43 exempt employees in the agency’s permanent workforce of nearly 15,000.
According to Hoeksema, more than 60 percent of the decennial lifecycle cost comes in its final two years of preparation.