GOP threatens legal action over Census oversight

House Republicans on Thursday threatened legal action against the White House for its decision to extend its jurisdiction to the Census Bureau and demanded that President Obama respond positively to a letter they sent on Wednesday urging him to reverse the action.

"If the president doesn't acquiesce to our letter, and we suspect Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will not insist on that, then we would seek the courts," said House Oversight and Government Affairs ranking member Darrell Issa, R-Calif.

At a news conference headlined by Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, Issa added that he believes the federal courts will agree that the White House's efforts to assert greater oversight of Census Bureau operations violate the law.

In their letter, Boehner and 14 other Republicans warned that White House involvement or oversight of the census process would "result in the politicization of the census and open the door to massive waste and abuse in the expenditure of taxpayer funds, billions of which are distributed on the basis of census data."

White House spokesman Ben LaBolt said in a statement to the Associated Press on Wednesday that the Oval Office's collaboration with the Census Bureau would not interfere with the regular chain of command of its as-yet-unnamed leadership. "This administration has not proposed removing the census from the Department of Commerce and the same congressional committees that had oversight during the previous administration will retain that authority," he said.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., on Thursday criticized the Republicans for "mak[ing] a show about nothing." Maloney added, "Even though the White House issued a statement saying that they were NOT proposing removing the Census [Bureau] from the Department of Commerce or directing the Census from the White House, today House Republicans had a press event to decry what ISN'T happening," she said.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.