No director as 2010 Census nears

Feb. 18, 2009 at 11:46 AM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- The U.S. Census Bureau is still without a director with the 2010 census scheduled to begin in less than 14 months.

Political observers said a director may not be named until someone is confirmed to lead the Commerce Department, which oversees the Census Bureau, USA Today reported Wednesday.

The two men U.S. President Barack Obama nominated for the Commerce post -- Democratic New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Republican U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire -- have dropped out.

Results of the census of U.S. households are used to allocate seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, draw political maps and distribute federal aid for schools, roads, hospitals and other programs.

Some groups say minorities and the poor were undercounted in previous tallies. To address their concern, the Obama administration said it may have the Census director to report to the White House instead of the Commerce Department.

The suggestion angered some congressional Republicans, some of whom said the move would result in the partisan manipulation of results.

When he withdrew his name from consideration last week, Gregg cited the census controversy as a point of contention.

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