Sen. Bennett: A Day Late and A Dollar Short
A Time to Every Purpose: Planning & Implementation
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – Legislation sponsored by United States Senators Robert Bennett (R-UT) and David Vitter (R-LA) would require the Census Bureau to amend questionnaires for the 2010 census to include a question to determine legal status and citizenship.
According to Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Chair of the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee, the Bennett-Vitter Amendment would be a “financial challenge that borders on… a nightmare.”
“Anyone who has been involved in a construction project can tell you that the budget is blown when changes, additions, and deletions are made to the plans once the actual building process is underway. This business principle is apparently lost on Senator Bennett. I had thought better of his business skills,” said Sam Granato, candidate for the U.S. Senate.
The Census is a highly coordinated process which has over 700,000 staffers and costs $14 billion. The amendment would waste hundreds of millions of dollars because the Census Bureau has already printed materials, trained workers, and coordinated the nationwide canvass. The Bureau would not have time to test whether the question would be answered truthfully or whether it might cause people to refuse to participate in the counting process leading to a less accurate census and more reliance on statistical samples for future public appropriations.
“We cannot afford to place the efforts made already on the scrap heap for the political convenience of career politicians. Senator Bennett, there is a time to every purpose. There is a time for planning and a time for implementation. The time for planning for the 2010 census is over. The time for implementation has begun. I will be happy to put your idea on the table for 2020 at the appropriate time.” Granato added, “If the Republican Congress and President Bush had addressed immigration reform in a timely and responsible manner earlier this decade, this census issue would be mute. Lack of respect for the taxpayer’s money and the inappropriate and untimely use of polarizing issues is why Utah needs fresh leadership in Washington.”