House Democrats will unveil a measure Tuesday that splits the U.S. Census Bureau from the Commerce Department and makes it an independent government agency similar in design to the National Institutes of Health or NASA.
The proposal comes in the wake of Republican allegations that the Obama administration is attempting to politicize the census by giving White House aides responsibility for overseeing next year’s headcount.
Administration officials stress that while the White House is expected to take part in advertising and community outreach related to the 2010 census, the census director will continue to report to the secretary of commerce.
But with so much at stake in the outcome of the decennial headcount, some House Democrats argue that the census should be insulated from any hint of political influence.
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