WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15) applauded yesterday’s Senate passage of legislation he authored with Sen. Tom Coburn (OK), Sen. Tom Carper (DE), and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY-14) that reforms the management of the U.S. Census.

The bill, H.R. 4945 / S. 3167, sets a five-year term for the Director of the Census Bureau, who would report directly to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, and increases the independence of the Director by allowing the submission of his or her own opinion in testimony to Congress, even when it differs from that of the Administration. Additionally, the legislation grants the Director authority over all personnel and activities within the Bureau, and the ability to establish advisory committees to develop recommendations for improvement.

“I am pleased the U.S. Senate unanimously passed this important legislation. The American people expect Congress to improve the efficiency and accountability of government through common sense bipartisan reforms like this,” Dent said. “Modernization of the Census is long overdue and our legislation will ensure future counts are fair, accurate and free from political bias.”

"It's bipartisan, it's good government, it's scientific independence, it’s good management, and it's about time," Maloney added. “This important reform ensures consistent professional management of this major scientific agency, and minimizes political interference of its vital Constitutional mission. I’m grateful to Senators Carper and Coburn for their bipartisan leadership this issue in the Senate. Now we in the House must commit to forward thinking to avoid problems in the run up 2020 census.”

The bill is strongly supported by all seven former census directors who served in Republican and Democratic administrations, and has garnered praise from scientific, and advocacy groups.