Both parties have complaints with the Census numbers published on April 26, which found the United States to have just over 331 million people. New York, a heavily Democratic state, is expected to lose a House seat, narrowing its total from 27 lawmakers in the chamber to 26. Most frustrating for New Yorkers is that the Empire State lost out on getting to keep all of its House seats by just 89 votes. Minnesota ended up the receiver, as it gets to keep all eight of its House seats.
Republicans, meanwhile, were frustrated that Texas only picked up two House seats due to faster population growth and that Florida only added one. State governments in both are controlled by Republicans, and each is supposed to pick up an additional House seat, essential elements in the party's effort for winning a majority in the chamber in the 2022 midterm elections.
House Republicans on the Oversight Committee challenged Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo in a new letter, prompting why “apportionment population results released by the Census Bureau are strikingly different from the population evaluation estimates released just months ago on December 22, 2020.”
“Several liberal states with sanctuary policies may have lost more congressional seats if illegal immigrants had not been included in the apportionment base," the Republican lawmakers wrote. "This trend calls into question whether there was any political interference with the apportionment results released by the Census Bureau.”
Both sides are now targeting litigation to overturn the Census results. New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo is considering a lawsuit against the federal government over that one congressional seat the state lost by 89 residents.
“Do I think it was accurate to within 89? No.” Cuomo told reporters at a press conference. “And we’re looking at legal options. Because when you’re talking about 89. That could be a minor mistake in counting.” Cuomo said he ordered New York Attorney General Letitia James to see if legal grounds existed for a lawsuit.
The struggle to make any real lasting reforms is an uphill battle. In 2011, New York City claimed the census left out tens of thousands of residents living in the outer boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn as a result of the housing units being listed as empty. The Census Bureau refused to change the city’s population count.
States are also worried about the Census Bureau’s methodology with its number count. A lawsuit filed by the state of Alabama, with the backing of 16 states, one month ago, challenges the Census Bureau’s current counting method known as “differential privacy.”