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FOX News Interview with Rep. Marsha Blackburn - Transcript


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MR. GALLAGHER: Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn is a Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee. She's calling for an investigation of the White House plans for a Census.

Congresswoman, good to have you.

REP. BLACKBURN: Good to be with you. Thank you.

MR. GALLAGHER: The question I don't think people get here, there are really two ways to do this, you can either count each American or you can statisticians do some sampling and extrapolate how many people are in this country.

So it's kind of a dangerous precedent to go with the science over cold, hard numbers, right?

REP. BLACKBURN: You're correct, it is, and we are very concerned as the reports have arisen that it would be moved from the jurisdiction of the Department of Commerce and the Secretary, which would be Senator Gregg and over to the White House. We know that the Census Bureau has worked for decades to remove the political influence from that agency and everybody that works with the Census Bureau now has to go through an FBI background check, and they've worked diligently to make certain that we can trust the numbers that they deliver into -- looking at having that go to the White House and be handled out of the political wing by the White House --


REP. BLACKBURN: Is something that is of concern and that's why my Republican colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee joined me in a letter asking Chairman Waxman to have a hearing on this and we would hope that he would. The Senate --

MR. GALLAGHER: Congresswoman --

REP. BLACKBURN: Go ahead --

MR. GALLAGHER: Everybody agrees this is partisan, I mean, you go back to Rahm Emanuel's statement a couple of years ago --

REP. BLACKBURN: Correct --

MR. GALLAGHER: And he says if you think redistricting is always partisan and political, which it is, it's going to be on steroids this time talking about 2010, and, oh by the way, Rahm Emanuel would be one of the ones who are kind of heading up this Census.

REP. BLACKBURN: Well, and everyone is very concerned about that, and I think that's why the Senate has gone ahead today, Senator Carper and Senator McCain have set the hearing for March 5th in the Senate and we think that the House that Chairman Waxman should also set a hearing so that we can begin this process to make certain that all of our local and state elected officials, as well as our members of Congress, as well as the American people can trust the fact that the Senate is going to be a fair, honest and impartial Census.

MR. GALLAGHER: And speaking of fair and honest and impartial, the question becomes like Congressman Mike Pence brought up, he said, look, if you don't trust Judd Gregg to do the right thing here, take him out, give it to somebody else. The Commerce Department has always run this --

REP. BLACKBURN: That's correct.

MR. GALLAGHER: And now we've got six former heads of the Census saying, this should be in independent hands. Who can disagree as the urgent bulletin goes off and we'll read that to you in a minute, who can disagree with this thing being in independent hands?

REP. BLACKBURN: Well, and that is where it should be and that's what the Census Bureau has worked for decades to achieve. That is why it has been left with the Census Bureau under the jurisdiction of the Department of Commerce, and as you said earlier, this is something that in Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution, we are directed to do every ten years. Everyone knows when the Census takes place and they know that Census workers work very carefully with all of our local and state elected officials to make certain they count everyone.

MR. GALLAGHER: Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, thank you. Good to see you.

REP. BLACKBURN: Thanks, Trace. Good to see you. Thank you.

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