Announce and Transmit

A Century of Congressional Apportionment

Once the 2020 census has been completed, the Census Bureau and the Department of Commerce will be expected to ANNOUNCE the total populations of each state and the number of representatives each state is due in the next House of Representatives. The President will then TRANSMIT that packet of figures to Congress. This website explains the historical precedents governing this tradition of ANNOUNCE and TRANSMIT.

These are the central pillars of the “announce and transmit” tradition:

Announce

Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau counts each person in the United States, fulfilling a duty inscribed by the founders in the Constitution of the United States. For nearly a century now, the Census Bureau and the Department of Commerce have followed the count by publicly ANNOUNCING the total numbers of persons in each state and the number of representatives each state will have in the next decade's House of Representatives.

Transmit

The Census Bureau and Department of Commerce also TRANSMIT that packet of numbers through the President to Congress according to deadlines fixed in law by Congress.

Headshot of Barack Obama
President
Barack Obama
Headshot of Gary Locke
Secretary of Commerce
Gary Locke
Headshot of Robert Groves
Director of the Census Bureau
Robert Groves

Dec. 21, 2010

Transmission to President and Release to Public

Commerce Secretary Locke transmitted the apportionment numbers to President Obama. At 11am, Secretary Locke, Deputy Secretary Blank, and Census Bureau Director Groves released the first set of 2010 Census numbers — the resident population and Congressional apportionment totals for each state — during a news briefing at the National Press Club.

Jan. 5, 2011

Transmission to Congress

President Obama (D) transmitted the apportionment numbers to Congress.

Jan. 12, 2011

Transmission to the Governors

The Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a certificate to the governor of each state, indicating the number of representatives apportioned in the next Congress.

Headshot of Bill Clinton
President
Bill Clinton
Headshot of Norman Mineta
Secretary of Commerce
Norman Mineta
Headshot of Kenneth Prewitt
Director of the Census Bureau
Kenneth Prewitt

Dec. 28, 2000

Transmission to President and Release to Public

Commerce Secretary Mineta, Under Secretary Shapiro, and Census Bureau Director Prewitt transmitted the apportionment counts to President Clinton, and then released the first set of 2000 Census numbers — the resident population and Congressional apportionment totals for each state — during an 11 a.m. news briefing at the National Press Club.

Jan. 4, 2001

Transmission to Congress

President Clinton (D) transmitted the apportionment numbers to Congress.

Jan. 2001

Transmission to the Governors

The Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a certificate to the governor of each state, indicating the number of representatives apportioned in the next Congress.

Headshot of George H.W. Bush
President
George H.W. Bush
Headshot of Robert Mosbacher
Secretary of Commerce
Robert Mosbacher
Headshot of Barbara Everitt Bryant
Director of the Census Bureau
Barbara Everitt Bryant

Dec. 26, 1990

Transmission to President and Release to Public

Commerce Secretary Mosbacher transmitted the apportionment numbers to President Bush, and then Under Secretary Darby and Director Bryant announced the apportionment numbers during a press briefing held at the Department of Commerce.

Jan. 7, 1991

Transmission to Congress

President Bush (R) transmitted the apportionment numbers to Congress. The transmission letter included a caveat stating, “The population counts set forth herein are subject to possible correction for undercount or overcount. The Department of Commerce is considering whether to correct these counts and will publish corrected counts, if any, not later than July 15, 1991

January 1990

Transmission to the Governors

The Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a certificate to the governor of each state, indicating the number of representatives apportioned in the next Congress.

Headshot of Jimmy Carter
President
Jimmy Carter
Headshot of Philip Klutznick
Secretary of Commerce
Philip Klutznick
Headshot of Vincent Barabba
Director of the Census Bureau
Vincent Barabba

Dec. 31, 1980

Transmission to President and Release to Public

The Census Bureau officially certified the 1980 population count of the states and reported the apportionment numbers to President Carter only hours before the legal deadline. The Census Bureau then held a ceremony at the Department of Commerce and released the final national population count as well as state-by-state population counts.

Jan. 7, 1981

Transmission to Congress

President Carter (D) transmitted the apportionment numbers to Congress.

Jan. 1981

Transmission to the Governors

The Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a certificate to the governor of each s

Headshot of Richard Nixon
President
Richard Nixon
Headshot of Maurice Stans
Secretary of Commerce
Maurice Stans
Headshot of George Hay Brown
Director of the Census Bureau
George Hay Brown

Nov. 30, 1970

Transmission to President and Release to Public

Commerce Secretary Stans transmitted the apportionment numbers to President Nixon, and a formal ceremony took place at the White House in which Secretary Stans and Director Brown presented the results of the 1970 census to President Nixon.

Jan. 27, 1971

Transmission to Congress

President Nixon (R) transmitted the apportionment numbers to Congress.

February 2, 1971

Transmission to the Governors

The Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a certificate to the governor of each state, indicating the number of representatives apportioned in the next Congress.

Headshot of Dwight D. Eisenhower
President
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Frederick H. Mueller
Secretary of Commerce
Frederick H. Mueller
Headshot of Robert Burgess
Director of the Census Bureau
Robert Burgess

Nov. 15, 1960

Transmission to President and Release to Public

Commerce Secretary Mueller transmitted the apportionment numbers to President Eisenhower, and the Commerce Department released a press statement at noon announcing the official results of the 1960 census and apportionment numbers for each state.

Jan. 10, 1961

Transmission to Congress

President Eisenhower (R) transmitted the apportionment numbers to Congress.

Jan. 1961

Transmission to the Governors

The Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a certificate to the governor of each state, indicating the number of representatives apportioned in the next Congress.

Headshot of Harry S. Truman
President
Harry S. Truman
Headshot of Charles Sawyer
Secretary of Commerce
Charles Sawyer
Roy Victor Peel
Director of the Census Bureau
Roy Victor Peel

Nov. 2, 1950

Transmission to President and Release to Public

Secretary Sawyer, along with Director Peel and Deputy Director Eckler, delivered the apportionment numbers to President Truman at 11:30 a.m. and the Department of Commerce announced the apportionment numbers.

Jan. 9, 1951

Transmission to Congress

President Truman (D) transmitted the apportionment numbers to Congress.

Jan. 1951

Transmission to the Governors

The Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a certificate to the governor of each state, indicating the number of representatives apportioned in the next Congress.

Headshot of Franklin D. Roosevelt
President
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Headshot of Jesse H. Jones
Secretary of Commerce
Jesse H. Jones
Headshot of William Austin
Director of the Census Bureau
William Austin

Dec. 1, 1940

Release to Public

Two days after Commerce Secretary Jones transmitted the apportionment numbers to President Roosevelt, the Commerce Department released the final 1940 census figures.

Jan. 8, 1941

Transmission to Congress

President Roosevelt (D) transmitted the apportionment numbers to Congress. Two sets of numbers were transmitted. One used the method known as the method of major fractions, which was the method used in the last preceding apportionment, and the other used the method of equal proportions.

Jan. 1941

Transmission to the Governors

The Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a certificate to the governor of each state, indicating the number of representatives apportioned in the next Congress.

Headshot of Herbert Hoover
President
Herbert Hoover
Headshot of Robert P. Lamont
Secretary of Commerce
Robert P. Lamont
Headshot of William Steuart
Director of the Census Bureau
William Steuart

Nov. 18, 1930

Release to Public

One day after receiving the apportionment numbers from Commerce Secretary Lamont, President Hoover announced the reapportionment figures during a news conference, stating that "The Census [Bureau] has furnished me with the conclusions on the subject, and I will give them to you. I will not attempt to read the results."

Dec. 4, 1930

Transmission to Congress

President Hoover (R) transmitted the apportionment numbers to Congress. The transmission included the apportionment numbers as calculated by both the method of major fractions, which was the method used in the last preceding apportionment, and by the method of equal proportions.

Dec. 1930 or Jan. 1931

Transmission to the Governors

The Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a certificate to each state, indicating the number of representatives apportioned in the next Congress. The Reapportionment Act of 1929 says "It shall be the duty of the Clerk of the last House State executives by the of Representatives forthwith to send to the executive of each State a certificate of the number of Representatives to which such State is entitled under this section." However, there was no set time frame given for this transmission until Public Law 76-481 in 1940.