Conferees Vote to Fund

Monthly Census Survey

Congressional budget conferees agreed yesterday to provide enough money to the Census Bureau to save a monthly household survey that is the centerpiece of the agency's plans for the 2010 census.

The Senate had voted a $727.4 million appropriation for the Census Bureau for fiscal 2006, which agency officials said would force them to scrap the ongoing monthly American Community Survey that is supposed to replace the long form. Bureau supporters lobbied conferees to endorse the House figure of $812 million. Conferees did so yesterday in wrapping up work on the bill, House Appropriations Committee spokesman John Scofield said.

The census appropriation is part of a bill that also funds the State, Commerce and Justice departments. The House and Senate are expected to vote on the bills next week.

For the Record

* Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) said he will block all of President Bush's nominees to key positions in the Environmental Protection Agency until it issues long-overdue regulations limiting people's exposure to lead paint from house remodeling. EPA spokeswoman Eryn Witcher said the agency will issue the regulations before the end of the year. Obama's office said the senator will reconsider if he gets a promise in writing. Obama's decision has the immediate effect of preventing Susan Bodine, a staff director and lawyer for a House subcommittee, from becoming an assistant administrator in charge of EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, which oversees Superfund and emergency cleanup programs.

* The Senate unanimously confirmed Wan Kim to head the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. Kim, who was nominated by President Bush in June, is deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights. He had been an assistant U.S. attorney and member of the staff of Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah).

-- From staff writer D'Vera Cohn and news service reports