Burr, Tillis, and Rouzer Introduce Bicameral Legislation to Reunite North Carolina County, Arbitrarily Split by Washington Bureaucracy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), along with Representative David Rouzer (R- N.C. 7), introduced legislation to correct a mistake by the Census Bureau and the Office of Management of Budget (OMB) that is adversely affecting eastern North Carolina. Two years ago, OMB issued new delineations for Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) that arbitrarily separated Brunswick County from the Wilmington metropolitan area.  MSAs are commonly used by businesses to determine the size of new markets and to analyze the workforce. Separating Brunswick County from Wilmington has led to an understatement of the size of the state's economy in the region and hurt economic development.

This legislation requires the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to consider Brunswick County part of the same metropolitan statistical area as Wilmington, North Carolina, as has historically been the case.

"In a classic Washington maneuver, this mindless application of bureaucratic rule at the federal level has had an enormous effect on the economy in the area. This is a fact that all North Carolinians know -- Brunswick County is part of the greater Wilmington area," said Burr. "However since the Administration has chosen not to address this mistake, I’ve joined together with other member’s of our state’s delegation to make sure OBM’s guidelines reflect what reality looks like for people in North Carolina."

“The Administration made a misguided decision to separate Brunswick County from the Wilmington metropolitan area, which in turn has had a harmful economic impact on the region. I am pleased to join Senator Burr and Congressman Rouzer in correcting this error by ensuring that Brunswick County is considered part of the Wilmington metropolitan area,” said Tillis.

“I strongly urge the Administration to correct this mistake,” said Congressman Rouzer.  “Separating Brunswick County from the greater Wilmington area hinders economic growth in the Care Fear region.  I appreciate the help and support from my colleagues in the North Carolina delegation to address this issue.”

You can read the bill text here.