UPDATED 6:44 AM PT – Tuesday, July 16 , 2019
House Democrats are demanding more information behind the push for a citizenship question on the 2020 census. In order to obtain the information, they are going after Attorney General William Barr and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, who landed in some heat after their refusal to turn over documents in the face of subpoenas back in April.
“This determines who is here, this determines who has power in the United States of America. That is what we want to know. I want to know about corruption. That’s what I want to know — about the racism and the very disturbing history that we’re seeing here. That’s what I want to know, and so we gave the opportunity to ask –we asked: why are all of these things happening, why is all of this connected?
— Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, (D) New York
The House Oversight Committee voted to move forward with a contempt vote to the full chamber in order to take action. The vote before the full House will determine whether or not Barr and Ross will be held in contempt of Congress, which is a federal misdemeanor that can end in paying a $1,000 fine and possibly even going to jail.
This comes despite the Trump administration moving past the issue. The White House invoked an executive order last week, following an unfavorable ruling from the Supreme Court to have federal agencies share information in order to determine how many citizens and non-citizens are in the country.
“Knowing this information is vital to formulating sound public policy, whether the issue is healthcare, education, civil rights or immigration,” stated President Trump. “We must have a reliable count of how many citizens, non-citizens, and illegal aliens are in our country.”
Last week, the House voted to finally take court action against Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn for their failure to turn over information regarding the Mueller report.
It remains to be seen what action — if any — will be taken following a contempt vote in regard to the citizenship question.