The House Oversight Committee voted on Wednesday to hold Attorney General William P. Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt for failing to turn over documents about the administration’s decision to a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The nearly party-line vote of 24-to-15 came hours after President Trump asserted executive privilege to shield the materials from Congress. Democratic lawmakers have accused the Trump administration of stonewalling their efforts to investigate Ross’s March 2018 decision to add the citizenship question, which the government says it needs to better enforce the Voting Rights Act.
How do we know this is a lie? Because the ACLU found documentary evidence that Ross’ efforts are part of a GOP plan. In pop culture terms, this evidence is like the moment where the villain, inexplicably, reveals his secret plan to James Bond. But I interrupted.
Opponents of the citizenship question have argued that it will suppress responses to the survey among immigrant communities, resulting in an undercount in the areas where they live. The population count from the Decennial Census is used to allocate $800 billion a year in federal funding and determine congressional representation and redistricting. A key issue in the challenges to the citizenship question is how it came to be added. Ross originally told Congress that his decision to add it came solely in response to a December 2017 request from the Justice Department, but lawsuits later produced emails showing that Ross, who oversees the Census Bureau, had been pushing for the question for months before that.
The Supreme Court soon will decide whether Republicans can add the citizenship question to the Census. Democrats want to expose all the racist, power-mad Bond Villain reasons why Republicans want to do this.
So I guess it was a big day for ol’ Wilbur after all.
*I’m sorry. I could not resist the pun. I’m a bad hoomin.