US Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, was confronted Thursday by a Democrats debate by the House Watch Committee, asking him if he had lied to Congress about his controversial decision to add a question of citizenship at the 2020 census.
"We have serious questions as to whether Secretary Ross had told the truth when he had appeared before Congress last year and had stated on three occasions that he had added the question of citizenship only at the request of the Ministry of Justice, "said Committee Chair Elijah Cummings in his opening remarks.
"The key question we are going to ask Secretary Ross today is: what was he hiding in Congress?" the Democrat of Maryland continued. "What is the real reason why Trump wanted to add this unconstitutional question?"
Ross attempted to clarify why he had added this question in his opening remarks, saying that before deciding to add the question, he had learned that the Justice Department might have wanted to # 39; include.
"I asked staff to follow up with the Department of Justice to obtain a written statement confirming whether or not the Department of Justice was asking for reinstatement," Ross said. . "I wanted to make sure we had enough time to properly consider any formal request from the Department of Justice."
"In the end, on December 12, 2017, the Department of Justice officially asked the Census Bureau to re-establish the citizenship issue in the decennial census," said Ross. "The DOJ has sought citizenship data at the census block level for use in the application of the Voting Rights Act." In response, the Census Bureau initiated a process of legal, policy and institutional review. programmatic to consider other ways to meet the GM's request. "
Related: Questions and Answers on the US Citizenship Test:
Questions and Answers on the US Citizenship Test
Ross testified before the House Ways and Means Committee last March that the issue had been added to his order after receiving the DOJ's request. But documents released as part of a lawsuit in several states against Ross showed that the secretary had inquired to add the question much sooner.
Ross' highly anticipated appearance before the committee on Thursday comes just days after a second federal judge said he had violated federal law and the constitution by hastily adding the question to the upcoming poll.
The Republicans of the Oversight Committee have criticized the Democrats in their opening remarks, accusing the party of politicizing the process and defending the decision to add the issue to the census. They also tried to adjourn the hearing, arguing that this could influence a Supreme Court decision on this issue, which she plans to take next month.
"I mean, for my life, I do not know why the Democrats do not want to know how many citizens are in the United States of America," said the representative of the hierarchy, Jim Jordan, R-Ohio . "But for some reason, they're focused on this issue, maybe it's politics, and it seems to me clear that we're having an audience today for that reason." insists on politicizing the 2020 census ".
Mark Meadows, RN.C., added later: "Many of the questions you are going to receive today have nothing to do with the exact calculation of how many people are here in the United States This has everything to do with politics, and all that needs to be done to try to make sure that a particular message gets through. "