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House panel votes to hold Barr, Ross in contempt

Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on June 13, 2019 - Duration: 01:56s

House panel votes to hold Barr, Ross in contempt

A Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives committee voted on Wednesday in favor of holding Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress for defying congressional subpoenas related to adding a citizenship question to the U.S. census.

Nathan Frandino reports.

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House panel votes to hold Barr, Ross in contempt

In the latest move to assert Congressional powers, Democrats on a key House panel voted on Wednesday to recommend Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross be held in contempt of Congress.

The vote by the House Oversight Committee targeted Barr and Ross for defying congressional subpoenas over the Trump administration's plan to add a citizenship question on the 2020 U.S. Census.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) REP.

ELIJAH CUMMINGS, (D) MARYLAND, SAYING: "And although we have limited information about this scheme, we've been blocked from fully determining the real reason the administration sought to add the citizenship question." The move came hours after President Donald Trump asserted executive privilege in refusing to turn over requested documents tied to the census question, which Trump said he supported.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "It's totally ridiculous that we would have a census without asking." Republicans insisted the administration is cooperating with Congress on the Census question, and that Democrats should be patient.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) REP.

MARK MEADOWS (R) NORTH CAROLINA, SOT Lawsuits have already been filed to stop the citizenship question from even showing up.

Democrats accuse Republicans of including the question for political gain, hoping to frighten away immigrants from participating in the census, which could weaken Democratic power in Congress by undercounting Democratic-leaning areas.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) REP.

RASHIDA TLAIB, (D) MICHIGAN, SAYING: "This is about the intent by the current administration to not include communities of color who tend to vote aligned with maybe different perspectives or different political parties.

This is about not counting everyone that is in our country." The contempt measure will now go to the floor for a full vote of the House.

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