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House will vote to hold Barr, Ross in contempt of Congress over 2020 Census question

U.S. Attorney General William Barr testifies before the Senate Appropriations Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on May 1, 2019, in Washington, D.C.

KEN CEDENO/SIPA USA/TNS

By FELICIA SONMEZ | The Washington Post | Published: July 11, 2019

WASHINGTON — The House will vote Tuesday to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress for failing to provide documents related to the Trump administration's plan to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

In a statement Thursday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said the House "will not shirk from its oversight of this Administration and its malign effort to silence the voices of millions in our democracy and deny resources to communities in need of them."

Barr and Ross have ignored congressional subpoenas and have sought to "subvert the 2020 Census with the addition of a citizenship question meant only to deter minorities from participating and leading to an undercount in parts of the country," Hoyer added.

The Commerce Department and the Justice Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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.

President Donald Trump is expected to announce Thursday afternoon that he will take executive action to place the citizenship question on the census, although the exact steps he plans to take remain unclear.

Trump's move comes days after the Supreme Court ruled that the administration cannot move forward on adding the question without providing a solid justification for its plan.
 

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