Ross Won't Disclose What White House Convos He Had About Census Citizenship

Wilbur Ross speaks at an event in National Harbor Md

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, appearing before the House Oversight Committee Thursday, defended efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, a controversial effort that is facing legal challenges.

Questioned by House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, Ross defended his earlier testimony: "I testified truthfully to the best of my ability in response to my understanding of what the questions were".

Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform said the citizenship question was proposed to reduce immigrant response rates, so areas where they live will be short-changed on measures allotted by population such as congressional representation and federal funding.

The Justice Department said the question was necessary in order to effectively enforce the Voting Rights Act.

The Census Bureau initiated a review to consider alternatives to DOJ's request.

"This is because the census is used to reapportion Congressional seats, and Democrats know that Congressional apportionment according to the population of citizens, rather than total population, will cause them to lose seats in Congress", the column said, alleging that Democrats need the votes of non-citizens, who are not now allowed to vote, "to survive as a party".

Two federal judges have ruled that Ross' planned addition of the question violated administrative law and was unconstitutional.

Ross and his agency have repeatedly said the change to the questionnaire will help the Justice Department enforce the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, but critics believe the proposal will lead to low response rates among immigrants and distort congressional apportionment to favor Republicans.

"For the life of me, I don't why the Democrats don't want to know how many citizens are in this country", said Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who suggested the census should go even further in its questioning.

Clay cited an internal email from May 2017 - seven months before the Justice Department request - in which Ross spoke of "my months-old request that we add a citizenship question".

At least 24 dead, dozens missing in Zimbabwe after cyclone
The United Nations said more than 100 people had already died in weeks of heavy rain and flooding in Mozambique and Malawi. Roads were flooded and the airport was shut down.

Clay said Ross failed to mention the memo when testifying to Congress previously. "Kobach is clear about his reason for adding the citizenship question in his correspondence to you", Ocasio-Cortez said.

"I have never intentionally misled Congress or intentionally said anything incorrect under oath", Ross said.

"I do not know anyone who believes that the Trump administration is interested in enhancing the Voting Rights Act", Cummings said, adding: "The administration has done everything in its power to suppress the vote".

"Obtaining complete and accurate information for use in determining citizen voting populations to enforce the Voting Rights Act is a legitimate government goal", said Ross.

This would be the first time since 1950 that a question on citizenship has been posed on the decennial questionnaire mailed to every household.

Democrats also released a memo noting that a Department of Justice official told committee staff last week that in the fall of 2017, the Commerce Department's James Uthmeier hand-delivered what Cummings called a "secret memo and handwritten note" on the citizenship question to John Gore in the civil rights division at the Department of Justice.

However, emails revealed during the course of lengthy litigation over the matter showed that Ross directed his staff to demand that the DOJ send in the formal request.

In return, Cummings said, "We expected you to answer all our questions" related to the citizenship question.

"The objective of the data collected by the citizenship questionnaire is, after all, to ensure everyone's vote is counted fairly and no one suffers discrimination at the ballot box, said Jordan".

"For the life of me, I do not know why the Democrats don't want to know how many citizens are in the United States of America", said Rep. Jim Jordan of OH, the ranking Republican.

Related News:



Most liked

Far-right Australian lawmaker finds himself -- literally -- with egg on his face
His comments earned swift and blistering condemnation. "I do wonder if he's made Australians less safe overseas", Shorten said. Authorities then arrested the 17-year-old, whose name has not been released, and later released him.

Johnny Manziel signs with AAF, report says
Manziel was a first-round draft pick by Cleveland, but quickly fizzled out there. Johnny Manziel is headed back to the United States to play football.

Volkswagen chairman apologises for unintentional Nazi reference
Within Volkswagen, "brands with a higher margins have more freedom within the Group to make their own decisions". VW said the SEC complaint is "legally and factually flawed" and the company will "contest it vigorously".

New Zealand PM's office received shooter's 'manifesto' minutes before attack
New Zealand has in the past tried to tighten firearm laws, but a strong gun lobby and culture of hunting has stymied such efforts. Hagen Hopkins via Getty ImagesPrime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to media during a press conference at Parliament on Friday.

Six Nations: England axe Cokanasiga for Scotland clash
But we scored a try and then another and started to believe and scored some great tries, some of them were brilliant ... Jones' men brushed off the disappointment by racing to a 31-0 lead in the Calcutta Cup clash.

Nebraska flooding map: Where is Nebraska flooding - which areas are affected?
The storm also spawned at least three tornadoes in MI and in on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service . The flood warning continues for the North Raccoon River near Perry or from the Greene-Dallas County line to Adel.

Italy opens probe into death of 'bunga bunga' witness
Speaking at a political meeting in the southern Basilicata, Berlusconi said he was "sorry when a young person dies". FILE - In this Monday, Oct. 3, 2011 file photo, Imane Fadil smiles as she leaves the court in Milan, Italy.

SC Sets Aside Life Ban on Sreesanth, Asks BCCI to Reconsider Punishment
The bench made it clear that Sreesanth will get the opportunity of being heard by the committee on the quantum of the punishment. The Supreme Court has also ordered the BCCI to reconsider their decision of life ban on Sreesanth in a period of three months.

Venezuala crisis: Thousands of Nicolás Maduro supporters march through Caracas
According to Reuters US official said the diplomats were flown out in a civilian charter aircraft. Embassy in the Venezuelan capital is lowered as the last remaining diplomats leave the country.

Australia's 2-year ODI losing streak ends in New Delhi
He's now also the batsman to score most runs against India in a five-match ODI series against India . "It has been an unbelievable ride since India arrived in Australia ", Langer said.

Sam Smith Comes Out as Genderqueer, Non-Binary
The singer discussed the difficulty of opening up about body image, because he sees the conversation as taboo with men. Listen to the interview below . "I had liposuction, I was 12 years old", Smith revealed.

Belinda Bencic claims another shock win in Indian Wells
Bencic hopes to make her second final appearance of the year and her ninth final appearance of her career. Belinda Bencic is coming off a three sets win over Karolina Pliskova that took 28 games to decide.

What happens in the end credits of 'Captain Marvel'
Captain Marvel's mid-credits moment seemingly takes place a relatively short time after Avengers: Infinity War . Captain Marvel speaks up and tells the group they need to go there and use the stones to undo everything.

Alleged Gambino crime boss shot, killed outside Staten Island home
Gotti then ran the Gambino family until he was convicted in 1992 of racketeering and five counts of murder. Cali reportedly took over the Gambino crime family in 2015, according to a profile in Gang Land News.

'Many more would have died': Hero mosque worker grabs NZ attacker's gun
Ms Ardern, who arrived in Christchurch Saturday, said the shooter was not on any watchlist and did not have a criminal record. Heba told the Dubai-based news outlet that she lost five family friends, including a 12-year-old boy, in the attack.