WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Dwelling of Representatives Oversight Committee plans to vote on Wednesday on whether or no longer to retain Attorney Customary William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress for stonewalling a probe into an alleged scheme to politicize the 2020 U.S. Census.
“Both Secretary Ross and Attorney Customary Barr are refusing to follow duly authorized subpoenas from Congress,” the committee’s chairman, Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings, stated on Monday in a statement saying the vote.
“On myth of they’re in contempt of Congress, on Wednesday, the Committee will vote to switch forward to implement our bipartisan subpoenas,” he stated.
If the committee finds them in contempt, a vote would possibly per chance per chance then happen in the stout, Democratic-led Dwelling. If the stout Dwelling votes in prefer of contempt, the Dwelling would possibly per chance per chance engage Ross and Barr to court docket to scrutinize compliance.
The committee is investigating a idea by President Donald Trump’s administration to add a request on citizenship to next year’s U.S. Census questionnaire.
Critics think in conjunction with the request will dismay immigrants and Latinos into abstaining from the take a look at up on, which is taken each 10 years. That would disproportionately undercount Democratic-leaning states, they argue.
Ross has stated the citizenship request would wait on implement the Voting Rights Act, which requires a tally of voters of voting age to protect minorities against discrimination.
The panel’s Democrats stated they scheduled the contempt vote after both Ross and Barr did no longer private paperwork about the enlighten in accordance with a bipartisan subpoena the panel issued bigger than two months prior to now.
The committee stated Ross testified that he added the citizenship request “fully” at the request of the Justice Division.
Nonetheless, the committee stated paperwork showed that Ross “began a secret campaign” to add the request to the census questionnaire rapidly after taking shriek of business and months before being requested to originate so by the Justice Division.
The Justice Division and the Commerce Division did no longer correct now reply to requests for enlighten on the committee’s switch to schedule a contempt vote.
Reporting by Eric Beech; editing by Mohammad Zargham and Rosalba O’Brien