Democrats in the U.S. Congress on Wednesday were moving ahead with legislation to prevent the Trump administration from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, following a court decision this week blocking inclusion of such information.
Representative Carolyn Maloney, a senior Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told reporters that she is re-introducing her bill, which was ignored by Republicans in 2017-2018 when they controlled the House of Representatives.
With the Democrats takeover of the House this year and the panel that oversees the decennial census, Maloney said she hoped that her “Census IDEA Act” would advance early in 2019.
Under Maloney’s legislation, the Commerce Department for the 2020 census and beyond could not insert any major new provisions or questions without first researching and testing them for at least three years. The changes would also have to be submitted to Congress for review.
On Tuesday, a federal judge invalidated the Trump administration’s move to include a citizenship question in the 2020 population count. The Justice Department is expected to appeal the ruling, with the case thought likely to reach the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Every person must be counted,” Maloney said. She added that she was gathering support from House members for a letter that would be sent to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, urging him to not seek an appeal of the court ruling.
Also on Wednesday, House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings told reporters that Ross will testify before his panel in early March. That hearing is expected to touch on several issues, including planning for the 2020 census.
Democrats and civil rights groups accused the administration of inserting a citizenship question onto the survey, for the first time since 1950, to discourage immigrants and Latinos from participating in the census.
The census, required by the U.S. Constitution, provides the basis for states’ representation in the House and their share of federal funds for an array of programs.
Democrats fear that the citizenship question would result in census data that over the next decade would mainly benefit Republicans in many congressional districts by undercounting minorities and immigrants.
Democratic Representative Jesus “Chuy” Carcia told reporters the citizenship question would likely discourage many “mixed status” families whose members have varying immigration or citizenship status from answering census questions.
Ross argued that the government needed citizenship data to help enforce election law.
Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Bill Berkrot
Trump might ‘already be in prison’ if not for the DOJ policy: national security lawyer
On Thursday, newly unsealed documents showed that FBI agents believed President Donald Trump was personally involved in the illegal scheme to pay off porn star Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about an affair she had with him ahead of the 2016 presidential election. Furthermore, the Office of Legal Counsel memo prohibiting the indictment of a sitting president reportedly "factored into" the end of the probe.
Trump picks Antonin Scalia’s son to replace disgraced former Labor Secretary: report
On Thursday, NPR reported that President Donald Trump is naming Eugene Scalia, the son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, to take over as Secretary of Labor.
Scalia, who served on the court from 1986 to his death in 2016, was known as one of the staunchest conservatives on the bench. His seat was deliberately kept vacant by Republicans for over a year to deny President Barack Obama the ability to make an appointment to it.
The Department of Labor was until this month run by former federal prosecutor Alexander Acosta, who resigned in disgrace amid renewed questions about his role in brokering a potentially illegal sweetheart plea agreement with hedge fund manager and accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.
Trump official melts down on MSNBC after refusing to admit Trump lied to America
On Thursday's edition of MSNBC's "The Beat," Ari Melber confronted acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan about President Donald Trump's empty threat of "mass raids" of communities nationwide by immigration officials — and Morgan was not pleased.
"The president said there would be these mass raids. Described as thousands of arrests," said Melber. "Were there mass raids, yes or no?"
"First of all, I don’t actually call this a raid," said Morgan. "I think words matter."
"Words matter, so I’m going to get to your response," said Melber. "Were there mass raids as promised?"