On Wednesday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that President Donald Trump's Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is refusing to testify about his agency's budget in a routine scheduled meeting with the House Appropriations Committee:
The latest refusal by Ross was to appear for a regular budget hearing before the House Appropriations Committee; last week, Ross backed out of testimony on the President's 2020 budget before the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Ross, who is facing controversy over everything from his potential violations of financial ethics disclosure law to his alleged lies to Congress about his role in approving a controversial question on citizenship for the 2020 census, offered instead to send Commerce officials to testify about the president's budget.
In a statement Commerce officials pushed back on the idea that Ross was not being forthcoming with Congress, noting: "The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies yesterday invited 10 experts from the U.S. Department of Commerce to testify on the President’s FY 2020 budget. The panel responded to two hours of questioning before the Senate by both majority and minority members. The Department of Commerce also made those same Department officials available to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies for a hearing today."
However, as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes, it is not typical for Cabinet officials to send subordinates in their stead to testify on budgetary matters.