WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives next week will vote on a resolution to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in criminal contempt for their refusal to turn over documents related to the addition of a citizenship question on the 2020 U.S. Census, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday.
“Next week the full House will vote on a resolution of criminal contempt for Attorney General Barr and Secretary Ross so we can enforce our subpoenas and get the facts,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at a news conference.
Pelosi’s remarks come the very day President Donald Trump is expected to announce an executive order on the census question. The White House daily press schedule says Trump will speak about the citizenship question in the Rose Garden at 5 p.m. EDT.
The White House will be hosting a very big and very important Social Media Summit today. Would I have become President without Social Media? Yes (probably)! At its conclusion, we will all go to the beautiful Rose Garden for a News Conference on the Census and Citizenship.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2019
On June 27, the Supreme Court issued an injunction to prevent the citizenship question from being added to the census. The court rejected the administration’s argument for adding the question and sent the case back to lower courts for further review.
The decision left the door open for the administration to return to court with new arguments for adding the question.
Next year’s census is already being printed without the citizenship question, according to media reports.
Opponents of the citizenship question maintain it would discourage many Hispanics and undocumented residents from participating in the Census.
A criminal contempt citation allows for the affected party to be put in jail; however, such action is highly unlikely as Trump’s Justice Department would have to sign off on the citation.