Census citizenship question, disaster relief, FY 2020 spending bills

Census citizenship question, disaster relief, FY 2020 spending bills

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Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross (Evan Walker/ White House file)

On the Hill with Doug Christian

(Audio: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross discusses 2020 Census before House committee 1:28)

CAPITOL HILL – Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross defends the citizenship question on the 2020 Census before the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Elijah Cummings (D-Md.). Ross claimed the citizenship question was normal.

Now, evidence has been unearthed from the hard drives of a deceased key Republican strategist, Thomas Hofeller, showing that a citizenship question would favor whites and Republicans over Hispanics and Democrats.

The U.S. Supreme Court has been weighing whether the controversial question should be allowed on the 2020 census after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit claiming the question violates the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Hofeller’s revealed data throws a wrench into the suit, possibly delaying the ruling, as the Commerce Department says they need to start printing census ballots this month. If court delays its ruling, the question may not make it onto the 2020 census.

This week, as President Donald Trump heads to Europe to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, at home, Congress has a lot of legislating to get done.

The House needs to complete a stalled emergency spending package for disaster relief.

In addition to disaster relief, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer says that the fiscal year 2020 spending bill will get votes on the floor as early as next week.

And in the upper chamber, the Senate plans to bring its 2020 defense authorization bill to the floor this month.

Looking forward, Republican lawmakers are not taking kindly to Trump’s new tariffs with Mexico. Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey says in a statement, “The president’s use of tax hikes on Americans as a tool to affect change in Mexican policy is misguided. It is past time for Congress to step up and reassert its Constitutional responsibility on tariffs.”

Doug Christian, Capitol Hill

 

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