The House Oversight Committee is in a slight holding pattern on if and when they will have a vote to hold Attorney General William Barr and Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress. Their contempt charges have to do with an unwillingness to comply with the Committee’s request for documents surrounding the racist citizenship question that was dubiously added to the upcoming 2020 census. New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was given time to explain why she was bothered by the citizenship question and why she felt Congress needed to have more information on how and why this question made its way into one of our country’s most important fact-finding documents.
AOC: So many of our folks across the aisle think that this is a debate about whether we should be asking who is a citizen or not in this country. The census is a constitutionally mandated operation that we are required to implement every ten years. It is one of the most vital and sensitive things that we do in our government. Any change to the census—any addition of a question—usually takes five years of a process to make sure that it is vetted. That every word has been tested. To make sure that it is effective. Because it is one of the most important things that we do.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez begins to go to the heart of the matter.
I want to know how two years were shaved off of that five year process. I want to know why we have skipped every normal, mandated procedure, in testing how this question gets added to the census. I want to know why this question was magically added, after we have seen a political operative knew and detailed an intent to intimidate racial and immigrant communities for a partisan purpose. …
I want to know why Wilbur Ross, why Secretary Ross, continued to meet with people of disturbing political affiliations, after his own administration warned him to stop.
She is of course referring to blight on humanity, off-brand Jeff Sessions wanna-be, and former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Kobach is what passes for one of the Trump administration’s “architects,” of their all-around racist immigration and voter-supression strategy of centralizing power.
He [Ross] came right here and I asked him did you continue to keep speaking to him [Kobach], he told me no, and we had an email, and he did! He did. I want to know why people like Kris Kobach, with a documented history, he has a résumé of voter suppression techniques in the state of Kansas, I want to know why folks like that have their fingerprints all over the most sensitive census operations that we have as a United States government.
Ocasio-Cortez synthesizes it even further.
I want to know about corruption. I want to know about the racism and the very disturbing history we are seeing here. That’s what I want to know. And so we asked, why are all of these things happening? Why is all of this connected? Why are there so many people—everyone from Steve Bannon to Kris Kobach—having their fingerprints and their political intent all over the United States Census? Why? And what did we get? Nothing!
Finally, this administration is doing it to themselves. They cannot help themselves.
I don’t want to issue a subpoena. Nobody wants to be in a position where you have to issue a subpoena of an administration official, because we are a coequal branch of government. And it should be expected that when we ask a question, we get a response. But when we don’t, we have to do our job!
I suggest you watch Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks below.