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Cummings calls for hearings on citizenship census question

Camille Fine

House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) is calling on Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) to hold hearings on the constitutionality of adding a question on citizenship to the U.S. census. 

His call for the committee to look into the issue comes after the Department of Commerce announced plans on Monday evening to reinstate the question on the 2020 census.  

“I personally spoke with Secretary Ross about this issue, and I am very disappointed that he appears to be disregarding the views of Republican and Democratic experts — including six former census directors — and is instead rushing ahead with a politically-motivated decision that will jeopardize the full, fair, and accurate count our Constitution demands,” he said in a statement Tuesday.

“The Oversight Committee has jurisdiction over the Census, and I call on Chairman Gowdy to hold hearings as soon as possible on this issue, as well as other troubling examples of politicization at the Census Bureau under President Trump,” the statement continued.

The move sparked outrage from Democrats, who argue the change is discriminatory and will lead to inaccurate data on those who reside in the country. 

“People across the country — including in red, blue, and purple states — need to understand that if their communities are undercounted, they could lose critical funds for highways, education, healthcare, and an array of other federal programs,” Cummings continued.  “The Trump Administration’s plan to insert a new, untested question on citizenship will increase costs for American taxpayers and decrease the accuracy of the census itself.”

Democrats are taking action to try and prevent the administration from following through with the addition. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called on Congress to take up legislation spearheaded by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) aimed at blocking its implementation Tuesday.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said he plans to sue the Trump administration over its decision to reimplement the question.  

Tags Carolyn Maloney Census Citizenship Democrats Donald Trump Elijah Cummings House Democrats Nancy Pelosi Trey Gowdy Trump administration US Census Xavier Becerra

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