Rep. Kirkpatrick Votes on Resolution Holding Barr and Ross in Contempt

July 17, 2019
Press Release

(Washington) — Today, Rep. Kirkpatrick released the following statement after the House passed a Contempt Resolution H.Res. 497, the resolution recommends that the House of Representatives find Attorney General of the United States, William P. Barr, and Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur L. Ross, Jr., in contempt of Congress for refusal to comply with subpoenas duly issued by the Committee on Oversight and Reform.

The Trump Administration has obstructed the Committee on Oversight and Reform’s investigation into the pretext it used for more than two years to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census—despite warnings that it would harm the accuracy of the Census.  On June 12, 2019, the Committee voted on a bipartisan basis to hold Attorney General William Barr and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress for defying the Committee’s bipartisan subpoenas for documents.  Since then, the Supreme Court has confirmed that the Trump Administration’s actions were illegal and based on a pretext, but the Administration has continued to defy the subpoenas.  The actions of Attorney General Barr and Secretary Ross are part of a broader pattern by the Administration to frustrate oversight of the Executive Branch.

“The Constitution is clear: the census must count every person in this country; it should not be used as a political tool to undermine and silence millions of voices that make up our Democracy,” Rep. Kirkpatrick. “The Administration’s refusal to comply with Congressional subpoenas for Census documents and testimony hearings is just another example of the unprecedented and unlawful obstruction campaign by this White House. Administration officials, namely Attorney General Barr and Secretary Ross, have time and time again prioritized their political agenda and not the American people—their defiance must be held to account.  Today’s vote reaffirms that the House majority will follow the facts and hold the Administration responsible for its discriminatory attacks on our Census, I will continue to fight to ensure that our Southern Arizona community is counted and represented accurately.”

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