The House just voted to hold A.G. Barr and Commerce Secretary Ross in criminal contempt
The United States House of Representatives just made it official: they are deciding to hold Attorney General Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Barr is criminal contempt of Congress. The resolution passed in less than two minutes.
Some background on this: The two top Trump cabinet officials are accused of refusing to provide information to Congress relating to the citizenship question the Trump administration was wanting to add to the 2020 census. That's obstructing a probe.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, said the contempt vote was vital to asserting Congress' authority as a check on executive power.
"I do not take this decision lightly," Oversight chair Elijah Cummings said on the House floor before the vote. "Holding any secretary in criminal contempt of Congress is a serious and sober matter, one that I have done everything in my power to avoid. But in the case of the Attorney General and the secretary, Secretary Ross, they blatantly obstructed our ability to do congressional oversight into the real reason Secretary Ross was trying for the first time in 70 years, in 70 years to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census."
Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., decried the Democratic-led House for not focusing on improving everyday life for average Americans.
The Supreme Court recently stopped the citizenship question from being included.
Secretary Ross decried the effort as "political theater" and "silly."
Barr and Ross sent a last minute letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi calling the whole thing "unfortunate."
"It is unfortunate that the House has scheduled a vote to hold two sitting members of the President's Cabinet in contempt of Congress given the clear record of cooperation," their letter said.
JUST IN: BARR and ROSS write to Speaker Pelosi urging her to cancel the imminent vote to hold them in contempt of Congress >>> pic.twitter.com/UYDpcLts8v— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) July 17, 2019