Cummings Issues Statement on Administration's Reversal on Census Question After President's Tweet

Jul 3, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (July 3, 2019)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, issued the following statement after attorneys from the Department of Justice informed a federal judge that, contrary to their earlier assurances, they have now been ordered to examine whether the Trump Administration can add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census consistent with the Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this week:

“The Supreme Court ruled that the Trump Administration’s effort to add the citizenship question was based on a pretext that violated the law.  The Trump Administration can’t go back in time now and claim it had some other valid and genuine reason to add the citizenship question after Secretary Ross testified—under oath—that he added it ‘solely’ to help enforce the Voting Rights Act.  The census forms are being printed, but the President is now creating chaos with a tweet, and nobody who works for him apparently has any idea what is going on.  This is not the way to govern a country or run the Census.”

During a hearing this afternoon before the federal District Court in Maryland, an attorney representing the Department of Justice stated:

“The tweet this morning was the first I had heard of the President’s position on this issue, just like the plaintiffs and Your Honor.  I do not have a deeper understanding of what that means at this juncture other than what the President has tweeted.  But, obviously, as you can imagine, I am doing my absolute best to figure out what’s going on.”

116th Congress