Freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) accused President Donald Trump of “cheating” the 2020 presidential election by withholding documents related to the census citizenship question, and a Republican colleague of hers explained why having the question was “not asking too much.”
During a House Oversight Committee hearing on Wednesday, Tlaib — who was recently slammed by CNN host John King for her controversial Holocaust comments that failed “a critical fact and context test” — claimed that it was the “intent” of the Trump administration to “not include communities of color.”
She went on in her diatribe to accuse Trump of “cheating” the 2020 presidential election by including a citizenship question on the census.
“I have to say to this fact: This is cheating, in many ways, an election. This is cheating by saying we don’t want to count everybody,” Tlaib claimed. “We want to count as less people as possible, and that impacts directly communities of color.”
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“Is it really about citizenship? No. It’s about reducing the number of people of color in this country being counted in the census,” the Michigan Democrat added. “That’s exactly what it’s about. Because you want to cheat. He wants to cheat, Mr. Chairman. He wants to cheat this process.”
However, one of Tlaib’s Republican colleagues on the committee laid out the facts during the hearing.
Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) pointed out that the citizenship question on the census “cannot be used” to deport people in the country or enforce immigration laws under federal statute and asked if knowing how many people, regardless of citizenship status, are in the country was “asking too much.”
“Is that asking too much, for us to know how many citizens are in this country?” Hice posited. “Even how many noncitizens are in this country? That’s information we ought to know!”
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.@HouseDemocrats are fighting tooth-and-nail to preempt the Supreme Court's decision on the 2020 Census citizenship question. Why don’t the @OversightDems want us to know how many citizens – and non-citizens – are in the U.S.?
— Rep. Jody Hice (@CongressmanHice) June 12, 2019
Additionally, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) tweeted out that he felt like he was “in an alternate universe” during the committee, blasting the Democrats as “acting like asking the ‘citizenship question’ on the census is some kind of conspiracy.”
Oversight hearing going on right now and it feels like I’m in an alternate universe. Democrats are acting like asking the “citizenship question” on the census is some kind of conspiracy. Just about every country in the world tries to know its number of citizens!@GOPoversight
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) June 12, 2019
“Just about every country in the world tries to know its number of citizens!” the Kentucky congressman wrote.
The panel of lawmakers on the House Oversight Committee later voted to hold both Attorney General William Barr and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in contempt for refusing to comply with subpoenas for documents related to the citizenship question.