The House voted to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in criminal contempt on Wednesday, escalating a battle between the Trump administration and congressional Democrats.
The measure holds the Trump Cabinet members in contempt for defying subpoenas for documents on their since-abandoned efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The chamber approved the measure in a party-line vote of 230-198, with four Democrats joining all Republicans in voting against the resolution.
Democrats argued the measure was necessary to hold officials accountable for “obstruction & oppose efforts to undermine the census.” It passed the House Oversight and Reform Committee along party lines ahead of the July Fourth recess.
“The resolution that’s before us today is about protecting our democracy. … It is about protecting the integrity of this body — it’s bigger than the census. It’s about protecting the integrity of the Congress of the United States of America,” Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said on the floor.
“We need to understand how and why the Trump administration tried to add a question based on pretext so we can consider reforms to ensure this never happens again.”
Read more at The Hill.