Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., called Democrats out for their gamesmanship during a House Oversight Committee hearing Wednesday, in regard to a citizenship question being added to the U.S. census.
Surely, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., chairman of the committee, didn’t take kindly to his dog and pony show being upended, but a testy exchange with Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Missouri, only further exposed the political theater.
Noting that a Democratic member of the panel, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, a non-voting delegate representing the District of Columbia, introduced a measure to strike the citizenship question, Meadows asked, “Why are we having a markup on that bill?”
Meadows said that would be “the legislative responsibility of this committee,” instead of pursuing contempt.
“So if we’re wanting to be serious about it, why don’t we get serious and actually do a markup on a bill that would prohibit it?” he asked. “And actually move it to the floor.”
After an exchange with Clay over whether Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had been truthful in earlier testimony in March, Meadows said that attorney Michael Cohen lied to the committee and if Democrats will pursue holding him accountable, he’ll “work” with them on holding Ross accountable.
“Are you willing to work with me on both of those issues,” Meadows asked Rep. Clay, pushing the point.
“I’m willing to work with you on Ross,” his colleague from across the aisle replied, with a smile.
“Yeah, I bet,” Meadows shot back, as both men chuckled at the rank gamesmanship on display.
The Oversight Committee was set to vote on whether to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt, along with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, although the vote was postponed until the afternoon.
Democrats are concerned that by not counting non-citizens — see illegal aliens — the census results may negatively impact the number of congressional seats some states may get and the amount of federal funding, not to mention the number of Electoral College votes a state receives.
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