Comment of Vice Chairman Leahy On Secretary Ross Declining To Testify Before The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee On Commerce, Justice and Science

[The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science on Tuesday announced an annual hearing to review the budget for the Department of Commerce.  Giving no public explanation, Secretary Ross declined the Subcommittee’s invitation to appear at the hearing, as Department Secretaries traditionally do.  Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy on Wednesday commented:]

“Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross was supposed to appear before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee next week for an annual budget review hearing.  He has declined the Subcommittee’s invitation.  

“That’s a shame.  I was looking forward to asking him why he misled me during his last appearance, one year ago, when he asserted that the Justice Department was ‘the one who made the request’ to include a controversial citizenship question on the Census.  That was false:  It was Secretary Ross who first pressured a reluctant Justice Department.  And two courts have since declared that the Secretary’s attempt to add the question was illegal.  

“Secretary Ross:  You’re not an investment banker anymore.  You serve the American people, and part of your job is to be accountable to Congress and the American people.  What do you have to hide?”

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