There has been great partisan debate and even legal squabbles over a delcared intention by the Trump administration to add a question about U.S. citizenship to the 2020 census form.
Democrat New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is one of those who adamantly oppose the idea, and she exploded in a rant on the topic during a recent House Oversight Committee hearing.
“Racist” and “partisan” question
Ocasio-Cortez’s main gripes seemed to include her belief that asking about citizenship on the census was “racist” and discriminatory to non-citizens, as well as her belief that the question was being added solely for partisan purposes to somehow help Republicans and harm Democrats.
.@AOC fired up on the census citizenship question: “I want to know why we have skipped every normal, mandated procedure in testing how this question gets added in the census … I want to know about corruption, I want to know about the racism.” pic.twitter.com/LjTmzWLyI1
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 12, 2019
She began by playing up the vital importance of the census to the federal government and noted how proposed changes to the census typically must go through a roughly five-year process, which is not the case in this particular instance.
“This is not about whether or not I want to know who is a citizen in the United States or not. What I want to know is why, after, why this question was added, why two years were shaved off that five-year process,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
“I want to know why we have skipped every normal, mandated procedure in testing how this question gets added in the census. I want to know why this question was magically added after we have seen that a political operative knew and detailed an intent to intimidate racial and immigrant communities for a partisan purpose, saying this will hurt Democrats and help Republicans, that’s what I want to know,” she continued.
Attack the messenger, ignore the message
The congresswoman proceeded to cast aspersions against certain individuals who had a hand in the preparation of the 2020 census, such as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, whom she essentially accused of lying under oath in previous testimony before the committee with regard to the citizenship question, and whom the committee ultimately voted to hold in contempt.
She also disparaged former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and accused him of being racist and of suppressing the votes of minorities
“I want to know about corruption, I want to know about the racism and the very disturbing history that we’re seeing here. That’s what I want to know,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
She also took a shot at former White House strategist Steven Bannon and accused the Trump administration of unnecessarily “stone-walling” the “co-equal branch” committee’s efforts to obtain the answers they were seeking.
Ocasio-Cortez was certainly fired up for her rant about adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census, but in her nearly four-minute diatribe on the topic she never really provided any legitimate reason why the citizenship question shouldn’t be included, choosing instead to disparage the administration and its allies over the perceived intentions behind the question in a display which was nothing short of bizarre.