President Trump’s push to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census is an attempt to “make America white again,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday, co-opting his campaign slogan.
She also said there will likely be a vote to hold the Commerce secretary in contempt of Congress for refusing to detail his decision-making on why he tried to add the citizenship question to next year’s count.
And she said even as the courts rule on Mr. Trump’s renewed efforts to include the question, Congress will try to increase the amount of money spent on the census in order to boost the count.
“What they want to do is put a chilling effect so certain populations will not answer the form,” Mrs. Pelosi said in California, speaking at an event trying to push election security reforms.
The Supreme Court last month derailed Mr. Trump’s attempt to add a citizenship question, ruling that while such a question is legal, the administration bungled the effort to get it on the 2020 questionnaire.
Mr. Trump has said he’s considering issuing an executive order to try to shoehorn the question in — though that, too, would face legal scrutiny from judges, at least one of whom has already expressed skepticism.
The president and his team have given a number of reasons why they want the question, including to better enforce voting rights laws or to help with redistricting.
Mrs. Pelosi and fellow Democrats see more nefarious motives. They believe the administration is trying to scare Hispanic and illegal immigrant residents into not replying to the census.
“They want to suppress that and have it be only certain people counted — people who will vote with them,” she said.